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

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Player News
Outlook for Le'Veon Bell continues to improve
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(1:51 pm ET) Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell averaged 4.7 receptions per game through his first six games, but because he was involved in the passing game only intermittently as a rookie, you had reason to wonder if you could rely on him for that long-term.

But then he went and caught eight passes for 88 yards and a touchdown against the Texans in Week 7, putting him second among all running backs with 36 receptions, behind only Matt Forte (who remains in a class of his own). In PPR leagues, he's also third among running backs, behind Forte and DeMarco Murray, in Fantasy points to date.

Even better, his touchdown came from the 2-yard line -- a situation where the Steelers may have gone to LeGarrette Blount earlier in the season. Only one of Blount's seven carries even came in Texans' territory in this one.

Bell's touchdown total seven weeks into the season may be disappointing, but in terms of his receiving ability and role on offense, the verdict is in. If we were re-drafting today, he might be one of the first five running backs off the board.


49ers add QB Josh Johnson, cut S Raymond Ventrone
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1:37 pm ET) The 49ers re-signed quarterback Josh Johnson and released safety Raymond Ventrone.

Travaris Cadet's role about to change
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(1:29 pm ET) With Pierre Thomas expected to miss a healthy chunk of time with a shoulder injury, Travaris Cadet is now the main receiving option out of the Saints backfield, and that should mean good things for the third-year man out of Appalachian State.

Cadet was already fifth on the team in targets through six games, and the absence of Thomas is only going to increase his workload. The two are averaging 8.3 targets out fo the backfield between them, and with Khiry Robinson and Mark Ingram more traditional backs, the majority of those looks should go Cadet's way.

Cadet has already shown he can be a useful receiver in a growing role recently, with 15 receptions for 129 yards and a touchdown over the last three games. The Saints have always featured running backs in the passing game prominently, and now it is Cadet's turn. In PPR leagues, he should make for a solid starting option moving forward, with 29 Fantasy points over the last three weeks already. 


When DeAndre Hopkins is targeted, good things happen
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(1:25 pm ET) In Week 7 at Pittsburgh, Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins was on equal terms with Andre Johnson for once, tying for the team lead with nine targets. It was the first time he got as many targets as Johnson in a game this season, and just as encouraging, it came only a week after getting a season-low two targets.

Hopkins led the Texans with 108 yards on six catches. Despite the disparity in targets, it wasn't the first time he went for more yards than Johnson, but the third. The first came in his only other nine-target game Week 3 at the Giants, when he had 116 yards on six catches.

Hopkins may not get the targets you'd like for a wide receiver to get in Fantasy, but he's efficient with what he gets, meaning when he gets a decent number of targets, like in Weeks 3 and 7, he's almost assured big numbers. With Johnson still the go-to guy for quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, though, Hopkins also has the potential to underwhelm any given week.

He's best used as a No. 3 wide receiver in Fantasy, making him a bye-week replacement in some leagues. But if Johnson ever goes down, as he has done all too often in his career, watch out.


Eagles LB Mychal Kendricks practices Tuesday
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1:21 pm ET) Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks, who's missed four straight games with a calf injury, practiced Tuesday and appears on track to return Sunday at Arizona. Kendricks had 13 tackles and a sack in the first two games.

Takeaways make Steelers' day
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(1:09 pm ET) The Steelers didn't have a tremendous defensive performance Week 7 against Houston, falling into an early 13-0 hole and ultimately giving up 23 points on 393 yards. But they did a fine job taking the ball away from the Texans, allowing their offense to come from behind for the victory.

They got an interception from Brett Keisel and two fumble recoveries, one by Troy Polamalu and one by Sean Spence. The three takeaways were the most they've had in a game this season.

The Steelers did have one sack but remain a poor source of those this year, tying with the Bengals for 23rd with 10. Because their DST has thrived only in games in which it's gotten a touchdown, it remains a risky start in Fantasy.

With the Steelers facing the Colts, the league's No. 1 offense, in Week 8, you should avoid the Steelers DST in Fantasy.


Report: Bills adding RB Phillip Tanner
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1:06 pm ET) Faced with limited depth in the backfield, the Bills are signing former Cowboys running back Phillip Tanner, reports the National Football Post.

Texans allow 30 points again
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(12:55 pm ET) After allowing 33 points Week 6 against Indianapolis, the Texans allowed 30 Week 7 at Pittsburgh. But while their struggles were to be expected against a Colts offense that ranks No. 1 in the NFL, at least in terms of yardage, the same can't be said for their matchup against the Steelers, who scored 10 points against the Browns in Week 6 and 17 against the Jaguars in Week 5.

Because turnovers kept putting the Steelers in good field position, the Texans allowed 328 yards, only 12 away from their season low. They recorded three sacks, equaling a season high met twice previously, but their only takeaway was a fumble recovery in the first quarter.

The Texans haven't had a favorable schedule of late, but their DST has mostly held its own. Again, the 30 points given up in this one was as much the fault of the offense. With an appealing matchup Week 8 at Tennessee, the Texans DST is an advisable play in Fantasy.


Report: Darren Sproles still unlikely to play Sunday
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:49 pm ET) While Eagles running back Darren Sproles (knee) returned to a limited practice Tuesday, he's still unlikely to suit up Sunday at Arizona, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. Sproles did not participate in pass-catching drills with the running backs and was seen doing light running during individual drills, the report said.

Sproles sprained his MCL in the Week 6 win over the Giants. The Eagles had a Week 7 bye.


Eagles C Jason Kelce back on the field
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:32 pm ET) Eagles starting center Jason Kelce, who's coming back from sports hernia surgery, returned to practice Tuesday as the team prepared for Sunday's game at Arizona, reports CSNPhilly.com. Kelce suffered the injury Week 3 against Washington.

 
 
 
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