Mastering the Auction, Part 4: Nomination Strategies

Learning different nomination strategies to advance your auction draft skills. 

Note: This series is designed to take auction drafters of any ability and refine their auction skills to those of a seasoned auction veteran. The articles will go from very simple concepts all the way to the most advanced auction theories. Each article is designed to build on the previous articles in the series. For best results read each article before proceeding to the concepts in the next article. For a breakdown of auction mechanics and strategies see Footballguy Jeff Pasquino’s excellent 8-part Auction Primer Series

If you have followed along in this series, or you have some auction drafts under your belt, then you are ready to take your next steps to refining your auction skillset. To this point, the strategy has argued strongly for preparation in advance that gives you a reliable backbone to fall back on as you draft. But as you become more experienced, the beginner techniques become more second nature and you can begin to slowly loosen things up. You can begin to explore mid-draft changes in strategy, nominations that target specific owners, and price ranges instead of exact values. This series will hit all of those before it’s over, but for now focus on something that is entirely within your control: Nominating a player for bid. In an auction, the one thing you can always count on is that unpredictability will rule. So when you are faced with uncertainty you must find your edge wherever you can. Nominations are one of those edges. It is quite possibly the only thing you have that you control completely, but that also gives you the power to drastically affect what other teams are doing. Here are some vital concepts to be aware of when crafting your nominations.


It is sometimes easy to make the mistake of coming up with players you want and then attempting to sit on those players as long as you can to try and find a lower price. But while it is rarely correct to simply call out every player you want, on the other hand, if you want to execute your strategy there are going to be some key players that will send your draft off in different directions. You must nominate those players as early as the draft allows in order to avoid missing opportunities along the way if you’re waiting for “your” players to be called out. Some common situations:

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