The first was how each fantasy manager assigns a price to a player. There’s already many ways players are ranked going into a standard snake draft, and adding prices to them adds an additional element of skill.From pricing players we moved on to budgeting for the auction. We found out how each manager breaks down where they plan on spending those hard earned auction bucks in their draft.
Then yesterday we asked what type of approach fantasy managers used when constructing their team. Some like to get as much top-shelf talent as possible with a stars and scrubs approach, while others like to diversify their fantasy portfolio by trying to get a balanced roster full of second tier players that they buy for pennies on the dollar.
Now it’s time to move onto our next question. We know how the managers price their players, distribute their budget, and plan to acquire their talent. But how do they go about doing it?
4) Do you spend early, wait it out, or pick your spots when buying players
Kevin Greenstein – This definitely depends upon the situation. I actually think there’s an ebb and flow to the auction, where an owner might spend a lot early, then sit back waiting for the market to once again be accessible. When that owner gets active again, it might be when they find themselves having an economic advantage, where they’ve over-waited to the point where they are actually able to outspend opponents. Of course, the negative to this scenario is that they may have missed out on much-needed talent in the interim. It’s only a sure bet to wait when it’s become clear that the available talent (at a given position) is at a surplus in relation to the remaining league-wide auction dollars.
Jeff Ratcliffe – I like to pick my spots unless I’m in love with a player, which is rare. I do like to find out guys whom my opponents are in love with and then run the bidding up on them.
Scott Spratt – I prepare prices for every player before a draft, and so I will spend early or wait depending on what the other managers do. I have confidence in my board, and so I like to test the rest of the league by throwing out players in strange orders that do not mirror snake drafts. If the league stops bidding below my price, I take the player. If they bid over, I let him go. Value is created by the other managers in your league when they overpay, so do not get anxious if the collective exceeds your budget estimates for specific players, positions, or position tiers. Be patient. Every extra dollar they spend is one you can later collect in value on another player. This is especially important in keeper leagues.
Austin Lee — Values can appear at any point in the draft. Sometimes you have to buy early to get them. However, more values are usually found later in the draft, so I typically wait a little longer than the average drafter.
Alex Miglio – My philosophy is to spend whenever the opportunity presents itself. I paid $48 for Arian Foster – who had been nominated first – in my first real mock auction draft of this year. While that is unlikely to ever happen again in 2012, that was an insane value. (I imagine part of the issue was that most drafters were still getting situated in the room in this case.) There is a chance something like this could happen with the first couple of players, before other owners are really comfortable shelling out big money, but more than likely the money will be flowing from the get-go.
Indeed, I have found that big spenders are likely going to drive prices too high for my taste at the outset of an auction draft. The chances go up that I will be waiting to spend my money for each studs & duds owner there is in my draft. This is one of the reasons why it is imperative that you know who you are going up against if you can — the longer you’ve been a league, the more you should know about your opponents’ draft tendencies, which will help you prepare better. I do put in a decent bid for most players, however, at least until my roster begins to fill up. One of my rules of thumb is to never bid on a player you do not want or need — don’t get stuck with three quarterbacks, folks — but it cannot hurt you to bid on players early, even if there is little hope you will land him.
One more thing: whatever your strategy may be, be ready to pounce on “endangered” players in their respective tiers. If RB1s are drying up and you need or really want one, you may find yourself in an uncomfortable bidding war after painstakingly saving your money. Be aware of what is going on in the draft, both in terms of the players available and who your leaguemates have drafted. As Alec Baldwin might say, “Always Be Conscientious.”
Chad Parsons – Early in the auction is the time to diagnose what is going on with the value structure. If a stud is going for 20 percent less than my assigned value, I will not hesitate to jump in. Otherwise, I find that the best time to find value on players with similar upside to the much more expensive early studs begins once 20-30 players are off the board.
Eric Yeomans – This is definitely one of those situations where it really does depend. I am certainly not afraid to be the first one to buy a player, but I’m also not looking to make a statement with the first player put up for bidding. There are many instances where owners are a little timid to buy at the very beginning, and there is still a max level of supply available, as no players have been drafted yet. As elite talent starts to come off the board, however, people begin to realize that they may be missing out on production and become more desperate and spend more. In fact, this situation repeats itself over and over again within an auction whenever you get through a tier of players.
You really have to be aware of how many players are left within a tier, because as the supply in each tier dwindles, that’s when you start to see bidding wars happen. It’s much more important to be concerned about when you’re spending within a tier as opposed to when you’re spending within the draft itself. So while it all depends on your initial draft strategy of going stars and scrubs or more balanced, it’s usually best to spend at the beginning to midway point of a tier before the dwindling supply drives up the prices of the players.
Once again, we have an assortment of answers and strategies, but one thing remains the same: flexibility. While some are more open to spending early and others like to wait and get an assessment on the market, everyone seems to be in agreement that there isn’t really a right or wrong time to spend to maximize value. The biggest thing with an auction is there are going to be just as many times where you regret buying a player when a similar player goes for a discount later on as there are when you pass on a player early, hoping to snag a discount later, only to find that it set the floor instead of the ceiling. You must stay patient, disciplined, and always adjust.