If you’ve been keeping track, you know how far we’ve come in a week. If you haven’t been following, you can find out how all of these fantasy managers approach their auctions in six parts: one, two, three, four, five, and six.
Now it’s time to really peer inside each individual’s soul. This goes beyond how they handle their own auction, and into if they go about trying to sabotage others. Let’s find out if any of our drafters cold-hearted enough to drive up the prices on players they have no interest in owning.
7) Do you engage in the act of price-enforcing or do you leave others alone when they’re trying to buy their players?
Austin Lee -- I do not engage in price-enforcing. I just accept the fact that I’m not the only one who is going to get good deals. If I’m all stocked up at a position. I don’t bid. If I hate a player, I’ve already priced him super low in my draft preparation so that I’m not tempted to bid him up.
Chad Parsons – In the beginning of an auction I will definitely bid up to a certain percentage for all the top players based on my values. Most of the time that leads to merely falling out of the bidding as other owners surge into the stratosphere in terms of cost, but every once in a while, it produces an unexpected bargain. In the middle and end of the auction, I will stick to my target list and not waste valuable roster spots on players that I am not optimistic about in the coming season. Staying active and up-to-date during an auction is vital to capitalize on all the potential deals along the way.
Kevin Greenstein – It takes two to tango, and if a player’s price goes to a certain place, it’s because two owners put the price there. I’d say it actually goes the other way more often than not, where I try to occasionally use auction dollars solely for the purpose of raising the price of a player I don’t particularly want (but would gladly take at a discount rate).
Jeff Ratcliffe -- I don’t necessarily price enforce, but like I said, if I know another own really likes a guy, I’m going to make them pay for him. I may even break out a Dave Hester “Yuuuup.”
Alex Miglio – It depends on what stage of the draft we are in. If it’s early, I tend to boost prices conservatively assuming I do not exceed my own values and I am comfortable owning the player if I happen to put in the winning bid. Once again, however, never bid on a player you do not need or want. Would you bid up a Zune on eBay because you wanted to make sure the seller got a fair price?
I got stuck with Reggie Bush two years in a row — back when he was utterly useless — by virtue of price enforcing when I did not want him. If you are comfortable with the player and your roster isn’t full at that position, go for it. Otherwise, let the owner get a good deal. Austin and I saw a fellow owner draft five (!) quarterbacks in our home league last season because of price enforcement. Don’t end up with five quarterbacks.
Scott Spratt – I do not have a blanket response to this question because auctions are ruled by game theory. Your goal in the auction should be to fill your roster with the greatest possible value at the least possible expense, but there are a lot of ways to make that happen, and they all depend on the specifics of your league.
However, when deciding on whether to bid on a player to prevent another manager from capturing too much value, ask yourself these questions:
- If I win this player at this price, will it prevent me from capturing better values on other players?
- If I win this player, will it prevent me from constructing a competitive roster?
- Are my players tradable?
In general, I am more likely to price enforce if the auction results closely mirror my prepared prices and if I believe I can trade my surplus value at fair prices.
Eric Yeomans – I definitely price enforce when I’m at the auction. I still have nightmares about an 18 team league draft two years ago that somebody got Hakeen Nicks for $16 in. I’ve been in a lot of drafts between now and then, but I will never forget that and certainly will never let that happen again. That being said, there are two very important rules that you must follow when you’re going to price enforce.
The first rule of price enforcing is never get stuck with a player you aren’t comfortable with owning yourself at the price you bid at. This one’s pretty self-explanatory. You don’t want sabotage your own draft when you’re trying to hurt others. The second rule of price enforcing is never make it obvious that you’re price enforcing. This one I’ve seen come back to bite many owners, and really hurt their team. Let’s use a 12 team league where you’re only required to start one TE as an example. If you already own Gronkowski, and you’re bidding up another owner on Graham, he might just let you have them both, and you’re sitting with a lot of points on your bench.
And while it’s certainly possible that another owner may trade you for one of them, everyone’s fully aware of your situation and you lose all leverage. That’s just one of the more obvious examples, but I’ve seen it time and time again where a player is set at a position, but wants to drive up the price on other owners and gets burned because it’s blatantly obvious what they’re doing.
Well, it certainly looks like the majority of the room is heartless and unwilling to let anyone have a discount. Odds are that’s like most auctions out there. If anything, it really stresses the importance of the previous six questions. If you’re prepared, have a plan of action, and execute successfully, chances are you will come out liking your team. If you show up and think the ADP numbers next to the players being nominated are going to be more than enough, you’re in some real trouble. The other drafters in the room are going to get the players they want and make sure you’re paying (and in some cruel cases, overpaying) for the players you hoped to land, and odds are you’ll end up with a team full of scraps. That’s really the beauty of an auction: it’s only your own fault if you don’t come out of the draft with a team that you like. But if you’ve done your due diligence, you can almost always walk away with a team you like. The same cannot be said about a snake draft.