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An Early Look at the Market - 2006 Average Auction Values
George del Prado and Andrew Woodring
July 11, 2006
Rank Name Pos AAV
1 Larry Johnson RB $75
2 Shaun Alexander RB $70
3 LaDainian Tomlinson RB $70
4 Clinton Portis RB $52
5 Tiki Barber RB $52
6 Edgerrin James RB $48
7 Steven Jackson RB $45
8 LaMont Jordan RB $43
9 Ronnie Brown RB $43
10 Carnell Williams RB $42
11 Rudi Johnson RB $41
12 Steve Smith WR $38
13 Peyton Manning QB $38
14 Terrell Owens WR $36
15 Torry Holt WR $34
16 Domanick Davis RB $34
17 Larry Fitzgerald WR $34
18 Willis McGahee RB $34
19 Chad Johnson WR $32
20 Randy Moss WR $29
21 Anquan Boldin WR $29
22 Marvin Harrison WR $29
23 Reggie Bush RB $28
24 Brian Westbrook RB $27
25 Julius Jones RB $26
26 Willie Parker RB $26
27 Eli Manning QB $25
28 Reggie Wayne WR $24
29 Tatum Bell RB $24
30 Antonio Gates TE $23
31 Chris Chambers WR $23
32 Hines Ward WR $23
33 Thomas Jones RB $22
34 Jamal Lewis RB $21
35 Chester Taylor RB $21
36 Kevin Jones RB $21
37 Corey Dillon RB $21
38 Tom Brady QB $20
39 Reuben Droughns RB $20
40 Darrell Jackson WR $20
41 Carson Palmer QB $19
42 DeShaun Foster RB $19
43 Warrick Dunn RB $19
44 Roy Williams WR $18
45 Plaxico Burress WR $18
46 Santana Moss WR $18
47 Matt Hasselbeck QB $17
48 Donovan McNabb QB $17
49 Javon Walker WR $17
50 Tony Gonzalez TE $17
51 Deuce McAllister RB $16
52 Marc Bulger QB $15
53 Joseph Addai RB $15
54 Jeremy Shockey TE $15
55 Joey Galloway WR $15
56 Ron Dayne RB $14
57 Donald Driver WR $14
58 Andre Johnson WR $13
59 Joe Horn WR $13
60 Michael Vick QB $12
61 Dominic Rhodes RB $12
62 Koren Robinson WR $12
63 Frank Gore RB $12
64 T.J. Houshmandzadeh WR $12
65 DeAngelo Williams RB $11
66 Ahman Green RB $11
67 Deion Branch WR $11
68 Alge Crumpler TE $11
69 Drew Bledsoe QB $11
70 Jake Delhomme QB $10
71 Kurt Warner QB $10
72 Cedric Benson RB $10
73 Ben Roethlisberger QB $10
74 Todd Heap TE $10
75 Daunte Culpepper QB $9
76 Derrick Mason WR $9
77 Rod Smith WR $9
78 Aaron Brooks QB $9
79 Brett Favre QB $8
80 Trent Green QB $8
81 Curtis Martin RB $8
82 Laurence Maroney RB $8
83 Samkon Gado RB $8
84 Michael Clayton WR $8
85 Fred Taylor RB $8
86 Jerry Porter WR $8
87 Vernon Davis TE $8
88 Drew Brees QB $8
89 LenDale White RB $8
90 Eddie Kennison WR $8
91 Chris Brown RB $7
92 Lee Evans WR $7
93 Jake Plummer QB $7
94 Muhsin Muhammad WR $7
95 Jason Witten TE $7
96 Chicago Bears DEF $7
97 Donte' Stallworth WR $7
98 Chris Simms QB $6
99 Laveranues Coles WR $6
100 Terry Glenn WR $6
101 Marion Barber RB $6
102 Antonio Bryant WR $6
103 Keenan McCardell WR $6
104 Priest Holmes RB $6
105 Carolina Panthers DEF $6
106 Ernest Wilford WR $5
107 Nate Burleson WR $5
108 Reggie Brown WR $5
109 Byron Leftwich QB $5
110 Kevin Curtis WR $5
111 Keyshawn Johnson WR $5
112 Matt Jones WR $5
113 Neil Rackers K $5
114 Brad Johnson QB $5
115 Jon Kitna QB $5
116 Chris Cooley TE $5
117 L.J. Smith TE $5
118 Heath Miller TE $4
119 Kellen Winslow TE $4
120 Randy McMichael TE $4
121 Adam Vinatieri K $4
122 Brandon Jacobs RB $4
123 T.J. Duckett RB $4
124 Brandon Lloyd WR $4
125 Troy Williamson WR $4
126 Duce Staley RB $4
127 Isaac Bruce WR $4
128 Joe Jurevicius WR $4
129 Mike Vanderjagt K $4
130 Greg Jones RB $3
131 Drew Bennett WR $3
132 Eric Moulds WR $3
133 Mike Williams WR $3
134 Dallas Clark TE $3
135 Jay Feely K $3
136 Indianapolis Colts DEF $3
137 New York Giants DEF $3
138 Pittsburgh Steelers DEF $3
139 Philip Rivers QB $3
140 Cedric Houston RB $3
141 Mewelde Moore RB $3
142 Mike Anderson RB $3
143 Ben Watson TE $3
144 Jason Elam K $3
145 Shayne Graham K $3
146 David Carr QB $3
147 Chris Perry RB $3
148 Brandon Stokley WR $3
149 Mark Clayton WR $3
150 Roddy White WR $3
151 Josh Brown K $3
152 Atlanta Falcons DEF $3
153 Philadelphia Eagles DEF $3
154 Billy Volek QB $2
155 Kevan Barlow RB $2
156 Bobby Engram WR $2
157 Braylon Edwards WR $2
158 Michael Jenkins WR $2
159 Ben Troupe TE $2
160 Jerramy Stevens TE $2
161 Jeff Wilkins K $2
162 John Kasay K $2
163 Dallas Cowboys DEF $2
164 Denver Broncos DEF $2
165 Seattle Seahawks DEF $2
166 Tampa Bay Buccaneers DEF $2
167 Charlie Frye QB $2
168 Matt Leinart QB $2
169 Steve McNair QB $2
170 Ryan Moats RB $2
171 Amani Toomer WR $2
172 Antwaan Randle El WR $2
173 David Givens WR $2
174 Zach Hilton TE $2
175 Jeff Reed K $2
176 Baltimore Ravens DEF $2
177 Miami Dolphins DEF $2
178 St. Louis Rams DEF $2
179 Washington Redskins DEF $2
180 Mark Brunell QB $2
181 Corey Bradford WR $2
182 Samie Parker WR $2
183 Sinorice Moss WR $2
184 Jermaine Wiggins TE $2
185 Sebastian Janikowski K $2
186 Jacksonville Jaguars DEF $2
187 New England Patriots DEF $2
188 Lee Suggs RB $1
189 Chad Jackson WR $1
190 Eric Parker WR $1
191 Robert Ferguson WR $1
192 Santonio Holmes WR $1
193 Marcus Pollard TE $1
194 David Akers K $1
195 Lawrence Tynes K $1
196 Matt Stover K $1
197 Nate Kaeding K $1
198 Todd Peterson K $1
199 Cincinnati Bengals DEF $1
200 Kansas City Chiefs DEF $1
201 Minnesota Vikings DEF $1
202 San Diego Chargers DEF $1
203 Chad Pennington QB $1
204 Rex Grossman QB $1
205 Alex Smith QB $1
206 Brian Calhoun RB $1
207 Maurice Drew RB $1
208 Maurice Morris RB $1
209 Michael Bennett RB $1
210 Michael Turner RB $1
211 Verron Haynes RB $1
212 Ashley Lelie WR $1
213 Marty Booker WR $1
214 Reggie Williams WR $1
215 Travis Taylor WR $1
216 Alex Smith TE $1
217 Daniel Graham TE $1
218 Erron Kinney TE $1
219 Jeb Putzier TE $1
220 Marcedes Lewis TE $1
221 John Carney K $1
222 Josh Scobee K $1
223 Olindo Mare K $1
224 Paul Edinger K $1
225 Phil Dawson K $1
226 Rian Lindell K $1
227 Ryan Longwell K $1
228 Buffalo Bills DEF $1
229 Detroit Lions DEF $1
230 Kerry Collins QB $1
231 Vince Young QB $1
232 J.J. Arrington RB $1
233 Jonathan Wells RB $1
234 Marshall Faulk RB $1
235 Mike Alstott RB $1
236 Brian Finneran WR $1
237 Charles Rogers WR $1
238 Chris Henry WR $1
239 Doug Gabriel WR $1
240 Marcus Robinson WR $1
241 Peerless Price WR $1
242 Reche Caldwell WR $1
243 Shaun McDonald WR $1
244 Tyrone Calico WR $1
245 Bubba Franks TE $1
246 Joe Klopfenstein TE $1
247 Leonard Pope TE $1
248 Kris Brown K $1
249 Mike Nugent K $1
250 Rob Bironas K $1
251 Arizona Cardinals DEF $1
252 Cleveland Browns DEF $1
253 New Orleans Saints DEF $1
254 Tennessee Titans DEF $1
255 Brian Griese QB $0
256 Gus Frerotte QB $0
257 J.P. Losman QB $0
258 Josh McCown QB $0
259 Kyle Boller QB $0
260 Matt Cassel QB $0
261 Matt Schaub QB $0
262 Patrick Ramsey QB $0
263 Trent Dilfer QB $0
264 Antowain Smith RB $0
265 Ciatrick Fason RB $0
266 Eric Shelton RB $0
267 Michael Pittman RB $0
268 Quentin Griffin RB $0
269 Tony Fisher RB $0
270 Travis Henry RB $0
271 Arnaz Battle WR $0
272 Cedrick Wilson WR $0
273 David Boston WR $0
274 Dennis Northcutt WR $0
275 Greg Jennings WR $0
276 Jabar Gaffney WR $0
277 Justin McCareins WR $0
278 Ricky Proehl WR $0
279 Rod Gardner WR $0
280 Courtney Anderson TE $0
281 Jim Kleinsasser TE $0
282 Matt Bryant K $0
283 Stephen Gostkowski K $0
284 Green Bay Packers DEF $0
285 Houston Texans DEF $0
286 New York Jets DEF $0
287 San Francisco 49ers DEF $0

It's summer! Six months down, two to go. The (over) hype of the NFL draft has been over for a while now and the truly hardcore fantasy football fan has already started getting ready for 2006. Have you wondered how valuable Reggie Bush really is? How about the Indy backfield of Addai and Rhodes, how much do they cost? And the Big Three of Larry, Shaun, and LaDainian? How is the market pricing them compared to the rest of the field?

Hundreds of questions abound and we're here to provide quantifiable answers. We're going to take an early look at the market – the average auction values of three expert auctions recently held at FantasyAuctioneer.com. The results will be published in a number of fantasy football magazines this summer. (Special thanks to The Huddle, SportsBlurb, and Fantasy Index for letting us host their auctions. Make sure you check out their magazines to see the individual experts' perspectives on their specific auction.)

While three auctions are admittedly a small sample size, all the participants were fantasy sports writers who follow the NFL 12 months out of the year. These guys know what they're doing, so three auctions should be sufficient, especially this early in the game. As the season draws closer and more auctions are run on our site, we will publish weekly average value updates on all our auctions to give you a look at the current market.

First, the rules. All three expert auctions had the following rules:

  • 12 teams, $200 salary cap
  • Start 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DEF
  • 10 yards rush/rec = 20 yards pass = 1 point
  • Passing TD = 4 points
  • Rush/Rec TD = 6 points
  • Int thrown = -1 point
  • Standard defensive and Kicker scoring

Take into account there are 20-22 rosters spots per team, which means that if you normally have 16 roster spots, then there could be as many as 72 less roster spots in your league. This will mean that the prices you see in this article should probably go up a dollar or two.

The Big Picture:

One of the things we like to do is see how the AAVs break down in sets of 12. It's almost like comparing ADPs with AAVs:

a. Round 1 (1-12): $75-$38
b. Round 2 (13-24): $38-$27
c. Round 3 (25-36): $26-$21
d. Round 4 (37-48): $21-$17
e. Round 5 (49-60): $17-$12
f. Round 6 (61-72): $12-$10
g. Round 7 (73-84): $10-$8
h. Round 8 (85-96): $8-$7
i. Round 9 (97-108): $7-$5
j. Round 10 (109-120): $5-$4
k. Round 11 (121-132): $4-$3
l. Round 12 (133-144): $3-$3
m. Round 13 (145-156): $3-$2
n. Round 14-16+ (157-192+): $2-$1

The Top 12 ($38-$75):

Not surprisingly, Larry Johnson, Shaun Alexander, and LaDainian Tomlinson are far and away ranked higher than anyone else, with LJ at the top ($70-$75).

The second tier of running backs (Clinton Portis, Tiki Barber, and Edgerrin James) weigh in at $48 to $52.

The third tier of running backs include Steven Jackson, LaMont Jordan, Ronnie Brown, Cadillac Williams, and Rudi Johnson with prices ranging from $41 to $45.

Steve Smith caps off the top 12 as the #1 WR on the board.

One of the things that really jump out is how expensive the top tier guys are. While we've always been big proponents of having a lot of depth, this makes us wonder even more if the top guys are worth the premium. Consider the following RB scenarios:

Team One spends $87 on its top 2 RBs:
RB1: Larry Johnson ($75)
RB2: Dominic Rhodes ($12)

Team Two spends $87 on its top 2 RBs:
RB1: Steven Jackson ($45)
RB2: Cadillac Williams ($42)

Team Three spends $97 on its top 2 RBs:
RB1: LaDainian Tomlinson ($70)
RB2: Brian Westbrook ($27)

Team Four spends $95 on its top 2 RBs:
RB1: Clinton Portis ($52)
RB2: LaMont Jordan ($43)

Who do you think comes out better? It obviously depends on how much you like the individual players mentioned, but the addition of AAVs allows for a quantifiable comparison. For those in snake draft leagues that allow trading draft picks, this type of exercise can help you figure out if a certain trade is worth it.

POSITIONAL ANALYSIS:

Quarterbacks:

At $38, Peyton Manning is (not surprisingly) in a tier by himself. While a bit high for our tastes, owners may be rewarded if he returns to levels even close to 2004.

Among the second tier of QBs we find Eli Manning at $25 a bit of a reach given his second half swoon and tough 2006 schedule. His high placement, however, illustrates how his value can be affected by two people in your league who really believe in him. Considering how well he did overall in his first full year starting and his pedigree, there is a definite segment of fantasy GMs out there who believe he has top QB potential. In an auction, it only takes two of those guys to get into a bidding war to drive Eli's price up.

Brady, Palmer, and Hasselbeck are solid values at $17-$20. Palmer's knee is the wildcard here but he may outperform either of the Manning Brothers. We think McNabb at $17 is a little high, given the lack of WRs and his decreasing rushing production. We like Bulger to be the bargain of this group at $15. If healthy, he should easily reach 26-28 TDs.

The third tier is the value tier and offers many solid options for relative bargains from $8 to $12. Despite his many detractors, Michael Vick leads the tier at $12. His relatively low price will allow for additional funds to be spent elsewhere to compensate for the inevitable off-weeks he will suffer. Others offering good value are Drew Bledsoe, Jake Delhomme, & Kurt Warner. Injuries and/or new teams make Ben Roethlisberger, Daunte Culpepper, Aaron Brooks, and Drew Brees speculative buys. Perhaps my favorite in this tier is Trent Green at $8. He quietly went over 4000 yards and started every game for the third year in a row. (He actually hasn't missed a game since he was a Ram.) Unfortunately, Favre's best days are behind him and he might be a little overvalued at $8. We think Jake Plummer, who threw for over 4000 yards and 27 TDs two years ago and finished 7th last year, is a little underrated at $7.

Most of the remaining QBs qualify as backups. There are, however, a few that are undervalued and worth noting. Jon Kitna, David Carr, Billy Volek, Matt Leinert, and Steve McNair all offer value at $2-$5.

Wide Receivers:

While not surprising that Steve Smith is the top WR, it is interesting that he was valued the same as Peyton Manning at $38. Overall we think the top tier of WRs is slightly undervalued with Terrell Owens, Torry Holt, Larry Fitzgerald, and Chad Johnson going for $32-$36.

The second tier of WRs also offers significant value, perhaps the greatest being Chris Chambers at $23. He's priced at a significant discount to Chad Johnson ($32), but capable of similar stats (especially if Culpepper regains his old form). Others in this tier include Randy Moss, Anquan Boldin, the dynamic duo of Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne, and Hines Ward from $23-$29.

Moving to the third tier we move to the weaker #1 WRs and strong #2 WRs. Many in this group have question marks but offer significant upside for their value. Top among them are Roy Williams at $18 (will Martz make a big difference in year one?), Javon Walker at $17 (how is that knee?), and Koren Robinson at $12 (can he stay sober?). Somewhat safer plays are Darrell Jackson at $20, Plaxico Burress at $18, and Donald Driver at $12.

With WRs, it seems the lower you go, the greater the value and we see that in tiers 4 and 5. Among the tier 4 guys who stand out are veterans Derrick Mason and Rod Smith at $8, each of whom should benefit from recent additions (McNair and Walker respectively). Others that could greatly outperform their values are Michael Clayton at $8, Ernest Wilford at $5, and Kevin Curtis at $5.

The 5th tier offers a number of players likely drafted as #4 or #5 WRs but still has some upside. Isaac Bruce at $4, Eric Moulds at $3, and Mark Clayton at $3 lead the veterans. Among rookies, Chad Jackson and Santonio Holmes are worth a flyer for $1.

The Running Backs:

Get ready to spend if you want one of the Big 3 this year, it will likely cost you at least 35% of your salary cap. Larry Johnson is at the top followed closely by Shaun Alexander and LaDainian Tomlinson as the only tier 1 backs.

Tier 2A consists of three backs that are worthy #1 backs on fantasy teams: Clinton Portis, Tiki Barber, and Edgerrin James. Tier 2B consists of the following five backs: Steven Jackson, LaMont Jordan, Ronnie Brown, Cadillac Williams, and Rudi Johnson. Overall these backs are fairly valued but we'd be more inclined to focus on Tier 2B, who should produce quality stats but are generally available at a slight discount to their cohorts.

Tier 3 consists of the last of the #1 backs and high end #2s. Domanick Davis and Willis McGahee lead the group at $34 followed by Reggie Bush at $28. We feel both McGahee and Bush are a bit over-valued, but Davis can be a steal if he can shake off his injuries and take advantage of new HC Gary Kubiak's backfield expertise. Julius Jones at $26 could also provide great value for owners if he can start all 16 games as could Tatum Bell at $24 if he earns the starting job. Just remember to handcuff those last two with Marion Barber and Ron Dayne respectively.

We really like the value in the 4th tier. Tightly knit between $19-$22 are backs such as Warrick Dunn, Reuben Droughns, Kevin Jones, Jamal Lewis, and Chester Taylor all provide considerable value.

The 5th tier is primarily the somewhat lesser committee members of the league's RBBCs: Deuce McAllister at $16, Joseph Addai at $15 and Dominic Rhodes $12, Ron Dayne at $14, Ahman Green at $11, DeAngelo Williams at $11, Cedric Benson at $10, and Frank Gore at $12. Although RBBC is never good for fantasy owners, taking one of these backs as a number 3 RB or flex position makes fiscal sense. RBBCs are detailed further below.

After the above 34 backs are gone, most are sleepers, flyers, or insurance. Given the low prices, you can take a few chances without crippling your cap. Among these lower-priced backs take a close look at the following based on projected cost. Veterans Curtis Martin and Fred Taylor and rookies Laurence Maroney and LenDale White at $8. Brandon Jacobs and Duce Staley at $4, Cedric Houston and Mike Anderson at $3, and Ryan Moats at $2 all offer decent value for #4 or #5 backs.

RBBC Spotlight:

More than any other time in the last several years, there are a number of running-back-by-committees in the NFL. While some will avoid RBBCs like the plague, others will try to corner the market on a team's backfield, hoping one of the backs will step up to win the feature back job either through performance or injury. Here are all of them and what they would cost you:

a. Saints: Bush ($28) + McAllister ($16) = $44
b. Broncos: Bell ($24) + Dayne ($14) = $38
c. Cowboys: J. Jones ($26) + M. Barber ($6) = $32
d. Bears: T. Jones ($22) + Benson ($10) = $32
e. Steelers: Parker ($26) + Staley ($4) = $30
f. Panthers: Foster ($19) + D. Williams ($11) = $30
g. Patriots: Dillon ($21) + Maroney ($8) = $29
h. Colts: Addai ($15) + Rhodes ($12) = $27
i. Falcons: Dunn ($19) + Duckett ($4) = $23
j. 49ers: Gore ($12) + Barlow ($2) = $14

Notice that all of them, except for the first and last (Saints and 49ers), are all legitimate play-off contenders. Backs on good teams are usually the guys you want, so we would recommend you buy the set you like as your #3 and #4 backs. You could even buy one of the RBBCs that seems to have a clearer starter (e.g. Cowboys, Steelers, maybe Panthers) as your #2 and #3 and make up for it at the other positions, preferably WR.

Tight Ends:

Based on the expert auctions, it will pay to be patient with TEs. Antonio Gates at $23, Tony Gonzalez at $17, and Jeremy Shockey at $15 lead the group, but are they really that much more valuable than Jason Witten at $7, Chris Cooley and LJ Smith at $5, or Heath Miller and Randy McMichael at $4? While value is in the eye of the buyer, we'd rather have McMichael and the extra dollars to put towards a higher tier RB. Vernon Davis is a bit of a surprise at $8.

Kickers:

Always tough to predict, we recommend allotting only a couple of dollars for a kicker. If you are going to open the wallet to the tune of $3 or $4, proven veterans such as Mike Vanderjagt, Adam Vinatieri (now in a dome), and Jay Feely may work out. Otherwise, the likes of Jeff Wilkins, David Akers, Lawrence Tynes, and others are decent options for a buck or two.

Team Defense/Special Teams:

As with Kickers, we suggest not paying much for defenses due to year-to-year volatility. We probably won't pay $7 for the Bears; we'll consider the Colts, Giants, Steelers, Falcons, Eagles for $3; but we probably like the Seahawks, Buccaneers, Ravens, or Dolphins for $2 the best. As a $1 flyer we'd also consider the Packers.

While no two auctions are the same, this should provide a good barometer of how players will be valued come draft day. We will continue to publish our Average Auction Values as the season draws closer. Future AAVs will have a much larger sample size and be more up-to-date.

Remember that value is the key. Be patient, let others overspend, and jump on the bargains when they present themselves. Make sure you check out our other auction draft articles to help you prepare for the big day. Happy auctioning!


George del Prado and Andrew Woodring are syndicated fantasy sports writers for FantasyAuctioneer.com, home of the first and only real-time auction-draft software on the Internet. In developing and maintaining the website, they are convinced they have participated in more fantasy auctions than anyone on the planet and hope you can learn from their experience.