Dynasty Football Auction Draft Strategy

by Taylor Michel
Dynasty Football Auction Draft Strategy

There are many unique ways to devise a dynasty football auction draft strategy. I'm excited to share what I have learned, and go over some of the best tips to help you get a leg up on the competition come draft time.

Auction-style drafts for fantasy football are becoming more and more popular especially among experienced fantasy participants. Some argue it is the best way to do your startup drafts for dynasty leagues because it balances the league more and results in fewer "tanking" teams.

In an auction draft, you start with a set budget usually anywhere from $200-1000 and you use it to bid on players to build your team. Since snake drafts have long been the standard in the fantasy football community the auction draft concept is fairly new to a lot of people with years of experience. It requires a very different strategy than a traditional snake draft and can take some getting used to.

Auction drafts in fantasy football offer a unique and exciting experience for team owners. Unlike the traditional snake draft, auction drafts provide greater roster customization and flexibility, allowing owners to handpick their desired players. With no draft position worries and the ability to get your favorite players at the right price, it's essential to have a solid strategy in place to make the most of this format. Let's delve into some key tips that you can implement in your dynasty fantasy football auction draft strategy.

Dynasty Football Auction Draft Strategy

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Embrace Roster Customization

One of the biggest advantages of the auction draft is the ability to tailor your roster according to your preferences. You can build a team that truly reflects your football philosophy. Focus on creating a balanced squad with a mix of proven stars and promising talents to ensure long-term success.

In a snake draft, it's easy to say "I'll just take the value here, and trade for needs later", but in an auction it's very different. There tends to be less trading because everyone can build a balanced team with the players they like during the draft. To prepare for this it's helpful to make a tier list of players. Make a high tier, a middle tier, and a low tier, and divide each by position. This list will be a valuable resource for you during the draft.

No Player is Undraftable

In an auction draft, every player is available if you're willing to pay the right price. Avoid the mindset of overlooking certain players just because they are not projected as early-round picks in traditional drafts. Stay open-minded and be prepared to acquire any player who fits your team's needs and comes at a reasonable cost.
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There will be "steals" in every auction draft so it's important to pay attention during every single bid. You may not be high on a certain player but if you notice they are going for well under the projected price you might want to take a shot on them. This can happen at any time during the draft, but oftentimes it happens at the very beginning when everyone is still trying to figure out player values. Last year, Josh Jacobs was this player in many leagues and he won many fantasy championships.

Even if it's a player that you were not necessarily targeting if you can get them for a major discount it can drastically help your team.

Be Aggressive Early

This is probably my number one tip when preparing a dynasty auction draft strategy. It's better to spend big early on players you truly believe in than to hold back and hope for bargains later. Top-tier quarterbacks in Superflex leagues, for example, can be game-changers. Investing a significant portion of your budget in a reliable QB can set a strong foundation for your team's success.

The only way to be successful while being conservative in an auction draft is if you are the only person in your league doing so. If all of your league mates are spending big early and by the time all of the big names are off the board all of them have greatly depleted their budgets then you may be able to get a ton of great values on middle and lower tier players, but this rarely happens.
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Most of the time more than one team will avoid bidding early thinking they'll be able to get some good players for bargains, but what happens is these teams just end up in bidding wars over this tier of players and end up driving the prices even higher. For instance, let's say you pass on the first two tiers of wide receivers thinking you are going to snag Drake London for well below his projected cost, but two other people are thinking the same thing. Next thing you know he goes for two times his projected cost and you still have no one rostered.

Do not be shy about spending your budget to start the draft, especially for foundational players.

Budget Wisely

Before your auction draft, it's important to take some time to look at your budget and allocate percentages to certain position groups. This will help you stay disciplined during the draft and prevent you from spending too much on any one position group.

My last draft was for a PPR (Point Per Reception) league that required 1QB, 2RB, 2WR, 1TE, and 4FLEX so before my draft I determined that I would spend 50% on my WR room, 25% on my RB room, 15% on my QB room, and 10% on my TE room.

Depending on your specific league settings you may want to adjust those percentages. For example, if you're league is Superflex you will want to allocate more budget to the QB position, or if it's TEP (tight end premium) you should plan to spend a little more of your budget on your tight end room.

The bulk of your budget should go toward your starting lineup, but it is also important to save some of it to fill out your bench, especially in leagues with multiple FLEX spots. If you're only able to spend $1 on each of your bench players it's hard to find quality players that will be able to produce for your team during bye weeks and in case of injury to one or more of your starters.

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Monitor Your League Mates

Pay close attention to your opponents' strategies during the auction. Monitor who they are targeting and how much budget they have remaining. This information can help you identify potential value picks and adjust your bids accordingly.
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You always want to get your league mates to blow their budget quickly on players you are not particularly high on. It helps if you can identify the type of players your opponents are higher on than you are. Maybe you're like me and don't buy into the Bear's passing offense hype for this season, and your league mate just won a bid on Justin Fields. They may be more likely to overpay for DJ Moore or Cole Kmet to get a stack so you can probably drive that price up a little bit for those players.

Knowing your league mates and their draft tendencies will go a long way in helping you with your dynasty auction draft strategy.

Nominate Strategically

Lower than Consensus

As you know now there is no draft order in an auction draft, however, there is a nomination order. Each team will be given a set amount of time to select a player that will be bid on, and there is a fair amount of strategy involved.

Remember I told you to have a tier list ready of all the players you want to target in the draft? It's time to get the pen and pad out again and this time jot down all of the players you are either lower on than consensus or entirely out on. These are the names you're going to nominate throughout the draft.

Before the draft, you should sit down and identify the most controversial fantasy assets. Players who will be playing in a new offense, with a new team, second-year players who have yet to break out, guys playing in offenses that are projected to have a low scoring output, or play on teams without a proven QB. There are many names you can find to fill out this list and chances are a lot of your opponents in your league will be higher on them than you are. By nominating these players you can get your league mates to spend their budget on players you never even had an interest in having on your roster.

Higher than Consensus

While I recommend nominating players you're lower on most of the time it is important to sprinkle in some players that you do like that maybe you are higher on than most people. A perfect example for 2023 would be Diontae Johnson. Maybe you're higher on Johnson than a lot of the fantasy community, and by nominating him somewhat early on in an auction draft you get him at a great price. Your league mates will see all of these other great wide receivers still on the board and not want to bid on a guy like Diontae.
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Nomination strategies are one of the most important aspects of any auction draft so plan accordingly.

Have Fun With It

Auction drafts in fantasy football present the opportunity for managers to build their dream team without the constraints of draft positions. Embrace this freedom by developing a well-thought-out strategy, budgeting wisely, and staying adaptable during the bidding process. With these tips in mind, you'll be better prepared to dominate your dynasty auction draft and set your team up for success.


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