Auction drafts are my favorite type of fantasy baseball draft. You have much more control over how you can actually build your team if you can set and stick to a budget that makes your team work, whereas in a fantasy baseball snake draft you are hoping for guys to be there for you, or you are forced to reach for them.
I also like auction drafts for preparation purposes. More specifically, should you buying or selling this year as you are planning for next year’s fantasy baseball championship!
Ultimately, you should now know if you are in it to win it or if you are planning for next year by now. Traditionally in auction drafts you can keep whoever you want at a predetermined price. Some fantasy baseball leagues use the “keep what you bought them for” system or some version of that, while others use the value assigned by whatever fantasy baseball host site you play through.
If you don’t know what system your fantasy baseball league employees, then check as soon as you read this. It is going to help you for next year.
I am going to first address the sellers in “keep them for what you paid” systems. Overall it is smart to have the best set of keepers talent wise, but you absolutely need to maximize your money as well.
Say you have Curtis Granderson, and say you went a little over what you had hoped to pay for him in the auction ($40, for example). Maybe you can flip him to a contending team that has Adam Jones, and paid less for him in the auction ($25, let’s say). Jones will probably give you comparable numbers to Granderson next year and if he is cheaper to keep, then it is a GREAT deal for you because you saved $15 on your keepers for next year ($40-$25)!
Even guys like Austin Jackson or Yoenis Cespedes would be terrific deals if they are much less to keep value wise. With a full season of at bats I think both of these guys will give you similar numbers to a guy like Granderson.
If your league uses the new values set by the site you play through each year, you are playing a different game. You have to do your best to guess at what each guy might be worth, and hopefully you have a good gauge if the site is consistent with slumping guys or players returning from injury being discounted.
In this situation you need to perhaps trade high on a guy like Andrew McCutchen, who is absolutely destroying it right now, and maybe you can score Matt Kemp, the guy who absolutely destroyed it last year but will be coming off a lesser year due to injuries, NOT talent. Perhaps a more doable trade is Jason Kipnis for, I’m guessing, bargain price Chase Utley. The key is to get same or similar numbers at a discount, the gamble being that Utley should have a 20/20 season next year and Kipnis takes a dip.
The above examples are for those teams that have no shot at winning this season and are selling (building for next year). If you are buying, you don’t give a crap about your next year’s auction, you need to win here and now. So you make these trades above from the opposite side, knowing full well what the other owner is up to, but it is fine because your strategy is to go for it and win it now!
Read more about “Buying and Selling.“