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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
103Addai, Joseph (RB IND)$5Adam Aizer
13Bowe, Dwayne (WR KC)$11Adam Aizer
90Bradford, Sam (QB STL)$5Adam Aizer
64Eagles (DST PHI)$2Adam Aizer
131Floyd, Malcom (WR SD)$1Adam Aizer
11Gostkowski, Stephen (K NE)$1Adam Aizer
113Graham, Jimmy (TE NO)$6Adam Aizer
73Grant, Ryan (RB GB)$4Adam Aizer
46Green-Ellis, BenJarvus (RB NE)$9Adam Aizer
53Jackson, Vincent (WR SD)$17Adam Aizer
27Jennings, Greg (WR GB)$19Adam Aizer
71Roberts, Andre (WR ARI)$1Adam Aizer
82Roethlisberger, Ben (QB PIT)$7Adam Aizer
63Thomas, Daniel (RB MIA)$7Adam Aizer
107Thomas, Mike (WR JAC)$3Adam Aizer
179Burleson, Nate (WR DET)$1Al Melchior
150Crabtree, Michael (WR SF)$1Al Melchior
43Crosby, Mason (K GB)$1Al Melchior
77Davis, Vernon (TE SF)$4Al Melchior
170Garrard, David (QB JAC)$1Al Melchior
79Giants (DST NYG)$1Al Melchior
177Helu, Roy (RB WAS)$1Al Melchior
95Jackson, Fred (RB BUF)$6Al Melchior
174Knox, Johnny (WR CHI)$1Al Melchior
2Rodgers, Aaron (QB GB)$22Al Melchior
160Tomlinson, LaDainian (RB NYJ)$1Al Melchior
22Turner, Michael (RB ATL)$24Al Melchior
30Wayne, Reggie (WR IND)$14Al Melchior
40White, Roddy (WR ATL)$21Al Melchior
115Woodhead, Danny (RB NE)$1Al Melchior
51Best, Jahvid (RB DET)$12Bill Passonno
155Breaston, Steve (WR KC)$1Bill Passonno
16Brees, Drew (QB NO)$18Bill Passonno
121Britt, Kenny (WR TEN)$3Bill Passonno
72Bryant, Dez (WR DAL)$9Bill Passonno
178Cook, Jared (TE TEN)$1Bill Passonno
117Flacco, Joe (QB BAL)$3Bill Passonno
165Henery, Alex (K PHI)$1Bill Passonno
176Hester, Devin (WR CHI)$1Bill Passonno
76Jets (DST NYJ)$3Bill Passonno
44Johnson, Calvin (WR DET)$27Bill Passonno
81Jones, Felix (RB DAL)$12Bill Passonno
180Smith, Alfonso (RB ARI)$1Bill Passonno
173Snelling, Jason (RB ATL)$1Bill Passonno
62Witten, Jason (TE DAL)$7Bill Passonno
102Broncos (DST DEN)$1Dave Richard
36Clark, Dallas (TE IND)$8Dave Richard
89Colston, Marques (WR NO)$7Dave Richard
26Fitzgerald, Larry (WR ARI)$19Dave Richard
35Freeman, Josh (QB TB)$4Dave Richard
18Janikowski, Sebastian (K OAK)$1Dave Richard
98Maclin, Jeremy (WR PHI)$5Dave Richard
25McFadden, Darren (RB OAK)$17Dave Richard
67Moreno, Knowshon (RB DEN)$9Dave Richard
169Morris, Maurice (RB DET)$1Dave Richard
31Nicks, Hakeem (WR NYG)$17Dave Richard
138Orton, Kyle (QB DEN)$1Dave Richard
159Redman, Isaac (RB PIT)$1Dave Richard
144Ringer, Javon (RB TEN)$2Dave Richard
87Tolbert, Mike (RB SD)$7Dave Richard
29Brady, Tom (QB NE)$22Ed Gauna
134Celek, Brent (TE PHI)$1Ed Gauna
122Edwards, Braylon (WR SF)$3Ed Gauna
14Finley, Jermichael (TE GB)$7Ed Gauna
55Forte, Matt (RB CHI)$23Ed Gauna
126Garcon, Pierre (WR IND)$2Ed Gauna
38Gould, Robbie (K CHI)$1Ed Gauna
119Hightower, Tim (RB WAS)$4Ed Gauna
37Jackson, Steven (RB STL)$17Ed Gauna
145Jean, Lestar (WR HOU)$2Ed Gauna
105McGahee, Willis (RB DEN)$3Ed Gauna
19Packers (DST GB)$4Ed Gauna
78Ravens (DST BAL)$2Ed Gauna
54Ryan, Matt (QB ATL)$7Ed Gauna
133Ward, Hines (WR PIT)$2Ed Gauna
152Driver, Donald (WR GB)$1Eric Kay
129Gonzalez, Tony (TE ATL)$1Eric Kay
9Hartley, Garrett (K NO)$1Eric Kay
61Jackson, DeSean (WR PHI)$13Eric Kay
57Johnson, Steve (WR BUF)$6Eric Kay
93Lynch, Marshawn (RB SEA)$7Eric Kay
10Manning, Peyton (QB IND)$15Eric Kay
83Marshall, Brandon (WR MIA)$11Eric Kay
127Ochocinco, Chad (WR NE)$3Eric Kay
20Rice, Ray (RB BAL)$31Eric Kay
162Smith, Alex (QB SF)$1Eric Kay
99Spiller, C.J. (RB BUF)$4Eric Kay
4Steelers (DST PIT)$3Eric Kay
171Williams, Ricky (RB BAL)$1Eric Kay
84Winslow, Kellen (TE TB)$2Eric Kay
39Amendola, Danny (WR STL)$5Jamey Eisenberg
106Brown, Ronnie (RB PHI)$1Jamey Eisenberg
94Bryant, Matt (K ATL)$1Jamey Eisenberg
118Cutler, Jay (QB CHI)$1Jamey Eisenberg
49Ingram, Mark (RB NO)$10Jamey Eisenberg
110Jacobs, Brandon (RB NYG)$3Jamey Eisenberg
149Jennings, Rashad (RB JAC)$2Jamey Eisenberg
42Johnson, Andre (WR HOU)$26Jamey Eisenberg
130Kolb, Kevin (QB ARI)$1Jamey Eisenberg
58Lewis, Marcedes (TE JAC)$1Jamey Eisenberg
41McCoy, LeSean (RB PHI)$28Jamey Eisenberg
112Olsen, Greg (TE CAR)$3Jamey Eisenberg
163Saints (DST NO)$1Jamey Eisenberg
153Starks, James (RB GB)$1Jamey Eisenberg
52Wallace, Mike (WR PIT)$16Jamey Eisenberg
139Bess, Davone (WR MIA)$2Jeff Tobin
161Branch, Deion (WR NE)$1Jeff Tobin
74Burress, Plaxico (WR NYJ)$5Jeff Tobin
151Cassel, Matt (QB KC)$1Jeff Tobin
8Charles, Jamaal (RB KC)$27Jeff Tobin
109Collie, Austin (WR IND)$3Jeff Tobin
104Cowboys (DST DAL)$1Jeff Tobin
24Gates, Antonio (TE SD)$12Jeff Tobin
15Gore, Frank (RB SF)$18Jeff Tobin
92Jones, Julio (WR ATL)$7Jeff Tobin
6Rackers, Neil (K HOU)$2Jeff Tobin
128Simpson, Jerome (WR CIN)$1Jeff Tobin
140Sproles, Darren (RB NO)$1Jeff Tobin
28Stafford, Matthew (QB DET)$11Jeff Tobin
114Stewart, Jonathan (RB CAR)$4Jeff Tobin
17Blount, LeGarrette (RB TB)$17John Garcia
75Bush, Reggie (RB MIA)$4John Garcia
166Carpenter, Dan (K MIA)$1John Garcia
156Chargers (DST SD)$1John Garcia
135Ford, Jacoby (WR OAK)$1John Garcia
85Harvin, Percy (WR MIN)$7John Garcia
69Holmes, Santonio (WR NYJ)$10John Garcia
123Little, Greg (WR CLE)$1John Garcia
141McCoy, Colt (QB CLE)$2John Garcia
5Peterson, Adrian (RB MIN)$30John Garcia
100Pettigrew, Brandon (TE DET)$2John Garcia
47Romo, Tony (QB DAL)$8John Garcia
146Tate, Ben (RB HOU)$1John Garcia
111Thomas, Pierre (RB NO)$3John Garcia
32Williams, Mike (WR TB)$12John Garcia
65Austin, Miles (WR DAL)$13Nathan Zegura
56Bradshaw, Ahmad (RB NYG)$16Nathan Zegura
158Brown, Josh (K STL)$1Nathan Zegura
66Bush, Michael (RB OAK)$4Nathan Zegura
50Greene, Shonn (RB NYJ)$12Nathan Zegura
125Hernandez, Aaron (TE NE)$1Nathan Zegura
148Lions (DST DET)$1Nathan Zegura
97Lloyd, Brandon (WR DEN)$6Nathan Zegura
33Mathews, Ryan (RB SD)$9Nathan Zegura
116Moore, Lance (WR NO)$4Nathan Zegura
168Murray, DeMarco (RB DAL)$1Nathan Zegura
7Rivers, Philip (QB SD)$18Nathan Zegura
147Sims-Walker, Mike (WR STL)$2Nathan Zegura
137Vinatieri, Adam (K IND)$1Nathan Zegura
68Williams, DeAngelo (RB CAR)$11Nathan Zegura
167Cundiff, Billy (K BAL)$1Scott White
136Evans, Lee (WR BAL)$1Scott White
3Foster, Arian (RB HOU)$30Scott White
86Green, A.J. (WR CIN)$2Scott White
124Gronkowski, Rob (TE NE)$1Scott White
21Hillis, Peyton (RB CLE)$13Scott White
59Manning, Eli (QB NYG)$3Scott White
60Manningham, Mario (WR NYG)$7Scott White
23Mendenhall, Rashard (RB PIT)$16Scott White
142Moss, Santana (WR WAS)$3Scott White
88Patriots (DST NE)$1Scott White
70Schaub, Matt (QB HOU)$6Scott White
157Torain, Ryan (RB WAS)$1Scott White
45Welker, Wes (WR NE)$10Scott White
91Wells, Beanie (RB ARI)$5Scott White
120Bears (DST CHI)$1Sergio Gonzalez
48Benson, Cedric (RB CIN)$9Sergio Gonzalez
80Boldin, Anquan (WR BAL)$7Sergio Gonzalez
101Daniels, Owen (TE HOU)$4Sergio Gonzalez
12Johnson, Chris (RB TEN)$26Sergio Gonzalez
154Jones, Thomas (RB KC)$1Sergio Gonzalez
34Jones-Drew, Maurice (RB JAC)$21Sergio Gonzalez
96Kaeding, Nate (K SD)$1Sergio Gonzalez
175Mason, Derrick (WR NYJ)$1Sergio Gonzalez
164Miller, Zach (TE SEA)$1Sergio Gonzalez
108Rice, Sidney (WR SEA)$4Sergio Gonzalez
132Sanchez, Mark (QB NYJ)$1Sergio Gonzalez
143Smith, Steve (WR CAR)$1Sergio Gonzalez
1Vick, Michael (QB PHI)$20Sergio Gonzalez
172Williams, Cadillac (RB STL)$1Sergio 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
Ron Rivera: QB Cam Newton 'on target' to start Sunday
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(2:45 pm ET) Panthers coach Ron Rivera told reporters that quarterback Cam Newton did every drill in Thursday's practice and is "on target" to start Sunday against the Browns. Rivera indicated Newton probably will start but said he did not want to get ahead of himself and noted there's still a lot of time until kickoff.

Newton sustained two small fractures in his back when he was involved in a car crash nine days ago. On Wednesday he split reps with Derek Anderson, and on Thursday, Newton handled the bulk of the first-team snaps.

Newton has accounted for 19 touchdowns and 16 turnovers in 12 games. With Newton now fully expected to play, the Panthers have been installed as 3-point favorites at most Vegas sportsbooks.


Philip Rivers practices, expected to play Saturday
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(2:27 pm ET) Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (back, chest) returned to practice Thursday and is expected to play Saturday against the 49ers, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune. Rivers "didn't do cartwheels out there," the paper said, but he stood in the pocket and made throws.

Rivers has thrown one or zero touchdowns in five of his past six games. The Chargers are 1-point underdogs at San Francisco.


Ravens DE Canty gets thumbs-down again Thursday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(2:23 pm ET) An ankle problem sidelined Ravens defensive end Chris Canty for the second straight practice Thursday. He has started each of the last six games, but it remains to be seen if he's available Sunday at Houston.

Canty has contributed to 30 tackles and has just a half-sack this year.


Chargers RB Ryan Mathews could miss last two games
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(2:13 pm ET) Chargers running back Ryan Mathews (ankle) missed his second straight practice Thursday ahead of Saturday's visit to San Francisco. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, it's unclear if Mathews will return during the regular season.

Running backs Branden Oliver and Donald Brown will carry the load against the 49ers, assuming Mathews sits out. Mathews has played in just six games this year.


Cam Newton: 'I'm fine either way it goes'
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(2:03 pm ET) Panthers quarterback Cam Newton said he's experienced no pain while practicing the past two days, but wouldn't say whether he expects to start Sunday against the Browns, reports the Associated Press. "I'm fine either way it goes," he said. "I don't want to be a distraction."

Newton suffered two small fractures in his lower back in a car crash nine days ago. He took most of the first-team reps Thursday, ahead of Derek Anderson. The Panthers likely won't announce a starter until Friday at the earliest.

"The truth of the matter is, whoever gets the start, the team is going to back 100 percent," Newton said.


Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray practices, but how much?
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1:51 pm ET) Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray participated in the early part of practice for the second straight day Thursday, but it wasn't yet clear if he joined team drills after watching those Wednesday, reports the Dallas Morning News. Murray's left hand was wrapped.

He had surgery Monday to fix a broken bone in his hand. If Murray can't play Sunday against the Colts, Joseph Randle and Lance Dunbar would share backfield duties.

The Cowboys are 3-point favorites over the AFC South champs.


Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman returns Thursday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(1:50 pm ET) Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman was back at practice Thursday after missing the last five games with a foot injury. He looked good running pass routes early in the session, per ESPN.

It remains to be seen if Hillman is healthy enough to play Monday night at Cincinnati.


Cam Newton dominates first-team reps Thursday
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1:33 pm ET) After splitting reps with Derek Anderson on Wednesday, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton dominated the first-team snaps at practice Thursday, reports NFL.com. The Associated Press said Newton "did not appear to have any problems throwing the ball and moved around well."

A car accident nine days ago left Newton with two fractures in his lower back. He sat out Week 15 and watched Anderson throw for 277 yards and a touchdown in a win over Tampa Bay.

Newton will address the media later on Thursday. Coach Ron Rivera has said he hopes to name a starter Friday for Sunday's game against Cleveland.


Peyton Manning leaves practice to get treatment on thigh
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1:18 pm ET) Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning stretched with the team Thursday, then left practice to get treatment on his injured thigh, reports the Denver Post. Manning had to leave the Week 15 win at San Diego due to the thigh injury but returned quickly and finished the game.

The paper said Manning went in for "normal treatment" and did not suffer a setback. "No reason for concern yet," the paper said, adding Manning is expected to practice Friday. ESPN.com called Manning's absence a "planned rest day."

Manning gets an extra day to prepare for Week 16 as Denver visits Cincinnati on Monday night. He has one touchdown pass over his past two games.

The Broncos are laying 3 or 3.5 points at Vegas sportsbooks.


Broncos elevate TE Dominique Jones
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1:04 pm ET) The Broncos promoted tight end Dominique Jones to the active roster. He's played in 13 career games, catching three passes for 42 yards.

 
 
 
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