As in take what the auction gives you and don’t “Hop off the bus Gus”. So many times, especially in keeper league auctions where inflation rears its ugly head to disrupt your projected values and subsequent auction prices, players pull back from buying someone they need because “well that is more than he is going to earn”.
Yes, you aren’t going to get a profit from many of the players you buy before the end game in those auctions. But there is an invisible line there my friend and you need to see it to successfully complete your roster.
The profit should come from your keepers (or most of them, you are keeping Miguel Cabrera because it doesn’t matter that you would like to buy him back for less if you threw him back – your league mates won’t let you). It can also come from nice players at several positions in the end game when nobody has any money left and you get Chris Parmalee as you CI for a buck. Or when you roster a decent starting pitcher like Philip Humber for a dollar.
But you can’t win with five or six of those players so you can’t save a lot of your money until the end game. And you can’t afford to get into a bidding war in the middle of the auction with the STUDS already rostered and have to go to $18 for an iffy Colby Rasmus.
No you NEED to buy some of the solid performers even at inflated prices – you need to buy their STATS.
In my twenty seven year old AL keeper league, I tried to buy Albert Pujols, but he went to a team with a wheelbarrow full of cash for $56. Prince Fielder also broke the fifty dollar barrier fetching $51 auction dollars from another team with a big wallet. Sure I could have tried to go an extra buck (trust me it wouldn’t have worked with either of those players) and stretch the rest of my ninety seven dollar budget but I would still need six more players and the critical positions, catcher and closer would be sadly lacking and I would be fighting for every player I needed until they were “nice” but wouldn’t help me win.
So I settled for the very hot Carlos Pena for $16. I rostered the best catcher available in the draft, getting Kurt Suzuki for $17. And then because I couldn’t pay forty plus dollars for Adrian Gonzalez or Josh Hamilton and because I didn’t like the mid-range outfielder/DH types Alexi Rios at $18+, Adam Dunn at $19+, Nelson Cruz, the huge playing time risk like Hamilton, at $36+, or even Raul Ibanez at $16+, I decided to shift that money to get the one STUD starting pitcher who went for less than the inflation priced C.C. Sabathia at $31 or Felix Hernandez at $34. That is how I got Dan Haren for $29 and thus spent more on pitching than I ever have in my fantasy career. That is how with Haren joining Jeremy Hellickson, Ricky Romero, Matt Harrison, Justin Masterson and three closers (I froze Valverde at $17 and bought Hector Santiago for $13 and Fernando Rodney for $9 – and I still don’t understand why the bidding stopped there) I have the best pitching staff in the league.
And I will need it because while the Haren buy kept me out of auction dogfights – some already mentioned and others we don’t have the space for here, it did prevent me from getting either Cody Ross or Andy Dirks who both went for a dollar more than I had just before the end game (especially with one owner who failed to buy a better player earlier and was awash in auction cash).
But I have a salvation trying to swim upstream and get to Anaheim. While my minor league Mike Trout would have been a nice luxury if/when the Angels finally bring him up this year, he is now a necessity for my team to three-peat .
I did have one auction regret but I am still not sure that I could have rostered Yoenis Cespedes for $30-32. Only a rebuilding team was in at $29 and who knows how high he would have gone. Hopefully Trout will erase that recurring question and sleepless nights.