Week 1 of the 2015 NFL season is already in the books, so I wanted to recap my draft results from my 10-team auction draft. I will try to explain my approach that I took on draft day, and over the course of the season I will revisit my explanation of waiver wire pickups.
Here were the roster positions available ($200 budget):
WR – 3
RB – 2
TE – 1
K – 1
DEF – 1
BN – 6
My general strategy is to go hard or go home during auction drafts. This means I am not afraid to blow through 75% of my budget on three or four top tier players. I have reasons for this that I will explain at some other time, but for the time being I will say simply that this strategy has worked for me in several different types of fantasy sports leagues. Time to use it again.
The first player I acquired, Calvin Johnson ($43), was the first player to be nominated. Although not quite the same caliber of player as he was just a few years ago, I feel that he has at least the possibility of ending up as the #1 receiver in the league and so for $43, this pick presented a good value. Because rosters start three WRs and only two RBs,
I find that the first player nominated in an auction draft can sometimes be had at very good prices. The reason for this is that at the beginning of the draft, team owners are unable to accurately value top tier players. Should the #1 player go for $55? $60? $65 or more? Until owners actually start bidding and winning several players in the draft, it’s really difficult to say, and so some of them may decide to sit out a pick or two before valuations become more predictable.
I picked up my next player, Adrian Peterson ($61), as the third player taken overall. He was arguably the best player overall in the draft, so he was a natural choice in my decision to concentrate my budget on a few high-talent players, rather than disperse it among many better-than-average players. The price was perhaps a tad more than I would have liked for him, but he was still three dollars less than the price of Eddie Lacy ($64), who was chosen by another team as the eighth pick overall.
My next player acquired was Randall Cobb ($38) as the twelfth overall pick. I would have preferred to wait and add a receiver who would provide higher upside since there were still several that were yet-to-be nominated, but Cobb’s price was fairly attractive. I anticipate that his floor will be rather high this season because a) he has moved into the #1 receiver spot on his team, b) he has a proven track record even as a #2 receiver in past seasons, c) he benefits from the talents of arguably the best quarterback in the league, and d) he plays on an offense that will almost certainly generate more points than 75% of the rest of the teams in the league.
At this point in the draft, I had spent $142 on three players, which left me with a maximum bid of about $47 for any single player (this would leave me with the required $1 in reserve to fill players in other roster spots). Because of this, I was unable to compete on top talent such as Antonio Brown ($54), Jamaal Charles ($56), or Dez Bryant ($54). Blowing the rest of my budget on a single player would not have been the end of the world, but I find that extending the last 25% or so of my budget by drafting low-cost, “value” picks provides me with a great deal of flexibility in accumulating supporting players for my team.
Fortunately, my next selection was my best yet: I acquired Aaron Rodgers ($28) as the #33 pick of the draft. I call this my “best” pick because of its relative value. Relative to the Andrew Luck ($47, pick #31), Rodgers was clearly the better value because he cost much less but will likely provide similar fantasy numbers. Relative to other positions players who went later for around the same price (Lamar Miller, $31; Brandin Cooks, $27; Emmanuel Sanders, $30), Rodgers was clearly a better place to put money.
My acquisition of Rodgers left me with a new maximum bid of about $19, so I was unable to compete for many quality players after that apart from Julian Edelman ($13, pick #40) and Jordan Cameron ($7, #86). I ended up getting stuck with the injured Julius Thomas ($1) after nominating him as auction bait. No one bit, but it didn’t cost me anything apart from a minimally-priced roster spot.
My final draft results were as follows:
1. (1) Calvin Johnson (Det – WR) $43
2. (3) Adrian Peterson (Min – RB) $61
3. (12) Randall Cobb (GB – WR) $38
4. (33) Aaron Rodgers (GB – QB) $28
5. (40) Julian Edelman (NE – WR) $13
6. (43) St. Louis (StL – DEF) $2
7. (73) Julius Thomas (Jax – TE) $1
8. (86) Jordan Cameron (Mia – TE) $7
9. (93) Teddy Bridgewater (Min – QB) $1
10. (111) Matt Jones (Was – RB) $1
11. (131) Alfred Blue (Hou – RB) $1
12. (136) Danny Amendola (NE – WR) $1
13. (140) DeAngelo Williams (Pit – RB) $1
14. (143) Matt Prater (Det – K) $1
15. (146) Arizona (Ari – DEF) $1
Overall, my draft went well with Tier 1 talent at the QB position, RB position, and Tier 1/Tier 2 talent at two WR positions. One gaping hole in my roster was at my second RB position. I drafted DeAngelo Williams ($1) as cheap starter for the first two weeks of the season (while RB1 Le’Veon Bell is suspended), and I figured that some other running back would emerge on the waiver wire during that time whom I can target. Other picks of mine, such as Alfred Blue ($1) and Matt Jones ($1) are more speculative and will probably not be worth holding on for the long term.