As we get deeper and deeper into this series, we get deeper and deeper into exposing each fantasy manager’s personal tendencies. We’ve started off with the general preparations that all managers make with putting together their price lists and allocating their budgets. We then took a look at their purchasing strategies, and finally moved into when they decided was the best time to put their plan into action once in the auction.
Now we move into one of the uglier issues of the auction. We’ve all been there at least once. You’ve never been lucky enough to get a top pick in a snake draft and draft Adrian Peterson before, and you just know that owning him will turn your fantasy fortunes around after all these years of watching him lead other owners to the promised land. He must be yours, and you’re not going to let anyone stand in your way!
5) While it’s never good to get into bidding wars, do you ever have players you tab as must-own and are you willing to pay any price to own these players?
Jeff Ratcliffe – It’s really rare for me to feel that way about a player. I’d much rather be on the hunt for value, just as I am in non-auction drafts.
Scott Spratt – For me, there is no player that I have to own and there is no player that I would never own. It is all about the value context.
Austin Lee -- I’m willing to flex my pre-draft prices to pay as much as $5 extra for players I’m really high on. I’ll also toss in a couple of extra bucks if a tier of players that is key to my draft strategy is starting to run out.
I don’t think either of those situations qualify as full-blown bidding wars, which I try to avoid. If you have a “must-own” player on your list, you’re in trouble. Have multiple contingency plans.
Chad Parsons – The more players that are off the board, the more I will fight for “my guys”. I deplore getting stuck with a couple guys at the end of an auction that I know I will be cutting in the opening weeks of the season. The last 4-5 roster spots are the most important in my eyes and can change a fantasy team’s season. It helps to have extra capital to use a few more dollars on one of your highly-regarded sleepers, which is why budget management early on is ideal.
Kevin Greenstein – No. I might spend more on a given player than other owners would, but I’d never go into an auction needing a player if I weren’t convinced that player was on the verge of a huge breakout. In this case, I might spend more than expected on the player, but it would be for a specific tactical reason. That said, if it’s possible to choose between two essentially equal players and one of them is on the NFL team that you root for, it’s always more fun to align your rooting interests on Sunday. The trick is not to let your fan interest cloud your judgment with regard to the “equality” of the two players in question.
Alex Miglio – No.
To expound on my answer: that is a bad idea, even if you are a studs & duds kind of owner. While being flexible and willing to overpay in certain situations is certainly important, you can easily kill your entire draft by overdoing it on one player. If you absolutely must have Aaron Rodgers and wind up paying $55 for him, you have shot yourself in the foot elsewhere. Of course, that is an extreme example, but it holds true for any player at any price, at least for me. Desperation is not a good look.
Now, is bidding up to and above a player’s value considered a bidding war to that point? Perhaps, but be wary — you must learn to control your emotions. Anger leads to hate, and hate leads to suffering. You do not want to end up on the dark side of your fantasy football league.
Eric Yeomans – This is once again a situation where it sort of depends. If I’m getting into a bidding war on a player, it’s because I really like him and have probably already set his price way above the going rate. It usually happens when I already know I’m going to end up spending far more than anyone else, so I will just keep going along with them.
The best example of this would be Beanie Wells last year. Most had him losing the starting job to Ryan Williams and he was going at a RB4 price, while I had him as a solid RB2. Clearly if somebody else liked him close to as much as I did, then his price would have gotten all the way up to a RB2 price. What was more likely the case was others weren’t willing to go beyond a RB3 price, so while I engaged in a bidding war for him, I still got him at what I perceived to be a value. Auctions are all about making a profit, so if you’re getting into a bidding war for a player, make sure you’re still getting value and not just chasing a name.
Here we see that everyone tries to keep their composure as best they can, and not let their spending get out of hand. Nobody wants to have buyers remorse, and in an auction that remorse can almost be immediate after you realize that you just spent $15 more than you had planned to on a player only to watch all your sleepers get bid up to $2 on you while you’re left with $1. The lesson to be learned here is if you ever find yourself in a bidding war, make sure it’s for the right reasons. If you’re still getting value, or are only drifting a couple dollars outside your assigned price for the player, then by all means go get him. But if you’re just bidding because there’s no way you’re letting him go to that jerk who has been trash talking you during the entire draft, then you’re going to immediately regret it.