What are some common errors you see in auction leagues? How can these errors be exploited?
Alex Miglio: Auction leagues are tricky business. Mock drafts are great for doing reps, but every single draft is different. League owners will have tendencies you can exploit if you pay attention from year-to-year, but even familiarity cannot predict what will happen in drafts.
The single biggest mistake I see in auction drafts is going in with a rigid draft philosophy. Budgeting is important. Tiers are great. Knowledge of positional scarcity is fundamental. But going into an auction draft and saying, "I'm going to do X, Y, and Z," without any sort of flexibility is a good way to find yourself panicking midway through the draft.
Anything could happen, which is why you should adapt your strategy throughout the draft. If you planned on paying up for running backs and find that your league mates are driving up prices beyond even your budget, pivot elsewhere. If you tend to skimp at quarterback and see gun shy leaguemates letting Aaron Rodgers go for $24, you would be remiss not to jump in and see if you can grab an incredible value there.
Beyond inflexibility, the most important thing to remember about auction drafts is this—never, ever bid on a player you don't want or need. Whether that means bidding $2 on a kicker on a whim or $29 on a tight end simply because you want to drive the price up, always place a bid on a player with the assumption you can win that bid. You do not need a third quarterback, so why risk landing one? It's not your job to drive up the price of players—let the market decide that.