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2012 Draft Prep: Auction in action

Senior Fantasy Writer
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The murmurs are being heard from the bored-of-draft members of the Fantasy crowd. The numbers are growing from behind the scenes at CBSSports.com. There's a slow change as to how people are putting their Fantasy teams together in their leagues.

Snake drafts aren't dying by any stretch, but people are loving auctions more and more and I can't blame them one bit. In a snake draft, you have no chance at an elite player if you're picking 12th. In an auction, you have a chance at anyone you want. In a snake draft, you have to wait until it's your turn to pick. In an auction, you could select four players in a row if you want to. Point is, auctions offer some interesting differences that more and more people are finding to their liking. You could even find out if you like auctions by trying one in our Mock Draft Lobby.

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There are some rules and strategies to follow if you want to have success in your auctions.

Shop smart. If you spend too much too soon you'll miss out on the bargains that will exist late. And if you wait, you'll miss out on studs nominated in the beginning. Knowing who you want and what they should fetch at auction is vital to your team's success. Check out our auction values as part of our player rankings to get a good idea of the going rates.

Attention bargain shoppers! Rare is the auction that doesn't have a slew of good buys in the second half. Human nature is to bid on high-tier players while the money's in your pocket. Try to remember that there will be good, cheap players available, I promise. The goal is to save at least 30 percent of your overall budget for the last half or last third of your auction.

Don't drive up bids or bid on players you don't need. If you have a position covered and a player at the same position is up for bid, eat a donut or something so you don't open your mouth and bid unnecessarily. So when the guy who really likes Robert Griffin III bids $5 for him, don't blurt out "$6!" (That's foreshadowing for what's ahead.) And also remember to open your nominating bids as low as possible.

If you're on the fence, spend. Bidding the extra dollar or two to get the player you unquestionably want is always worth doing 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.

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Follow the money. You only have so many dollars to spend for so many slots, and so do your fellow owners. You have to know what your maximum bid is at all times, but you also should know the maximum bids of your rivals. If you know that Big Johnny needs a quarterback just like you do but he has a max bid of $6 and you have the cash to spend, prepare to land the player for $7. It's annoying bookwork but it's worth doing to find an edge during the auction.

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 spend, put players you don't want up for bid. This is different than bidding on players you don't want just to drive up the price. Example: If you just won Aaron Rodgers, you're set at quarterback. But if you nominate Tom Brady and start the bidding at a dollar, the bidding will get intense and someone will lose a big percentage from their budget. That's good -- the more money they spend the more likely you can get players you want. 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.

Put tiers to work. This is the best advice I can give you. Before you draft, tier your positional rankings by putting players into groups based on their expected production. When you start to see a tier get thin, start bidding on the players left. By doing this you're aiming for players of a specific group and not specific players but you should also find some bargains along the way.

Auction review

To give you the feel of this kind of format, we rounded up 12 of the finest Fantasy minds at CBSSports.com with various auction experience and put them in a room (no online draft service) to build a league. This brought an authentic feel for how most auctions are done -- face to face around a table or at least in the same place. On Aug. 22, 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. We used a standard-scoring league.

Our nomination order
1. Ed Gauna, Fantasy Writer 7. Michael Freedman, Video Producer
2. Jeff Tobin, Associate Managing Editor 8. Dave Richard, Senior Fantasy Writer
3. Michael Hurcomb, Editor, Fantasy 9. Al Melchior, Data Analyst
4. Scott White, Senior Fantasy Writer 10. Jeff Lippman, Fantasy Writer
5. Aleese Kopf, Social Media Coordinator, Fantasy 11. Nando Di Fino, Senior Fantasy Writer
6. Jamey Eisenberg, Senior Fantasy Writer 12. Bill Passonno, Fantasy Writer
Sound off on our auction: Facebook | Twitter
Position by position
Quarterbacks
Player Price
Aaron Rodgers, GB 25
Matthew Stafford, DET 23*
Tom Brady, NE 22
Drew Brees, NO 20
Cam Newton, CAR 20
Eli Manning, NYG 15
Matt Ryan, ATL 14
Philip Rivers, SD 13
Peyton Manning, DEN 12
Michael Vick, PHI 10*
Tony Romo, DAL 8
Robert Griffin III, WAS 6*
Joe Flacco, BAL 3
Josh Freeman, TB 2
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT 2
Andy Dalton, CIN 2
Matt Schaub, HOU 2
Carson Palmer, OAK 1
Jay Cutler, CHI 1
Alex Smith, SF 1
Andrew Luck, IND 1
Jake Locker, TEN 1
Sam Bradford, STL 1
Tim Tebow, NYJ 1*
Running backs
Player Price
Arian Foster, HOU 38*
Ray Rice, BAL 35
LeSean McCoy, PHI 35
Chris Johnson, TEN 27
Darren McFadden, OAK 22
Maurice Jones-Drew, JAC 19
Ryan Mathews, SD 18
DeMarco Murray, DAL 17
Adrian Peterson, MIN 16
Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG 15
Doug Martin, TB 15
Jamaal Charles, KC 15
Steven Jackson, STL 14
Matt Forte, CHI 14
Fred Jackson, BUF 13
Michael Turner, ATL 12
Marshawn Lynch, SEA 12
Darren Sproles, NO 11
Trent Richardson, CLE 11
Shonn Greene, NYJ 10
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, CIN 9
Stevan Ridley, NE 6
Peyton Hillis, KC 6
Frank Gore, SF 6
Willis McGahee, DEN 6
Kevin Smith, DET 5
Reggie Bush, MIA 5
Donald Brown, IND 5
C.J. Spiller, BUF 5
Ronnie Brown, SD 5*
Mark Ingram, NO 4
Ryan Williams, ARI 4
Isaac Redman, PIT 4
Pierre Thomas, NO 4
Jonathan Stewart, CAR 4
Mikel Leshoure, DET 3
Evan Royster, WAS 3
Beanie Wells, ARI 2
Cedric Benson, GB 2
Toby Gerhart, MIN 2
LeGarrette Blount, TB 2
DeAngelo Williams, CAR 2
Jacquizz Rodgers, ATL 2
Michael Bush, CHI 2
Ben Tate, HOU 2
Rashad Jennings, JAC 2
Ronnie Hillman, DEN 2
Shane Vereen, NE 1
Mike Goodson, OAK 1
Daniel Thomas, MIA 1
Alex Green, GB 1
Tim Hightower, WAS 1
James Starks, GB 1
Mike Tolbert, CAR 1
Rashard Mendenhall, PIT 1
David Wilson, NYG 1
Isaiah Pead, STL 1
Roy Helu, WAS 1
Wide receivers
Player Price
Calvin Johnson, DET 27
Dez Bryant, DAL 22*
Larry Fitzgerald, ARI 20
Julio Jones, ATL 17
Roddy White, ATL 15
Demaryius Thomas, DEN 15
Brandon Marshall, CHI 14
Wes Welker, NE 13
Andre Johnson, HOU 12
Jordy Nelson, GB 12
Greg Jennings, NYJ 12
Hakeem Nicks, NYG 11
Brandon Lloyd, NE 10
Victor Cruz, NYG 10
A.J. Green, CIN 9*
Mike Wallace, PIT 8
Steve Smith, CAR 8
DeSean Jackson, PHI 7
Eric Decker, DEN 7
Percy Harvin, MIN 7
Jeremy Maclin, PHI 7
Marques Colston, NO 7
Pierre Garcon, WAS 6
Torrey Smith, BAL 6
Dwayne Bowe, KC 6
Antonio Brown, PIT 6
Reggie Wayne, IND 5
Vincent Jackson, TB 5
Steve Johnson, BUF 5
Danny Amendola, STL 5*
Robert Meachem, SD 4
Miles Austin, DAL 4
Nate Washington, TEN 4
Santonio Holmes, NYJ 3
Anquan Boldin, BAL 3
Lance Moore, NO 3
Titus Young, DET 3
Kenny Britt, TEN 3
Denarius Moore, OAK 2
Malcom Floyd, SD 2
Justin Blackmon, JAC 2
Greg Little, CLE 2
Darrius Heyward-Bey, OAK 2
Brandon LaFell, CAR 2
Randy Moss, SF 1
Brian Quick, STL 1
Randall Cobb, GB 1
Mike Williams, TB 1
Laurent Robinson, JAC 1
Michael Crabtree, SF 1
Santana Moss, WAS 1
David Nelson, BUF 1
Mario Manningham, SF 1
Jon Baldwin, KC 1
Kendall Wright, TEN 1
Terrell Owens, SEA 1
Alshon Jeffery, CHI 1
Sidney Rice, SEA 1
Tight ends
Player Price
Rob Gronkowski, NE 17
Jimmy Graham, NO 16
Aaron Hernandez, NE 12
Jermichael Finley, GB 10*
Antonio Gates, SD 9
Brandon Pettigrew, DET 5
Vernon Davis, SF 5
Jason Witten, DAL 5*
Jacob Tamme, DEN 4
Tony Gonzalez, ATL 4
Brent Celek, PHI 3
Jermaine Gresham, CIN 2
Fred Davis, WAS 2
Owen Daniels, HOU 1
Coby Fleener, IND 1
Jared Cook, TEN 1
Kickers
Player Price
Sebastian Janikowski, OAK 1
Nate Kaeding, SD 1
Mason Crosby, GB 1
Robbie Gould, CHI 1
Dan Bailey, DAL 1
Garrett Hartley, NO 1
Matt Prater, DEN 1
Jason Hanson, DET 1
David Akers, SF 1
Stephen Gostkowski, NE 1
Alex Henery, PHI 1
Matt Bryant, ATL 1
DST
Player Price
49ers 2
Bears 2
Ravens 2
Texans 2
Eagles 1
Lions 1
Giants 1
Packers 1
Bills 1
Jets 1
Patriots 1
Steelers 1
 
Team by Team
Nando Di Fino
Player Pos Price
Josh Freeman, TB QB 2
Carson Palmer, OAK QB 1
Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG RB 15
Stevan Ridley, NE RB 6
Peyton Hillis, KC RB 6
Mark Ingram, NO RB 4
Beanie Wells, ARI RB 2
Cedric Benson, GB RB 2
Calvin Johnson, DET WR 27
Andre Johnson, HOU WR 12
DeSean Jackson, PHI WR 7
Pierre Garcon, WAS WR 6
Jason Witten, DAL TE 5*
Sebastian Janikowski, OAK K 1
Eagles DST 1
Jamey Eisenberg
Player Pos Price
Drew Brees, NO QB 20
Chris Johnson, TEN RB 27
Doug Martin, TB RB 15
Kevin Smith, DET RB 5
Toby Gerhart, MIN RB 2
Shane Vereen, NE RB 1
Julio Jones, ATL WR 17
Robert Meachem, SD WR 4
Denarius Moore, OAK WR 2
Randy Moss, SF WR 1
Brian Quick, STL WR 1
Randall Cobb, GB WR 1
Jermaine Gresham, CIN TE 2
Nate Kaeding, SD K 1
Lions DST 1
Mike Freedman
Player Pos Price
Tony Romo, DAL QB 8
Tim Tebow, NYJ QB 1*
Jamaal Charles, KC RB 15
Frank Gore, SF RB 6
Reggie Bush, MIA RB 5
Ryan Williams, ARI RB 4
LeGarrette Blount, TB RB 2
Dez Bryant, DAL WR 22*
Brandon Lloyd, NE WR 10
Reggie Wayne, IND WR 5
Miles Austin, DAL WR 4
Jermichael Finley, GB TE 10*
Brandon Pettigrew, DET TE 5
Mason Crosby, GB K 1
49ers DST 2
Ed Gauna
Player Pos Price
Michael Vick, PHI QB 10*
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT QB 2
Steven Jackson, STL RB 14
Michael Turner, ATL RB 12
Mikel Leshoure, DET RB 3
DeAngelo Williams, CAR RB 2
Jacquizz Rodgers, ATL RB 2
Brandon Marshall, CHI WR 14
Jordy Nelson, GB WR 12
Hakeem Nicks, NYG WR 11
Nate Washington, TEN WR 4
Vernon Davis, SF TE 5
Jacob Tamme, DEN TE 4
Robbie Gould, CHI K 1
Bears DST 2
Michael Hurcomb
Player Pos Price
Cam Newton, CAR QB 20
Jay Cutler, CHI QB 1
DeMarco Murray, DAL RB 17
Shonn Greene, NYJ RB 10
Willis McGahee, DEN RB 6
Ronnie Brown, SD RB 5*
Michael Bush, CHI RB 2
Roddy White, ATL WR 15
Victor Cruz, NYG WR 10
Santonio Holmes, NYJ WR 3
Malcom Floyd, SD WR 2
Mike Williams, TB WR 1
Owen Daniels, HOU TE 1
Giants DST 1
Dan Bailey, DAL K 1
Aleese Kopf
Player Pos Price
Matthew Stafford, DET QB 23*
Alex Smith, SF QB 1
Darren McFadden, OAK RB 22
Isaac Redman, PIT RB 4
Mike Goodson, OAK RB 1
Daniel Thomas, MIA RB 1
Alex Green, GB RB 1
Demaryius Thomas, DEN WR 15
Greg Jennings, NYJ WR 12
Torrey Smith, BAL WR 6
Laurent Robinson, JAC WR 1
Michael Crabtree, SF WR 1
Antonio Gates, SD TE 9
Garrett Hartley, NO K 1
Ravens DST 2
Jeff Lippman
Player Pos Price
Peyton Manning, DEN QB 12
Andrew Luck, IND QB 1
Ray Rice, BAL RB 35
Darren Sproles, NO RB 11
Pierre Thomas, NO RB 4
Ben Tate, HOU RB 2
Tim Hightower, WAS RB 1
Eric Decker, DEN WR 7
Dwayne Bowe, KC WR 6
Anquan Boldin, BAL WR 3
Santana Moss, WAS WR 1
Aaron Hernandez, NE TE 12
Coby Fleener, IND TE 1
Matt Prater, DEN K 1
Packers DST 1
Al Melchior
Player Pos Price
Aaron Rodgers, GB QB 25
Jake Locker, TEN QB 1
Sam Bradford, STL QB 1
Arian Foster, HOU RB 38*
Jonathan Stewart, CAR RB 4
James Starks, GB RB 1
Mike Tolbert, CAR RB 1
Wes Welker, NE WR 13
Vincent Jackson, TB WR 5
Lance Moore, NO WR 3
David Nelson, BUF WR 1
Mario Manningham, SF WR 1
Brent Celek, PHI TE 3
Jason Hanson, DET K 1
Bills DST 1
Bill Passonno
Player Pos Price
Eli Manning, NYG QB 15
Andy Dalton, CIN QB 2
Maurice Jones-Drew, JAC RB 19
Matt Forte, CHI RB 14
Rashard Mendenhall, PIT RB 1
David Wilson, NYG RB 1
Isaiah Pead, STL RB 1
Larry Fitzgerald, ARI WR 20
A.J. Green, CIN WR 9*
Mike Wallace, PIT WR 8
Danny Amendola, STL WR 5*
Justin Blackmon, JAC WR 2
Jared Cook, TEN TE 1
David Akers, SF K 1
Jets DST 1
Dave Richard
Player Pos Price
Matt Ryan, ATL QB 14
Robert Griffin III, WAS QB 6*
Ryan Mathews, SD RB 18
Trent Richardson, CLE RB 11
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, CIN RB 9
Donald Brown, IND RB 5
Percy Harvin, MIN WR 7
Jeremy Maclin, PHI WR 7
Marques Colston, NO WR 7
Antonio Brown, PIT WR 6
Greg Little, CLE WR 2
Jon Baldwin, KC WR 1
Tony Gonzalez, ATL TE 4
Stephen Gostkowski, NE K 1
Texans DST 2
Jeff Tobin
Player Pos Price
Tom Brady, NE QB 22
Joe Flacco, BAL QB 3
Fred Jackson, BUF RB 13
Marshawn Lynch, SEA RB 12
C.J. Spiller, BUF RB 5
Rashad Jennings, JAC RB 2
Steve Smith, CAR WR 8
Titus Young, DET WR 3
Kenny Britt, TEN WR 3
Darrius Heyward-Bey, OAK WR 2
Brandon LaFell, CAR WR 2
Kendall Wright, TEN WR 1
Rob Gronkowski, NE TE 17
Alex Henery, PHI K 1
Patriots DST 1
Scott White
Player Pos Price
Philip Rivers, SD QB 13
Matt Schaub, HOU QB 2
LeSean McCoy, PHI RB 35
Adrian Peterson, MIN RB 16
Evan Royster, WAS RB 3
Ronnie Hillman, DEN RB 2
Roy Helu, WAS RB 1
Steve Johnson, BUF WR 5
Terrell Owens, SEA WR 1
Alshon Jeffery, CHI WR 1
Sidney Rice, SEA WR 1
Jimmy Graham, NO TE 16
Fred Davis, WAS TE 2
Matt Bryant, ATL K 1
Steelers DST 1

Asterisks

Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions ($23) ... Stafford was nominated on the heels of Aaron Rodgers going for $25 in the very early going and Aleese either really, really likes Stafford or panicked to get a stud quarterback. Stafford might prove to be worth the $23 bid but every quarterback besides Rodgers went for less. This is why tiering your players prior to the draft is so important!

Michael Vick, QB, Eagles ($10) ... Vick was the first player nominated with a nomination bid of $10. No one in the auction blinked and he was won by the bidder. Whether or not the winning bidder, Ed, wanted Vick for $10 remains unknown, but by nominating a player for more than what's necessary (usually a dollar) could backfire. Then again, if Ed truly wanted Vick he got him at a decent value all things considered (he went for $4 more than Matt Ryan).

Tim Tebow, QB, Jets ($1) ... Same thing as above: Mike Freedman tried to get cute with his first nomination and offered Tebow for a buck. No one bid $2 and Freedman was stuck -- unless he truly wanted Tebow, in which case he can't complain about getting him for the bargain basement price. If there's a similarly unpopular player you want to try and get for a dollar, nominating him early might work in your favor.

Robert Griffin III, QB, Redskins ($6) ... This was an example of an owner trying to drive up a bid. When Griffin was nominated, Jamey Eisenberg went as high as $5. That's when an incredibly handsome and talented writer who was a bit reactionary decided in a split second to bid $6 in an effort to get Jamey to bid $7 on a player he knew Jamey liked. Instead, Jamey started to laugh at said writer, who may or may not have listed RG3 as a bust based on his ADP. This unknown writer, who we can only assume is otherwise a genius, was stuck with a player he didn't want. Take it from me, er, from the unknown writer: DO NOT DRIVE UP BIDS ON GUYS YOU DON'T WANT! 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.

Arian Foster, RB, Texans ($38) ... Foster was the most expensive player in the draft. Normally we wouldn't recommend spending more than 35 percent of your budget on a single player, but Al Melchior decided to splurge. He also spent big on Aaron Rodgers ($25) and Wes Welker ($13), leaving $24 to fill his remaining 12 roster spots. Consider Al's team an example of what it looks like to spend big early and then sit around for bargains late. The final four nominations in our auction were all by Al and won by Al for a dollar.

Ronnie Brown, RB, Chargers ($5) ... No, we don't think Brown is as valuable as Kevin Smith or Reggie Bush. The owner who got him, Michael Hurcomb, had $5 left for one spot and spent the rest of his cash on Brown. Typically Brown should go for a buck.

Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys ($22) ... Like Brown, Bryant was the final player added to Mike Freedman's roster. The difference is that Freedman went cheap the entire draft and found himself with an abnormal amount of money left to spent on one spot. So as soon as someone nominated Bryant for a dollar, he jumped in with a $22 bid, ending the bidding. When looking back on his team, Freedman opined that he should have spent more money on other players and not had as much money left for his last roster space. Typically Bryant should go for $8 to $12.

Danny Amendola, WR, Rams ($5) ... Another last roster spot pickup where an owner spent the rest of his cap. Amendola is typically a $1 player, maybe $2 in a PPR.

A.J. Green, WR, Bengals ($9) ... This was the steal of the draft. Consider it a reminder than there will be bargains in every auction and that paying attention is pivotal. At the time of nomination, everyone had a max bid of $10 and could have bid another dollar on a legit No. 1 Fantasy receiver. We all were sleeping at the wheel.

Jermichael Finley, TE, Packers ($10) ... Like the Michael Vick example, another moment where an owner nominated a player for more than a dollar or two. It's unnecessary -- Finley shouldn't go for quite this much in an auction. Keep your nominating bids low.

Jason Witten, TE, Cowboys ($5) ... At the time of our auction the news of Witten's lacerated spleen made owners weary. Following the auction, news surfaced that he won't need surgery and should be OK. This should turn into a bargain.

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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