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Are there free auction draft sites anywhere?

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Posted: 8/4/2007 10:20 AM

Are there free auction draft sites anywhere? 


I want to try auction drafting this year, but I've always played on yahoo who doesn't have it. Do any of the sites have quality free auction draft fantasy football?
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Posted: 8/4/2007 11:48 AM

Re: Are there free auction draft sites anywhere? 



SenorBeef wrote: I want to try auction drafting this year, but I've always played on yahoo who doesn't have it. Do any of the sites have quality free auction draft fantasy football?


Auction sounds interesting.  I've never done it but it seems the fun/excitement and just the logistics of being able to do an effective auction draft would dictate that you do it LIVE, as IN-PERSON with owners facing each other in a room.  Otherwise I think it would be a clusters-smuck to try and do something as complicated as an auction draft over the net.  But of the three leagues that make their home here none use and auction but someone might be able to help you out.  I don't know of any free leagues that allow auction drafting.  I'm checking the ESPN free league software right now just to double check.

Here are the different draft methods that ESPN allows for their free leagues:

http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/football/ffl/story?page=fflrulesdraftmethods
The draft is an important factor for having a successful season. Teams which begin with a strong draft will most likely find themselves in good shape for the remainder of the season. There are three draft options available for Fantasy Football: the Autopick Draft, Live Draft and Offline Draft methods. If you are drafting in a standard league, each team receives 16 players during the draft, for a total of 160 players in a 10-team league. In custom leagues, your final player total will be dependent on your roster settings.

Team owners have the option of three different draft methods:

1. Autopick draft 2. Live draft 3. Offline Draft (Custom Leagues Only) So the only way to perform an AUCTION DRAFT is to do so OFF-LINE.  For our league, BIDL II, we conducted the first two rounds of our rookie/veteran free agent daft off-line and will do the last two rounds on-line later this summer.  It sounds like the only way to be able to do an effective auction draft would be off-line especially if you plan on using any free fantasy football software.  Good luck!
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Posted: 8/4/2007 12:35 PM

Re: Are there free auction draft sites anywhere? 


I forgot about the offline/manual draft feature.

I have people who I know online and are serious fantasy football players, but we can't do a real-life draft. But what I could do is put us in a chat room somewhere, and conduct the bidding there, and then enter the results manually into an online FF site.

Could someone give me the basic idea of how an auction draft is conducted? Do you go down the list of players in the order of their projected score, and just let people outbid each other? How deep do you go before you stop? Does everyone you didn't go through the process of bidding on become a free agent?
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Posted: 8/4/2007 12:49 PM

Re: Are there free auction draft sites anywhere? 



SenorBeef wrote: I forgot about the offline/manual draft feature.

I have people who I know online and are serious fantasy football players, but we can't do a real-life draft. But what I could do is put us in a chat room somewhere, and conduct the bidding there, and then enter the results manually into an online FF site.

Could someone give me the basic idea of how an auction draft is conducted? Do you go down the list of players in the order of their projected score, and just let people outbid each other? How deep do you go before you stop? Does everyone you didn't go through the process of bidding on become a free agent?


Here is a link to explain the basics and this also gives links to articles dealing with strategy of doing an auction draft.

The main page with other links.

http://www.fftoolbox.com/auctiondrafts.cfm

Here is one of the stategy articles.

http://www.fftoolbox.com/articles/auction_strategy.cfm

The Basics

In an auction-style draft, each team has $100 play money to fill his roster - typically 14 spots. The auction begins when a pre-selected team (often last place from the year before) puts a player "on the block." For example, team Suxalot bids $1 for Priest Holmes...and the bidding goes from there. At some point, there will only be one team willing to pay the final bid for Holmes, let's say $42. In the auction world, that is his free market value. Only one guy thought he was worth that much. In a draft league, everyone would like to have Priest, but only the guy who is "lucky" enough to get the first or second pick gets him. That is the beauty of an auction - the market decides which owner gets what player, not the luck of the draft.

If possible, get a non-playing friend to serve as auctioneer and another friend to keep up with the rosters and money left. Even if they cannot pronounce or spell "Vanderjagt" or "Zereoue," they can still be an auctioneer. Always give them free booze and food - it's an otherwise thankless job. Most people who ever try auction instead of draft swear by it. I have been in an auction-style league for about ten years and in my opinion, it's the only way to go. Another option I highly recommend is making your auction league a keeper league too. You can allow a set number (usually up to 4) of players from your previous year's roster to be protected by adding a set amount to the salary (usually $4 or $5). For example, I have Lee Suggs at $1 from last year and you can bet I will be keeping him at $5. While I'm bragging, I also have Rudi Johnson at $3 who is sure to be a steal this year at $7.

So that's the easy part...anyone can bid at an auction until the auctioneer proclaims, "Going once...going twice...sold." But, developing and sticking to a strategy that makes you come out the winner at your auction is where you get an edge out of the gate in your league and feel like a genius doing it. The truth is that after any auction, probably half the owners feel like they won the auction (i.e., got the most value for the $100). In theory, if they stuck with their predetermined dollar values and their strategy, they should feel like a genius - they did exactly what they thought was best to come out ahead. In reality, even a team that appears stronger than others after the auction is often not the ultimate champion. Injuries, trades, free agent moves, and pure luck more often than not will determine the winner. Still, there are some things you should know in an auction league to make sure you at least don't start out behind the pack.

Due Diligence - Do the Math

In one sense, I admire the guys who buy a magazine the night before the auction and spend the moments before the auction for free information around the room on who is injured, holding out, or just got signed to a new team. My admiration is only in their calm, not in their managing abilities. Personally, I am just not wired that way. If you are reading this article, I suspect you are also one who requires preparation. In my opinion, you have to crunch some numbers and read, read, read ...drink, sleep, ...read some more. When you start noticing the news you are reading from different sources is becoming repetitive, stop reading ...and pull out your calculator.

You first should make a list by position of all the players who will be drafted and add a few super sleeper picks near the end just so you don't forget about them near the end of the auction. Next, place a dollar value to each player. The values of all the players must add up to the total amount of money that all teams spend. For example, with 12 teams and $100 per team, it is only possible for $1200 to be spent. This sheet is your primary bidding tool at the auction. A good way to test your values is to compare different combinations of players that add up to the same amount. If you wouldn't care which combination of players you got, then your values are secure based on what you think of the players.

Another way to check values to make sure you have not over or under valued a particular position is to compare the total money spent by position and compare the percentages with last year's or prior year's auctions. If you do not have that luxury, I can tell you that generally the split ends up as follows: RBs - 42-44 percent; WRs - 29-32 percent; QBs - 20-23 percent; and 3-4 percent K and DT. Once your list is complete, it is not a bad idea to confirm that the total money value given to the top 140 players (based on a 14-man roster and $100) adds up to $1200.

Of course in a keeper league, you have to adjust for inflation. Once you have all values set, insert keeper prices next to keepers. Then, add up the difference and subtract it from the $1200. Take that number and divide it into 1200 to establish an inflation factor. Here is an example. Let's say once you insert the keeper prices and subtract the difference from 1200, you end up with 1060, so you calculate 1200/1060 = 1.1 inflation factor. That means that on average, the prices of non-keepers paid at auction should be 1.1 percent higher than the initial values. Obviously, you cannot just multiply every value by 1.1 because the extra money will not be spent in even proportions across all players. While I am sure that some guy with an abacus and a slide rule has a better way to do this, what I would do is take the extra $140 and distribute it over the about the top quarter or half of all players in each category of RB, QB and WR by the percentages shown above (let's just say RBs 43%, WRs 30% and QBs - 22%).

... The article keeps going and going on the in-depth strategy and remember, THIS IS ONLY ONE-GUY'S OPINION so you might want to puruse a few different articles on auction strategy but it sounds pretty cool.

I've never done an auction but its a totally differenty sort of strategy involved so you should read some of the different strategies that people use and decide which one might work best for you, OR if you notice someone else using a strategy then you will have a leg-up on them.

I just did a quick and dirty Yahoo search to find this page but I have seen some great auction draft articles in the past but I don't recall where I saw them but go to the link to find a few different auction strategies just on the above link.  Good luck!

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Posted: 8/4/2007 1:20 PM

Re: Are there free auction draft sites anywhere? 


Thanks, sounds like it might be really fun.
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Posted: 8/5/2007 2:38 PM

Re: Are there free auction draft sites anywhere? 


Senor,

I have been doing an auction for nine years now and would never do a boring and unfair snake draft again.  In an auction...every owner has an equal chance at any NFL player...you just have to be smart and wise enough to be able to manage your salary cap.  No disrespect but drafts are for Fantasy Football sissies!  We do our auction face to face and the camraderie we have reminiscing over old auctions while conducting our new one is fun.

Here is how we used to do it (this year we are trying something different).

  1. We have a $300 ficticious salary cap and we need to draft 17 players
  2. (Everyone wears a hat), Defending champ starts off the auction...
  3. ...introducing a player up for auction with an opening bid.
  4. We then go clockwise around the table increasing the bid.  When an owner wants to drop out of the bidding he takes his hat off (easiest way to keep track of who is in and who is out).
  5. We keep going around the table until nobody wants to increase the bid and the highest bidder is awarded the player.
  6. The player sitting to the champ's left introduces the next player and we go back to step #3
Your situation is complicated by trying to do it online...which might also take away a lot of the fun.  I know of some online auction sites but they are definitely not free.  Problem is an auction takes a lot more time to conduct than a draft and having everyone in front of their computers at the same time for five or six hours will be difficult...you also have to have someone managing the auction while probably running their own team as well.

If I had one piece of advice, it would be to find guys local to you who are willing to do an auction face to face...can't imagine doing it online.

Good luck!

BTW, we are trying a real live auctioneer this year instead of the round robin style we have done in the past...should be interesting!
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