The Perfect Fantasy Football Auction Draft

by Bobby Sylvester | @bobbyfantasypro | Featured Writer
Aug 10, 2018

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This season, I’ve been getting more auction questions than ever before. I am thrilled that auctions are growing in popularity, as it is the superior way to draft a fantasy football team. If your league hasn’t given in a try, make an effort to get them to mix things up this year. It adds so much strategy and excitement that you will surely never look back. Today, I’ll give you a picture of how I imagine the perfect auction draft playing out. In order to accomplish this, I allowed myself the standard $200 budget and built the ideal roster from ESPN’s average auction values. Let’s dive into the team.

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QB $3
RB $54
RB $43
WR $35
WR $11
WR $11
TE $4
FLX $11
DST $1
K $1
B $12
B $5
B Randall Cobb $4
B $2
B $2
B $1

Quarterback & Tight End
Andrew Luck & Kyle Rudolph

As Mike Tagliere demonstrated in his tremendous Boom, Bust and Everything In Between article series, unless you own a top-four QB, chances are, you’ve got better odds of streaming a QB to finish in the Top 12 every week than if you just play Tom Brady there every week. If you aren’t streaming, you might as well take a shot at grabbing one of those top QBs, but you don’t have to spend all your auction money to get one. Rather, you can just use $3 on Luck, who has QB #1 upside. If he doesn’t work out then you just cut your minimal losses and move on to streaming Andy Dalton here and Blake Bortles there like most everyone should be doing anyway. As for Rudolph, the argument is simple: Kirk Cousins LOVES tight ends and Rudolph hasn’t missed a game in three seasons. Add in 15 touchdowns over the past two seasons and I’ll gladly take it for just $4.

Running Backs
Saquon Barkley, Dalvin Cook, Marshawn Lynch, Sony Michel, Duke Johnson, Rex Burkhead

It was tempting to splurge on Todd Gurley, who just had one of the best seasons in fantasy football season. Frankly, however, I built this team in reverse with the cheaper players being selected first and going from there. The reason is that value can be found at the bottom while players like Gurley and Antonio Brown are all going for just about what they are worth. I had enough money to buy Saquon and Dalvin as my two workhorses, which was a must for me in this auction. Behind them, I’ve got two potential touchdown monsters in Lynch and Michel. I’m expecting one to break out and be my every week third running back behind the two bell-cows I bought. To round things out, I grabbed two safe week-to-week flexs in Duke and Rex. Those will surely come into play when byes and injuries set in. For what it’s worth, Burkhead is seeing his average auction salary climb daily, so in a week, he may cost nine or ten bucks. For now, I’ll gladly scoop him up at this price though and ride him until Sony comes back for me.

Wide Receivers
Davante Adams, Brandin Cooks, Marvin Jones, Randall Cobb, Jamison Crowder, Keelan Cole

Among the top ten receivers, Adams’ price is clearly the best value for now. Aaron Rodgers is going to get his 35 touchdowns, and with the lack of receiving competition on this team, you can bank on another dozen going to Adams. Cooks, meanwhile, is going vastly under-drafted, as everyone seems to be expecting him to merely fill in Sammy Watkins‘ lackluster production. They are somehow ignoring the fact, however, that he has been a top 12 fantasy receiver each of the past three years despite being in crowded receiving cores. He might not be that effective this year, but he is certainly a good bet to outperform his $11 price tag. Likewise, Jones was spectacular last season, finishing as a top five wide receiver. Sure, it wouldn’t be wise to bank on that again, but he will surely finish above WR25 where he is being drafted. On the bench, I claimed more of Aaron Rodgers‘ guaranteed touchdowns then two cheap players I am especially fond of this year. Crowder is the ideal receiver in an Alex Smith offense, creating separation with the best of them, while Cole was the #2 fantasy receiver over the final five weeks once the Jags finally gave him a chance to start.

Kicker and DST
John Kelly & Spencer Ware

No this isn’t a typo and yes I do know these aren’t kickers or defensive units. What I’m saying here is that if you are drafting in the next two weeks, you shouldn’t even bother selecting a kicker or defense. There is virtually no value at either position above the best possible streamer, so what I’ll be doing is scooping up a similar player the day before the season starts and plugging them in. Now, the reason I added Wilkins and Ware instead is that every preseason, one to four starting running backs go down with an injury. If it is Kareem Hunt or Todd Gurley that suffers the fate this year, then I’ve got myself a potential RB1 for free. More than likely, it won’t work out, but sometimes it does (see Kareem Hunt last season).

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Bobby Sylvester is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Bobby, check out his archive and follow him @BobbyFantasyPro.

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1Todd Gurley (LAR)RB
2Le'Veon Bell (PIT)RB
3Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)RB
4David Johnson (ARI)RB
5Antonio Brown (PIT)WR
6DeAndre Hopkins (HOU)WR
7Alvin Kamara (NO)RB
8Saquon Barkley (NYG)RB
9Odell Beckham Jr. (NYG)WR
10Melvin Gordon (LAC)RB
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11Kareem Hunt (KC)RB
12Leonard Fournette (JAC)RB
13Julio Jones (ATL)WR
14Michael Thomas (NO)WR
15Dalvin Cook (MIN)RB
16Keenan Allen (LAC)WR
17A.J. Green (CIN)WR
18Davante Adams (GB)WR
19Devonta Freeman (ATL)RB
20Jordan Howard (CHI)RB
21Rob Gronkowski (NE)TE
22Mike Evans (TB)WR
23Christian McCaffrey (CAR)RB
24Joe Mixon (CIN)RB
25T.Y. Hilton (IND)WR
26Jerick McKinnon (SF)RB
27Doug Baldwin (SEA)WR
28Stefon Diggs (MIN)WR
29Travis Kelce (KC)TE
30Adam Thielen (MIN)WR
1Mookie Betts (BOS)CF,RF
2Mike Trout (LAA)CF,DH
3Jose Ramirez (CLE)2B,3B
4Francisco Lindor (CLE)SS
5J.D. Martinez (BOS)LF,RF
6Nolan Arenado (COL)3B
7Manny Machado (LAD)3B,SS
8Max Scherzer (WSH)SP
9Giancarlo Stanton (NYY)LF,RF
10Freddie Freeman (ATL)1B,3B
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11Charlie Blackmon (COL)CF
12Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)1B
13Corey Kluber (CLE)SP
14Andrew Benintendi (BOS)LF,CF
15Trea Turner (WSH)SS
16Chris Sale (BOS)SP
17Bryce Harper (WSH)CF,RF
18Clayton Kershaw (LAD)SP
19Jose Altuve (HOU)2B
20Matt Carpenter (STL)1B,2B
21Jacob deGrom (NYM)SP
22Alex Bregman (HOU)3B,SS
23Justin Verlander (HOU)SP
24Christian Yelich (MIL)LF,CF
25Javier Baez (CHC)2B,3B
26Starling Marte (PIT)LF,CF
27A.J. Pollock (ARI)CF
28Aaron Nola (PHI)SP
29Rhys Hoskins (PHI)1B,LF
30Anthony Rizzo (CHC)1B,2B
1Kevin Durant (GSW)SF,PF
2Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)SF,PF
3James Harden (HOU)PG,SG
4Stephen Curry (GSW)PG,SG
5Russell Westbrook (OKC)PG
6Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)C
7Anthony Davis (NOR)PF,C
8Kawhi Leonard (TOR)SG,SF
9LeBron James (LAL)SF,PF
10Nikola Jokic (DEN)PF,C
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11John Wall (WAS)PG
12DeMarcus Cousins (GSW)PF,C
13Chris Paul (HOU)PG
14Damian Lillard (POR)PG
15Jimmy Butler (MIN)SG,SF
16Rudy Gobert (UTH)C
17Kyrie Irving (BOS)PG,SG
18Hassan Whiteside (MIA)C,PF
19Myles Turner (IND)PF,C
20Paul George (OKC)SG,SF
21Kyle Lowry (TOR)PG
22Draymond Green (GSW)SF,PF
23Kristaps Porzingis (NYK)PF,C
24Kemba Walker (CHA)PG
25CJ McCollum (POR)PG,SG
26Mike Conley (MEM)PG
27Bradley Beal (WAS)SG
28Klay Thompson (GSW)SG,SF
29Marc Gasol (MEM)C
30Gordon Hayward (BOS)SG,SF
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