More and more fantasy football leagues are making the move to auction formats. Footballguys has increased its coverage of auctions, starting with the Auction Primer series and now this year with several more articles by Drew Davenport. Auctions are a ton of fun, especially in a live auction format, and it is definitely something to consider for your current league or even when considering joining a new group for the coming NFL season.
Over the past few years, many subscribers have had a big interest not only in auction strategy articles but also in finding some Average Auction Values (AAVs) for auction leagues, which are the equivalent of ADP for an auction league. As many auction league players know, every auction is different and AAVs are just a guideline for relative value. Some leagues love to bid up quarterbacks, while others deeply discount them - but the relative value for all of the quarterbacks remains the same. That means QB5 will be about the fifth-most expensive quarterback, regardless of budget or league, give or take a spot or two.
While AAVs are a good thing to have, there are quite a few potential traps in using them in a vacuum. First, every league is different, as noted above. Second, just like ADP, these are averages, and nothing more. Players can (and often do) go for different prices, and you must adjust accordingly. The best plan(s) involves the following:
1. Read all the Footballguys' articles on auctions. It will not take that long, and the value is immense.
2. Do take the time to calculate your projected prices for the players you expect to cost over $1 for your auction (See Section II of the Auction Primer, Steps 1-6 for how to do this
3. Review not only the AAV list below but also a few mock drafts, such as a recent one done by several Footballguys' Staff Members: Footballguys PPR 12 Team Auction (which will be summarized in the AAV table below). Look at not only player prices but also what players were nominated early, in the middle, or later in the auction to help with your overall strategy.
4. Above all else - review any history for your auction league. Tendencies such as running backs going for far more than expected, certain teams' players getting bid up (the homer phenomenon) or any other nuggets can be found in this way, and have direct applicability to your league.
5. Review tiering articles at Footballguys, and work on your own list. The last player in a tier often goes for too much (as there are many owners who do not want to miss out on that value of a player, or were saving money to bid on him) - so keep that in mind as well.
As many auction league players know, every auction is different and AAVs are just a guideline for relative value. Some leagues love to bid up quarterbacks, while others deeply discount them - but the relative value for all of the quarterbacks remains the same. That means QB5 will be about the fifth-most expensive quarterback, regardless of budget or league, give or take a spot or two.
The values below are based on a 12-team league with a $200 budget, and also an actual staff mock auction based on the same budget ($200) for players. Any player not listed below is assumed to be worth no more than a few dollars ($1-5), including all defenses and kickers. A few defenses sometimes go for more than $1 (such as Chicago), but as with most leagues, scoring differences for defenses vary widely and can impact the value of the top few options - but usually, a team defense should not be more than $2-3 at most. It should also be noted that the Draft Dominator produces auction values based on season-long results (which is why some suspended players have a depressed price).
Without any further delay, here are the values, first listed by overall value (price), and then sorted by position. These values were collected from a number of sources, such as Sports Illustrated ("SI"), CBS Sports (either a summary value, or the average of three of their experts), the Footballguys' Draft Dominator ("FBG-DD") and also the FBG Mock auction mentioned earlier. A line was drawn at the maximum value of $3 for each position, which results in a list of the Top 160 players for your auction. That should represent most of your cap:
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