Fantasy Auction Values: Low-Cost, High-Value
by Rob Pallazola
Aug 11, 2013 1:25 PM EDT
Auction drafts are becoming more and more popular with every passing season, and this season that upward rising trend continues. There are many strategies to drafting in auction leagues, and some of them have been discussed here by our own Charles Murphy. Going into any draft with a strategy is always important. In the case of auctions, it’s always a good idea to have a limit to what you are willing to spend on a particular player. An example of this would be setting your own hard price for Doug Martin at say $47 in a 12-team auction with a budget of $200. That way, you won’t over-bid yourself, ensuring that you will have money left to fill the rest of your roster. With this in mind, it seems like a good idea to talk about some players that are less expensive, but will be great values to help you win this season. *Values are taken from MyFantasyLeague.com for the month of July 2013. These values are based on 12 team Standard Scoring leagues with a starting budget of $200 Quarterbacks Tony Romo $13 Tony Romo finished in the 2012 season as the eighth QB in fantasy points. He is often very underrated in fantasy, even though he has thrown for 4,184 or more yards in four of the past six seasons. He may not be as glamourous of a choice as Aaron Rodgers ($36), but he is a steal at $13. Andy Dalton $8 The Bengals quarterback is another example of finding an above average player for a lower price. In his two NFL seasons, Dalton has lead the Bengals back to the playoffs, and he has a serious weapon in WR A.J. Green. He may be very useful in a pinch as a bye week fill in, but could surprise some this year with the additions of RB Giovani Bernard and TE Tyler Eifert. Running Backs Ahmad Bradshaw $7 The former Giants RB has had issues with injuries since coming into the NFL - only making it through a full 16 game schedule once since 2007 - but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been useful in fantasy leagues. He gained 1,015 yards rushing and 245 yards receiving with six TDs in 14 games last season. That's better than what Ryan Mathews did in 12 games, and he is going for about $12. Now with the Colts, Bradshaw could beat out RB Vick Ballard for the top spot, and $7 isn’t a bad price for a solid running back two option. Andre Brown $5 David Wilson had a few chances to claim the starting running back role for the Giants last season, and failed to capitalize on them due in part to missed pass protection assignments. That left the door open for journeyman Andre Brown to step in and showcase his talents. If Wilson struggles with pass blocking and fumbling again, we could see a repeat scenario. Even if that doesn't happen, Brown should still be the goal line back giving him value for the low $5 price. Wide Receivers Torrey Smith $12 With Anquan Boldin in San Francisco, Smith is on his own as the No. 1 wide receiver on a balanced Ravens offense. Smith hauled in 49 passes for 855 yards, scored eight TDs and could be poised for more production this season. So why is he going for what seems so little? Not sure; but he is certainly a steal as a WR1 for $12 with only WR Jacoby Jones and TE Ed Dickson to take targets away from him in 2013. Anquan Boldin $6 Speaking of Boldin, he is in somewhat of a similar situation in San Francisco as Smith is in Baltimore now that WR Michael Crabtree is out for most, if not all, of the season after having surgery on his Achilles tendon. Boldin is now the default No. 1 receiver on a team that has a slew of young players, such as rookie WR Quinton Patton and second year man A.J. Jenkins to go along with TE Vernon Davis. At $6, it’s almost like stealing points. Reggie Wayne $11 The Colts veteran was third in targets last season with 195 and and hauled in 54.4 percent of those. People keep trying to write of Wayne as he gets older, but he continues to outperform expectations and hasn’t shown signs of slowing down yet. His age may explain why he has been drafted for $11, while Hakeem Nicks is going for $15; when arguably, Nicks is not even the best receiver on his own team, and it is clear Wayne is. Tight Ends Tony Gonzalez $9 Age could be the factor here as well, but yet again, the ageless wonders have continued to perform at a high level we’ve come to expect. Tony Gonzalez scored the fourth most fantasy points among tight ends, but seems to find his way toward the bottom of the pecking order again this season. There may be more weapons to go around in Atlanta these days, but he is still one of QB Matt Ryan’s favorite red zone targets. Who doesn’t want to get a Top Five player at their position for $9? Owen Daniels $4 The Texans second best receiver in 2012 was TE Owen Daniels, who had 62 receptions for 716 yards and scored six TDs. This year, there could be a dip in production, due to the addition of rookie WR DeAndre Hopkins, which could explain the $4 going rate for Daniels. He will still be an integral part of the offense, and Daniels will continue to serve as QB Matt Schaub’s safety valve and a main red zone options in passing situations. With all the injuries on so many tight ends in the NFL and the role of the position expanding so rapidly, it seems as close to a sure bet as possible to get a Top 10 player at a $4 value.