If you are serious about fantasy baseball, you probably play in an auction league. Anybody who has tried auctions soon learns that they are far superior to snake drafts.
Here are 10 tips to take into your fantasy baseball auction draft.
1. Go in with a Plan
Are you a guy who likes to draft based on position scarcity by picking up shortstops and catchers? Then, that’s your plan. Go in with a plan of how you’d like the auction draft to progress. It likely won’t happen exactly like you’d like it to, but that’s why auction drafts are so interesting.
2. But, be ready to improvise
One of the most interesting things about an auction draft is that you could have the same draft with the same managers immediately after the actual auction draft and you would get completely different results. If other managers are following the same strategy as you are, you are going to have change gears to win your fantasy baseball league.
3. Do Pick Outfielders
Most managers believe that there are so many good outfielders that you can wait on drafting them. That’s true, there are a lot of good outfielders, but you need 5 of them on your starting team. So, give outfielders the same respect as your infielder picks. Try to get 3 elite ones.
4. Draft Top Relievers
I know, the consensus is that you can find saves on the waiver wire and from sub-.500 teams. This is true; 20% of the saves in a season are not even drafted in the original draft. But, it’s not the elite closers like Mariano Rivera that often get demoted; it’s usually the marginal closers where the MLB manager gets impatient and makes a move or goes to a closer by committee strategy.
5. Pay Attention to WHIP
WHIP doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue of baseball fans like wins and ERA does, but its the single most important factor in organizing a great starting pitcher staff. Wins are often a matter of luck. WHIP is more a matter of skill.
6. Lay Low Early
Its tough to keep passing on early auction players like Hanley Ramirez and Albert Pujols and see the top stars going to all of your opponents. But, remember that an auction draft is all about value and there’s rarely value early in a draft when all managers have a wallet full of money.
7. Alternate Your Bidding Strategy
Commit early in the bidding for guys that you have no interest in. Bid late for a guy you do really want.
8. Keep Track of the Draft
If your league doesn’t keep track of the how much money all of the mangers have left and how many roster spots are filled, you need to. You need to not only know where your club stands, but also where your opponents are and how much money your opposing managers have left.
9. Bring an Assistant
Or a third base coach. Its very difficult to analyze every player thrown out in a draft if you need to keep track of all of the rosters and money left for the other managers in the league.
10. Homeruns are More Important than Ever
With the decline in power numbers since the end of the steroid era and the recent years where pitching has been dominant, it is more important than ever to bid on the perennial homerun hitters.