The Ten Commandments of Fantasy Football Auctions

Evan: One day, it hit me, like a bolt of lightning from God: I like bossing my friends around, I like doing shrooms on top of a mountain. Therefore, I am uniquely qualified to come up with my own commandments for fantasy football auctions.

However, I was concerned that my own interpretation of the Torah was not kosher. So I brought in my friend Dirty Mike, who is an expert in Jewish culture, and is also Jewish!

Mike: I’m a double threat!

Evan: Between his spiritual guidance, and my extremely opinionated views garnered from 20 years of on fantasy football auctions, we have put together our Ten Commandments of Fantasy Football Auction, and also put away 10 he’brews each, to channel “God” or, if you find that reference offensive, ‘god.” Follow me, Goys!

The Ten Commandments of Fantasy Football Auctions

I. Thou Shalt Nominate High-Dollar Players You Don’t Want Early

Sadly, people nominating players they want early is still as common as awkward people tagging their draft photos “labeled for reuse”

Evan: This is the first COmmandment (capitalizing just the first letter doesn’t get anyone’s attention, anymore) for a reason. Fantasy football auction is a zero-sum game, meaning the more other people spend on stuff you don’t want, the less you’ll have to spend on stuff you want. Not only that, but it stacks: The more people there are nominating the LeSean McCoys and Evan Engrams of the world, the less money that will be in the pot when more consistent top-level players come up for bidding.

Mike: I agree. Actually, I thought we were supposed to disagree on everything.


II. Don’t telegraph your intentions

That’s what this is? This whole time I’ve been using it to roll joints

Evan: Jump bidding on a guy you want does nothing but tell everyone at the table that you are willing to go above market value for a player. Keep your raises $1 only to maximize the chances that you get a decent deal.

Mike: Yeah. There’s also an efficiency in fantasy football auction markets, I mean inefficiencies in markets, I mean we’re dealing with human beings, not robots. So like people don’t understand the values of who their bidding on.


III. Don’t bank primarily on value

You’d be surprised how much faster things go when we all pitch in to rob ourselves.

Evan: There’s bound to be some steals in a draft, but not enough to make a good team core. If you want anyone decent in the top 50, be prepared to go over the “predicted value.” This isn’t snake draft, where you can wait and see who falls to you: If only one other team owner loves the player you love, there’s going to be a bidding war driving up the price.

Mike: Right you’ll be the old maid finishing 9th in a twelve-person league.

<At this point mike paused thoughtfully, then added> Filled with the life of would’ve could’ve should’ve


IV. Hybrid Strategy is always the best

This is a hybrid bicycle. Because it also transforms into a robot

Evan: Far and away the best fantasy football auction teams combine sensational players with a stable, if low-ceilinged bunch. Take a look at the polygamous. no don’t laugh this is serious, take a serious look at the polygamists and think about fantasy football. How do the polygamists do it? A few hot younger wives mixed in with some more, erm, robust “starter wives.” Keeps things exciting while still making sure all the chores get taken care of.

Mike: Like a polygamist, make sure you have a good bench.


V.  Don’t go nuts on the last player of a tier

It was either this or a picture of my inflamed testicles

Evan: It’s important to set tier lists to know when to bid. However, a common mistake is to get worried when a tier has one player left. Let’s say your top tier of RBs is DJ, Elliott, Gurley, and Bell. If three of those go, it may be tempting to go all in on the last player remaining. But, as mentioned, if just one other owner is having the same panic, the price could balloon way above-expected value. Just let the player go and roll the money over to get stronger players from lesser tiers.

Mike: I was thinking if someone knows you have one of those top-tier running backs, you should bid to make them think this guy’s crazy.” It all goes back to rational markets. Speaking of rational markets… bitcoin is at $6500/coin

Evan: How much did you buy in for?

Mike: $22,000

Evan: Alright, please continue

Though my sex worker has lowered their rates $20


VI. Set a budget strategy, and learn the Balance Method

I hear budget street has a lot of potholes

Anyone who has been head of their household or even gone grocery shopping knows the importance of sticking to a budget. Once you’ve set your fantasy football auction budget, the Balance Method is a great way to adjust to the wild chaos that engulfs every auction. When you get a player, simply figure out how much more/less he cost than your projected budget, then adjust your other budget numbers to fit. For instance, if you have budgeted $60 for OBJ, and you get him for $57, you know you can add $3 to another position’s budget.

Mike: Yeah, i don’t know about that.


VII. Don’t trust a mock auction to represent how a real auction will go

Pictured: My auction from last year. This was the court reporter’s sketch

Evan: A mock snake draft is a great way to try out strategies and get a general idea of how your actual draft will go. A mock fantasy football auction is far less useful. The nature of scarcity, combined with the fact that anyone can get any player at any time, leads to a lot more randomness. You can mock to get a handle on how an auction works, and you can mock for fun, but never assume any trend you see in a practice auction will translate once you’re at the table.

Mike: I spent an hour arguing with Spectrum internet over $4 for an hour

Evan: You enjoyed this

Mike: I did. Also, it was on my honeydo list


VIII. Don’t price police

This, except instead of guns that shoot bullets they are holding supermarket price guns, that also shoot bullets

Evan: While you can always bid up a fantasy football auction player who telegraphs their intentions (see Commandment II), don’t bid on a guy you don’t want simply because a player is going to get them for a steal. Bargains happen, just accept that and don’t risk losing a chunk of change on a player you don’t even want or need.

Mike: THOU SHALT NOT COVET THY NEIGHBOR’S WIFE is the commandment Moses used to guide his fantasy football team. Bidding on a player just because they are cheap is coveting your neighbor’s wife.


IX. Respect scarcity’s ability to cause chaos

Pictured: Julio Jones

Evan: When I think about top-tier players at fantasy football auction, I think about a pretty woman walking down the street. You start talking to her, and she’s cool. Now… will she have a boyfriend? The answer is a resounding “YES!” What are the chances that of every cool person to talk to her, no one else decided she was worth asking out? The same holds true for top players: As mentioned, all it takes is ONE other owner to like a player you like to make the resources needed to get that player skyrocket.

Mike: Be the boyfriend of the players that you want to create scarcity for?

Evan: <owned<

X. Thou shalt always have 10 commandments






For more auction advice, check out these equally-bossy articles:

The Only Ten Tips You Need To Dominate Your Fantasy Football Auction

The Worst Fantasy Football Auction of All Time

The Declaration of Auction-dependance

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