It may be May, but I’ve already been hard at work researching actual mock auction data. I’ve done five 10-team mocks with almost all or all humans (I don’t have a problem, I swear). I’ve put the data into a spreadsheet you can view, here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1EIuG4gT1LRAG1GiphL4QYO60eOpwnrZa1FLXlk-p1JQ/edit?usp=sharing
Here are my five biggest initial takeaways:
- There is a lot more breathing room at the top. Last year, the average winning bid for a top 10 player was $57.8 and the max bid for the top 10 players averaged $65.2. This year, so far, the average is $53.6 ($4.20 dollars fewer) and the max is $57.5 ($7.7 dollars fewer). People are gun-shy about the top players after there were so many underwhelming performances last season. This means that more than ever, you can benefit by pushing in for 1-2 top guys and letting the market sort itself out later. It also means the market takes longer to cool off, as not as much money is getting sucked out of the pot in the beginning. This makes getting a top player for an affordable price even more of a priority.
- Yes, the WR2 market crash happens just like it does every single year. You start to see the minimum winning bid hit ~50% of the projected value around WR18 (Amari Cooper/Deebo Samuel/Keenan Allen). A bit later than in previous years, but that fits with less money being spent on the top end. Still, you can bank on getting a starting WR steal if you just save your dollars in any auction where everyone isn’t being a complete miser.
- There are some key single-digit players that should way overproduce for their draft capital. I expect the market to correct, but keep an eye out on these players if it doesn’t:
- Jerry Jeudy (WR18 last year, going for AAV $6)
- Alexander Mattison (Cook expected to be released, AAV $5)
- Geno Smith (QB5 last year, AAV $2)
- Cole Kmet (TE7 last year, AAV $1)
- Christian Kirk (WR11 last year, AAV $5)
4. The market not cooling off as fast means there is a lot of risk of bidding wars making second-tier players not the value they usually can be. Last year the difference between the max bid for the 20th player and the 30th was $17. This year, it’s $9. If your auction is behaving in this seemingly typical “cooler than last year” manner, be prepared if your strategy is to stock up on some of those 2nd and 3rd round snake draft players, they might end up more than you planned.
5. Auction seems to be more popular than ever. Last year I was only able to run and spreadsheet 10 almost-all-human ten-team mocks. This year I’ve reached half that, and it’s not even June, yet. If you want to coordinate filling a mock, hop into our Discord. BE WARNED: Our Discord is a chill place to be: We don’t try to “win” arguments, we debate with the goal of both sides leaving with more information to make a good decision. You’re more than welcome if that sounds like your thing.