Auction Drafts, Part 4: Patience Is a Virtue
This fourth and final strategy to prepare for an auction draft requires the most patience. The method is waiting for roughly the first 20-30 nominations to finish up, so that you can have a full $200 budget for the last 75% of the draft. For this method to work, you must resist that urge to get the top tier skill players. It is very likely, top players such as Christian McCaffery, RB CAR and Saquon Barkley, RB NYG are going to be on other rosters. Luckily, there is power in numbers and you'll have an advantage.
When you go into an auction draft, the best thing you can do is mock draft and find what the values of certain players are going for. A mock draft is a draft that has no implications on an actual league. Essentially, it’s a practice draft. Make a list of these top values and call them your "my-guys." In an auction draft, you have a bit more control to get your guy. The first few rounds try to nominate top players you're not too high on. For instance, you have your doubts about Dalvin Cook, RB MIN, because of his injury history. If you are able to nominate him, do it. Have someone blow $60 on him. Let your opponent have the players you think aren't a good value.
If you have gone through the wave of the consensus top 30 without bidding, you are probably going to be very happy with the amount of talent still on the board. With a $200 budget, you will have the biggest budget to get more players at great value. With the 48th pick in my last auction, I won Stefon Diggs, WR BUF, for $20. For 10% of my starting budget, I was able to get a wide receiver with a high upside.
Using this method allows you to pick any quarterback you want, with the exception of Patrick Mahomes, QB KC and Lamar Jackson, QB BAL. When you are ready to nominate a QB, try to wait until about the 9th or 10th round. In my last auction, Russell Wilson, QB SEA, went for $3. This was a great late round value. You will be much more likely to bid on a quarterback if you have a majority of your budget remaining. By the 9th or 10th round, about half your opponents will halt bidding on others' nominations. By now, you should have your wide receivers and running backs set. The rest of the budget will be built for depth, quarterback and tight end.
Certain tight ends have great upside and go for even less than if they were a wide receiver. My auction draft let Zach Ertz, TE PHI, go for a whopping $15 in a redraft. He was nominated 38th. If he had fallen to the 50th nomination, there is a good chance a $200 budget could get him for 10-20% less. Other examples include Noah Fant, TE DEN, being nominated 70th for $5 and Hunter Henry, TE LAC, nominated 116th for $2.
This conservative method is very useful if you believe in the talent of players that’d go in the middle rounds of a snake draft. If you play your cards right, you will be able to get some amazing deals. The best way to use this method is to follow the most important rule of auction drafting: BE PATIENT!