Bobby Sylvester’s Perfect Auction Draft

by Bobby Sylvester | @bobbyfantasypro | Featured Writer
Mar 15, 2019

The hype on Ronald Acuna may not have come far enough yet

Over the past month, I’ve been writing about my favorite fantasy baseball strategies. Each requires you to punt one or two categories which allow you to focus draft capital on dominating a handful of categories while exploiting the inefficiencies of your league’s settings.

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I’ve been asked countless times which strategy to use in points leagues and the answer is none of them. In points leagues, there are no categories to manipulate to your advantage. Rather, it is all about value. Typically, durable starting pitchers are the name of the game along with finding starting pitchers to use in your relief pitcher spot. On offense, you should ignore speed and focus in on walk-happy power hitters. That is most leagues, but every points league is unique so you are likely best served just plugging your league settings into our auction calculator then letting those results serve as your draft rankings.

Wait, did someone say auction? This is an auction article after all! For as many points league questions I’ve received about strategy, I’ve got three times as many auction strategy questions. Here is my answer:

Forget the strategies in auction leagues. The reason we use strategies in snake draft roto and H2H leagues is because you are locked into your draft capital. There is no chance for you to get more than 82 projected points in a 10-team 5×5 roto league with a snake draft league. That makes 77 a sufficient target, meaning you can and should punt two categories to minimize risk. In auctions, however, that isn’t the case. You can get 100 out of the possible 100 roto points in an auction league and the reason is quite simple: people suck at auctions.

There are so many easy mistakes to make (to avoid those, I whole-heartedly recommend this terrific piece by Dan Harris), but you aren’t going to make those. Right? Essentially, you can leave an auction draft with the equivalent of two first-round picks, five second round picks and 17 top 100 players. Because you can accomplish that, it means your league mates can as well, and since half your league has no idea what you are doing, you can’t rely on 77 roto points to carry you to a title. You have to shoot for the moon, hence why you shouldn’t punt a single category.

Today, I’m going to show you my ideal auction draft in a standard ESPN 10-team 5×5 roto league. I used their average auction dollar values to construct a team using $260. If you listen to my podcast, you won’t be shocked by any of the names on my team, as I’ve been raving about them all like a lunatic for the past few months. My opinions on them all are sprinkled around the site, but chances are, you can quickly get the gist on most of them in this quick-hitting 50 stats article.

The Results


It is no secret that I spent a ton of draft capital on my offense. In fact, it was 196 of my 260 available bucks. In ESPN leagues, you only have three bench spots and each of those are filled with hitters on my team. I want to dominate every offensive category and it is easy to accomplish if you can strike the correct balance between all five.

When you look at the pitching projections, you’d think I was over here running the Marmol. I did actually draft starting pitchers, however, they were just all of the safe-ratio with innings concerns variety. If they can stay healthy and exceed their innings projections, you can expect my team to leap four or five spots into the top tier of the league for wins and strikeouts.

The Team

Pos Player Team Cost
C PHI $17
1B LAD $20
2B KCR $21
SS KCR $10
3B PHI $1
MI Daniel Murphy COL $15
OF BOS $39
OF ATL $30
OF TBR $14
P TBR $25
P LAD $21
P ARI $6
P LAD $3
P LAD $1
P Jose Leclerc TEX $6
P STL $2
P CHC $1
P MIN $1
B BOS $5
B STL $3
B SEA $1

Others who just missed the cut: Shohei Ohtani, Tyler Glasnow, Chris Paddack, Matt Strahm, Chris Paddack, Matt Barnes, Seranthony Dominguez, Ryan Pressly, Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

Non-Auction Strategies

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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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