Friday, February 12, 2010

The world is yours

Auction drafts are a completely different animal. Like a Chupacabra or the
Cloverfield monster.

I participated in my first auction mock of the season - my first ever, in fact - and came away with mixed sentiments. The length of the auction was a turn-off. No question. I started at 3:42 PM and the draft ended shortly after 5:50 PM. I've done drafts that exceed three hours in duration but this one seemed to linger. Perhaps it was the fact that I invested good amount of imaginary money in my first three picks (Braun, Upton, Kinsler) which, unfortunately, reduced me to twiddling my thumbs for a solid 12-15 minutes.

Another beef I have with this format is that I feel it will lose its novelty quickly. Its appeal derives from it being an alternative way of drafting -- one Yahoo! had not offered previously. However, I challenge you to do four or five of these per season and not be bored to tears by the end of the fifth one. You could draft in eight subsequent drafts in the classic format and it still wouldn't feel like a chore.

A live auction draft with FAAB settings for waiver pick-ups offers you the option to acquire any player in the league. You don't have that luxury in standard live drafts. If you have the means, hypothetically you could have the entire first round all to yourself. Of course, you haven't done yourself any favors for later rounds -- for example, Round 2 -- but auction presents you that option.

Budget. If you don't, you, too, will be stuck twiddling your thumbs for 12-15 minutes. Which isn't a bad thing if you compete professionally in gaming or thumb-wrestling, I suppose.

Wait for it ... I've finally let the bliss that is How I Met Your Mother enter my life two days ago. The show is delightful and I fully endorse it. To think, I used to be morally opposed to this show; boy, was I missing out. In terms of live auction drafts, wait for value. If you spend like Vince McMahon with a power-hungry mentality, what you'll end up with is a failed product (I couldn't even find its main site or anything that resembled it because it failed so miserably). Maintain control. If anything, spend on third base; that's an intolerably scarce position. You want your virtual dollar bills invested in the hot corner.

Be aware at all times. Since there's no defined draft order, be sure to keep tabs on every position during the draft.

Position scarcity. Recognizing position scarcity in correlation with the values will be the key to your success.

Values. Familiarize yourself with the values (dollar amounts). Then, during the draft, you'll know how to allocate that $10 you saved by passing on Teixeira and selecting Morneau. If you spend lavishly and uncontrollably early, you'll miss out on the value bids later in the draft.

Prior to drafting, attach dollar amounts to players. This will serve as a rough guideline of a budget. Of course, in some spots, you have to play it by ear.

Specifics. Holliday went roughly $10 less than Braun. I'm going to target him.

There is value at catcher. The difference between McCann and Montero, for example, in dollar amounts, is substantial.

Auction drafts: Even more of a reason not to overbid on closers. (Hoffman $3, K-Rod $3, Aardsma $2, Franklin $2, Fuentes $1, Wood $1. Broxton $11).

You can still wait on pitching, as you should, but do not neglect it like you would in standard drafts. You don't want to be caught in a bidding war for David Price as your SP1.

Photo via Getty Images

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