In my previous articles, I explained both the basic outline of a contract and salary league, as well as the options available on certain platforms. The next step is to talk about the fantasy football implications of this format. Specifically, Auction Draft Strategy.
There are different mechanisms when it comes to auctions in contract and salary leagues. First, there is the type of auction where you select the contract term, during the auction. Usually, there will be a limited number of multi-year contracts available for fantasy football managers to use. Personally, I prefer, 3 two-year contracts, 2 three-year contracts and 1 four-year contract, but those amounts can vary from league to league.
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However, it is possible to have other types of auction contract mechanisms. In one that I have experience with, every player won in the auction is put on a one-year contract. After the season, any player on an expiring contract can be extended. Either way, the auction advice that I will provide applies to any contract and salary format.
Players not positions
In my experience, the best way to find value in an auction is to give each player a specific price. This, as opposed to budgeting a certain amount of cap space towards a position. For my first ever contract and salary cap auction, I budgeted by position. Unfortunately, I missed out on all of the top tier players, because I didn’t want to mess up these budgets that I set. This left me behind the curve initially and required me to be very active in the trade market in order to be competitive.
I have found much more success in auction drafts by calculating a value for each player. For instance, last year, I won a league title by getting players like Doug Baldwin, Zach Ertz, Marvin Jones, Ben Roethlisberger and James White. Ertz, Roethlisberger and White were key components of my team throughout the entire season, while Jones and Baldwin contributed while healthy.
The way that I won all those players in the auction was having a maximum value that I was willing to spend on each player and stuck to it. When a player like Alshon Jeffery went for much higher then I was expecting, I stayed away and was able to focus on building a solid team. It all came back to the values that I calculated.
One of the major cogs of my value calculation is determining the number of non-minimal contracts should be given out. One of the simplest ways to come up with that amount is to use the benches. In my initial stage of calculating value, each bench position accounts for a minimum-priced contract. That means the number of players that I am willing to bid on is equal to the number of starting spots throughout the entire league.
Furthermore, in leagues with kickers and defenses, I also account for those slots as minimum-priced contracts. In the past, I would pay up to get the best kickers, but now I believe that going with minimum priced options at that position is best.
It is great to have a plan going into any draft. This is especially true in auction drafts. You need to have some type of framework in order to determine if a player is going at a price that you consider a value.
However, it is equally important to be flexible. If you notice that all the players are going much lower than what you expected, then you need to adjust and not blow your budget on a handful of individuals. On the other side, if players are going much higher than you expected, then raise your budget on the three or four higher rated players remaining in order to help you secure them.
Everyone has their own player values, so it is important to find a balance between sticking to your guns and going with the flow.
Thank you for reading. Be sure to check out Full Press Coverage for more great fantasy football strategies.