Fantasy Baseball: The Five Commandments of Auction Drafts, Pt. 2


Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday I went over my First Commandment of Auction Drafts, which included not participating in a fantasy baseball draft while simultaneously changing a baby’s diaper.  Today, we’ll delve into Commandment No. 2…

COMMANDMENT #2: Have a Plan, and Then Have Another Plan

Even though you have more control in an auction draft than you do in a snake draft, they share one common entity — they both involve people.

People are crazy.

There’s going to be that guy who will stop at nothing to get Mike Trout.

Some fantasy baseball leagues will have their studs go for $50, while others will never have a player go over $35.  No matter what you plan, it will go awry.  That’s why the best plans are flexible — but if you’re too flexible, you’re just limp, and then you might as well have no plan at all.

When planning your auction, first figure out where your money’s going.  Don’t break it down by position, just break it down by bats vs. arms.  The most common split tends to be in the neighborhood of $170 for bats, $60 for starting pitching, and $30 for bullpen.  That’s a good place to start.  I tend to spend less on the bullpen, chucking that extra ten bucks into bats.

Don’t break it down by position.  If you budget yourself $30 for third base, but Miguel Cabrera, David Wright, Adrian Beltre, and Evan Longoria all go over $35, you either overspend big for Josh Donaldson, or you start readjusting all of your calculations on the fly.  There’s far too much stuff that requires your attention during a draft for you to have to start unnecessarily mathing all over the place.

Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

My Epic Fail:

I decided to keep it as simple as possible and gave myself too much flexibility for a man who had to give more than 50 percent of his attention to a squirming child slightly more fragile than Brett Anderson.

In a 15-team league with two catchers, five outfielders, and the CI/MI spots, you are going to have a few less-than-exciting players on your roster.  With that in mind I was not targeting or even planning on any specific positions.  I just set out for balance and decided how much I was going to spend on players and set tiers up for those prices.  I went in needing two outfielders, a second baseman, a middle infielder, two catchers, and most of a pitching staff.

This was my price target list:

If I went over or under a certain price by a few beans, I’d just quickly add or subtract the difference from another price.  Easy-peasy mac-and-cheesy.

I spent most of this time with an infant in my arms so typing was not an easy thing.  I ended up scrawling that price target list on a nearby notepad.  This is not a prop from Se7en, this is what it looks like now:

My Lesson:

  • Computers are good, use them.
  • Find a damn babysitter.
  • Though I called an audible, I did not do it early enough, and I had not given myself something reasonable to audible into.

(Next time . . . Commandment #3: Respect the Nomination Process)

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