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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1Saquon Barkley (NYG)RB
2Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)RB
3Christian McCaffrey (CAR)RB
4Alvin Kamara (NO)RB
5Melvin Gordon (LAC)RB
6Todd Gurley (LAR)RB
7DeAndre Hopkins (HOU)WR
8Davante Adams (GB)WR
9James Conner (PIT)RB
10Le'Veon Bell (NYJ)RB
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11Joe Mixon (CIN)RB
12Julio Jones (ATL)WR
13Odell Beckham Jr. (CLE)WR
14David Johnson (ARI)RB
15Michael Thomas (NO)WR
16Travis Kelce (KC)TE
17Nick Chubb (CLE)RB
18Dalvin Cook (MIN)RB
19JuJu Smith-Schuster (PIT)WR
20Antonio Brown (OAK)WR
21George Kittle (SF)TE
22Mike Evans (TB)WR
23Zach Ertz (PHI)TE
24Tyreek Hill (KC)WR
25A.J. Green (CIN)WR
26T.Y. Hilton (IND)WR
27Patrick Mahomes (KC)QB
28Leonard Fournette (JAC)RB
29Aaron Jones (GB)RB
30Keenan Allen (LAC)WR
1Mike Trout (LAA)CF,DH
2Mookie Betts (BOS)CF,RF
3Christian Yelich (MIL)LF,CF
4Nolan Arenado (COL)3B
5Max Scherzer (WSH)SP
6J.D. Martinez (BOS)LF,RF
7Jose Ramirez (CLE)2B,3B
8Ronald Acuna Jr. (ATL)LF,CF
9Alex Bregman (HOU)3B,SS
10Jose Altuve (HOU)2B
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11Bryce Harper (PHI)CF,RF
12Manny Machado (SD)3B,SS
13Trevor Story (COL)SS
14Jacob deGrom (NYM)SP
15Justin Verlander (HOU)SP
16Paul Goldschmidt (STL)1B
17Javier Baez (CHC)2B,3B
18Freddie Freeman (ATL)1B
19Francisco Lindor (CLE)SS
20Charlie Blackmon (COL)CF
21Cody Bellinger (LAD)1B,CF
22Aaron Judge (NYY)RF,DH
23Gerrit Cole (HOU)SP
24Trevor Bauer (CLE)SP
25Blake Snell (TB)SP
26Anthony Rendon (WSH)3B
27Andrew Benintendi (BOS)LF,CF
28Chris Sale (BOS)SP
29Whit Merrifield (KC)1B,2B
30Corey Kluber (CLE)SP
1Anthony Davis (NOR)PF,C
2James Harden (HOU)PG,SG
3Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)SF,PF
4Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)C
5Kevin Durant (GSW)SF,PF
6LeBron James (LAL)SF,PF
7Stephen Curry (GSW)PG,SG
8Nikola Jokic (DEN)PF,C
9Damian Lillard (POR)PG
10Russell Westbrook (OKC)PG
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11Victor Oladipo (IND)PG,SG
12Paul George (OKC)SG,SF
13Joel Embiid (PHI)PF,C
14Kawhi Leonard (TOR)SG,SF
15Chris Paul (HOU)PG
16Jimmy Butler (PHI)SG,SF
17Kemba Walker (CHA)PG
18Kyrie Irving (BOS)PG,SG
19Ben Simmons (PHI)PG,SF
20Jrue Holiday (NOR)PG,SG
21Rudy Gobert (UTH)C
22Andre Drummond (DET)PF,C
23John Wall (WAS)PG
24Kyle Lowry (TOR)PG
25Khris Middleton (MIL)SG,SF
26Donovan Mitchell (UTH)PG,SG
27Bradley Beal (WAS)SG
28Kevin Love (CLE)PF,C
29Draymond Green (GSW)PF,C
30LaMarcus Aldridge (SAS)PF,C
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