Mastering the Art of the Auction Draft, Part 3: The Mechanics of Beginner Preparation

Learning the exact steps of how to prepare for an auction as a beginner.

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.

So by now, you know what mistakes to avoid and you know what a beginner auction is likely to look like. But you’re still a beginner yourself, so what should you do to reduce that adrenaline spike you get in the middle of a big moment? How do you get around the likelihood that you wilt in the heat of an intense bidding war until you have more experience? You need to be in control of three separate lists that you continually update until the day of the draft.

Average Auction Value Tiered Rankings

A whole article could be written about the usefulness of Average Auction Values (“AAV”) when preparing for a draft. You can read Section II of Jeff Pasquino’s auction primer to show you how to come up with individual values for each player on your own prior to the draft. But assuming you aren’t ready for that level of involvement, AAV acts as sort of a cheat sheet for coming up with price points for each player. AAV is compiled by taking all the prices that have been paid either in mock or real auctions to that point in the preseason and averaging every price to come up with a value that is supposed to approximate what players will go for in a real draft. The problem, of course, is that there are a lot of variables that affect draft values such as when the nomination was made, who is left at the position, and what money is left in the room. So, you can use AAV to tell you what everyone else is thinking, and then use those initial AAV prices to give you a baseline to tweak each number up or down according to where you want them in your rankings.

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