The more I think about it the more it really sounds like the smart guys are just whining. It seems like in the early years of the league they got used to being able to snag a bunch of sleepers/prosepects/high-upside guys at the bargain price of $1-2 at the end of the draft. Now, the rest of the league is catching on and is saving a few extra dollars for the end of the draft so the sharps can't get those guys at a bargain price anymore. I think it's time that the smart guys adapt...not quit.
Another issue to consider is that there have been extraordinary improvements in the quality of pre-season cheatsheets and draft info since your league began. 18 years ago the internet was brand new (AOL was only 1 year old). Now ESPN, CBS, Yahoo, Fox Sports, MLB.com, rotoworld and Sporting News (among countless other smaller websites) all release cheatsheets that are at least decent, and often very good. And that doesn't even include all the fantasy magazines......ore all the info available on the website! And many of those cheetsheets are even free.
These "draft kits" are customized to fit the size/type of league and include lists of projected sleepers, busts and hot prospects. In the mid-90's it took a lot of time, effort and knowledge to identify those bargain priced gems and/or the next big thing. Now you can find dozens articles identifying bargains, sleepers and prospects with one Google search. I've noticed that 10 years ago it was always possible to pick up quality players off the waiver wire post-draft in yahoo public leagues......now the waiver wire is barren in those league. Thats because now even 1st timers are showing up to the draft with a legit cheetsheet in their hands.
So i think the smart guys may not be giving the schmucks enough credit. Even though they aren't putting in the same amount of effort and the hard-core guys....they may actually know who they are bidding on when they bid o those "under-the-radar" types.
So, again, thell those guys to quit whining and play!!!