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25 Fantasy Baseball Auction League Tips

Fantasy Baseball Auction Leagues take fantasy baseball to a higher level than traditional draft leagues.  There’s an extra degree of strategy that doesn’t exist in a traditional draft league.

In auction leagues, you can’t simply grab one of the magazines at your local newsstand and follow its recommendations, because there is no upfront, defined strategy.  There are too many variables; too many moving parts.  It’s the difference between checkers and chess.

Auction fantasy baseball formats continue to increase in popularity, mostly because they are more fun.  If you are an advanced fantasy baseball player who has been playing for several years. the conventional snake draft format starts to get old.  In fact, Yahoo Fantasy Baseball has even introduced an auction format this year, including apps to make your life easier.

Here are some tips that will help you win your fantasy baseball auction league this year.

1.  Spend Your Money — If, at the end of the auction, you have the most money left, you have probably done a poor job.  I’m not suggesting that you over-pay for players, but don’t hoard your money for riches that will never come.  Remember, it’s not real money and it doesn’t earn interest.

2.  Keep Track of the Other Manager’s Money — When involved in a bid against another manager, it’s a good idea to know exactly how much money he has left.  This will put you at a distinct advantage when bidding against another manager for a specific player.

3.  The Best Values Usually are Late in the Draft — Therefore, it’s best to save funds for late in the draft.  Trailing the average amount spent by most managers is the best financial position to be in.

4.  Be a Poker Face — Don’t let your opponents know the players you are especially interested in.  Don’t bid early on every player that you are interested in.  If you want to acquire Chase Utley, don’t wear a Chase Utley jersey to the auction.

1 BUCK: Gio Gonzalez

1 BUCK: Gio Gonzalez

5.  Don’t Bluff on Introducing Players — Unless you are truly interested in acquiring a player, don’t announce him.  When you announce: “Gio Gonzalez for $1,” watch out.  You just may end up with him on your roster.

6.  No Two Auctions are Ever Alike — This is why you play the auction method in the first place.  It’s unpredictable.  Just because an auction was top-heavy with superstars last year, that’s no reason to think it will be the same this season.  Be willing to change strategy as the auction progresses.

7.  Nominations — Nominate some players that you really want and some that you don’t really want.  Keep varying your strategy so the other managers don’t get a read on your strategy.

8.  Spending Strategy — In shallow leagues, those with just a few teams, it’s all about picking up the superstars–A-Rod; Pujols; Howard; HanRam.  In deep leagues, you are truly only as good as your worst bench player.

9.  Utility Spot — If you have a utility spot in your league, save it until as late as possible in the draft.  The utility spot is a wild card to be used on the player that offers the most fantasy clout, regardless of position.

10.  All In — Another reason that you want to keep track of your opponent’s bankroll is that if you have a chance to break that bankroll, it’s a good idea to do so.  Then, he’s down to bidding just $1 per player the rest of the way and he’s not going to end up with anything spectacular.

11.  Be Alert — There’s no time to slack off.  Every player is a potential member of your team.  Don’t dog it.

12.  Evaluate All Players — Have an average amount that you are willing to pay for every potential player, but don’t be too stringent on that list.  You need to stay loose and flexible.

Nationals Treasure: Stephen Strasburg

Nationals Treasure: Stephen Strasburg

13.  Throw Out a Touted Player Early — Get other managers to over-pay for hot names early.  I’m throwing out Stephen Strasburg as my first nomination.  It’s always a good idea to throw out names of players that you don’t want early.

14.  Talk Trash — Throw out a stat or mention an injury that a player has had.  You can find something to say about almost any player depending on how you want the auction for that player to go.  Besides, it’s fun.

15.  Find Starters — In deep leagues, you need to find starters on lousy teams rather than better part-time players on good teams.  You can’t score points if you aren’t on the field.  Sure, a poor hitting starter may hurt your batting average a little, but you’re better off picking up the occasional RBI he’ll get.

16.  Don’t Pay for Saves — Don’t over-pay for saves.  It’s a mantra in all kinds of fantasy baseball leagues.

17.  Caffeine Helps — Late in the draft, managers get tired.  This is the time to find a bargain.  Keep some Red Bull with you.

18.  Position Scarcity — Joe Mauer is even more valuable given that there aren’t that many catchers that can hit.  If you are going to over-pay for stats, do so at the catcher position or second base.  In the outfield, you are better off with 5 average guys than 2 stars and 3 at the bottom of the list. actually has a chart that allocates your budget by position.

19.  Homers — We are not talking about dingers here, but hometown players that are usually over-valued in auction drafts.  In the leagues I play in, Phillies players fit those guidelines.  It does you no good that you can see Shane Victorino steal a base in person than if you get a stolen base out of Matt Kemp.

20.  Getting a SuperStar — If you shell out big bucks for a superstar like Tim Lincecum, immediately toss out a nomination for another superstar like Roy Halladay.  This will quickly dissipate the pocketbooks of your competition and put yourself on an even fold.

21.  Magazines Under-Value Stars — The magazines give values for players based on statistics only.  Star players will go for much more than is listed in the magazines so don’t be afraid to over-pay for Ryan Braun.

22.  Take a Chance on a Catcher — Pick up one reliable and consistent catcher and take a chance on potential with the second catcher.  You won’t lose much if it doesn’t work out and if Buster Posey is as good as the hype, it’s an awesome selection.

23.  Rookies vs. Re-treads — Yes, it’s really cool to land Justin Smoak, but you are almost always better off with a reliable aging veteran like Johnny Damon.

24.  Pay for Steals — Steals are the most over-valued statistic in fantasy baseball when compared to the real thing.  Be willing to pay for steals.  You can dominate the category with a Jacoby Ellsbury or Michael Bourne.

25.  Hitters vs. Pitchers Bids — The adage in baseball is that pitching is 80% of the game.  Well, in fantasy baseball, pitching is nowhere near 80% of the game; it’s 30% of the game.  A proper ratio for your auction dollars is 70% on hitters and 30% on pitchers.

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