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2016 PPR Auction Values

Sigmund Bloom runs down the auction values for players in PPR leagues for 2016.

Auction is a beloved and invigorating format for a draft, despite (because of) the fact that unlike a snake draft, it is inherently unpredictable. The flow of the auction and willingness of people to spend for players is unknowable, sometimes even by the drafters themselves until the moment of truth. If you had the same group do three snake drafts, the results would be very similar across the drafts. Teams would likely have at least 25 to 50% of their rosters in common across drafts. In three successive auctions, teams might have only one or two players in common across teams. The order of the players thrown out for bidding and the remaining balances of all teams are variables that can cause a players price to double or be cut in half from one auction to another.

So how do we combat this fundamental uncertainty? The answer is to arm yourself with your own set of auction values before your draft. It can be a set of values determined by an expert and then tweaked for your league settings and personal player valuations, but if you have the time to create your own, nothing beats building them from the ground up.

First, let's agree on a format for our hypothetical league:

  • 12 teams
  • 20 roster spots
  • PPR scoring
  • 4 pts per Pass Touchdown
  • Point per 20 yards passing
  • QB/2RB/3WR/TE/RB-WR-TE Flex/DEF/K lineups

Obviously, our final values will expand and contract depending on how your league differs from these settings. Non-PPR would inflate running back and deflate wide receiver/tight end. Fewer teams might increase the value of elite players but decrease the value of RB2/WR2 types. More teams would make the top-end running backs more valuable because of increased scarcity. This is a subject for multiple other articles - how league settings affect player value. We'll save that one for another day.

Second, let's agree on a rough distribution of cap value to correspond to redraft pick rounds. The idea here is to simulate about how much each snake pick would be worth as a percentage of your cap:

  • 1st round: 28%
  • 2nd round: 18%
  • 3rd round: 13%
  • 4th round: 10%
  • 5th round: 7%
  • 6th round: 5%
  • 7th round: 3%
  • 8th-10th round: 2%
  • 11th-20th round: 1%

This is only meant to represent a rough distribution of your assets in a typical snake draft. You could do something like take VBD projections and adjust these numbers based on the total VBD available in each round as a percentage of the whole available during the draft. You could come with all kinds of ways to calculate these numbers. I have chosen a somewhat gradual curve, but you may argue that it should be steeper, or perhaps that the top should be lower and it should be even more gradual. The point here is to have some sort of guide for translating round value in a snake draft to dollar value in an auction.

Third, you'll want to open a spreadsheet and create an entry for each of your top 100 players (or more if you think more than 100 players have at least 8th round value). We'll presume that players outside of the top 120 are going to be worth 1% or less of your cap. This, by the way, is a good argument for having a cap of 200 or 500 instead of 100. More units, equals more granularity. In a 100 cap, all defenses and just about all backups are worth a dollar. Period. In a 500 cap, you might throw four bucks at the Arizona defense or your favorite late-round fliers. More units = more flexibility.

Fourth, start with consensus rankings and scale the values (or those listed below), then adjust up or down depending whether you are higher or lower on a player. The values should roughly represent where you would take them in a snake draft based on the earlier values established for each round. You'll want the numbers to add up to about 1000-1050 (of the possible 1200 to spend - 12X100) to leave room for the 140 players that will be rostered that are not on your auction values list. The beautiful thing is that some teams will surely bid two or more dollars or more on a one-dollar player on your board, which means some of your top 100 will go for less than you projected. Teams will also pay more than your projected value for big ticket players. The idea here is that you have a scenario for how the auction will go down if players go for the value that you believe they have. My attempt at this is listed at the end of the article.

Now, we get to the fun part, the auction. It should be immediately clear whether the early players are going for too much or too little. If the first five or ten players are all under your projected values, jump in before everyone loosens up and starts spending their money. That extra money is likely to drive the prices of the players in the middle of the auction up as teams see that they have more money than value left on the board. If the first five or ten players are all over your projected values, then sit back. Eventually, teams will stop firing their bullets and you will be situated with the ability to control the auction and get a run of players at prices that sicken your opponents. You might need to splurge on an RB1 because they are scarce, but otherwise, keep your wallet closed.

With a realistic set of values that accounts for all of the cash on the board, you will be able to track when the draft shifts from a buyer's market to a seller's market and vice versa. You'll be able to know when to get out of bidding on a player because they have exceeded the value that you project for them (adjusted for the direction that your auction is going). While everyone else is one step behind, you'll be one step ahead.

Auction Top 100 (values are % of cap if more than 100 or dollars in a $100 cap league)

Cam Newton QB CAR 8
Drew Brees QB NO 5
Russell Wilson QB SEA 5
Aaron Rodgers QB GB 3
Andrew Luck QB IND 3
Tom Brady QB NE 2
Philip Rivers QB SD 2
Carson Palmer QB ARI 2
Todd Gurley RB LA 29
David Johnson RB ARI 27
Ezekiel Elliott RB DAL 26
LeVeon Bell RB PIT 23
Lamar Miller RB HOU 20
Mark Ingram RB NO 19
Adrian Peterson RB MIN 19
Jamaal Charles RB KC 19
Devonta Freeman RB ATL 19
Doug Martin RB TB 17
CJ Anderson RB DEN 15
LeSean McCoy RB BUF 13
Eddie Lacy RB GB 12
Jeremy Hill RB CIN 11
Frank Gore RB IND 7
Giovani Bernard RB CIN 6
Latavius Murray RB OAK 6
Jonathan Stewart RB CAR 6
Thomas Rawls RB SEA 6
Danny Woodhead RB SD 5
Carlos Hyde RB SF 5
DeAngelo Williams RB PIT 3
Jeremy Langford RB CHI 3
Matt Forte RB NYJ 3
Rashad Jennings RB NYG 3
Duke Johnson RB CLE 3
Arian Foster RB MIA 3
Charles Sims RB TB 2
Jay Ajayi RB MIA 2
Matt Jones RB WAS 2
Bilal Powell RB NYJ 2
T.J. Yeldon RB JAX 2
Rob Gronkowski TE NE 24
Jordan Reed TE WAS 17
Greg Olsen TE CAR 5
Travis Kelce TE KC 3
Antonio Gates TE SD 2
Martellus Bennett TE NE 2
Julius Thomas TE JAX 2
Coby Fleener TE NO 2
Tyler Eifert TE CIN 2
Antonio Brown WR PIT 31
Julio Jones WR ATL 30
Odell Beckham Jr WR NYG 30
AJ Green WR CIN 29
DeAndre Hopkins WR HOU 28
Keenan Allen WR SD 27
Allen Robinson WR JAX 27
Dez Bryant WR DAL 25
T.Y. Hilton WR IND 22
Brandon Marshall WR NYJ 22
Brandin Cooks WR NO 21
Alshon Jeffery WR CHI 21
Amari Cooper WR OAK 21
Mike Evans WR TB 19
Sammy Watkins WR BUF 19
Jarvis Landry WR MIA 17
Demaryius Thomas WR DEN 17
Jeremy Maclin WR KC 15
Randall Cobb WR GB 14
Michael Floyd WR ARI 13
Eric Decker WR NYJ 13
Jordy Nelson WR GB 13
Donte Moncrief WR IND 13
Doug Baldwin WR SEA 10
Larry Fitzgerald WR ARI 9
Julian Edelman WR NE 9
Golden Tate WR SEA 9
Michael Crabtree WR OAK 8
Emmanuel Sanders WR DEN 5
Tyler Lockett WR SEA 4
Kelvin Benjamin WR CAR 4
Sterling Shepard WR NYG 4
DeSean Jackson WR WAS 4
Josh Gordon WR CLE 4
Marvin Jones WR DET 3
Willie Snead WR NO 3
Michael Thomas WR NO 3
Jordan Matthews WR PHI 3
Allen Hurns WR JAX 3
John Brown WR ARI 3
Stefon Diggs WR MIN 3
Vincent Jackson WR TB 3
Travis Benjamin WR SD 2
Sammie Coates WR PIT 2
Phillip Dorsett WR IND 2
Torrey Smith WR SF 2
Corey Coleman WR CLE 2
Kevin White WR CHI 2
Devin Funchess WR CAR 2