When I started playing fantasy football in 1985, my friends and I setup our league as a dynasty league, with some unique, specialized scoring. After I began writing about our game in 2001, I was introduced to many of the other types of leagues—such as re-drafters, with and without PPR, keeper leagues, with a few players carried over from year-to-year and IDP leagues, where the player pools and lineups are enormous.
Then several years ago, after being invited to join the prestigious FanEx Experts’ Group, I was introduced to auction leagues. Oh, my, God! It was so much fun! At that point I had been playing the game for over 25 years, and frankly, I thought I knew just about everything. I know, I’m sounding like a millennial, but I am an old fart at 68.
This is a spectacular new flavor of fantasy football to many of us. There are no tedious draft slots and I can actually have any player I want, as long as I pay more than all myopponents. Holy crap! If I wanted to, I could have Antonio Brown, Ezekiel Elliott and Odell Beckham all on my team. But like at home, to own a BMW, Mercedes and Ferrari, you have to have the good old-fashioned dollars to pull that off.
Later in the summer we will get into the strategies of the auction draft in some detail, as well as re-drafters, keepers and dynasties. With so few people playing in IDP leagues, I will not write an entire article on it. However, I will be glad to help anyone who has IDP questions. Simply contact me at my email address below. And that goes with any other fantasy football assistance you may need as well.
Here are the basics of a typical auction league:
- Each owner begins the auction with $200 fantasy dollars.
- This works well with about 12 teams, 20 player rosters and 10 player lineups.
- Each owner puts two players up for bids at the start—24 players at a time with a $1 opening bid on each. The entire auction process takes about three weeks to complete.
- The bid window is open for 18 hours to start. When no bid is made on a player for 18 hours, the bidding ends and that player is awarded to the one with the highest bid. After every bid, the 18-hour clock is started again.
- When a player you have nominated is won by someone, then you nominate another one. Each owner has two players up for bid until the draft winds down.
This seems complicated, but if you try it and experience it with the slow draft method, I believe you will fall in love. This type of auction is available on industry icon, Mike Hall’s MyFantasyLeague.com. It gives you so much detailed information as the draft progresses. With the bidding process being stretched out as it is you can readily see what your opponents are doing, both player-wise and the way they are spending. That way you can be constantly analyzing your own strategy and changing it when you need to.
With a fixed budget, a common bidding strategy is to spend about 60% of your dollars on about 3-4 key players. Some like to skip the high-priced options and go with a large number of middle-of-the-road players. You will inevitably have several $1 and $2 players on your ending rosters. The end goal is to have a team, with enough depth, to be able to score the points that you need to win each and every week. For example, if it typically takes about 135 points to win each week, you must be able to attain that, plain and simple.
In this example, building a team with only a 110 points capability means you are definitely going to lose. It amazes me how many people cannot grasp this basic, simple concept. Yet, those people are absolutely necessary in fantasy football. Their lack of competitiveness and competence helps to give you a better chance of winning the championship. Why play a game if you do not intend to win?
When it comes to running an auction league. I love the flexibility of MyFantasyLeague.com. You can run just about any league with any format there. They are the premier league management system in fantasy football. I have personally worked with and known the owner, Mike Hall, for almost 30 years. Yes, it costs a bit for a league to use it. You will not find a better playing platform in the industry. Sites like ESPN that are free, do not even come close.
I had an auction league on ESPN a few weeks back. We selected 22 players for 12 teams in about three hours. It was impossible to see who was bought by whom and how many players each owner had. The information available during the draft was hard to find and use due to the unrelenting speed of the whole thing. If I did not know there was a better way, I might very well hate auction drafts instead of being head-over-heels in love.
I have an auction league that I am running this season—two separate and distinct conferences each playing with separate auctions and with a complete player pool for each. Yes, Zeke can be on two teams, one in each conference. We have only a handful of ownership opportunities left. To join us and fill one of the remaining openings, write a brief essay on why you love fantasy football and email it me (see address below). I will choose the top answers and reward you with ownership of one of the few remaining teams.
This is a free league and the draft will take about three weeks or so. It will start about July 9. I would be thrilled to have some of you join us. We should have a lot of fun. And fun my friends, is what fantasy football is all about.
Now there are only a few weeks left until training camps open. Buckle up for the journey. My colleagues and I at Big Guy Fantasy Sports are intent on helping you become the champion you want to be. With our poignant articles and being the home base for the consistency theory, a sound mathematically-based alternative to ADP, we will be with you for the 2018 season in its entirety. What happens then? That my friends, is easy. We start over and do it all again in 2019!
Good luck! Have fun!