The RotoViz Guide to Value Based Auctions – Part I

Auction drafts for fantasy football leagues may not be the standard format, but I think they’re a killer enhancement to the hobby.  For the true fantasy football addict, you just can’t beat the idea of going into your auction and being able to create just about any team you can dream up.  If you are the kind of player who just wants your guy?  You got get ‘em!  No worrying about whether he falls or not.  No worrying about having to reach.  Just get him.  Or perhaps you’re the ultimate value investor.  You love to sit and wait, lurking in the shadows until everyone else has spent too much money and the board is just littered with undervalued studs.  You get to dominate the middle portion of the auction as your leaguemates just watch in horror while you stockpile talent.  The possibilities are endless.

The flip side of the coin is that precisely because auctions have that ebb and flow that snake drafts do not, they can be very tricky.  Where should you spend your money?  Do you go with the stud QB?  Should you stockpile running backs and wide receivers?  What’s the best way to gain an edge over your leaguemates?  They seem like difficult questions, but I have some answers for you.

If you’re doing the prep work yourself, you may have tried taking some pre-season projections and some average auction values from any of the sites out there and created a Points-per-Dollar calculation.  This is a logical way to look at things, since you’re trying to maximize the points on your roster, given your budget.  Here’s what the top players from each position look like on the points-per-dollar (PPD) metric.  (To keep things standardized I’m using the projections and 10 team auction value data from that feed the Salary Cap App, and I’ve set the scoring to 0 PPR for a “standard” league.)
Player Projected Points Proj Auction Value Points/$
Aaron Rodgers (GB, QB) 350.62 $44 7.97
Adrian Peterson (MIN, RB) 274.35 $63 4.35
Calvin Johnson (DET, WR) 225.11 $49 4.59
Jimmy Graham (NO, TE) 170.66 $34 5.02

The initial (and natural) reaction might be “I should be sure to get Aaron Rodgers because he’s the best use of my dollars.”  I’m going to show you not only why that logic is flawed but also why Aaron Rodgers is actually the worst use of your auction dollars out of these four players.

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By Ryan Rouillard | @ryanrouillard | Archive

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