Excellent post, but I'd like to include one small caveat regarding the effects of "keeper" leagues.
Not only does the inflation factor that Matthias explained come into effect (the extra money out there driving up prices due to people keeping under-valued keepers), but in keeper auctions money tends to creep towards the two extremes, towards the top with star players that people intend on keeping, and towards the bottom with prospect players who people are hoping to have a couple of extra bucks to ensure that they get.
Although a rookie prospect's "value" may only be $1 or $2 according to your projections, plenty of owners out there will gladly spend $3 or $5 on a hot prospect hoping to strike gold. Not only does it make them feel better about "finding the gem" (even if they just read about him here), but it also gives them an opportunity to make that money back
by keeping him the following year and getting the extra value out of him then.
Owners looking to "rebuild" thier teams may alter their draft strategy away from big-ticket guys, knowing that one expensive player isn't going to get them to a championship this year. So, they'll reserve their money until the end of the auction and throw that extra money at a bunch of risky prospects, hoping that one or two of them will pan out and give them a strong base for the following year, when they can retain them for very little money and then use all that extra money to buy those big-ticket guys to go with them.
It's a risky strategy, because you don't want to be left with money at the end of the draft, but there are sneaky owners out there who would rather skip out on the $30+ players and buy up a bunch of prospects for $3 or $4 (that you were only willing or able to spend $1-2 on) hoping to find the next B.J. Upton and Ryan Braun in the same year.
So... anyway... yes, keeper league auctions can be impacted by long-term strategy. Owners with different goals
than you can have radically
on players near the beginning and the end of the draft.
Just something to keep in mind when you're putting together your projected prices for players.