days of the standard fantasy football draft may not be
over, but they are definitely dwindling. More and more
leagues are going to the auction style format, and I
can't blame them. Most fantasy football players believe
they have the draft system down to a science, and for
those who don't have it down, the amount of information
out there via magazines, websites, radio and even TV
shows, is staggering.
yahoo can swing by the bookstore on his (or her) way
to the draft, find the cheat sheet page and come away
with a half way decent team. How do I know this? Because
I've been victimized by such fantasy players. Weeks,
and sometime months, of pouring over stats, projections,
schedules, and depth charts were all thrown out the window
because it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out
how the first two rounds of the draft were going to go.
Auctions eliminate that problem. They allow the true
fantasy football fan to rise to the top and reward owners
for those late night list revisions, and hours spent
on the internet.
how do you get started? Just like any other fantasy league,
with a quality road map on setting one up and running
it, it's as simple as ready, set, hike. Consider this
your road map.
Assemble the Crew
you already have a league in place, all it takes is convincing
the owners that are already in place to convert from
a standard draft to an auction style one. If you are
starting from scratch, start spreading the word. Tell
your coworkers, your friends, members down at the gym,
and get them to spread the word as well. All you need
is between 8-12 football fans looking to enhance their
Draft vs Auction
what is the main differences between these two styles.
The standard draft simply distributes players by everyone
taking their turn in selecting a player. With this system
everyone is guaranteed at getting one of the top 12 players
(assuming there are 12 teams in the league, which we
will for the purpose of this article), however you will
only be able to get one of the top 12 players.
an auction if you have your heart set on LaDainian Tomlinson,
bid for him. If you want Terrell Owens, bid for him.
If you want both, bid for them. Just realize, like most
NFL teams have to do, that the salary cap is out there
looking to push you back down if you try to over spend.
Fantasy actions are pure Americana, it is capitalism
at its best. At the center of an auction is the idea
that only one owner believes that each player is worth
a certain amount, if they didn't, they would have the
option to raise the bid.
right off the bat you can put a favorable tally in the
column of the action, because no player is off the board
without you having some say in it. That's what every
fantasy owner really wants, that's the basis of fantasy
football, to build and control a team of NFL players
that simulates the actions of the NFL. If the members
of your league still need some convincing, have them
simply look over the rules, that will be the hook.
you have convinced everyone that auction style is the
way to go, you need to establish some league rules. First
you will need the standard rules, such as how many players
will be on a roster, what kind of playoff format will
be used, what kind of free agent system will be used
during the season? These can all be hashed out by the
commissioner and other members of the league.
auction rules must be put into place. What is the salary
cap (usually a nice round number like $100)? What is
the minimum bid ($1)? What increments do the bids have
to advance by (at least $1)? How many players, and what
positions need to be filled by the roster (2 QB, 4 RB,
6 WR, 2 K, 2 Def.)? Once you know this, as well as your
point system, you should be ready to get started.
prior to the start of the auction, a list should be established
for nomination purposes. This can be as easy as drawing
cards or going by the previous years final standings.
Owners will then begin to nominate players. The owner
slotted with the #1 nomination will call out a player
and a bid amount. This player is now "on the floor",
and open to all owners, and the bidding will now commence.
no bids are made, the owner who nominated the player
gets him for the nominated price. Otherwise, the rest
of the owners can bid on this player, and he will go
to the team with the highest bid.
the final price is for that player, that amount will
be deducted from that owners salary cap.
few minor rules to take into consideration. A nominating
owner can not nominate a player that would put him over
the required number of players at a certain position.
For example, if two quarterbacks are required, an owner
can not nominate a QB when it is his turn because in
the event that no one else bids, that owner would take
him, and in this situation would have no where to put
him because there are already 2 QBs on their roster.
once an owner has a full roster he is no longer involved
in the nominating process.
owner with salary cap room can bid on a player. Bids
must be raised by the appropriate amount and will continue
to move up until no one is willing to bid higher. The
person conducting the auction, usually the commissioner
or owner who nominated the player, will keep track of
that player, calling out high bids and pointing to the
owner who currently holds the high bid. Once bidding
stalls, the conductor will call out, "Going Once,
Going Twice, Sold to (owners name) for (final price)".
is by far the highlight of the auction. Just when you
think you have the guy you've targeted for a nice low
price, someone calls out from the back "Bump it
up a buck." And so the process goes.
a predetermined salary cap that can not be broken, each
owner knows, or better know, how much they can spend
on each player. It may become difficult for one person
to keep track of everyone's salary cap, that is why each
owner should keep a running tally of their salary cap
and confirm it with the commissioner each time they add
a player. This will allow all owners to see just how
much money their competitors have, as well as keep owners
from breaking the salary cap.
penalty, such as losing the player that pushed that team
over the salary cap, should be discussed prior to the
auction. This way everyone knows the penalty for breaking
End of the Auction
the end of the auction, once every team has filled out
their entire roster, the salary caps should once again
your league allows you to pick up and drop players, you
will have to establish how much free agents picked up
during the season will cost. You will also have to determine
if you can redeem a dropped player for his full auction
value. But once again, these rules are individual to
each league and be hashed out and modified by discussion
and votes by the league members.
During the Season
become tricky, and just like the NFL, need to fit within
the salary cap, so a package of lower priced players
for that one high priced player may need to be done.
That is why you want the best players, for the least
amount of money. Remember, at no time can you break that
auction is a highly competitive style of fantasy football,
and can be overwhelming if you are new to it. But with
a little preparation and guidance, the auction style
system will be better then the old way of drafting. It
creates more excitement then just waiting to pick every
10 or 12 selections. This gets people hyped up, this
keeps them involved throughout the entire auction, and
this lets each owner fill his roster with his favorite
are becoming more and more common, and for the simple
reason that they require more strategy then the usual
draft and becoming much more fun.
Todd Kleinheinz is the
founder /commissioner of the auction-based SGFL (Sports
Geeks Fantasy League). The SGFL is an intricate league with a salary cap,
auction style draft, keepers and restricted free agents. If you have any
questions, comments or ideas, he can be reached at Fbxpert@aol.com. Previously,
Todd worked as a sports reporter for an NBC affiliate in Texas covering
Texas A&M and Baylor University Sports, and in Sports Radio for KNBR
and The Ticket 1050 in San Francisco.