Fantasy Baseball Auction Strategy: Four Tips For Success

Money Owns This Town
Photo Credit: J.J.

In the realm of fantasy baseball, auction drafts are far and above the absolute best way to draft your team. They are harder, they are more exciting, and frankly, they truly allow the better owners to shine. When doing a boring old snake draft, you are forced to pick the player that falls to you at your draft spot. The only strategy one can use is to pick the best player available. That’s ridiculously easy and more boring than watching Gosford Park on repeat for nine straight days.

So, if you want to be a serious fantasy baseball player, start playing in auction draft leagues. Man up and make the jump to get the Auction Draft Manifesto:

Tip #1: Bid, Bid, And Bid Some More
Dave Hester from Storage Wars knows what I mean by this. If you watch the show, you may notice how often the king of YUUUUUUUP bids on storage units. Newbies may think this is because he wants to potentially buy every locker; we at Sons of Roto know the truth. If you want to be successful in an auction, you have to sheriff up and bid. Why should you let anyone get away with steals? You want people to spend their money. For myself personally, I usually bid on almost every player, especially in the early hours of the auction. I don’t necessarily want every player I bid on, but that doesn’t matter; you won him at a discount. You are the one who got the “steal.” Having said that, in my experience, this rarely happens, especially when you know when to stop and let the player go. Don’t be afraid to be like Dave Hester. BID, BID, AND BID SOME MORE.

Tip #2: Bid On Every Player, But Win The Players You Want
The other day, in my first auction of the fantasy baseball season, one owner got very frustrated with me. He flooded the comment box with obscenities and said, “You seem to like a lot of the same players as I do.” Naturally, this wasn’t the case (please re-read part one if you do not know what I was doing… maybe with a magnifying glass this time). I laughed for a good five minutes, wiped the tears from my eyes and responded, “I don’t bid on players I want, I win players I want.” Referencing Dave Hester again, you may notice how he always gets the locker he really wants. He’s not afraid to show confidence and bid aggressively on what he deems to be the right locker. The same mentality should be taken into the draft room. If you are extremely high on a certain player, go and get him. Don’t stop unless his price becomes overly expensive. There are usually a lot of sheriffs in the league who will not want to let you get away with a bargain. Honestly, you should care less if you pay a bit more. However, if you are smart and bid aggressively, you should be able to scare off any “deputies” (because you are the top dawg of this auction yo!) and get your player at a reasonable price.

Tip #3: Spend When Others Can’t
Ah, the Stars and Scrubs approach to auction drafting is by far the most widely used among the unseasoned gamers. Although this strategy can work if used correctly, I rarely see myself wanting to not have money when others still do. That just doesn’t make sense when your goal is to get value on your targeted players. Instead, wait until the market dies down, when a majority of the other owners in your league have spent the majority of their money. It is also at this stage where you should start to nominate. At the start of the auction, I’ll nominate my high priced bust candidates and let others buy them while towards the middle stages, I’ll nominate the players I actually want. Trust us when we say that you don’t want to be left with a 10 dollar max bid when your 20-30 dollar players are still around. You want to fill your team with these players, who on a side note, are often where the most value is found (think Jered Weaver, Curtis Granderson, Justin Upton and Justin Verlander from last year).

Tip #4: Leave Some Dough For The End-Game
After you fill up the majority of your roster, I find it wise to keep some dough for the end-game. You obviously have sleepers lined up to fill your vacant roster positions, and you should be able to get them! The problem, however, is that even casual gamers are hip to the bargain bin options in this age of information. You will get outbid if you try and snag one for a buck. Don’t put yourself in this position. Instead, limit the amount of one dollar buys. I usually try to fill out my entire starting roster before being left with a one dollar max bid. If you have designs on winning your league, you need to save dough for the end of the show.


About Starbonell

Starbonell is the co-founder of Sons of Roto and one of the most insightful and colorful fantasy analysts in the game. Mixing intelligent and well-researched advice with an entertaining style of writing that is easy to digest, Starbonell is the king of info-tainment.