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The Perfect Fantasy Football Auction Draft

Aug 10, 2018

Marshawn Lynch may be one of the steals of fantasy drafts

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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