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Have you ever been at a casino playing your favorite slot machine or at a blackjack table and all of a sudden you feel that rush? You lose control for a split second because either things are not going your way or because you feel like you can do no wrong.

Those are dangerous thoughts and feelings to have whether at a casino or more importantly, at Fantasy Football auction drafts.

Poor decisions can be made in a blink of an eye and that is part of what this article will help you avoid. The rush you get from bidding can ruin your draft with only one pick regardless of the stakes.

Keep Away From The Booze

First, if you are serious about your draft, I recommend staying away from alcohol (as horrible as that may sound for some). The thoughts and actions of an intoxicated person typically lead to poor judgment. I have witnessed many scenarios where owners drink a ton and say things like “who cares, it’s not real money” or “there aren’t any good players left anyway.”

The most important time of the draft isn’t the first few rounds; it is the later rounds when the cheat sheet runs low on those who don’t dig deep in their research. This is a fairly obvious strategy but rarely followed.

Nominate The Players You Want

After about 25 years of auction drafting, I have become a bit of a contrarian when it comes to nominating players and when to do so. A common approach is nominating the players you do not want. I contend that doing the exact opposite is actually the best approach.

I argue that acquiring your players earlier in the draft will benefit you because many owners are still getting acclimated and are thinking that there are plenty of players left at the position. However, they will be very surprised when the simple economic theory known as “supply and demand” rears its ugly head. As the number of players at a particular position dwindles, the cost of player increases due to a lack of supply.

This actual scenario played out in one of my drafts a couple of weeks ago. The last top tier wide receiver, Randall Cobb, in a point per reception league, was purchased for more than Julio Jones, Antonio Brown and Dez Bryant, which is not something I want to happen to you.

Be Ready At All Times

Be prepared to expect anything and be ready to “think on your feet.” Unlike a snake draft where an owner usually has eleven picks and a minute or more in between picks, an auction draft can cause you to draft three straight players in less than five minutes! You will have to decide in a split second to bid that one more dollar or to let that player go. There will be owners that will test you by purposely bidding up guys to make you spend more money. This is a great strategy to utilize but it can also burn you if you get caught with a player you didn’t want.

Don’t Be A Homer

Don’t get caught up with the hometown favorite player. As a Chicago guy, I have watched the likes of Kyle Orton, Jay Cutler and Matt Forte go for an inflated price, probably 10 percent more than market value. Do not fall into that trap and pay too much because you love a certain player on that team. This happens far too often especially with novice players. Leave your hometown fan’s heart at the door and check the emotions there as well. Remember, things get heated quickly and emotions can run high.

Know Your Opponent’s Roster

Pay attention to draft needs of other players. Keep an eye on the roster grid and notice if an owner has needs at a particular position and then feel free to nominate the highest-ranked player at that position. If you nominate the player for one dollar, you will most likely not get stuck with that player. If you did purchase the unwanted player, the dollar will not hurt your salary cap.

Auction style drafts have been around for decades but have not been embraced by both those with and without experience. The amount of strategy, the excitement and the unexpected costs of players are just a few reasons to enter an auction-style draft. Do yourself a favor, give it a try and reap the benefits!


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