Saturday, September 1 – 1:45 PM
I really thought that my first football auction, which took place this past Sunday, would sort of prepare me for my Thursday night one. Yeah, there were clear differences between the two leagues. One was a 10-teamer while the other was a 12-teamer. The 10-teamer uses a third WR slot and a starting RB/WR while the rosters of the 12-teamer are of the 2 RB, 2 WR, no Flex variety. And the 10-teamer awards half a point for each reception while the 12-teamer is a PPR league. The prices in the 12-team league would surely be higher. But by how much? We all know the deal with auctions. All it takes is two owners to drive up a player’s price to a ridiculous amount, and the key is to not get caught up in a bidding war, but at the same time not be too conservative that you’ll be left with a team full of mediocre guys and no stars. I’ve actually been participating in football auction drafts longer than I’ve been doing baseball auctions, but I always seem to make one mistake every year that puts me in a terrible mood. And the terrible mood usually lasts for a few days. Last year, it lasted for a few weeks, as in one of my drafts I got stuck with Joseph Addai as my #2 RB after overpaying for Big Ben Roethlisberger. Strangely enough though, I landed up winning that league, so back in December I vowed to never again overreact on draft day after making what I consider at the time to be an insurmountable blunder.
Anyway, back to the price difference thing. I thought I was ready. I thought I had made the proper adjustments from the 10-teamer to the 12-teamer. Turns out that for some players, I was dead on. But for others, I was way off. So let’s take a look at the eight biggest price discrepancies. Just to be clear, the total auction budget for both leagues was $200.
#8 Jimmy Graham – First Draft: $29 Second Draft: $39
Drafting Graham for $6 last year in my 12-teamer is the single biggest reason why I won the league. I was really hoping for a reunion, and I sketched out a scenario where, if everything broke right, I’d have about 30 bucks available for him. That scenario did not happen. And even if it did, I would not have been able to afford him. Oh well.
#7 Steven Jackson – First Draft: $26 Second Draft: $37
And I’m the one who took him in that second draft. I’ll admit it, I overpaid by at least five bucks, as there are legitimate concerns about the Rams’ offensive line. But I had no interest in repeating my #2 RB mistake from last year, and I still consider S-Jax a borderline #1 RB in a PPR league. And he’s my #2! I’m really liking my Ray Rice/Steven Jackson RB duo.
#6 Doug Martin – First Draft: $12 Second Draft: $25
And I’m the one who took him in the first draft! Investing in rookie running backs can be a little risky, but the reports on Martin are glowing. For 12 bucks, the price was right. 25 bucks is a little too high for my liking as I still have a bad taste in my mouth after reaching for J.J. Arrington back in ’05.
#5 Shonn Greene – First Draft: $8 Second Draft: $22
The truth lies somewhere in between. For eight bucks, he’s a steal. But $22 for a guy who has yet to prove that he can be a consistent every down back? Eh. But I did understand this owner’s thinking a little more when I realized that Isaac Redman was his #2 RB before he made the Greene pick.
#4 Roddy White – First Draft: $27 Second Draft: $41
First, let me say that I’m not really buying all the talk that White’s role in the Falcons’ offensive attack will be drastically reduced due to the emergence of Julio Jones. There will be enough footballs to go around for both to be happy. And after seeing White get stolen for a mere 27 bucks (if I hadn’t already spent $35 on Greg Jennings I would’ve gone after Roddy aggressively), I had the crazy idea that he would be undervalued in the second draft. Could I possibly get him for as low as $30? Not a chance. On a side note though, I’m very pleased to have drafted Wes Welker for $36. In a PPR league, one can make a strong case that Welker is the more valuable player.
#3 Phillip Rivers – First Draft: $9 Second draft: $24
The bottom line is that in the second draft, quarterbacks went for a whole lot higher than in the first draft. And since QB scoring is exactly the same in these two leagues, this was a little puzzling. Do the two extra teams really have this drastic of an effect? I was targeting Rivers in the second draft but bailed when the bidding got to $20. Looking back though, this was a good move, as I was able to snag Jay Cutler for just six bucks! What’s not to like about that?
#2 Matt Ryan – First Draft: $9 Second Draft: $26
Pretty much the same deal as Rivers. Ryan was my #1 choice in both drafts and I had budgeted around $18 for him. Got him in the first draft but grossly underestimated his value in the second draft.
#1 Aaron Hernandez – First Draft: $5 Second Draft: $26
A shocker on both ends. I still can’t explain why I didn’t raise Hernandez’s price from five bucks, but I had already drafted Antonio Gates for the very reasonable cost of $14. If I had known that this would happen, it’s safe to say that Gates would not be on my team. But $26 for Hernandez seems a bit steep. It’s paying for his upside, not his current market value.
Well, I’m almost completely done with football draft season. Just a few more rounds left of the slow snake draft in the league I’m participating in with fellow Mastersballers Lawr, Todd and Rob. And then begins the challenge of managing eight different fantasy teams at once.