Jonathan Bauman joins us again, this time teaching his auction draft strategy. When it comes to your fantasy football auction draft this year, Upside Down Drafting can assist you by solidifying your squad early on. While there’s absolutely no always-perfect method of assembling your team, one thing is certain, we all agree on the fact that securing your base, or foundation, is key. Look, if you know anything about auction leagues, to win your auction, you must come to the draft prepared. Being prepared, just like a good Boy Scout, seems obvious, but all too often, preparation is a problem. Specifically, it’s HOW you prepare that’s the bigger issue. Don’t sweat it—even if this were your first auction draft.
Auction drafts often give you the freedom to exercise enormous financial decisions. Many fantasy gurus will advise you to prioritize your cheat sheet, gather your software programs, and review the players and their values, at least according to what you think they should cost.
So how does Upside Down Drafting fit into the Auction mix? Well, take a look at a simple graphic below to get the gist of UDD, which will help you big-time in your upcoming Auction Draft day.
The concept of UDD requires you to be prepared for draft slots No. 6 or No. 7 in a Standard Format League—if you’re not blessed with one of the first five slots. Conversely, in an Auction League, you’ll have the ability to purchase any player off the board. Take note of the following: a strategy you may need to employ. You start out with building an elite Wide Out list ahead of time—as I’m a huge proponent of drafting Wide Outs from the git-go in your Auction Draft.
As the graphic above suggests, you basically have the weight of a Boulder representing your Auction money budget; it weighs 1,000 lbs., and it can’t help but roll down the hill as the Auction progresses. Gravity will naturally take effect, and your money will head south as you make your bids. The top of the graph represents Freedom, the feeling you ultimately crave, as you bid.
I advocate bidding boldly on Wide Outs early, and avoid taking Running Backs, who are much more prone to nasty injuries, even if they’ve been the kings of FF since our older brothers watched them shine many moons ago. Guaranteed, most, if not all, of the initial nomination picks will be RBs. Instead, by inserting a “Wedge” (as pictured above) underneath your heavy financial Rock, you’re not going to slide into what I call “The Danger Zone,” or worse, tumble to the bottom of the graph, having depleted most of your budget way too early—spending it on glamorous but fragile RBs. Nothing worse (other than your mother-in-law showing up just before the Monday Night barn-burner) than bidding on a vaunted RB early, and then go ballistic when he goes down in three weeks just as your hard-earned cash goes down the drain. A-r-r-g-h!
Ideal Auction League Scenario:
Let’s face it, an Auction League is much more challenging than other formats, but it’s also more rewarding. In the following example, I have a $200 budget, and here’s the result of the auction draft using my upside down drafting model.
($47) Jimmy Graham
($36) Brandon Marshall
($34) Jordy Nelson
($10) Bishop Sankey
($10) Michael Floyd
($14) Robert Griffin III
($10) Brandin Cooks
No. 8 Running Back “At Large” —Value Laden
No. 9 Running Back “Possibly Hidden Upside”
No. 10 Running Back “Up and Coming” Young RB
Defense –- (per scoring system depends) Best available Round 11
Best Value Here
Best Value Here
Best Available Wide Out here
Kicker — take in last round
Fantasy Implications: (Source: Upsidedowndrafting.com)
- Wide Receivers repeat their Fantasy stats 70% of the time.
- Running Backs repeat their Fantasy stats 38% of the time.
- Your deficiency is RB, so you focus on the waiver wire for RBs.
- Bid strong & early on Wide Outs, budgeting for late-pick RBs.
- Start the “Run” on Wide Out/TEs, and then change up (audible) your style of bidding in front of the other owners.
A rule of thumb is to check on other owners, specifically, how they’re spending their stash/cash/money. Let your casually wandering eye record the haps, with their drafting (money) strategy; keeping track of other players’ moves will greatly help you majorly upgrade your own squad. Sneaking a peak or two at other evolving teams will help give you a (sixth) sense of the level of scarcity and certain key player positions (usually, RBs or sleepers).
We all took Economics in high school or college, so I won’t dwell on Supply and Demand. As I noted, more often than not, Wide Outs repeat their FF points year after year; moreover, they tend NOT to be injured as much as the dudes continually crashing into the likes of Ndamukong Suh. Bottom Line: Bid in the Auction; gobbling up those tall, big-handed receptors will not only supersize your squad but it will lay the heat on your competition.
Stashing some cash late is a shrewd ploy to obtain nice value when the time comes to nail down your first under-the-radar RB—a grinder who, it is hoped, will play for a team that tosses the rock often. A solid QB will spread the defense, creating more lanes, and chances for your runner to break through to the second level of a typical linebacker-core. You’ll likely encounter bidding wars here or there, but by following the Upside Down Drafting approach, you should be in prime position to snake one or more of these Fantasy Football game-changing RBs with considerable ease—and of course, for the right price.
Bean Counting: Then Tacking on
Once you determine whether the draft is bullish or bearish, like the Stock Market, you may want to “Scare” off other owners, like raising a low opening bid on a higher-priced player. Gosh, it seems like most Auctions increase the bid typically only by $1 here or there; so call the owner’s bluff: raise your offer by $2 or $3.
People, I won’t lie, there’s always some luck in this type of draft, but smart bids toward the end of your Auction will pay off, and since you’ve already built your foundation as solid as Serena Williams, (your chances of sliding the large heavy financial weight downward) in the above example, will be minimized. And your Astute Auction Activity will have your team aligned for greatness!
Manage Your Bucks
If it’s your maiden voyage using UDD, you’ll begin to realize it’s so much easier to build (out-bid) a solid WR/TE foundation on Draft Day than to build your team on a weak sandcastle structure, where the surf can temporarily destroy even drown your top two RB choices (picks we’ve been taught throughout the years to make)—simply by following tradition and taking them early in your Fantasy Auction Draft. Are you one of these by-the-book Fantasy owners? If you’ve read this far, I’d bet my Joe Montana-signed jersey, you’re not any longer.
Dominate Your Auction!
With UDD implemented in an Auction Format, you’ll capitalize on winning by out-bidding your opponents on Wide Outs who produce statistically more FF points, while suffering significantly fewer injuries. This novel game plan will generate a stronger bankroll later in your Auction, eventually moving that financial Boulder up toward the Freedom goal at the top of my Grab-the-Gold Graphic, giving you plenty of capital to spend later in your Auction, which is like finding a wad of hundies!