Pro Football Weekly
Fantasy Football Hub
Fantasy Football Links
Great White Shark
Whale Shark I
Whale Shark II
The WALL I (IDP Only)
The WALL II (IDP Only)
Who are We?
Buttons and Banners
I’ve been in your shoes. What the heck am I doing? Why not just max and relax, and coast through the snake draft? Why put myself through this? The answer is because it’s so well worth it. For our league, it was amazing how much excitement was added to the draft. I read about it but didn’t believe it. Well, I a believer, and I’m not a Beatle! No Ringo here! If the owners are co-located, doing a live auction draft is a must!
Why is a live auction draft better than a snake draft?
I don’t plan on rehashing every word of every article written on auction drafts, but I will mention the highlights.
In a snake draft, you wait your turn, and, therefore, not every player is available to you. For example, if you have the No. 10 pick in the first round, you will never draft Arian Foster, LeSean McCoy, Aaron Rodgers and probably Calvin Johnson. Never. That’s all that needs to be said for snake drafts.
If you’re in an auction draft, you can spend as much as you want for any player you want. Any player! If you want Foster or McCoy or Rodgers, all you have to do is be the highest bidder. You just have to pay for him. You want. You spend. Simple. No other strings attached. You can plan in advance how much you want to spend for what players you want, go out and get them and really build the team you want. Free enterprise system at its best! It’s the American way! Along with football and hot dogs! Oh, and apple pie. Can’t forget the pie! (Caveat: I’m not saying you can get all the players you want, but if you’re looking for a couple of top-tier No. 1 players, Foster and Johnson, you have the opportunity to put them both on your team.)
Is it more effort to do an auction draft? Is the effort worth it? Can I minimize the effort to do a live auction draft? Yes to first question. Yes to the second question and definitely yes to the third question.
Below is a “12-Step Program: a Live Auction Draft Made Easy.”
Steps to Making a Live Auction Draft Easy
The first year in setting up a live auction draft will take the most effort. After the first year, then repeat the following years. The amount of time needed is in brackets after each step.
I found it easier to schedule the auction draft on a weekday after work, such as a Thursday at 6 p.m. I picked a place where the majority of owners work or are close by, practically no travel time, and convince the few others to make it. The 6 p.m. time gives the owners who are traveling a little more time to get there. And it’s during the week where weekend time with the family is not an issue.
Enter each team’s name, in the order they will auction players, in each column at the top. You can select names from a bag or use last season’s standings in reverse.
Enter the player positions on the left hand side, one position per row. Start with the starting positions first, RB1, RB2 QB1, etc. List the bench positions after the starting positions. The reason is that you want to ensure that every team leaves the auction with a starting lineup, and listing the starting positions at the top makes it easier to keep track of. As they purchase a player, regardless if they’re a starter or backup, put this player’s name in a starting position. You want to ensure they have a starting team when the auction is over. It doesn’t matter the makeup of their bench.
At the bottom of each column for each team, and after the last row used for bench slots, enter in the max starting bid. With a $200 budget, it’s $187 if your team has 14 total positions, both starters and bench. If you bid $187 for your first player, this will leave you with $13, or $1 to fill each of the remaining positions. You must have a full team by then end of the auction, and you have to have at least $1 to buy a player to fill each of your team’s positions. The remaining funds at the end of the auction don’t carry in to the season. The funds are only for the auction.
Example of Auction Draft Board:
The draft board will have all information I mentioned above, team names, team positions and max bid for first player, prior to the auction. The auction of Drew Brees for $40 to Team 4 is the information and budget calculation performed during the auction. The budget calculation is explained below. It made be a little basic but I don’t want to assume anything.
How to keep track of each teams budget during the auction:
Player Max Bid Reserve Remaining Actual Cost
First player $187 $13 13 $40
Budget Step 1 $187 (max bid)
-$40 (actual cost)
=$147 (funds to use on next player)
Budget Step 2 $147 (funds left)
+$1 (reserve funds)
=$148 (max bid for second player)
Your reserves will dwindle by a $1 after each position a team fills. The $1 will be added to the max bid amount that a team can bid on the next player.
Second player $148 $12 12 $30
Budget Step 1 & 2 (condensed)
$118 - $30 = $88 +1 = $89 (max bid for third player)
During the live auction draft, the equation above is what you would use at the bottom of each team’s column to keep track of funds available. You don’t want teams spending $220 when they should only spend $200. This keeps track for all owners to see. If you like numbers, you’ll be fine with this. If you don’t, get another owner to take care of this.
Third player $89 $11 11 ?
Now, the printed auction price cheat sheet is optional. I do it to semi-manage ridiculous bids and not to have one owners get totally screwed, even if they deserve it. You don’t have to print your price cheat sheet, or even a recent price cheat sheet. Just something that sort of keeps them in the ballpark and reasonable. Our league is not money-oriented and is a fun league, so it’s not a big deal and the active owners will still be way more prepared. As I mentioned, this last one is optional. Use 20 minutes. Same for following years.
PREPARATION: Get to the sports bar a half an hour earlier. Setup your draft board on the wall, mirror, etc. using tape you brought. Arrange one table next to the draft board to support the labels with the players’ names, pens to keep track of the funds and stand or mug that will display the label of the player being auctioned. Arrange the rest of the tables so all 12 owners can see the board. Hand out the printed price cheat sheet, if available.
The owners start to arrive, order drinks and food. Reminisce about last season and start the smack talk about the upcoming season until all owners arrive.
LIVE AUCTION: This is the event of your league. Make the most fun out of it. Have all owners participate by stepping up to be the auctioneer when they nominate a player. This is lot of fun because each owner is different on how they announce the player, cajole bids, add in some smack talk and count down.
The owner listed in the first column will select the player’s name he want to auction and stick it to the stand. He will announce his bid, “ Arian Foster of the Houston Texans for $20.” At this point, all owners start bidding. We have a couple of our owners, while they are auctioning the player, who start promoting Foster credentials – 2,000 total years, 14 touchdowns, 50 receptions (if a points per reception league) – to get the owners to spend more money. He does this because he doesn’t want Foster and wants the other owners to spend more money so they have less to spend on a player the auctioneer does want. It’s funny because you know he’s doing it and why he’s doing it. It’s so obvious which help makes it amusing. The owner with the highest bid for Foster is not happy, and tells him to stop his BS and count down already. It’s very entertaining! Another owner’s countdown is “$45 going once. Me, $46.” Some owners will auction a player they want no matter what, and you learn that as you go through a live auction. Someone else may bid $47. So, he’ll countdown again, “$47 going once. Me, $48.” Don’t know why he says “$47 going once,” and not just bid “$48”. It’s his thing and he can’t help it which makes it funny. Basically I learned not to take his countdown meaningful until he says, “$48 going twice.”
Once the auction for a player is over, the auctioneer places the label on the draft board for the owner who won the player. You, or another owner, will calculate the funds available for the owner who won the player, so he and everyone else know how much he can spend on the next player. You then call up the next owner, listed at the top of the columns, to auction the next player. You repeat this paragraph until every owner has a full team.
At the end, some owners will hang around, start evaluating everyone’s team and begin smack talking. “Yea, he looks like the team to beat.” Or, “what was he thinking? No running backs and weak wide receivers.”
Use four hours for you beginning with setup and ending with the last player selected. Use three hours for the owners. To keep things moving, and shorten the time, make sure the next owner is ready to select a player to auction right after that last player was won. The time gaps between each player being auctioned are what will lengthen the overall time of the auction.
Now, you’re done. Your fantasy football season has started.
Total time needed is approximately five hours for the first year and three hours for following years. I am not counting Step 11, which is the actual live auction draft. This is not a lot of time for me and the return is well worth it. It went so well, that the following year we had about 6-8 non-owners show up to hang, have a good time and see what it was all about!
Hopefully this “A 12-Step Program: Live Auction Draft Made Easy!” will get to take the plunge and make a difference in your league.
Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties
Copyright © 2002 - 2013 by Sharks Fantasy Sports, LLC