2013 Auction Draft Strategy

By John Paulsen (Director of Forecasting), last update Aug 16, 2013

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John was named the Most Accurate Fantasy Football Expert by FantasyPros for the 2010 and 2014 seasons, and has finished in the Top 6 in seven of the last eight years. Cumulatively, John has been the most accurate expert from 2010-17 while also winning the 2011 Fantasy Sports Trade Association award for the most accurate draft rankings. 

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If given the choice in fantasy football, I prefer auction leagues to traditional snake-draft leagues. I have more freedom over how I put my roster together and I'm not beholden to the luck of the draw when it comes to draft position. If I want two of the top five running backs, I can have them -- if I'm willing to pay the price.

For a detailed look at the different approaches to auction drafting, be sure to read Auction Strategy 101. In this article, I'm going to expand on these strategies specifically for the 2013 season.

For our purposes, I'm assuming we're playing in a 12-team PPR league that awards 4 points for pass TDs and has the following starting lineup requirements: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 K and 1 DT. I'm budgeting 90% of the $400 cap for our starters.

Here's a look at our customized Full Impact Auction Cheat Sheet for this league:




Much of our general draft strategy applies to auctions as well, but I'll go position by position and discuss how I'm going to approach my auction this year.



The quarterback position is deep, so we recommend that you target one of passers in the bottom half of the top 12. But if you absolutely have to get Aaron Rodgers on your squad, our Max Suggested Bid (MSB) is $64, or 16% of your total budget. Conversely, Tony Romo is worth $20 based on our calculations, but you'll probably be able to get him at a significant discount if he's the 11th or 12th QB off the board because you'll have very little competition for his services.

If another owner (who already has a QB) fights hard for the QB you're targeting, and you miss out on the top 12, then it's time to put together a cheaper 2-3 committee. The QBBC Matrix can help you decide who to target.

The main thing to keep at mind at QB is to try to get a player at a discount. I wouldn't have a problem with Peyton Manning or Cam Newton as my starter if I can get either player at 60% of their MSB. It's all about value. I sometimes find myself with a first or second tier QB simply because I refuse to let anyone else have him at a 50% discount.

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