Wednesday, February 27, 2013

NL Only League Auction Draft Tips and Strategies

Fantasy baseball advice these days is plentiful, but when it comes to your auction draft, trying to weed through the best strategies can be overwhelming. Below are thoughts that draftees should consider when preparing for their auction draft.

- Stick to your game plan. When you have needs at a position or category, and a player who fits that criteria is on the board for less than expected, you can deviate from your plan to purchase that value. However, if another player you like goes for less (let's say $5) but is not needed (position or category), let that player slide in the first half of the draft as it could interfere with your overall plan. So if you are strong in speed, I don't care if Ben Revere goes for a few dollars less, that is not your area of need. Stick to your draft plan and get what you need.

- In the second half of the draft when teams have serious money restrictions that is when it's a good time to add to a strength when players go under value and only cost you a few dollars. So using that speed scenario if in the 2nd half of the draft Gregor Blanco goes for a song then grab him and add to your strength.

- Know your other owners tendencies and how that will impact your draft plan. Must size up the competition on who else in your league are possible suitors for your targeted players. In keeper leagues, you can e-mail owners and chat about trade offers which is a great way to collect information.

- You must monitor during the draft the other owners who need the same kind of players as you and where they stand during the draft with their draft dollars.

- Remember steals and saves are like a game of musical chairs, don't be caught at the end of the draft without a chair. If you are chasing these categories late in the draft odds are you will be overpaying for mediocre talent.

- At the end, if you are going to be a little bit short on something, make it a hitter and not a pitcher. A lot more players come through the waiver wire that are at least decent hitters than players who can help you're starting rotation or saves. Also a lot easier to trade for a hitter than a quality pitcher.

- Sometimes you have to overpay in the draft. If the guys on your draft board list start dwindling down, you must make sure you secure the kind of players you need to win. If that means you have to overpay by a few dollars for that player so be it, much better than losing out on the talent.

- Do not put yourself in a position where there is an area of need and there is one guy left that you must have. Reason being you could wind up in a bidding war and the result is you will way overpay.

- Attack the draft with your draft dollars. Most owners increase their bids by $1 or $2 at a time. Do not be afraid to increase the bid by $7 or $8 or even more as long as you're getting the player you want at your estimated price. In any kind of auction there is a psychology to it. Also remember many owners get cautious as you break certain threshold numbers during the draft especially after the first couple of rounds. Take advantage of that. Threshold numbers would be $10, $15, $25 etc., so bid just beyond those thresholds.

- Do everything you can to save a few bucks for roughly your last 6 players so you have purchasing power for those last roster slots. This will be huge as you will be able to get the better secondary players at the end of the draft. Very hard filling out the back of your roster when you have $7 for the last 5 roster spots.

- Target a promising prospect who could be up in 2 months into the season as your 14 hitter for $1. There will be a future article on the prospects who can impact 2013 in the next couple of weeks.

- Don't take too many older players, or too many rookies, or too many injury risks or too many guys trying to bounce back from poor seasons. Pick your spots wisely and use a balanced approach.

- Early on it's a good idea to bring up players that you won't be bidding on to get some of the competition draft dollars drained as soon as possible, especially a manager who could be in the running with you for your primary targets.

- Remember do not draft any player who kills you in the percentage categories - ERA, Ratio and batting average unless those players make strong contributions in the other categories. If you get one of these kind of players keep it to a minimun. Agan coming soon an article on the percentage categories.

- Finally you must be patient with your draft plan. Don't panic. As long as there are players on the board that fit the bill for your open core slots there is no reason to panic. As your lists start to dwindle like I said above you may have to spend a little bit more than you like to secure the talent. Remember every draft is it's own animal.

NL King - C.Lizza

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