Categorized | Football, NFL

12 Stats That Will Totally Change Your Fantasy Football Auction Strategy

My focus in fantasy football is auction. Fantasy football auctions and I go together like… well, real-life auctioneers and amphetamines. 

Whereas auction seems to be about 5% of the focus of fantasy football pundits (and players), it’s 95% of my job. I’m glad: Auctions are way more entertaining than snake drafts. As any Middle Eastern street vendor knows, going to a store and choosing an item you want is not nearly as fun as haggling over the price of every single thing you buy. As such, I’m not even in any snake drafts, this year, and I don’t miss them one bit.

The purpose of that preceding paragraph was to qualify myself as a fantasy football auction advice-giver (and to fulfill my contractual obligation of two dadjokes per article.) Recently, I’ve been poring over stats from the last few years, and come to the realization that a lot of people are approaching 2016 fantasy football auctions with strategies that seem correct, but just don’t have the numbers to support them. For the purpose of generating these statistics, I used ESPN standard scoring leagues. The recommended auction values I used can be found here and here. If, for some reason, you find that the numbers presented do not represent the corresponding line of reasoning, tell me why in the comments, please. It is only with our collective nerd powers that we can come up with a series of rules to maximize our auction prowess despite copious consumption of alcohol.

High Priced WRs are a Trap

1 WR1 Value fixed

The price of a top 12 WR shot up 12% this year. This happened despite the fact that top 12 WRs actually averaged slightly fewer points per game last year than the year before. Sure, part of the price spike is a market correction due to WRs being undervalued in previous seasons, but until the market straightens itself out, it’s best to avoid high-priced WR1s


The Waiting Game Is Not Any Better Than It Was Before

2 Wait and see strat

Because of this, many are claiming that the “wait a few rounds before buying any players” strategy is more viable now than ever before. After all, higher priced WRs means more money is getting sucked from the total pot, right? Well, as these stats show, the price of the top 12, 24, and 36 players is relatively the same this year as last. That’s not to say “wait and see” isn’t an excellent strategy, just that it’s no more viable than it ever was


Huge Value Can Be Found in Knee-Jerking Auction Leagues

3 Compensation for Costly WRs

So where is this extra money going? Well the price of an RB1 dropped 8.3 %, while the cost of a top 6 QB dropped a mind-blowing 36 %. People got burned hard taking a high-priced RB and QB last year, and the market has adjusted accordingly. It’s critical to know the values of top 6 QBs and top 12 RBs: There’s a good chance your league might go too far on this adverse reaction, leaving value to be had at the top


Don’t Do QB Bidding Wars

4 QB1 Went up

Despite the huge drop in top 6 QB cost, the average price of a top 12 QB actually went up. Whereas the top QBs were the first to rocket up fantasy charts thanks to the pass-heavy modern NFL, all other signal callers are catching up. There’s no point in taking a QB for more than his value, so don’t do bidding wars at this position


B-List QBs Are Better Than Ever

5 zero dollar QBs

Similarly, ESPN had no 2015 quarterbacks valued above $0 outside the top 12. This season, they have 17. There’s never been a better time to wait on QB and just grab one for a dollar (or even grab two)


Insist upon Value for QB

6 Any QB is Fine

The key thing to takeaway is that any quarterback is good value in relation to any other, AS LONG AS YOU GET THEM FOR MARKET VALUE OR LESS


Tier 1b RBs Are The Worst Value

7 Low End RB1s Are Poor Value

Getting low end RBs is a popular way to feel solid about one’s ball carriers without paying a mint on a top guy. But the numbers show this is actually the least optimal strategy. Note the drop in % of total score between low end RB2s and high end RB1s. It’s disproportionate to the loss in total points one averages between these two tiers.


Low End RB2s Are Where It’s At

8 Get all Low End RB2s

Frankly, the strategy I’m currently leaning towards is to spend ~$80 and get all six low-end RB2s. Last year, this would have netted me top 10 RBs Todd Gurley and Latavius Murray. This year, that segment includes breakout candidates Jeremy Langford, Arian Foster, Matt Jones, DeMarco Murray, and, again, Latavius Murray



9 WRs better than RBs

Even in standard (non-PPR) scoring, it is better to get a top WR than a similarly ranked RB


Low End RB2b>Low End WR2

10 Sneaky RB2 Value

While this holds true for WRs and RBs in the top 18, check out the lower RB2s vs the lower WR2s: There is a value shift there, and the RB starts being worth more for the cost than the WR. Again, low-end RB2s appear to demand extra focus in this year’s drafts


A Team Can’t Be Made Entirely from Value Picks

11 Don't rely entirely on value

Let me be very clear: This isn’t saying that your best bet is to draft nothing but low end WR2s and RB2s. Obviously, having 6 WR2s is kinda useless when you can only start two or three. Instead, use this knowledge to round out a few stud top-tier players with sneaky value picks


The TE Sweet Spot

12 TE Sweet Spot

Finally, one last tip: You can usually get the most savings and value by waiting on a tight end. In fact, the sweet spot seems to be tight ends ranked 4th-9th, which deliver a comparable amount of production to the top 3, with a significantly lower price tag

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