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Auction Budgets

Auction drafts are also referred to as salary cap drafts. This means there is a finite amount each team can spend to craft their fantasy team. When a manager spends on one player or position, it means they cannot spend as much in another area. Creating a budget is one of the keys to success in an auction draft. It is important for each manager to do two things:
  • Determine what your ideal roster would look like at the end of the draft.
  • Develop what you think each player may be worth, so you can be prepared to roster them when the time is right.
​Knowing what mix of positions you will have on your team is important as it will guide you as your auction draft unfolds. Going into your draft with a breakdown on how you want to fill your roster is important, as you can avoid "good deals" that are not at positions you need on your team. There is no one right way to prepare for your auction, and having multiple plans to attack your auction draft is wise. You can have one plan where you pay up for a quarterback, and spend less elsewhere, or another plan to pay up for a tight end, and not at quarterback. You may use a plan to get a couple of higher end running backs and go with a bunch of cheaper wide receivers, or visa versa, and hope one or two out performs their cost. How the auction begins and what players you can buy at certain prices will then determine which path you need to follow. You always need to remain flexible and fluid in your auction drafts, as each auction draft will be unique and unfold differently.

Auction drafts are similar to snake drafts in that it is difficult to actually end up with more than one first round talent, as the cost should be too high. You do want to end up with a first round talent on your team. While it is not impossible to do get two first round talents, this will most likely knock you out from buying any other top players. You may be able to get three second round talents on your team for more reasonable prices, and if you think one or two of those is really worth a first round pick, you will be ahead of the game. The benefit of which ever way you go is that get to choose which of the first or second or any round players you want to bid on, and then get a chance to get some under-priced players in the mid to late rounds. The chart shows a rough conversion of snake draft rounds to auction values. Obviously, the #1 overall pick is worth more than the 12th pick in the first round. These values are only a guide as different leagues develop various bidding patterns where they may pay more or less for the top players than average.

Below is a sample spreadsheet you can create before participating in an auction draft. There is no need to include kickers and defenses, as you should never pay more than $1 for a kicker, or $2 for a defense, in my opinion. The key is to look at all positions and realize you can really only afford to buy one or two players every two or three tiers. There are plenty of ways to make this work if you want to spend on a QB or TE, as opposed to a RB or WR. The key is to prepare before your draft to make it work for you. (Really like Over the as a way to see how actual NFL teams use their cap money - see the Positional Spending page). I find

Building A Budget

Budget Options

Stars and Scrubs. This is a popular option for building your team where you spend a lot of money on a couple of top tier players, and then wait to build the rest of your team with cheap players at the end of the auction.

Balanced Budget. This option for building your team is where you try not to spend too much money on any one player. This allows you to be able to buy a lot of medium range players to build your team more evenly. The theory here is to let other managers over spend on the top few players at each position, while you buy ones slightly below the top tier at a reduced price. This will also typically allow you to have more money at the end of your auction to purchase bench players.

Position Trade Off. This option is a mix of the other two. This is where you want to spend up at on or two positions, but then try to make that up by being frugal at another position. Often times this will mean you will pay up at QB, and then punt at TE, or spend up for RB's, and try to find value WR's. If you believe that there is a lot of depth at a certain position, or a certain tier within a position, then you can try to save money at that position, which then allows you to spend more at another one you prefer.