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Anybody got any good auction strategies for AL only?

PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:05 pm
by colt4523
This will be my fourth year in my 12 team AL only league. We keep 8 players so our auction is heavily influenced by inflation. With a $260 cap, most teams go into the draft with around $150 to spend. My league also heavily favors hitting. I have noticed that my auction usually starts with high priced talent being nominated first and they usually go for a decent amount. I ended up waiting a couple of rounds before I picked up my first players Zobrist 35 and Konerko 35. That shows how much decent hitters go for. I can't think of too many bargains last year. Most bargains come from starting pitching.

I was thinking of not nominating one of the top players available say McCann but nominate another catcher I want, Gomes. Does anyone use this type of strategy? I think most owners who need a catcher will be waiting on McCann. I was thinking I could get someone like Gomes for much cheaper and use the money to get another big hitter (choo, beltran, pujols, longo).

Does anyone else have any unique strategies? I know 3b is real shallow in the AL too. I was thinking I trying for Longo even though I have beltre. There is so few 30+ hr hitters now.

Re: Anybody got any good auction strategies for AL only?

PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:43 pm
by SecretAgentMan
Can't really speak to AL only, but auctions tend to follow the same general patterns in my experience.

1. Players called out early will usually go for par or above par pricing.
2. The early rounds cause the big spender owners to run short of money, leaving opportunities in the mid-rounds to pickup relative bargains.
3. The next phase sees remaining top players go for big bucks again as the lack of supply now drives those with money left to spend big on them.
4. The last stage is cheap players since most everyone is running out of money. You can get good value here at times.

Some thoughts:
1. The single most important thing to do before an auction is to come up with a plan and target primary and secondary targets at all positions\open slots on your team and price limits for each. That said, while you should have a plan, don't be afraid to spend an extra buck or two to get the player you want. I also tend to generalize certain positions like say I will not spend over X on 3 closers combined and it does not matter who I get in the OK list of acceptable closers. Or I will not spend more than $5 on 2 Cs etc. in a similar manner.

2. Usually there will be one or two ownesr who are either out of their minds or have some sort of fascination with some player or two and spend insanely on that player. Do NOT get into a bidding war with them even if that player is last on your fallback options at a position. You have to sort of be able to concede a point every now and then and decide to divert to an alternate plan. It is one thing to spend a couple of extra bucks to get your man, but if someone really wants to spend $60 on Miguel Cabrera, let him and back off.

3. NEVER worry about other team's rosters. By that I mean do not try to be cute and bid an extra dollar on a player you do not want because you think the other guy will go another dollar and you can force him to spend more money. Really bad idea as you never know what the limit is in the other guy's mind and if he gets dropped on you you are SOL. I remember a number of years ago in my main auction money league, I went in with a lot of top hitters and obviously was going to spend on pitching. It was no secret based on my keepers being all hitters. Sabathia came up early and with inflation I was up to $36 on him. Another owner who was trying to get me to spend a few dollars more bid $37. I countered to $38 and told him bluntly that another $1 and he would be his. He did not believe me so he bid 39 and I let him have Sabathia and went to my secondary pitcher. This guy had 4 pitchers being kept and now spent a lot of money on another one he really dod not want and it completely wrecked his strategy and his team. He then tried to trade me an overpriced Sabathia for my $6 Longoria and I told him to go take a hike lol. That is what you get for being a jerk.

4. Don't try to overthink who you call out early. I have found that the best strategy is to ALWAYS call out someone you really do not want that can hurt the others\draw down their money and hopefully make soem of them fall back to a secondary plan. I add on that you should track who your major threat is for a player or position and try to force them to spend money early elsewhere before you have to if you can but barring that take a general approach and target weak positions you are set at. For instance...keeping Tulo, then call out the best available SSs. Own M. Cabrera, do the same for 3b etc.

5. When you think the bargains are being had and are in a position moneywise to make the play, that is when you call out that player you are targeting and have been holding back on\waiting for. This is often a lot more difficult to do as one never really knows what others are thinking.

Re: Anybody got any good auction strategies for AL only?

PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:54 am
by hot4tx
I've never played AL-only auction, but I have notice the same phenomena with mixed-league auctions for C, RP, and SS. If a medium tier player gets tossed out before the big boys in his position he usually goes for much cheaper than comparable than his counterparts that go after all the top guys are gone.

I do successfully use this as a strategy to get the medium-ranked RPs like Papelbon or Robertson cheaper because guys might still be targeting the higher ranked RPs. If I would have waited longer, on average they would cost more, because the top guys are already gone and there is somewhat of a scramble to fill those positions with decent player. Of course occasionally it back-fires and the guy gets bid up way over what you thought he would. Since it is earlier on in the auction, more people have money to burn, and if another manager or two is targetting that same player it can escalate quickly.

So my thoughts are if the guy is a "must have" for me then I'll try to wait and toss him out closer to the middle of the packfor his position. On average I'll probably end up paying a bit more but it seems like there's less chance that someone latches on with a ton of money to burn and out-bids me. If it's just a C/RP/SS that I like a lot at his price and think I can get discounted production, then I'm more likely to toss him out early and see what happens.

Re: Anybody got any good auction strategies for AL only?

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 7:21 pm
by jeffmerk
Don't nominate players that you want until later in the draft. You can gauge what prices should look like by seeing what the players you don't want are going for and when you finally bring up a player you want, the other owners can't be sure if you're really interested.

Re: Anybody got any good auction strategies for AL only?

PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 5:41 pm
by OBPlover
You know there are a million ways to do auctions..and all of them are right and wrong at the same time.

The only key piece of advice is to set a realistic price target for the players you want and have a few backup ideas in case their prices go for more than expected.

I was in an auction draft last year and the top 3 players all had different strategies. The 3rd place team winner spent the bulk of his money on pitching and loaded up on "speed and average". He could have done better, he bought Gio Gonzalez and Matt Cain who both had disappointing years. But he bought Darvish and Kershaw as well. He bought Kimbel and Chapman. He would still win all pitching categories every week and usually win Steals and Average. He would consistently win 7-8 points a week out of 12. But he would seldom dominate.

The 2nd place winner..played "Moneyball", he didn't buy anyone until the mid rounds when most of the money was gone. Then he bought a very balanced Roster on the cheap. Pedroia for 30 was his most expensive player, but he also bought Shin Soo Choo, Matt Latos, Matt Harvey
all at good prices.

I was the winner last year. My strategy was to go with quality. Not quite a "stars and scrubs" strategy but I wanted to pay for quality offense and leave about 60-70 dollars for high risk/ high reward pitching. I bought Matt Holliday, Freddie Freeman, Carlos Santana, Ryan Zimmerman and Jose Bautista (whoops) I bought Scherzer, Bumgardner Matt Moore, Shelby Miller and Ryu for about 60 dollars in budget. I never pay for premium closers. Too much risk/reward.

Re: Anybody got any good auction strategies for AL only?

PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:15 pm
by Skin Blues
This is not auction specific, but AL/NL only specific advice: make sure you fill your starting roster with full-time players. And preferably at least one bench spot should be a starter. It's tempting to grab a great hitter that's in a platoon near the end of a draft rather than the guy on a crappy team who is a lock for full playing time. But if you plug those platooners into your starting lineup you will have terrible counting stats despite having better quality hitters since they just don't get the ABs. A Stars n Scrubs approach can ruin an AL/NL only team. Emphasis should be on playing time.

Re: Anybody got any good auction strategies for AL only?

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:18 pm
by SpecialFNK
this isn't really for AL (NL) only.
there are some great rules/ideas/strategy in this thread to follow, but where/how do you come up with the prices?

is there one website with better pricing than another?

I've looked at these 2 sites.
ESPN.. ... gs-top-300

Bryce Harper for example. ESPN has him at $25, but RotoChamp has him at $35.