Rule 1: You should rarely if ever put up someone you want early. Think about it. If you call out top player you neither want nor need, then someone else blows 35+ dollars on someone you could care less about. That is the objective.
Rule 2a: Have a plan and stick to it, but be prepared to bend if necessary. Target certain players at certain positions and go after them. Have a fallback plan on each, but generally try to get the players you target and have your budget calculated out...so much on closers...so much on 2nd tier starters, so much on Cs, etc.
Rule 2b...Be prepared to figure out a strategy that requires you to pay for elite talent. I.e., beware the bargain hunter mind set of someone who will only get a player that is a bargain. Nice in theory, but the real world requires you to get talent on your squad and sometimes you just need to pay to get it. Figure that you will need to pay for at least 3 top level batters and one starting pitcher. And use your strategy to target the guys you figure you can get to do that. If you think you can get by with all 20 dollar bargains, you could be right, but you probably will not be.
Rule 3: Pay fair value but do not overreach. It is fine to pay 47 for Pujols if he is valued at 45 and you want the guy as part of your strategy. It is not fine to bid 55.
Rule 4: Be prepared to bend your strategy when bargains appear. Maybe you had no intention of getting Player X, but he is worth $20 and is going for 11..so you bid 12 and grab him. This starts to happen at some point as the money dries up.
Rule 5: NEVER try to bid up someone to drive up the price past the point where you could even remotely get stuck with him. Never do this at all with scrubs you do not want on your team. If Pujols is worth 45, do not bid 38 unless you are willing to take him at that price. You never know, someone might not be willing to go the extra buck and while that may be a bargain, it will not do you any good if say you already spent on a top 1b and now just blew up your strategy on a player that does not fit in. Bargain or not it puts you in a bad state money-wise to execute the remainder of your plan. Generally an 80% rule is a good rule...i.e., never bid over 80% of the perceived value. But that is subjective. And never futz with the, oh he is worth 7 so I am gong to 3 dollars on the lower-tier guys situation. No one may think the guy is worth 4 or be willing to pay 4 and you again are stuck with a 3 dollar player you do not want.