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2011 Draft Prep: Our 12-team, $100 auction

Senior Fantasy Writer
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For some Fantasy owners, snake drafts just aren't exciting. For them, there are auctions.

Auctions give every Fantasy owner the same opportunity at every NFL player. Auctions make for a more challenging way to build a Fantasy team. Auctions favor the bold -- the highest bidder gets the player, for better or for worse.

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It's a fun enhancement that Fantasy drafters should consider (CBSSports.com even has mock auctions, in case you'd like to try it out). But it's not without strategy, just like any other Fantasy Football draft.

Shop smart. If you spend too soon, you'll have no shot at the inevitable bargains that exist late in every single auction. If you don't spend early on, you'll have no shot at the stud players inevitably nominated in the first few minutes in every single auction. Knowing who you want, and more importantly, knowing what the players you want should go for, is absolutely vital to Fantasy success. Consult our auction values to get a good idea of what the going rate is from player to player.

Be ready for the bargains. Like in snake drafts, the bargains in auctions generally happen late, not early. If you want in on some of those bargains it's a good idea to save at least 30 percent of your overall budget for the last third of your auction.

Don't drive up bids or mistakenly bid on players you don't need. Bid on the guys you want, not the guys other people want. If you own Antonio Gates, don't bid on Dallas Clark just so they go at the same price. It's better to let another owner get a bargain than for you to clog your roster with too many players at the same position.

If you're on the fence, spend. Bidding the extra dollar or two to get the player you want is always advised so long as you're not going to be forced to add $1 players to more than four roster spots. The difference between getting quality starters and a couple of $2 steals that someone else might otherwise get for $1 is negligible.

Follow the money. Fantasy dollars are not unlimited -- you're on a budget. As such, you'll have to know what your maximum bid is at all times, and if you're really good, you'll want to keep track of what the max bid is for your rival owners too. Typically, no player will go for more than 35 percent of a total budget, and every team will end up with at least a handful of $1 players.

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Early on, nominate players you don't want: If you're trying to cut back on spending, or if you just want other owners to drain their funds, nominate players who you have no intention of winning. For instance, if you just won Aaron Rodgers, you're set at quarterback. But if you nominate Michael Vick and start the bidding at a dollar, someone else will start unloading their money. The more your opponents spend, the less they'll have to take bargains from you later on. You could even look over the roster of the owner with the biggest budget left, uncover their needs and nominate players they might flash their cash for. When the draft enters the bargain zone, that's when you'll want to nominate the players you want and potentially bid an extra buck or two to sway opponents from taking the player you like.

Check out our auction!

To give you the feel of this kind of format, CBSSports.com rounded up 12 experts with auction experience. On Aug. 24, we gave everyone $100 to spend on 15 roster spots, starting one quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, one tight end, one flex, one kicker and one DST.

Our nomination order
1. Bill Passonno, Fantasy Writer 7. Al Melchior, Data Analyst
2. Ed Gauna, Fantasy Writer 8. Jeff Tobin, Associate Managing Editor, Fantasy
3. John Garcia, Fantasy Writer 9. Eric Kay, Associate Managing Editor, CBSSports.com
4. Scott White, Senior Fantasy Writer 10. Jamey Eisenberg, Senior Fantasy Writer
5. Nathan Zegura, Fantasy Writer 11. Adam Aizer, Podcast Host
6. Dave Richard, Senior Fantasy Writer 12. Sergio Gonzalez, Fantasy Writer
Sound off on our auction: Facebook | Twitter | Message Board

2011 Fantasy Auction Draft (sortable)
OrderPlayerPriceBid Won by
180Smith, Alfonso (RB ARI)$1Bill Passonno
179Burleson, Nate (WR DET)$1Al Melchior
178Cook, Jared (TE TEN)$1Bill Passonno
177Helu, Roy (RB WAS)$1Al Melchior
176Hester, Devin (WR CHI)$1Bill Passonno
175Mason, Derrick (WR NYJ)$1Sergio Gonzalez
174Knox, Johnny (WR CHI)$1Al Melchior
173Snelling, Jason (RB ATL)$1Bill Passonno
172Williams, Cadillac (RB STL)$1Sergio Gonzalez
171Williams, Ricky (RB BAL)$1Eric Kay
170Garrard, David (QB JAC)$1Al Melchior
169Morris, Maurice (RB DET)$1Dave Richard
168Murray, DeMarco (RB DAL)$1Nathan Zegura
167Cundiff, Billy (K BAL)$1Scott White
166Carpenter, Dan (K MIA)$1John Garcia
165Henery, Alex (K PHI)$1Bill Passonno
164Miller, Zach (TE SEA)$1Sergio Gonzalez
163Saints (DST NO)$1Jamey Eisenberg
162Smith, Alex (QB SF)$1Eric Kay
161Branch, Deion (WR NE)$1Jeff Tobin
160Tomlinson, LaDainian (RB NYJ)$1Al Melchior
159Redman, Isaac (RB PIT)$1Dave Richard
158Brown, Josh (K STL)$1Nathan Zegura
157Torain, Ryan (RB WAS)$1Scott White
156Chargers (DST SD)$1John Garcia
155Breaston, Steve (WR KC)$1Bill Passonno
154Jones, Thomas (RB KC)$1Sergio Gonzalez
153Starks, James (RB GB)$1Jamey Eisenberg
152Driver, Donald (WR GB)$1Eric Kay
151Cassel, Matt (QB KC)$1Jeff Tobin
150Crabtree, Michael (WR SF)$1Al Melchior
149Jennings, Rashad (RB JAC)$2Jamey Eisenberg
148Lions (DST DET)$1Nathan Zegura
147Sims-Walker, Mike (WR STL)$2Nathan Zegura
146Tate, Ben (RB HOU)$1John Garcia
145Jean, Lestar (WR HOU)$2Ed Gauna
144Ringer, Javon (RB TEN)$2Dave Richard
143Smith, Steve (WR CAR)$1Sergio Gonzalez
142Moss, Santana (WR WAS)$3Scott White
141McCoy, Colt (QB CLE)$2John Garcia
140Sproles, Darren (RB NO)$1Jeff Tobin
139Bess, Davone (WR MIA)$2Jeff Tobin
138Orton, Kyle (QB DEN)$1Dave Richard
137Vinatieri, Adam (K IND)$1Nathan Zegura
136Evans, Lee (WR BAL)$1Scott White
135Ford, Jacoby (WR OAK)$1John Garcia
134Celek, Brent (TE PHI)$1Ed Gauna
133Ward, Hines (WR PIT)$2Ed Gauna
132Sanchez, Mark (QB NYJ)$1Sergio Gonzalez
131Floyd, Malcom (WR SD)$1Adam Aizer
130Kolb, Kevin (QB ARI)$1Jamey Eisenberg
129Gonzalez, Tony (TE ATL)$1Eric Kay
128Simpson, Jerome (WR CIN)$1Jeff Tobin
127Ochocinco, Chad (WR NE)$3Eric Kay
126Garcon, Pierre (WR IND)$2Ed Gauna
125Hernandez, Aaron (TE NE)$1Nathan Zegura
124Gronkowski, Rob (TE NE)$1Scott White
123Little, Greg (WR CLE)$1John Garcia
122Edwards, Braylon (WR SF)$3Ed Gauna
121Britt, Kenny (WR TEN)$3Bill Passonno
120Bears (DST CHI)$1Sergio Gonzalez
119Hightower, Tim (RB WAS)$4Ed Gauna
118Cutler, Jay (QB CHI)$1Jamey Eisenberg
117Flacco, Joe (QB BAL)$3Bill Passonno
116Moore, Lance (WR NO)$4Nathan Zegura
115Woodhead, Danny (RB NE)$1Al Melchior
114Stewart, Jonathan (RB CAR)$4Jeff Tobin
113Graham, Jimmy (TE NO)$6Adam Aizer
112Olsen, Greg (TE CAR)$3Jamey Eisenberg
111Thomas, Pierre (RB NO)$3John Garcia
110Jacobs, Brandon (RB NYG)$3Jamey Eisenberg
109Collie, Austin (WR IND)$3Jeff Tobin
108Rice, Sidney (WR SEA)$4Sergio Gonzalez
107Thomas, Mike (WR JAC)$3Adam Aizer
106Brown, Ronnie (RB PHI)$1Jamey Eisenberg
105McGahee, Willis (RB DEN)$3Ed Gauna
104Cowboys (DST DAL)$1Jeff Tobin
103Addai, Joseph (RB IND)$5Adam Aizer
102Broncos (DST DEN)$1Dave Richard
101Daniels, Owen (TE HOU)$4Sergio Gonzalez
100Pettigrew, Brandon (TE DET)$2John Garcia
99Spiller, C.J. (RB BUF)$4Eric Kay
98Maclin, Jeremy (WR PHI)$5Dave Richard
97Lloyd, Brandon (WR DEN)$6Nathan Zegura
96Kaeding, Nate (K SD)$1Sergio Gonzalez
95Jackson, Fred (RB BUF)$6Al Melchior
94Bryant, Matt (K ATL)$1Jamey Eisenberg
93Lynch, Marshawn (RB SEA)$7Eric Kay
92Jones, Julio (WR ATL)$7Jeff Tobin
91Wells, Beanie (RB ARI)$5Scott White
90Bradford, Sam (QB STL)$5Adam Aizer
89Colston, Marques (WR NO)$7Dave Richard
88Patriots (DST NE)$1Scott White
87Tolbert, Mike (RB SD)$7Dave Richard
86Green, A.J. (WR CIN)$2Scott White
85Harvin, Percy (WR MIN)$7John Garcia
84Winslow, Kellen (TE TB)$2Eric Kay
83Marshall, Brandon (WR MIA)$11Eric Kay
82Roethlisberger, Ben (QB PIT)$7Adam Aizer
81Jones, Felix (RB DAL)$12Bill Passonno
80Boldin, Anquan (WR BAL)$7Sergio Gonzalez
79Giants (DST NYG)$1Al Melchior
78Ravens (DST BAL)$2Ed Gauna
77Davis, Vernon (TE SF)$4Al Melchior
76Jets (DST NYJ)$3Bill Passonno
75Bush, Reggie (RB MIA)$4John Garcia
74Burress, Plaxico (WR NYJ)$5Jeff Tobin
73Grant, Ryan (RB GB)$4Adam Aizer
72Bryant, Dez (WR DAL)$9Bill Passonno
71Roberts, Andre (WR ARI)$1Adam Aizer
70Schaub, Matt (QB HOU)$6Scott White
69Holmes, Santonio (WR NYJ)$10John Garcia
68Williams, DeAngelo (RB CAR)$11Nathan Zegura
67Moreno, Knowshon (RB DEN)$9Dave Richard
66Bush, Michael (RB OAK)$4Nathan Zegura
65Austin, Miles (WR DAL)$13Nathan Zegura
64Eagles (DST PHI)$2Adam Aizer
63Thomas, Daniel (RB MIA)$7Adam Aizer
62Witten, Jason (TE DAL)$7Bill Passonno
61Jackson, DeSean (WR PHI)$13Eric Kay
60Manningham, Mario (WR NYG)$7Scott White
59Manning, Eli (QB NYG)$3Scott White
58Lewis, Marcedes (TE JAC)$1Jamey Eisenberg
57Johnson, Steve (WR BUF)$6Eric Kay
56Bradshaw, Ahmad (RB NYG)$16Nathan Zegura
55Forte, Matt (RB CHI)$23Ed Gauna
54Ryan, Matt (QB ATL)$7Ed Gauna
53Jackson, Vincent (WR SD)$17Adam Aizer
52Wallace, Mike (WR PIT)$16Jamey Eisenberg
51Best, Jahvid (RB DET)$12Bill Passonno
50Greene, Shonn (RB NYJ)$12Nathan Zegura
49Ingram, Mark (RB NO)$10Jamey Eisenberg
48Benson, Cedric (RB CIN)$9Sergio Gonzalez
47Romo, Tony (QB DAL)$8John Garcia
46Green-Ellis, BenJarvus (RB NE)$9Adam Aizer
45Welker, Wes (WR NE)$10Scott White
44Johnson, Calvin (WR DET)$27Bill Passonno
43Crosby, Mason (K GB)$1Al Melchior
42Johnson, Andre (WR HOU)$26Jamey Eisenberg
41McCoy, LeSean (RB PHI)$28Jamey Eisenberg
40White, Roddy (WR ATL)$21Al Melchior
39Amendola, Danny (WR STL)$5Jamey Eisenberg
38Gould, Robbie (K CHI)$1Ed Gauna
37Jackson, Steven (RB STL)$17Ed Gauna
36Clark, Dallas (TE IND)$8Dave Richard
35Freeman, Josh (QB TB)$4Dave Richard
34Jones-Drew, Maurice (RB JAC)$21Sergio Gonzalez
33Mathews, Ryan (RB SD)$9Nathan Zegura
32Williams, Mike (WR TB)$12John Garcia
31Nicks, Hakeem (WR NYG)$17Dave Richard
30Wayne, Reggie (WR IND)$14Al Melchior
29Brady, Tom (QB NE)$22Ed Gauna
28Stafford, Matthew (QB DET)$11Jeff Tobin
27Jennings, Greg (WR GB)$19Adam Aizer
26Fitzgerald, Larry (WR ARI)$19Dave Richard
25McFadden, Darren (RB OAK)$17Dave Richard
24Gates, Antonio (TE SD)$12Jeff Tobin
23Mendenhall, Rashard (RB PIT)$16Scott White
22Turner, Michael (RB ATL)$24Al Melchior
21Hillis, Peyton (RB CLE)$13Scott White
20Rice, Ray (RB BAL)$31Eric Kay
19Packers (DST GB)$4Ed Gauna
18Janikowski, Sebastian (K OAK)$1Dave Richard
17Blount, LeGarrette (RB TB)$17John Garcia
16Brees, Drew (QB NO)$18Bill Passonno
15Gore, Frank (RB SF)$18Jeff Tobin
14Finley, Jermichael (TE GB)$7Ed Gauna
13Bowe, Dwayne (WR KC)$11Adam Aizer
12Johnson, Chris (RB TEN)$26Sergio Gonzalez
11Gostkowski, Stephen (K NE)$1Adam Aizer
10Manning, Peyton (QB IND)$15Eric Kay
9Hartley, Garrett (K NO)$1Eric Kay
8Charles, Jamaal (RB KC)$27Jeff Tobin
7Rivers, Philip (QB SD)$18Nathan Zegura
6Rackers, Neil (K HOU)$2Jeff Tobin
5Peterson, Adrian (RB MIN)$30John Garcia
4Steelers (DST PIT)$3Eric Kay
3Foster, Arian (RB HOU)$30Scott White
2Rodgers, Aaron (QB GB)$22Al Melchior
1Vick, Michael (QB PHI)$20Sergio Gonzalez

Sound off on our auction: Facebook | Twitter | Message Board

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Dave at @daverichard and on Facebook .

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Player News
Raiders bring back Kaelin Burnett
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(5:21 pm ET) The Raiders have inked exclusive-rights free agent Kaelin Burnett to a one-year deal. He's expected to compete for a roster spot in training camp. 

Dekoda Watson moving to strong-side LB
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(5:20 pm ET) In the wake of the release of veteran linebacker Russell Allen, the Jaguars are expected to make Dekoda Watson their new starting strong-side linebacker, ESPN reports. He'll also play as a pass rusher and potentially line up as a defensive end on third downs. 

Watson had 42 total tackles, two sacks, an interception, a pass defensed, a forced fumble and a blocked punt with the Bucs last year. 


Brandon Gibson begins light jobbing
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(5:14 pm ET) Brandon Gibson has begun light jogging as he works his way back from a torn patellar tendon, the Miami Herald reports. The Dolphins are expected to keep him on the roster, if only because of the cap hit he'll cost, per the report. He said recently he expects to be ready for Week 1. 

'Humbled' Richardson explains 2013, promises a better 2014
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(1:21 pm ET) Colts running back Trent Richardson spoke openly about his disappointing 2013 season, saying that it took him too long to learn a new playbook and get over leaving Cleveland after Week 2. Richardson also told the official team website that he's planning to do everything within his power to be as prepared as possible for 2014. 

"Y'all will see a big significant difference in the way I play, the speed. I won't have to think about a lot of stuff," Richardson said earlier this offseason. "It's going to be big -- timing with the offensive line, timing with Andrew (Luck), just knowing a lot more with the program, the whole system.

"They haven't seen everything they're going to get out of me yet. A lot of it is going to come next year. A lot of it is going to come in the offseason. I'm going to put in a lot of work, as I've been doing this whole season. This season humbled me. ... This season was a lesson to me."

Colts coach Chuck Pagano has had Richardson's back, says the running back, and the coach stressed back in March that his running back's involvement in the offseason program will be key. 

"It's going to be very, very important for (Richardson) to be here for the offseason program and to dive into this thing full steam ahead, which he will," Pagano said. "He wants to be great. He's got all the talent. He's got all the ability. We would have never done what we did if we didn't believe that deep down in our core. So we look for him to have a great offseason and to have a great 2014 campaign."


Saints bring back Robert Meachem
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(1:06 pm ET) The Saints announced Friday that the club has re-signed veteran free agent wide receiver Robert Meachem to a one-year contract.

Meachem is a seven-year NFL veteran who was originally the club's first round draft pick (27th overall) in 2007. He re-signed with the Saints prior to the start of the 2013 regular season and appeared in 15 games with five starts. He finished with 16 receptions for 324 yards with two touchdowns.

Meachem said signing with the Saints now should help with his preparations as he will be able to take part in the team's offseason conditioning program, OTAs and mini-camp. Plus, "this is home," he said.


Can Chris Johnson turn into Tomlinson?
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10:12 am ET) The Jets are hoping running back Chris Johnson can do for them what LaDainian Tomlinson did in 2010, reports ESPN.

That season, Tomlinson came from San Diego to New York after he was released. He responded with a team-high 914 yards with six touchdowns on 219 carries and caught 52 passes. He was supposed to be Shonn Greene's backup, but Tomlinson was so impressive that he won the starting job and became an integral part of a team that came within one game of the Super Bowl.

Maybe Johnson, who was let go by the Titans, can do the same thing.

"I can turn the bad things people are saying into a good thing for me, to give me motivation, to keep me hungry and to keep a chip on my shoulder and prove the naysayers wrong," he said Thursday.

Johnson had a disappointing year in 2013 when he averaged just 3.9 yards per carry, but he played 13 games on a torn meniscus and was running behind a suspect offensive line for a team that didn't have its starting quarterback for half the season. The situation in New York should be improved, and hopefully being teamed with Chris Ivory will allow him to play like Tomlinson did in 2010.


Aikman worried about Tony Romo
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(10:01 am ET) Former Cowboys quarterback and Hall of Famer Troy Aikman is worried about current Dallas quarterback Tony Romo coming off back surgery, reports the team's official website.

Romo, 34, is coming off back surgery in December, which was the second procedure on his back in a year.

"I came back in a relatively short period of time because of when I had my surgery, so he's at least afforded more time to get ready," Aikman said. "But having said that, two back surgeries in less than a year at his age, I would be a bit concerned.

"I'm hopeful that he's able to come back -- everybody is. This team won't be the same if he's not able to. I anticipate that he will come back. But to say that, 'Hey, he's ahead of schedule and everything's going fine,' I'm not sure how you can really measure that here in April."


Bengals, A.J. Green not talking extension - yet
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(9:54 am ET) The Bengals are expected to exercise the fifth-year option on receiver A.J. Green's contract by May 3, reports Pro Football Talk. But the sides have yet to discuss a long-term contract extension, according to the report.

The Bengals hold the rights to Green through the 2015 season. And in 2016, if a long-term deal hasn't been signed yet, the Bengals can use the franchise tag on Green for that season.

The report says Green can force the issue by trying to boycott offseason workouts or hold out from training camp. But Bengals coach Marvin Lewis is confident Green will be there.


Chris Snee will give it a shot this spring
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(9:52 am ET) Giants guard Chris Snee will attempt to go through the Giants offseason program once he's healthy, the New York Daily News reports. Snee had hip surgery last season and an elbow surgery earlier this year. There is no timeline for him to be at 100 percent but he is expected to be on the field for the "bulk" of offseason activities. 

Report: Niners won't release Aldon Smith
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(9:50 am ET) The 49ers might expect a suspension for pass rushing linebacker Aldon Smith, but they are not planning to release him, NFL Network reported on Friday.

Smith was arrested recently for making false bomb reports at a Los Angeles airport, the latest of a string of troubles for the highly talented linebacker. He was also arrested for suspicion of DUI in January, 2012 and again September, 2013. He also had marijuana on him during that September arrest. In October, 2013 he was charged with three felony counts of illegal possession of an assault weapon. 


 
 
 
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