Deeper and deeper into the mind of the auction drafter we get as this series continues. We know how they come up with their price list beforehand. We know how they budget their auction dollars. We know what type of approach they take to the auction. And we even know when they plan on jumping in and spending their fantasy dough.
Yesterday we asked our managers if they’ll ever get into a bidding war over a player they just must have. Well, today, we go the opposite route. Some owners are so repulsed and borderline offended at the very thought of owning a player on their team. There’s simply no price too low. If there was a bid down amount, they might even use that option just out of spite. Let’s see what our drafters have to say about it.
6) The auction is a good place to truly get a player at their value. But do you ever tab a player as a “do not buy at any price,” or does every player have their value?
Scott Spratt – I will contradict my previous answer by saying that, yes, there are some players I will never own. Any player I believe is below the replacement level at his position is not worth even $1 because that creates a deficit of value for the players above the replacement level.
However, in the true spirit of the question, I believe that every player above replacement has a value. I do not enter drafts with expectations for which players I like and dislike. Like and dislike are determined by the discrepancies in your projections and the specific auction market of your league draft.
Austin Lee – Almost every player has their value, but sometimes I’ll price a player at $2 who is typically going for $20. There are just certain players that I’m certain I won’t get.
Some players I wouldn’t even pay $1 for. I don’t nominate them because I don’t want to get stuck with them. Those are the “do not buy at any price” players, but if I price them that low, they are typically going for less than $8 anyway.
Chad Parsons — Every season I create a target list of players based on their ADP. Some years there are 10 players, other times up to 30. The core of my teams will consist of players from that list. To answer the question, I definitely have a list of guys that, unless they fall to a ridiculous level (say $5 for a $15+ player on my board), I wouldn’t touch them.
Alex Miglio – An adage I have come to adopt is this: never play fantasy football with your heart. That is not to say you should not get into the game or have fun, but do not let prejudices or preconceived notions prevent you from drafting players.
That said, there are certainly players whom I value far less than the norm. Frank Gore is an example for me this year — the 29-year-old has put a lot of mileage on those legs, and he has LaMichael James and Kendall Hunter nipping at his heels. It will take a great price to entice me to draft him if I need a running back.
Never say never.
Kevin Greenstein — There are plenty of players not worth wasting a single auction dollar on. There are certainly players I’d stay away from for more than $1 or $2, but at that price would consider them shrewd pick-ups. This season, a player getting surprisingly little love is Kellen Winslow. While he’s old and lacks the explosive playmaking ability he displayed at “The U,” Winslow remains one of the NFL’s best pass-catching tight ends, and should put up at least solid production for a cut-rate price.
Jeff Ratcliffe – There are probably players I should label as such, but I just can’t quit some guys. I’d have to say every player has their value provided that they see the field for a significant amount of time during the season.
Eric Yeomans – As with anything, I believe there are always situations where a player has their value. That being said, if I know that I value a player significantly less than the general community, I don’t even waste my time being concerned with them, and scratch them off my list. If it’s not a productivity issue, it may be an injury issue. In the case of injury risk, I may make an exception depending on the risk. In a game as violent as football, everyone comes with injury risk. But you can’t completely ignore those who are injury prone and susceptible to getting hurt either.
If you took a look at my cheat sheet, you would see my values with players names highlighted with different color. Green is players I’m targeting, red is players I’m avoiding, yellow is players I’ll take if they come at a discount, and white is players I’m neutral on. As you can probably guess, while I may not completely avoid all players not highlighted in green, odds are I’m not owning too many that aren’t. To come full circle, there are always players I tab as “do not buys,” but most often the reason is because I have next to no hope of acquiring them for a low enough price for me to even consider it.
There were some very interesting responses here. Most of them revolve around low priced players that don’t carry much risk, but very few addressed the higher priced commodities that come with a red flag attached to them. There seems to be a level of agreement that there shouldn’t truly be such a thing as an untouchable player. But if these answers do anything, it’s to bring out the underlying benefit of an auction, which is that you really don’t need to concern yourself with a “do not buy” player, because you have the power to construct the team you want. If you manage your draft right, you’re rarely in the situation where you must fill your roster with guys you may not like, or somebody has fallen so far down draft boards that you feel obligated to draft him “just because.”
Odds are somebody likes a player well enough to pay at least close to full price, and you can focus on the task at hand: building the best roster you possibly can.