Do you want to play checkers … or chess?– ESPN fantasy analyst Matthew Berry
Berry uses the perfect analogy to describe the perfect way to play fantasy football – at least, for those looking for a more immersive experience. While the serpentine draft is still the choice for the majority of fantasy players, auction drafts are growing in popularity — and with good reason. Between managing a budget, studying player values and deciding which players you absolutely have to have — and then engaging in a spirited bidding war — the fantasy football auction is a much more layered approach to the pastime.
For the uninitiated, an auction draft sees each team manage a pre-determined “budget” with which to fill a roster. In most cases, budgets are set at $100, $150 or $200. Players are nominated for auction individually, with the highest bidder awarded the player. This continues until every team’s roster is full. If you wind up with money left over, then congratulations! You gain nothing, except for some deserved chirping from league mates who were probably skilled enough to avoid a similar fate.
So now that the introduction is out of the way, let’s get to the strategy, beginning with a simple question.
Q: How does a fantasy fanatic excel in an auction setting?
A: Patience, patience, patience.
One more time, altogether.