Mastering the Draft Dominator: Auction Drafts

An overview of how to use the Draft Dominator to crush auction drafts.

We’ve covered the fundamentals of the Draft Dominator starting with the basics, followed by customizing cheat sheets, creating realistic mock drafts, and showed off advanced features that highlight the app’s biggest strengths. Each article is meant to complement a video series uncovering everything you need to know about leveraging this tool to your advantage.

The power of the Draft Dominator isn’t isolated to standard snake drafts, either. It carries that same prowess over to auction drafts, showcasing features that were built with the same level of care and detail to be on equal footing as snakes. What follows is an overview of how to run auction drafts and a peek at how the Dominator adapts to your league in real-time.

Mock Auctions and Real Auctions

Just like with any league, the Dominator will import all of your settings accurately. If for some reason you need to make changes, hover over the settings at the top left of the desktop version or tap the gears icon on mobile. This will pull up a variety of adjustable options such as scoring settings, draft order, lineup settings, etc. You can also reset drafts or auto-complete drafts from this window.

Setting up an auction draft works the same way as setting up any draft. Simply select the league you want, choose either mock or real draft, and hit Create Draft. If you’re running a mock, the Dominator will nominate players and begin bidding for your opponents. When you’re on the clock, simply enter the amount you want to bid or hit decline. Here’s what it looks like (desktop version):

At the top left of the draft board, you can enter a bid or decline to bid. The Dominator calculates your max bid based how much money you need to draft your full roster. The retail number (shown on your Cheat Sheet and next to the max bid) is how much a player is worth based on several factors that will be explained in the next section. As your draft progresses, you’ll also see a percentage associated with each player. These numbers represent how far above or below retail a GM paid for a player.

To nominate a player for bidding with the desktop version, click on the blue hammer next to the player’s name. On mobile, either tap the player and then the hammer icon or hold and swipe right until you see the icon appear. Release to nominate. You may now enter your initial bid. You will also see a blue helmet icon above the bidding window. This will take you to the player’s profile, where you can access all of his information, such as season outlook, recent news, schedule, etc.

Real drafts work the same as mocks with the key difference being that you will need to enter each selection manually. On the mobile app tap the hammer icon at the bottom to pull up the draft board and then select a team. On the desktop, click on a team from the draft board at the left. Choose a player by hitting the hammer icon for the player, enter the amount of the winning bid and click the blue checkmark to add him to the correct roster, as shown below:

Adapting to Auctions in Real-Time

One of the most powerful features of the Draft Dominator is its ability to dynamically adapt to your draft as it progresses. We covered how that works for redrafts in this article. Essentially, the Dominator analyzes every aspect of your league, from the scoring settings to your roster’s needs and so on, to deliver you an optimized rankings list. But this also works with auction drafts.

A key fundamental of auction drafting is determining value based on the amount of money left across all teams. The Dominator does this automatically by constantly calculating the value of all the players left, and assigning the remaining auction retail accordingly.

Let’s walk through a scenario and see it in action. Check out the retail prices at the beginning of this draft and note David Johnson’s retail price of $38. Also note where the Studs and Duds slider sits, which can be found under the blue wrench icon:

Now imagine that the league has overvalued running backs, causing Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey, Ezekiel Elliott, and Alvin Kamara to go for $70 each—well above retail. Look at what happens to David Johnson’s suggested retail and the Studs and Duds percentage:

His retail increased from $38 to $44, and the slider jumped from 50% to 64%. The Dominator has adapted to the flow of this league. It recognized that drafters are willing to pay well above retail for certain players and doesn’t want you to miss out on top-tier options, so it increased retails across the board to reflect that. We call this the “biting point”, where people have overpaid for studs and now can’t afford the correct value for the top remaining players (but you can). This is an extreme example, but retail prices will change dynamically as your draft unfolds to ensure that your Cheat Sheet is always providing optimized rankings.

You can manually change the Studs and Duds slider by unchecking the auto box. If you slide it all the way to the right (100%), the retail of studs will dramatically increase while the retail of duds will decrease. You’re welcome to make these changes as you see fit, but we recommend leaving this option set to auto and let the Draft Dominator do its thing.

That’s the nuts and bolts of how the Draft Dominator runs auctions. If you ever have any questions or need more info, reach out to shepherd@footballguys.com.