StrategyMarch 9, 2005


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Auctions Dos and Don’ts

By Arlo Vander

Fantasy auctions are a bit like poker games: to come out on top, it doesn’t only take sound strategy, but a healthy dose of bluffing and psychology as well. Steady nerves and a good poker face can be every bit as important as accurate projections. What makes the auction format so interesting is that everybody at the table has their own set of tactics; here are a few more ideas to add to your bag of tricks.

Don’t…
… go into the auction with an etched-in-stone strategy. Flexibility is a key to success; if you see an opportunity, take it, even you if then have to throw your pre-auction plans out the window.

Do…
… make sure to keep track of the positions you still need to fill as well as your remaining budget. Planning ahead will save you from many a nasty surprise, such as discovering you only have $4 left and still need an infield.

Don’t…
… forget to keep an eye on your opponents’ needs and budgets as well. Knowing which players other owners are pursuing and how much they have left to spend will help you optimize your own strategy while foiling your opponents’ plans.

Do…
… call out the names of players you have no interest during the early phases of the auction in order to drain your opponents’ budgets.

Don’t…
… have too much to drink, especially if your league holds its auction at your local bar. There’s nothing like triumphantly landing Edgar Renteria, only to wake up the next morning with a hangover and the realization that Renteria is your fifth shortstop.

Do…
… keep the other owners’ glasses full.

Don’t…
… leave your cheat sheets and dollar values lying around where other owners can see them while you take an extensive bathroom break.

Do…
… leave a set of fake cheat sheets and dollar values lying around where other owners can see them while you take an extensive bathroom break.

Don’t…
… overspend to pick up your favorite player.

Do…
… give your opponents the impression that you’re willing to overspend to pick up your favorite player. Wear your Derek Jeter jersey, name your team Leave It To Jeter … and then leave ‘em hanging when the bidding gets too high.

Don’t…
… get caught bluffing.

Do…
… have a blast.

Arlo Vander is busily tweaking his cheat sheets in preparation for his first auction of the season.

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