Fantasy Football Auction vs. Draft
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Fantasy Football Auction vs. Draft

Making The Best Day Of The Season A Whole Lot Better
by George del Prado, founder of FantasyAuctioneer.com,
The first and only real-time auction-draft software on the Internet

Over 95% of those who try auctions never go back to snake-drafting. The added dimensions of bidding and salary cap management make auctions a much more exciting and fast-paced player selection process. While people are generally happy with the snake draft, calling it the "best day of the season," they only need to auction once to see that the day can be so much better.

Well-respected fantasy experts ranging from Scott Pianowski of FantasyGuru to Jeff Erickson of RotoWire to David Dodds of FootballGuys (and many, many more) have all said that they strongly prefer auctions, so you owe it to yourself and your fantasy league to find out more about it - so read on. The first half of this article outlines how auctions work and the reasons why they're so much better. The second half gives some simple strategy tips that will allow even casual fans to compete. Don't let auctions intimidate you; they're easier (and a lot more fun) than you think!

I. How It Works

Like snake drafts, people take turns selecting players in a serpentine format. Instead of simply adding players to their rosters, however, participants place them "on the auction block." An opening bid is introduced and auction-style bidding follows ("Going once... Going twice... Sold!"). The league has a preset, imaginary salary cap (e.g. $100) that people cannot go over. The highest bidder adds the player to his or her roster and the winning bid is subtracted from that bidder's salary cap. This process continues until all the rosters are full.

II. Taking The Draft To The Next Level

As mentioned above, the added dimensions of bidding and salary cap management changes the draft from a relatively slow, wait-and-pick game to one of strategy and guts. The following reasons are why so many savvy fans have switched and have never looked back:

A. Auctions are much more fair.
Everyone is on equal footing because they have a chance to get any player, no matter what their draft position is. If you get stuck with the 12th pick in a 12-team snake draft league, you have virtually no chance at any of the franchise players. In an auction, you have as good a chance as any to get players like Priest Holmes or LaDainian Tomlinson - as long as you're willing to pay the "going market price." Draft position simply doesn't matter, so it evens the playing field tremendously.

B. Auctions are more flexible.
In a snake draft, you're forced to get players evenly distributed throughout the draft (i.e. one 1st rounder, one 2nd rounder, one 3rd rounder, etc.). In an auction, you can build whatever team you want, however you want. For example:

1. If you want two or three "can't miss" 1st-rounders, you can spend as much as 75%-85% of your cap chasing after them and then build around that core with sleepers. In an auction, you can easily have both Priest Holmes and Randy Moss on the same team or Clinton Portis and Shaun Alexander on the same backfield.

2. If you feel that way too many 1st-rounders turn into season-breaking busts year after year, you can bypass all of them and go after a disproportionate number of 2nd- and 3rd-rounders. How about a lineup of Donovan McNabb at QB, Corey Dillon and Travis Henry at RB, and Eric Moulds and Santana Moss at WR?

3. If you feel a more balanced team is the way to go (like in a snake draft), you can also build such a team, but now you have much more control on which players to target. If you're a big Seattle fan and think their offense is on the upswing, you can make sure they're all on your squad. If you just have to have Brett Favre on your team, he's yours. You can pick your battles much more effectively, allowing you to have your "fantasy" team makeup.

 

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