Auction Primer: Section I

Auction Leagues for Beginners

So you have never been in an Auction League, and you have lots of questions. That's okay - that is why this section exists. Everyone has been there before, so do not feel bad at all. In fact, you should feel good about it as you are joining the club of auction league players, and believe me it will be an enjoyable experience and you will want to do auctions over and over again.

Let's start with the differences between an auction league and a standard draft. With draft leagues, you only get to pick once in each round and twice every 20-24 picks (depending on your league size). There's no surprise as to when you are about to get a player and you know that you will have two of your Top 24 players without question.

Auction turns all of that on its head. Everything you thought you knew is now up for grabs. Every player is possibly the next one to join your team - and the only thing that stands in the way is the price you are willing to pay to get him on your squad.

Now it is time to talk about the monopoly money. Every team gets a budget to buy their players. This can be done in one of several ways - fake dollars (like monopoly money), real dollars (as in your league dues), or virtual money that is kept track of during the auction, either on paper, on a draft board, or electronically. When you bid for a player and win them, you have to pay for him out of your budget and that amount is deducted from your money, leaving you with the remainder to fill out the rest of your team. That continues until either you have a full team or you are left with just $1 per roster spot you have left to fill - and then your nominations become the players you are adding to your team, so long as no one else bids them up.

So you can see one of the big differences in auction vs. redraft leagues - money is the only thing that dictates who winds up on which team. Whoever wants to bid the most gets that particular player but pays the price - literally. Money management and valuations of market value for all players matters a great deal and can be the difference between having a poor team and a great team.

Now that you get the idea of how the money will be used to pick players instead of taking turns and drafting, you need to know what is required to set up an auction. There's no question that a live auction is much more preferable than one conducted online or on a conference call, but all three can be done. Some consider that a drawback to auction leagues, but you can manage that issue most of the time - and it is definitely worth it to have a live auction.

The next thing you have to have is a location. A big room is a good start, as you will need a large area for all the owners to be able to get together, nominate and bid on players. Room for an auction board (much like a draft board, but it is only used to track who owns who, what they paid, and how much money they have left) is a big need as well. Sometimes this can be done with a whiteboard or a computer with a projector - what is really required is something for everyone to look at the auction results.

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