Tips To Dominate Your Auction Draft : Fantasy Football Guide

Auction drafting is becoming more and more popular every year and is emerging as the preferred drafting method of many people. Even with its growing popularity many players still feel clueless heading into their draft.

Auction drafts, for those of you who don’t know, is a drafting style where every team has a budget to spend on any players they choose. A budget is generally anywhere from 100 to 200 dollars depending on league rules. The standard budget for ESPN and Yahoo leagues are 200$, while CBS has there standard budget set at $100. In the draft, teams take turns nominating players to go up for auction in a NFL Draft style format, meaning number one overall in the first round is also number overall in the second round. 

The main draw to auction drafts is the ability to get any player you want if you are willing to spend the money. You don’t have to worry about the team in front of you drafting your favorite player or stealing your breakout star. 

Here are five tips to help you dominate your auction draft.

Tip #1 - Set yourself a budget

This is the single most important tip heading into an auction draft. If you don’t give yourself a budget it is extremely easy to start bidding on the top players at the beginning of the draft. Before you know it you spent 100 dollars on two running backs and 50 bucks on an elite quarterback, and now your stick with only 50 dollars to fill out the rest of your roster. There is a reason every great auction league player sets a budget before going into the draft room. You have to know how much you are willing to spend at each position and your favorite players to target in each price range. 

A good exercise would be to write on a piece of paper the starting positions in your league. For example, write quarterback, running back, running back, receiver, receiver, tight end, flex, defense kicker. I would then allocate how much of my budget I will roughly spend for each starter, and then save about twenty percent of my budget for my bench spots. Here is an example based on a 200 dollar budget.


PositionProjected money to SpendExample Players
QB4$Matt Ryan
RB40$Jeremy Hill
RB14$Latavius Murray
WR40$Juio Jones
WR31$Deandre Hopkins
TE10$Travis Kelce
Flex19$Amari Cooper
D/ST1$Jets
K1$Cody Parkey
Bench38$Charles Johnson, Nelson Agholor,
John Brown, Ryan Matthews,
Tevin Coleman


Tip #2 - Nominate Players You DON'T Want

When it comes to nominating, many pick one of their favorite player to auction off, but this a flawed approach. The reason to nominate a player you don't want is simple: Waste as much of your opponents money as possible. Drain their bank accounts dry, so when a player you are fond of are up for bidding you hopefully have more money to spend than your opponents. 

I always nominate Andrew Luck and Aaron Rodgers first, why? Simple: quarterback is the deepest position so I always target Matt Ryan, Tony Romo, Eli Manning near the end of the auction. Nominating Luck and Rodgers is just taking away 45 dollars or possibly more from my opponents bank roll. So hopefully when the quarterback or elite running back I want is up for auction my competition for these players will be lesser.

Tip #3 – Put all the players into tiers

These next two tips I learned about from CBS's Dave Richard, and I have found them extremely useful heading into my draft. 

This year there is a seemingly clear cut top tier of running backs that consist of Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles, Eddie Lacy, Le'veon Bell, and Marshwan Lynch (I could't fault you for putting CJ Anderson in here). I would pencil those five guys in as my tier one, repeating this process with tier two, three, four, five and so on until I have all the running backs that will be drafted into a specific tier. Then continue this process with wide receivers, tight ends, and quarterbacks. Don't worry it doesn't take as long as it sounds. Never tier defenses and kickers because you should never spend more than a buck on these positions. 

Now that you have all the players in each position tiered up, you will want to follow the next tip.

Tip #4 - When you see each of your tiers getting scarce, that is when you start bidding.

For example, if you have five receivers in your top tier when you see there are only one or two receivers left that is when you want to start bidding. The reason for this is because you have already seen three receivers in tier one be bought, so you now know what a fair market value is for those players. This will help minimize the possibility of overspending on a player. 


Tip #5 – Save 40 dollars for the end of your auction 

Saving some of your budget for the end of the draft is essential into building a roster full of depth. By the middle to end of the draft, most times, players are running out of money, which drives the prices of middle tier players way down. You can find yourself getting players such as Chris Ivory and Doug Martin for drastically discounted prices. Saving a good percentage of your budget for the back-end of the auction allows you to have the bench depth that can be crucial during the fantasy football season.