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2008 Auction Nuthouse, Part 1

Welcome back to the Auction Nuthouse for 2008. I am your host, Nick Pavlou, and I am back in the New York Groove. And by that I mean I am semi-comatose. Kudos to Tony, Rob and staff for adding auction values this year, even if they are for a $200 cap.

[Editor’s note: If you don’t wish to use $200, you can change it here:] 

Nothing like having the best projections on the Web for FREE, is there? Applying them to your own cheat sheets, along the solid advice prevalent in the

Shark Tank

, will make your draft preparation a whole lot easier. In addition, we do get to Average Auction Values (AAV) as a tool later in the series, in case you lack faith.



Ben broke the Ice

(hi-yooo) for us a few weeks back, so we can do a quick primer this season without getting into too much detail. Let’s quickly go over the basics. The auction draft enables participants to be fantasy GMs in the truest sense of the term. You determine the players that you want and their value, rather than being locked into a specific slot in a snake draft. Everybody has a shot at Ladainian Tomlinson or Tom Brady, not just some newbie who randomly happened to draw No. 1 out of a hat. The format gets better when you evolve into keeper and dynasty leagues, because you get to keep stud players purchased at a bargain price (See Peterson, Adrian).


Again, this guide isn’t about telling you who to pick and for what amount. If it was, I’d be a) lying, b) rich or c) getting paid to write full-time at ESPN – which means you’d have to pay for this. Not to mention I’d be on TV, maybe even with Erin Andrews…


Erin Andrews… (devolving into wonderful daydream) …


Wait, what? Oh, what this column does offer is an overall view of the auction draft, detailing strategies learned through trial and error over the past few years. At the very least, this should steer you toward a clear vision of what players you will target in your pursuit of auction glory.




On eBay, value exists in abundance, from getting an out-of-date CD or book for minimal amounts to taking concert tickets you’ve already purchased and selling them for double their price to finance the purchase of better seats. Not so in the auction draft, where finding value is key in an environment of constantly escalating prices. So what is the best approach to take to finding value in the draft? Here are a few paths that you should consider following:


You get what you pay for:

Choose the best players on the best teams. Yes, I know it would be nearly impossible to get 13 decent players to fill out a roster after getting Brady, Tomlinson and Randy Moss. This is meant to be a rule of thumb when deciding between certain players. Larry Johnson and Joseph Addai were ranked similarly last year. But one had a playoff team surrounding him and the other didn’t, hence Addai’s production far surpassed that of Larry Johnson. Keep in mind what teams you think will make the playoffs. Saving a few bucks by picking a solid player on a playoff contender rather than a high upside talent on a borderline stinker will help your draft in the long run. Speaking of which…


In Veteran Producers We Trust:

Remember that the fantasy writers for major sites like ESPN or CBS Sportsline are no different from their beat reporter counterparts when it comes to publishing stories. They are simply looking to scoop each other and come up with the next big angle or sleeper in order to attract as many readers as possible. If the ESPN guys look consistently smarter than the rest of us, then more poor saps will ante up for their draft kit. CALVIN JOHNSON, they screamed last year! Uh, no thanks, that T.J. Housh guy has been good for a few years now, I’ll take him for a cheaper price. Avoid the media hype machine. Sit back, relax and let the rest of the schmoes in your league bid up young hotshots while you take established fantasy producers for less. Laugh all the way to the bank like I did four years ago, when Curtis Martin cost me a whole $3 and led the NFL in rushing.

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