Auction Draft

"Auction Draft" Fantasy Football Definition

Auction Draft

An auction draft replaces the standard redraft option in most fantasy football leagues. Instead of using a draft order where league owners draft for their team in some kind of sequential order (like in a serpentine draft), players are assigned to a team through a live auction. One league member will select a name and announce that player to the room, usually starting the bidding at $1. Everyone else in the league has an equal chance to join in the bidding, either trying to drive up the price of that player or add that player to their team for the smallest price possible.

Salary Cap in an Auction Draft

Auction leagues will have an arbitrary salary cap structure that all teams must remain under. This is often set at $100, but $200, $250 and $500 are also not unheard of. In fact, some league will get crazy and have a $1 million salary cap, just for fun. In most leagues, the salary cap dollar figures are imaginary dollar amounts and the owners don't actually owe that money to the league fund. There are some $100 auction leagues where owners buy-in to the league through their player bids and have to pay their $100 after spending it in the auction draft.

How To Draft Using an Auction

The typical way to conduct an auction draft is to start at one point in the room, letting one person at a time put a name up for auction. When that player's bidding has ended, you move one person to the right, and that owner throws out a name. The auction draft continues until a set number of rounds are over and everyone has a full roster, or everyone is out of money.

Auction Draft Strategy

There are several ways to build an auction draft strategy. Some owners will want to grab two star players with most of their salary cap space, then skimp on the remainder of their roster, adding cheap sleeper players later in the auction draft. Other teams want to hoard their money until several rounds of drafting have gone, knowing they can get 2nd and 3rd tier players for bargain prices once many of their teams have overspent on the biggest names. Another strategy is to set a target price for each players on your draft list, then bid on each player until that target price is hit. If you get the player for the amount you have written down or cheaper, you've collected that player for a bargain. If not, you move on to the next bid.

One common strategy is to starting the bidding on big name players you don't necessarily want on your team, but you know the bidding will get very high on. In this way, you get your rival owners to blow their salary cap money on players you don't want, and hopefully the ones you do want won't be bid on until prices have fallen. In this way, auction drafting becomes a game of resource allocation.

An example of what I'm talking about is if you decided you didn't want Peyton Manning on your team. On your first round, you would throw Peyton Manning out there, hoping two or more teams would get in the bidding. Because Peyton Manning is a big fantasy football name, you could expect to see the bids early in the draft to go way too high, thus causing one team to overbid on Peyton Manning. If this happens to several teams, suddenly the money spent on the remaining top flight players will be lessened, allowing you to make targeted bids and get a few auction draft steals.

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