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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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Recognized for Best Article in Major Media by the FSWA

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
Reggie Bush says he doesn't plan to retire
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Bush rushed for 297 yards and two touchdowns last season. 


Report: Cowboys to let DeMarco Murray test free agency
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(6:06 pm ET) The Cowboys will let RB DeMarco Murray test the free-agent market, according to a report from Fox Sports Southwest

Cowboys VP Stephen Jones said that negotiations with Murray's agents have been "slow". 

Jones said that Murray "is probably going to get some peace and see what's out in the market, and then we'll talk and see. I do believe deep down he'd love to stay in Dallas."

Murray rushed for 1,845 yards and 13 touchdowns last season. 


Report: Cowboys to use franchise tag on Dez Bryant
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(5:15 pm ET) The Cowboys will use the franchise tag on WR Dez Bryant on Monday, according to a report by Fox Sports Southwest

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"I still think that (it) would be a stretch to think that we would have something done by Monday and beat the franchise-tag deadline," Cowboys VP Stephen Jones told Fox. "Looks like we're eyeing a franchise tag on Dez, but certainly won't stop us from working hard to get a long-term deal. ... We just don't want to lose his rights."

Bryant had 88 catches for 1,320 yards and 16 touchdowns last year. 


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With incentives related to playing time and playoff berths, McCown could earn $20 million over the course of the deal.

McCown will earn $6.25 million in fully guaranteed money, with $5.25 million of it coming in the first year of the deal.


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(3:18 pm ET) Panthers DE Greg Hardy is scheduled to become a free agent on March 10. He missed most of last season while appealing his conviction for domestic violence. 

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by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(3:15 pm ET) Texans LB Brian Cushing has had three surgeries since the end of the season. 

In a public appearance on Saturday, Cushing told the Houston Chronicle's John McClain that he's had surgery on his broken right wrist as well as arthroscopic procedures on his left knee and left ankle. 

"It’s not uncommon for stuff like that to happen," he said of the two arthroscopic surgeries. "It’s just little things here and there, the residual effects of two major surgeries and injuries, the wear and tear of playing throughout the season. There were still some things bothering me a little bit. Just went in there and had real good success in both areas."

Cushing has a cast on his wrist. “It’s coming along real well,” he said. “I’m going to start working out a little bit. From a pain standpoint, there’s really nothing going on there. I’m real happy about that. I’m real happy to get the cast off and start doing some physical therapy on it, and I don’t have to worry about it anymore."


Report: 49ers to release wide receiver Steve Johnson
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(11:34 am ET) The 49ers are expected to release wide receiver Steve Johnson, according to Dianna Marie Russini of NBC Washington D.C.

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"I'm excited about it," Ridley told Sirius XM Radio Friday. "As a player coming into the league, you get there and your first contract you kind of have to establish yourself and see what you can do. Everybody is a good player if you get to make it to the NFL, but there is something to be said if you get to that second contract."

Ridley has rushed for 2,817 yards and 22 touchdowns in his first four seasons in the league with the Patriots.

"Where I'll be playing, and who I'll be playing for, is still unknown, but I know I've come in and done my job up to this point and now I have to put it in my agent's hands to get me on another team, or stay where I'm at, and make sure I’m in pads playing ball somewhere next year. I know if you think about it too much it will worry you sick."

Ridley has played in 20 of a possible 32 games the last two seasons, starting in just 11 of them.

"I take it personal to any team or anybody that says I can't be a very productive player on whatever team I land on," he said. "I've been playing ball my whole life, I'm going to come in and be a leader, and I'm going to be a guy that comes in and busts his butt in the weight room and busts his butt on the field. I'm a good teammate, I have fun with my guys, but when the lights come on Sundays, it's all business and I plan on going out there and making plays."


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(2/27/2015) Patriots wide receiver Aaron Dobson is still recovering from a hamstring injury that ended his season in 2014. Trainer Brett Fischer said Friday he thinks Dobson is going to turn heads when he heads back to Foxboro for training camp, according to the Boston Herald.

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