Fantasy Football Auction Leagues and Rules
If you are looking to up your fantasy game, auction draft leagues are a great place to start. Auction leagues offer a unique challenge in fantasy football, where players are nominated and bid on, as opposed to standard leagues where teams take turns drafting players. It will certainly spice up your draft and create a new and interesting strategy throughout the fantasy season.
Auction league definition — how it works
Auction leagues work virtually the same as standard leagues except for the way in which players are drafted. Instead of each team taking its turn to draft a player, each team will take turns nominating a player to be bid on.
In standard auction leagues teams will have a fixed draft budget, starting at 200 points. In many cases these points are assigned a monetary value, and the draft is essentially conducted like a real auction.
After a player has been nominated to be drafted, teams can begin to place bids on the player. The team with the highest bid will win the player, and the amount bid will be deducted from that team's budget. This will continue on until every team has a full roster of players.
Generally each team is restricted to a maximum bid for an individual player. The maximum bid is determined by taking each team's remaining budget and subtracting the number of empty slots available on each roster.
In other words, if you have 15 roster spots and 200 draft points available and you bid 41 points on Adrian Peterson in the first round and win the bid, you will have 14 roster spots and 159 available points, making your next maximum bid 145.
Common auction league rules
Auction leagues come in a wide variety of rules and regulations. Standard leagues will generally have a 200 point budget for the draft and a 100 point budget for picking up free agents. When these points are gone, no more transactions can be made, so bid with caution.
For simplicity sake, some leagues will revert to a non-auction league format after the draft has concluded, where the salary cap and player values no longer apply.
Other leagues may take it one step further, however, and have a total salary cap for the entire season. In this format the points used for the draft and for free agent acquisition are the same. This can create some wildly varying strategies as some teams will use their entire budget in the draft, and others will save some budget to make room for free agents on the rise throughout the season.
Auction leagues are commonly combined with keeper leagues as well. Generally teams will have a separate budget for keeper players only. Common options also include having fixed increase of cost for each year a player is kept.
For example, a league may stipulate that for every year a player is kept his cost will increase 5 points. So for example, if you got a player for 12 points and wanted to keep him, the following year he would cost you 17, and if you kept him again the season after that his point value would be 22, and so on.
Another option, which isn't as popular, is holding teams accountable for dropping players. In this format if you drop a player you will lose his (fantasy) salary off of your remaining salary cap. In other words, if you draft a player for 10 points and then drop him, you will lose those 10 points off of your total salary cap for the remainder of the season.
Strategy for managing an auction league team
Managing an auction league team will be largely the same as any other fantasy team after the draft. The key points are to be well prepared before the draft so you have a good gauge on player values, and to maintain flexibility in your roster, whether it be through solid backup players, or from having available free agent points to pick up any available players on the rise.
Because of the limitations on how many transactions you might be able to make, teams will generally take a more cautious approach trading and picking up free agents in auction leagues. In standard leagues it is common for teams to make free agent waiver pickups week by week, picking up a player or defense with a good matchup.
That strategy is much more expensive in this format and could result in a team not being able to make critical changes late in the year if a problem arises within their roster.
Free agent waiver pickups are handled in a completely different way than in standard leagues as well. Instead of there being a waiver priority (based on team rankings in reverse order), all teams have an equal chance at getting any available free agents.
It simply comes down to whom has the highest bid, so again, having a good knowledge of player value can be paramount to your success.