The Counselor is IN:
An auction keeper league is a very different creature than a straight draft league. Because of the differences, the strategies are vastly unique.
Here are Ten strategies to consider:
1) Know the other owners and their draft tendencies, if this is a live auction (my favorite style). It is important to know who will bluff you to drive up the price on a player and who will drop out when they hit their ceiling price. You need to note who is a fan of a team because some of these fans will desperately attempt to get players from his team to the point of over paying for them. Some players will typically spend their money very fast to get the top players and then pick up dollar players and some will horde their money to the end in an attempt to pick up the late auction sleepers.
2) Don't draft like a fan. It is fun to have players from your favorite team on your fantasy team but do not overspend for them. If other owners know you are a fan of a team, they will intentionally throw out players for you to overspend on. Do take advantage of the other fans in your league but do not let yourself be abused with it.
3) Know what players were kept and what players let go from last season. A team will let a player go from their team for a couple of reasons. They either did not like the player for the salary which they had them at (or at all) or they did not have room for them on the keeper list. In my keeper auction league, some teams just miss that a player is a future stud and they will let him go. But other owners have so many good players that they can not keep them all. If a team does not know how good a player is, it is a good chance they will not bid on them so you might be able to get a deal on the player at the end of the draft. If a team lets a player go because of they did not have room for them, it is a good chance that they will attempt to get this player back so you can throw that player out early in an attempt to get this team to overbid for him.
4) Know the positions that are short on quality players and the teams that need them and know the positions that have an abundance of quality players for the teams that need them. If most of the good 2nd basemen were kept but there are several teams that still need that position then you should adapt the projected price for those players even if you must overpay for them. If there are 20 quality Outfielders and only 15 Outfield positions left, then you can wait and pay below market value for your needs.
5) Mix up the players that you throw out for bidding. During the auction, teams take turns throwing out players. A common strategy is to throw out players that you do not want. This is a sound strategy to keep those players hidden that you want but it can bite you if you get stuck with the player that you throw out. Other teams will notice if you do not bid on any of the players that you throw out. You should mix it up and throw out some players that you really would like at different stages in the draft. If the player is sleeper, then do not throw them out. If you throw out a stud pitcher like CC Sabathia and bid high on him, then you will not lose much because the salary is always going to be high for a Top Tier player.
6) Spend some of your money early, in the middle rounds, and some for sleepers. You need to be able to spend some of your money for those studs if you want to win but you do not want to run yourself down to a dollar a player after just bidding on 2 players (I have seen this). You need a balance approach to how you spend money. It is not bad to have a few positions left with $1 max but you do not want a lot of them.
7) Never bid an extra dollar on a player that you are not happy with. I completely understand the desire to bid of a team up. But if you bid out of your comfort zone, you are playing a game of Russian roulette with your auction money and may get stuck with a player that you do not want.
8) Stay focused even with distractions. An auction is a much longer type of draft than a straight draft. You have to prepare for the marathon and be ready for it.
This time of the year there are lots of distractions on the TV during an auction (or even a draft). Between the Final Four Tournament, NBA games, MLB Pre-Season, and NFL Draft discussion, it is easy to get your mind off of the auction. Use this to your advantage over those not paying attention and do not get caught up in it. If you have to watch the big game, DVR the game. This time is for the auction only.
9) Know how much money each of Owners have and how many positions they will need at all times. As the draft goes on, you should know who can out bid you on certain players and if they have a need for that player or if you can steamroll for a certain player.
10) Have a good time and relax. There is no reason to join a fantasy league unless you are doing it for the pleasure. The auction is a huge part of fun. Don't be so relax that you overly consume adult beverages (recipe for a disastrous draft) but you do not want to be so tense that you miss the very reason you joined the league. Have FUN!
The Counselor is OUT: