Fantasy Football Auction vs. Snake Drafts
Check out other Wunderdog Fantasy Football resources and tools.
Take your draft to the next level
by George del Prado, fantasyauctioneer.com
Since you're researching fantasy football on this website, it probably means that you take fantasy football at least a little bit seriously. It also probably means that your league should never snake draft again. That’s right, I said it. Never. Again. Why would you when there is a much better way of picking teams? I am, of course, talking about auction-drafting. A vast majority of fantasy leagues who try auction-drafting never go back to the serpentine format. Think about that for a second. When people try it, they don't go back. The reason is that the added dimensions of bidding and salary cap management make the auction a much more exciting, dynamic, and strategic player selection process. Most fantasy sports writers strongly prefer auctions, so you owe it to yourself and your league to find out more about it - so read on.
How It Works
Like snake drafts, people take turns selecting players in a serpentine format. Instead of simply adding players to their rosters, however, participants place them "on the auction block." An opening bid is introduced and auction-style bidding follows ("Going once...Going twice...Sold!"). The league has a preset, imaginary salary cap (e.g. $200) that people cannot go over. The highest bidder adds the player to his or her roster and the winning bid is subtracted from that bidder's salary cap. This process continues until all the rosters are full.
Makes the Best Day of the Season So Much Better
As mentioned above, the added dimensions of bidding and salary cap management changes the draft from a relatively slow, wait-and-pick game to one of strategy and guts. The following reasons are why so many savvy fans have switched and have never looked back:
A. Auctions are much more fair.Everyone is on equal footing because they have a chance to get any player, no matter what their draft position is. If you get stuck with the 12th pick in a 12-team snake draft league, you have no chance at any of the franchise players. In an auction, you have as good a chance as any to get players like Larry Johnson, Shaun Alexander, or LaDainian Tomlinson - as long as you're willing to pay the "going market price." Draft position simply doesn’t matter, so it evens the playing field tremendously.
B. Auctions are more flexible.In a snake draft, you're forced to get players evenly distributed throughout the draft (i.e. one 1st rounder, one 2nd rounder, one 3rd rounder, etc.). In an auction, you can build whatever team you want, however you want. You can spend 80% of your cap on two or three can’t-miss 1st-rounders and surround them with low-priced sleepers. In an auction, you can have both Shaun Alexander and Clinton Portis in the same backfield. If, however, you feel that too many 1st-rounders turn into season-breaking busts year after year, you can skip all of them and go after a bunch of 2nd-, 3rd-, and 4th-rounders. How about a lineup of Eli Manning at QB, Domanick Davis and Brian Westbrook at RB, and Torry Holt and Hines Ward at WR? If you feel a more balanced team is the way to go (like in a snake draft), you can also build such a team, but now you have much more control on which players to target. If you're a big Bucs fan and think Gruden has their offense on an upswing, you can make sure they’re all on your squad. If you just have to have Tom Brady on your team, he’s yours. You can pick your battles much more effectively, allowing you to have your true "fantasy" team makeup.
C. Auctions are more fun.More than half an hour can go by between picks in a snake draft, making much of it a spectator sport. In an auction, you can bid on players you don't want just to drive the price up. Each time a player is placed on the auction block, the whole league can participate, making the process much more interactive. Not only will everyone's hearts beat a little faster every time "Going twice" is called out, but there are also more opportunities to turn on each other and talk trash about it.
D. Auctions are more strategic.Part of what makes auctions so fun is how much strategy is involved. In a snake draft, the only strategy revolves around "what position should I take in X round," which is followed by the more exciting "everyone after me already has a QB/RB/WR, so I can wait until next round to get mine." The auction draft changes this mindless who's-next-on-my-cheat-sheet game into one with as much strategy as chess and poker rolled into one. Can I drive the price on a player up or am I going to get stuck with a guy I don't want? Should I save my salary cap space for the upcoming bargains or am I going to miss out on all the quality players? When will the bargains be? What kind of a team do I want to build? Should I overpay for the last franchise RB on the board? How do I convince people I want players I really don't? What other mind games can I play?
Regardless of all these reasons, the best way to convince first-timers is just to have them try it, and it's never been easier with our mock auction rooms at FantasyAuctioneer.com. Try it for free against 11 computer players or log into the site and join or create a public or private auction to go up against real people. You can also get our Average Auction Values, value sheets, and strategy articles you’ll need to dominate. Introduce auctions to your league and they'll thank you on every draft day for the rest of your life!
George del Prado is a syndicated fantasy sports writer for and founder of FantasyAuctioneer.com, home of the first and only real-time auction-draft software on the Internet. In developing and maintaining the website, he is convinced he has participated in more fantasy auctions than anyone on the planet. While he is more embarrassed than proud of that, he humbly hopes you can learn a few things from his experience.
Free Fantasy Football Advice
Fantasy Football Resources