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FANTASY FOOTBALL PRE-SEASON FEATURES

The Fantasy Auctioneer Invitational Expert League
August 18, 2004
Eastern Conference Teams Western Conference Teams Players Sorted by Salary Players Sorted by Nomination

WESTERN CONFERENCE TEAMS

Fantasy Asylum
Pos Name Tm   B   Sal
QB Marc Bulger STL 8 14
RB Corey Dillon NWE 3 48
RB Kevin Jones DET 4 21
WR Marvin Harrison IND 6 49
WR Marcus Robinson MIN 4 5
WR Reggie Wayne IND 6 6
TE Dallas Clark IND 6 5
K David Akers PHI 5 3
DEF St. Louis Rams STL 8 3
B-QB Byron Leftwich JAC 9 3
B-QB Josh McCown ARI 6 4
B-RB Lee Suggs CLE 8 11
B-RB Charlie Garner TAM 8 9
B-RB William Green CLE 8 3
B-WR Charles Rogers DET 4 5
B-WR Jerry Porter OAK 10 8
B-TE Daniel Graham NWE 3 1
B-DEF Jacksonville Jaguars JAC 9 2
Kirk Bouyelas, Fantasy Asylum

1. What was your strategy going into the auction and how do you think you did?
In budgeting for my team’s needs, I allotted about 10% of my cap for quarterbacks, 45% for running backs, 38% for receivers, 4% for tight ends and 3% for a kicker and defense. While I would have loved to get Holmes, Tomlinson, Alexander, Green or McAllister - spending 40% of my cap on 1 player was not an option. I did not want to overpay for any one player. As the auction progressed, I tried to nominate players that I had no interest in. My job was to make the other teams spend their money first so it drained their cap and prevented them from bidding on players I had targeted. My goal was to have more cap money by the midway point than any other team. As long as there were quality players available, I did not worry about what other teams were doing.
2. What was your best bargain?
 There are two guys that stand out in my opinion. The first is Kevin Jones at $21. I absolutely love this guy and believe that the Lions will have a surprisingly potent offense this year. When compared to Barlow @ $55, Davis @ $40 and Bennett @ $31 - Jones is a steal. The other steal was WR Jerry Porter at $8. Porter now becomes the WR1 in the Raiders offense and could potentially break into the Top 10 this year. At $8, he was a great deal.
 3. What was your worst buy?
 That is fairly easy. It was near the end of the auction and I was sitting there looking at WR Reggie Wayne getting ready to go at $5. There was no way I wanted to let that happen, so I jumped in at $6. Everyone else was pretty much out of money, so I got him. It was only then that I realized that Marvin Harrison was on my roster. However, I'd rather have Wayne sitting on the bench for me, than my opposition using him against me after they stole him for $5.
4. What are the top 3 teams (excluding yours)?
 #1 - TheHuddle: David Dorey did a very good job of keeping available cap money until the second half of the auction. He did well in handcuffing Griffin and Tatum Bell. I also like his TEs.
#2 - FantasySportsAcademy: Matt Kamke is deep at QB and has some promising WRs.
#3 - Coachbox: With the exception of TE, there are some very solid starters at RB and WR. 
 
KFFL
Pos Name Tm   B   Sal
QB Steve McNair TEN 9 11
RB Edgerrin James IND 6 71
RB Brian Westbrook PHI 5 26
WR Donte' Stallworth NOR 8 12
WR Drew Bennett TEN 9 3
WR Isaac Bruce STL 8 5
TE Jeremy Shockey NYG 6 8
K Josh Brown SEA 4 3
DEF Baltimore Ravens BAL 6 3
B-QB Jeff Garcia CLE 8 4
B-RB Curtis Martin NYJ 3 25
B-RB LaMont Jordan NYJ 3 1
B-RB Tyrone Wheatley OAK 10 3
B-RB Warrick Dunn ATL 9 5
B-WR Keyshawn Johnson DAL 4 3
B-WR Larry Fitzgerald ARI 6 3
B-TE Alge Crumpler ATL 9 5
B-DEF Philadelphia Eagles PHI 5 3
William Del Pilar and Cory Bonini, KFFL

1. What was your strategy going into the auction and how do you think you did?
 Our strategy was to try to lay low, keep our cash in reserves and force the bidding up in certain situations. We wanted to avoid becoming "bid happy" and just jumping in on players only to get carried away and over-spend for them in comparison to what their fantasy value dictated their cost was. However, that really wasn't necessary as it appeared the bidding went crazy for certain players and we were able to gain some quality players at a great price. We ended up with about $10.00 in excess, so I would have to say that our one failure was settling on Brian Westbrook for $26.00 and missing out on Michael Bennett for $31.00.
2. What was your best bargain?
Our best bargains were actually quite a few players. We were able to snag QB Steve McNair for $11.00, TE Jeremy Shockey and Alge Crumpler for $8.00 and $5.00, respectively, plus we think that Tyrone Wheatley at $3.00 and Warrick Dunn for $5.00 (though I tossed an extra $2.00 to deplete the tilly since he was our last player) were potential steals if they gain the playing time we believe they can.
3. What was your worst buy?
I'd have to say our worst purchase was not a bad purchase we made as much as it was bidding we didn't do on other players. As stated, we should have gone for Bennett instead of Westbrook and McNair was not our top option, but we felt we could drive his price up and ended up with him at $11.00. However, when we upped the bid, we felt that was an acceptable price and, in fact, below our projected bid that he would go for. We're not unhappy with him. Possibly a high bid of $25.00 for Curtis Martin may have been too rich, but we wanted to secure our running backs after taking Westbrook and felt we did that with Martin.
4. What are the top 3 teams (excluding yours)?
#1 – FFToday.com: Matt has a nice balance at every starting position with solid depth as well. He'll contend and/or at least be competitive. His starters are better than average with TE Tony Gonzalez and his WRs should be able to keep him competitive, but he has to have that position step up.
#2 – CoachBox.com: Jim has a solid and potentially spectacular QB duo and solid quality at RB because he backed up Rudi Johnson with Chris Perry. He should be fine. His starting receivers will also make him competitive. However, QB Michael Vick makes him a contender if he stays healthy.
#3 – FantasyAuctioneer.com: George posted together a solid team, as his starting QB is set but he better not sustain an injury because if he does, his team could fall out of contention. He has a solid RB group, as well as a solid group of WRs in terms of starters. This is one team that is based off of the starters staying healthy. If that happens, he contends. If not, he'll fall into the pack.
 
Football Guys
Pos Name Tm   B   Sal
QB Daunte Culpepper MIN 4 37
RB Julius Jones DAL 4 11
RB Eddie George DAL 4 11
WR Randy Moss MIN 4 53
WR Derrick Mason TEN 9 23
WR Chad Johnson CIN 5 30
TE Kellen Winslow Jr. CLE 8 6
K Jason Elam DEN 10 1
DEF Tampa Bay Buccaneers TAM 8 1
B-QB Rich Gannon OAK 10 1
B-QB Carson Palmer CIN 5 1
B-RB Travis Minor MIA 10 6
B-RB Garrison Hearst DEN 10 2
B-RB Jerome Bettis PIT 7 1
B-RB Emmitt Smith ARI 6 2
B-WR Muhsin Muhammad CAR 3 1
B-WR Brandon Lloyd SFO 7 1
B-TE Todd Heap BAL 6 12
David Dodds, Footballguys

1. What was your strategy going into the auction and how do you think you did?
My plan was to get one good RB and wait for value. I abandoned the plan as people consistently overpaid for everybody running the football. I changed my plan to getting scrub backs and high profile players that I could trade later that I picked up for value.
2. What was your best bargain?
Late in the draft there were many bargains to be had. Muhsin Muhammad for 1, Brandon Lloyd for 1, Jerome Bettis for 1, Jason Elam for 1 could all exceed their value by a lot.
3. What was your worst buy?
I panicked on the Julius Jones / Eddie George duo. I had zero RBs and only a handful was left. Had I just stayed the course, though, I could have gotten Dunn, Wheatley and a few others for much lower. It took me out of a key part of the auction where a lot of value was obtained. I feel like I recovered, but probably should not have gone with three WRs costing over $100.
4. What are the top 3 teams (excluding yours)?
#1 - Fantasy Sports Academy
#2 - KFFL
#3 - Footballguys
All three of these teams are deep and will be able to trade themselves into solid teams.
5. Any other comments?
I was surprised that the prices for RBs stayed high the entire draft. This created unbelievable value at WR and QB. In hindsight the answer was to overpay on 1 RB and wait until the middle to end of the draft. The teams that did that ended up with outstanding bargains late.
 
The Huddle
Pos Name Tm   B   Sal
QB Matt Hasselbeck SEA 4 17
RB Fred Taylor JAC 9 60
RB Quentin Griffin DEN 10 10
WR Chris Chambers MIA 10 18
WR Javon Walker GNB 9 24
WR Andre Johnson HOU 7 15
TE Boo Williams NOR 8 8
K Jeff Wilkins STL 8 4
DEF New England Patriots NWE 3 5
B-QB Mark Brunell WAS 7 2
B-RB Tiki Barber NYG 6 20
B-RB Tatum Bell DEN 10 4
B-RB Greg Jones JAC 9 3
B-WR Quincy Morgan CLE 8 3
B-WR Michael Clayton TAM 8 2
B-TE Antonio Gates SDG 10 2
B-WR Rashaun Woods SFO 7 1
B-DEF Carolina Panthers CAR 3 2
David Dorey, The Huddle

1. What was your strategy going into the auction and how do you think you did?
My strategy going in was to hold back and allow players that I felt were cap busters to go to other teams. I think I was the last one to win a player but I am pretty adamant about adhering to my budget. It is always a debate to get top stars and then slugs versus solid through out and what I did was to follow my plan – get only players that I felt fit the cap budget I had established. I missed out on a couple of players late that I really wanted and would have significantly upgraded my team, but that’s the way it goes in an auction.
By holding back, I was able to collect my starting WR’s as guys who are currently ranked #11, #14 and #15 on my board. Solid set with upside for Chambers, Walker and Andre Johnson. I loved getting Hasselbeck for $17 as he fits well and could easily produce #3 or #4 in this scoring system. I took top players in other starting slots – Boo Williams, Wilkins and NE defense. I also saw that the scoring system made defenses high scoring. In the top 20 players overall in 2003 with this system, three were defenses. They scored more than Moss or Portis. I snagged NE when it came up for only $3 so I doubt many understood how valuable defenses could be. I later took Carolina for $3 as well. I would have taken Baltimore too but was in a cap crunch at the time they came up.
2. What was your best bargain?
Easily New England who scored 204 points in this system and only cost me $3. I also liked Hasselbeck for $17.
3. What was your worst buy?
I don’t overpay much, but knowing I wanted the DEN RB game with Bell and Griffin, I had to burn $10 on Griffin because he came up so early. In auctions it is much easier to get the handcuff players and I almost went for Suggs/Green as well.
4. What are the top 3 teams (excluding yours)?
#1 – FFToday: Wildman has a nice set of starters with McNabb, Ahman Green, Bennett and Gonzalez. His receivers ended up a bit week in my view but that is one position you can make up for.
#2 - Football injuries: I got locked in a bidding war with him and finally was forced to give up Thomas Jones, one of the guys I had targeted. I like Portis and Jones, along with Holt and Steve Smith and he has some nice upside on some players.
#3 - Fantasy Sports Academy: Ended up with a pretty solid team with Manning and upside players at all the other positions. He also waited around and was really frustrating the way we were locked in late bidding wars.
5. Any other comments?
Interesting auction that showed a wide variety of schemes used. As always, my sleepers seemed to be one or two other guys’ sleepers as well!
 
RotoWire
Pos Name Tm   B   Sal
QB David Carr HOU 7 3
RB Jamal Lewis BAL 6 59
RB LaDainian Tomlinson SDG 10 82
WR Hines Ward PIT 7 35
WR Peerless Price ATL 9 7
WR David Givens NWE 3 2
TE Erron Kinney TEN 9 1
K John Kasay CAR 3 1
DEF Denver Broncos DEN 10 1
B-QB Tommy Maddox PIT 7 1
B-QB AJ Feeley MIA 10 1
B-RB Musa Smith BAL 6 1
B-RB Justin Fargas OAK 10 1
B-RB Maurice Morris SEA 4 1
B-RB Cedric Cobbs NWE 3 1
B-RB Michael Turner SDG 10 1
B-WR Robert Ferguson GNB 9 1
B-WR Antonio Bryant DAL 4 1
Jeff Erickson, RotoWire

1. What was your strategy going into the auction and how do you think you did?
I was going Stars & Scrubs all the way, with particular emphasis on landing two of the top seven elite running backs, and hope to also get one of the top five receivers as well. I accomplished that objective, buying Tomlinson (perhaps overpaying by a couple of dollars by mistake), Jamal Lewis and Hines Ward. In retrospect I might have been better off not buying Ward and instead going with two receivers from the second tier, which were being had at very affordable prices.
2. What was your best bargain?
Two players - Jamal Lewis for $59 and Justin Fargas for $1. Virtually every draft/cheatsheet I've seen begins the draft with seven elite running backs at the top (Holmes, LT, Deuce, Green, Portis, Alexander and Lewis). Lewis went for $12 less than the next cheapest of that group (Alexander), and also cost less than Edgerrin James and Fred Taylor. It probably was a function of nomination time (he was among the first two or three players brought up, I believe) and a sense of wariness about his legal issues.
Fargas for a buck (when all I had remaining were $1 bids) was a pleasant surprise for a player who I think will end up being the Raiders' starter by midseason.
3. What was your worst buy?
Probably Hines Ward at $35, although I'm not entirely displeased with having him. Still, there are a handful of receivers that are close to Ward who went for $10-15 less - Steve Smith ($23), Darrell Jackson ($21), and Lav Coles ($23) come to mind.
4. What are the top 3 teams (excluding yours)?
#1 – Fantasy Sports Academy: Even though they went with a strategy opposite of mine, I like his squad. Stephen Davis is a risk, but he handcuffed him with DeShaun Foster nicely. Solid at every spot, with a number of upside plays on his bench (Foster, Duckett, McGahee, Gardner, Roy Williams). If only one of them pans out, look out.
#2 – Football Injuries: Counting a little too much on Thomas Jones and the Bears, but otherwise a solid team from top to bottom. I really like his set of receivers.
#3 – The Huddle - He'll have fun dealing with Shanahan's misdirection plays, but if one back takes over the job there, he'll be in good shape. I'm really high on both Javon Walker and especially Andre Johnson.
5. Any other comments?
The Auctioneer is a slick application - once everyone really figured it out, the auction really moved. I mentioned earlier that I might have paid too much for LT. When the bidding was at $71 on him, I meant to manually enter $72 as the next bid on him. Alas, I accidentally entered $82 instead of $72, which promptly scared off everyone from bidding higher. Could I have had him for cheaper, saving me a few badly needed dollars for the endgame? Perhaps, but not necessarily so - Priest Holmes went for $82 as well, and Deuce McAllister went for $80.
 
FFToday
Pos Name Tm   B   Sal
QB Donovan McNabb PHI 5 21
RB Ahman Green GNB 9 80
RB Michael Bennett MIN 4 31
WR Rod Smith DEN 10 7
WR Jimmy Smith JAC 9 18
WR Tyrone Calico TEN 9 1
TE Tony Gonzalez KAN 5 25
K Joe Nedney TEN 9 1
DEF Tennessee Titans TEN 9 1
B-QB Jake Plummer DEN 10 5
B-RB Onterrio Smith MIN 4 3
B-RB Najeh Davenport GNB 9 1
B-RB Mike Anderson DEN 10 1
B-WR Eddie Kennison KAN 5 1
B-WR Deion Branch NWE 3 1
B-WR Andre' Davis CLE 8 1
B-WR Kevin Johnson BAL 6 1
B-WR Reggie Williams JAC 9 1
Matt Waldman, FFToday

1. What was your strategy going into the auction and how do you think you did?
Going into the auction, my plan was to land two running backs in my projected top twelve and wait until I had enough bargaining power to score a variety of undervalued players at the end. I started off strong (Ahman Green & Michael Bennett) and this plan would have worked to perfection if I didn’t pay as much attention to the competition. Instead, I bid on players that I felt were about to become excellent bargains for owners in the middle of the draft. I made it a point to do this only with players I valued highly. Sometimes I succeeded in raising their price considerably before letting the owner win the bid, but ultimately this attempt to get cute with the bidding process backfired. 
I accidentally won three bids (McNabb-$21, Gonzalez-$25, and Plummer-$5) that forced me to completely change my strategy. Although I felt I still got these three for a combined $18 less than what I would have projected for them total, this cost me the opportunity to control the final part of the draft. I had to resort to picking the best upside value I could find to fill my roster. I was excited to handcuff Bennett and Green—and it’s a bonus that Davenport and Smith are the subject of trade rumors (Miami) that could come to fruition if Minor and company don’t appear to be the answer. Although I was able to land wide receivers with big-play ability and/or upside in the red zone (Calico, Davis, Williams, and Kennison), these are bigger risks than I intended. Overall, I still feel my team has a chance to make some noise.
2. What was your best bargain?
I hoped to commit highway robbery with Jimmy Smith as my accomplice going into the draft, but I had to engage in a bidding war to get the Jags’ WR due to my change in strategy. Nonetheless, I believe a twenty-pound lighter Smith, a year removed from drug rehab, is going to return to his elite form. I have him ranked fourth overall among wide receivers and at $18, that’s still $10 less than receivers most considered as top tier pass catchers. 
3. What was your worst buy?
Winning McNabb was a calculated risk that I was happy with, but Gonzalez was a different story. I used the “Bid +1” button on the FantasyAuctioneer application rather than make my own numerical bid. When the value of the previous bid jumped, my “+1 bid” ended up higher than I expected, and I wound up with the Chief’s TE. This was a good example as to why it’s good to name your bid—otherwise you could think you are about to make a raise of $1 to a $12 bid and wind up making it on $24!
4. What are the top 3 teams (excluding yours)?
#1 - Fantasy Asylum: Has a well-balanced team with a lot of depth. In auctions many theorize this type of lineup can mean a mediocre result, but I think he got some underrated players capable of having huge years: Corey Dillon, Byron Leftwich, Jerry Porter, and Lee Suggs among them. Combine this upside with proven guys like Harrison and Bulger, and I think Kirk did an excellent job. 
#2 - KFFL: Has the best depth from top to bottom. William has several quality starters at every position and with the correct line up choices should compile an excellent record. At this point, winning Steve McNair for $11 was the steal of the draft. I also liked many of his choices that I think are undervalued: Westbrook, Fitzgerald, Bruce, and Keyshawn Johnson.
#3 - Footballguys: Has a great WR corps, depth at key positions, and probably the best QB in fantasy football. The entire success of David’s team hinges on how much his RBs overachieve or, if they don’t, the approach he takes to improve his stable. This has the makings of a dangerous team.
5. Any other comments?
George and his team at FantasyAuctioneer.com have created an excellent application and we would like to thank him for inviting FFToday.com to participate.
       
Eastern Conference Teams Western Conference Teams Players Sorted by Salary Players Sorted by Nomination