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Current Auction Values: Are You Overpaying?

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There's no reason to spend a large amount on a quarterback in auctions. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
There's no reason to spend a large amount on a quarterback in auctions. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The increasingly popular auction draft is taking the fantasy community by storm, and with that, it is necessary to properly prepare for what is such a drastically different format than the traditional snake draft. I discussed in the last auction article “A Popular New Way To Draft” some basic strategies including budgeting and spending properly. When preparing for a snake draft, most look at rankings and average draft position (ADP) as a way to help guide them through a draft. Unfortunately, rankings and ADP do not help in auction formats and can be a little misguiding when participating in an auction. A great way to prepare for these drafts is to sit down with your rankings and identify four to five players that will build your core - players that you will spend the majority of your budget on - these players should be comprised of at least two running backs, two wide receivers and possibly one of the elite tight ends. If the price is right, these players should fall within the Top 24 on your ranking sheets. A great reference is Jake Ciely’s Expert Consensus Top 100.

Let's look at recent auction drafts and what we can learn from them. What I have done is pulled the Top 12 most expensive players in the latest auction drafts from MyFantasyLeague.com, and we are going to take a look at some trends to take advantage of and trends to avoid when it comes to these types of drafts.  One thing to keep in mind is that these values or other price recommendations are exactly what they are: suggestions. Just because a guide caps a player at a certain dollar amount, it doesn't mean shouldn’t go above that a few dollars to get that player. How awful would you feel if you capped Calvin Johnson and lost him by $2 and then ended your draft with an extra $3 you didn’t end up using? Believe me it happens all the time.

*Values are taken from MyFantasyLeague.com for the month of July 2013. These values are based on 12 team PPR leagues with a starting budget of $200

1 Peterson, Adrian MIN RB $51
2 Johnson, Calvin DET WR $46
3 Martin, Doug TBB RB $44
4 Charles, Jamaal KCC RB $42
5 Foster, Arian HOU RB $40
6 Richardson, Trent CLE RB $38
7 Rodgers, Aaron GBP QB $38
8 Green, A.J. CIN WR $38
9 McCoy, LeSean PHI RB $37
10 Spiller, C.J. BUF RB $37
11 Rice, Ray BAL RB $36
12 Brees, Drew NOS QB $35

1. Adrian Peterson $51: At just over 25 percent of your entire salary, getting Peterson at this price isn’t terrible, but as the No. 1 overall player he is going to create an insane bidding war, and not one that I want to get caught up in. In fact, Peterson went for $100 with a $200 budget in my latest auction mock, which just goes to show crazy people will get over him. Although he is an excellent fantasy asset, he’s not a player I’m breaking the bank on this year.

2. Calvin Johnson $46: Another player that is going to cause a bit of a bidding war is Calvin Johnson, but unlike Peterson I’m a little more likely to spend big money on him. Why? Elite wide receivers usually are much more predictable and are less likely for regression, especially Johnson who only scored five touchdowns last year. Go for it, but be careful when you exceed 25 percent of your total budget.

3. Doug Martin $43: Martin is the center-piece of the Buccaneers offense and a true No. 1 running back, if you are getting him $10 cheaper than Peterson, I would say that’s a win.

4. Jamal Charles $42: With the arrival of Andy Reid, there are high expectations for the Chiefs running back - another player I wouldn’t mind paying top dollar for, strictly for the upside especially in PPR. I know there are concerns with inconsistency and injury history, but Charles should be used more than ever, and even with his limited carries last year, Charles was a Top 10 fantasy running back.

5. Arian Foster $40: Not shocked to see Foster fifth on this list, and it just goes to show that this is a buying opportunity for the one of the most consistent fantasy running back. Rumors of wear and tear and a potential loss of carries to Ben Tate are being completely overstated. If you can get Foster for 20 percent of your budget or less, do it in a heartbeat.

6. Trent Richardson $38: Not a bad price for Richardson, who is potentially going to receive a massive amount of carries. However, I would only target Richardson if I missed on the previous five players. Richardson has a high floor, but injury concerns and limited upside would make me hesitant to spend top dollar. At this point, you are narrowing your window for one of the elite running backs though so be careful and monitor this situation.

7. Aaron Rodgers $38: Please help me understand this, in no rankings or ADP is Rodgers in the Top 10, and here he’s the seventh highest priced player in auction drafts. This is the same philosophy as waiting on a quarterback in snake drafts. Do yourself a favor and grab Tony Romo for $5 at the end of the draft. Use the bulk of you money on positions that matter, most importantly, running back and wide receiver.

8. A.J. Green $38: Still a legitimate top wide receiver, but being priced much higher than Brandon Marshall and Dez Bryant is a little crazy to me. Green is a player who’s name alone might drive up the price, and with the arrival of rookie Tyler Eifert, I’m not sure Green has the ceiling to be going for this kind of money. I would advise passing at his price and waiting for wide receiver value later in your auction.

9. LeSean McCoy $37: There is quite a bit of hype surrounding new Eagles coach Chip Kelly, so I’m surprised to see McCoy ninth on this list. In my opinion, he is totally worth this price and more. I think some have concerns after he came off a disappointing season and fear Bryce Brown may take away from his productivity. It’s all speculation at this point, but everything I’ve read points to McCoy getting  a ton of work this year in Kelly’s offense, no need to be shy here.

 10. C.J. Spiller $37: The C.J. Spiller hype is real, and I fully expect this price to be on the low end of the spectrum. If you can grab Spiller in the 30 to 40 dollar range I would go for it, as his upside is extremely high in PPR. Be advised that this is still a timeshare with Fred Jackson, and it's a brand new offense with new additions to the offensive line.

11.  Ray Rice $36: Oh how the mighty have fallen. Considered a top option in PPR for the last few years, Rice finds himself going on average almost $10 less than Doug Martin. This is slightly amazing to me, as I still think Rice has just as high of a ceiling as any running back on the board in PPR formats. Some may cry the success of Bernard Pierce at the end of last year, but you need to understand Rice has been successful as a top back even in timeshares with the likes of Ricky Williams and Willis McGahee. This is an excellent opportunity to take advantage of people undervaluing Rice in auction formats.

12. Drew Brees $35: Oh no here we go again… Even though Brees is my top ranked quarterback with the return of Sean Payton, this is another expensive quarterback situation I want to avoid. If you are starting a dynasty team there may be reason to pay big bucks for a quarterback, but in the redraft scenario, there is no place for waste like this. Focus on your running backs and wide receivers; I would even take tight end Jimmy Graham over Brees for this price