2015 PPR Auction Values

Sigmund Bloom lays out the auction values of his top 120 players and tells you how to use them to dominate your auction draft.

Auction is a beloved and invigorating format for a draft, despite (because of) the fact that unlike a snake draft, it is inherently unpredictable. The flow of the auction and willingness of people to spend for players is unknowable, sometimes even by the drafters themselves until the moment of truth. If you had the same group do three snake drafts, the results would be very similar across the drafts. Teams would likely have at least 25 to 50% of their rosters in common across drafts. In three successive auctions, teams might have only one or two players in common across teams. The order of the players thrown out for bidding and the remaining balances of all teams are variables that can cause a players price to double or be cut in half from one auction to another.

So how do we combat this fundamental uncertainty? The answer is to arm yourself with your own set of auction values before your draft. It can be a set of values determined by an expert and then tweaked for your league settings and personal player valuations, but if you have the time to create your own, nothing beats building them from the ground up.

First, let's agree on a format for our hypothetical league:

  • 12 teams
  • 20 roster spots
  • PPR scoring
  • 4 pts per Pass Touchdown
  • Point per 20 yards passing
  • QB/2RB/3WR/TE/RB-WR-TE Flex/DEF/K lineups

Obviously, our final values will expand and contract depending on how your league differs from these settings. Non-PPR would inflate running back and deflate wide receiver/tight end. Fewer teams might increase the value of elite players but decrease the value of RB2/WR2 types. More teams would make the top-end running backs more valuable because of increased scarcity. This is a subject for multiple other articles - how league settings affect player value. We'll save that one for another day.

Second, let's agree on a rough distribution of cap value to correspond to redraft pick rounds. The idea here is to simulate about how much each snake pick would be worth as a percentage of your cap:

  • 1st round: 28%
  • 2nd round: 18%
  • 3rd round: 13%
  • 4th round: 10%
  • 5th round: 7%
  • 6th round: 5%
  • 7th round: 3%
  • 8th-10th round: 2%
  • 11th-20th round: 1%

This is only meant to represent a rough distribution of your assets in a typical snake draft. You could do something like take VBD projections and adjust these numbers based on the total VBD available in each round as a percentage of the whole available during the draft. You could come with all kinds of ways to calculate these numbers. I have chosen a somewhat gradual curve, but you may argue that it should be steeper, or perhaps that the top should be lower and it should be even more gradual. The point here is to have some sort of guide for translating round value in a snake draft to dollar value in an auction.

Third, you'll want to open a spreadsheet and create an entry for each of your top 100 players (or more if you think more than 100 players have at least 8th round value). We'll presume that players outside of the top 120 are going to be worth 1% or less of your cap. This, by the way, is a good argument for having a cap of 200 or 500 instead of 100. More units, equals more granularity. In a 100 cap, all defenses and just about all backups are worth a dollar. Period. In a 500 cap, you might throw four bucks at the Buffalo defense or your favorite late-round fliers. More units = more flexibility.

Fourth, start with consensus rankings and scale the values (or those listed below), then adjust up or down depending whether you are higher or lower on a player. The values should roughly represent where you would take them in a snake draft based on the earlier values established for each round. You'll want the numbers to add up to about 1080 (of the possible 1200 to spend - 12X100) to leave room for the approximately 100 players that will be rostered that are not on your auction values list (Note: I went a little over 1080 because the first and second rounds are especially strong this year). The beautiful thing is that some teams will surely bid two dollars or more on a one-dollar player on your board, which means more of your top 100 will go for less than you projected. Teams will also pay more than your projected value for big ticket players. The idea here is that you have a scenario for how the auction will go down if players go for the value that you believe they have. My attempt at this is listed at the end of the article.

Now, we get to the fun part, the auction. It should be immediately clear whether the early players are going for too much or too little. If the first five or ten players are all under your projected values, jump in before everyone loosens up and starts spending their money. That extra money is likely to drive the prices of the players in the middle of the auction up as teams see that they have more money than value left on the board. If the first five or ten players are all over your projected values, then sit back. Eventually, teams will stop firing their bullets and you will be situated with the ability to control the auction and get a run of players at prices that sicken your opponents. You might need to splurge on an RB1 because they are scarce, but otherwise, keep your wallet closed.

With a realistic set of values that accounts for all of the cash on the board, you will be able to track when the draft shifts from a buyer's market to a seller's market and vice versa. You'll be able to know when to get out of bidding on a player because they have exceeded the value that you project for them (adjusted for the direction that your auction is going). While everyone else is one step behind, you'll be one step ahead.

Auction Top 100 (values are % of cap or dollars in a $100 cap league)

Andrew Luck QB IND 19
Aaron Rodgers QB GB 14
Russell Wilson QB SEA 4
Drew Brees QB NO 4
Ben Roethlisberger QB PIT 4
Tony Romo QB DAL 3
Tom Brady QB NE 3
Peyton Manning QB DEN 3
Philip Rivers QB SD 2
Ryan Tannehill QB MIA 2
Sam Bradford QB PHI 2
LeVeon Bell RB PIT 31
Adrian Peterson RB MIN 28
Jamaal Charles RB KC 28
Eddie Lacy RB GB 28
C.J. Anderson RB DEN 25
Matt Forte RB CHI 23
Jeremy Hill RB CIN 21
Frank Gore RB IND 20
Lamar Miller RB MIA 20
Mark Ingram RB NO 20
Justin Forsett RB BAL 18
Demarco Murray RB PHI 18
Andre Ellington RB ARI 17
LeSean McCoy RB BUF 15
Ameer Abdullah RB GB 13
Arian Foster RB HOU 13
CJ Spiller RB NO 7
Jonathan Stewart RB CAR 6
Chris Ivory RB NYJ 6
Doug Martin RB TB 6
T.J. Yeldon RB JAX 6
Todd Gurley RB STL 6
Danny Woodhead RB SD 5
Melvin Gordon RB SD 4
Latavius Murray RB OAK 4
Rashad Jennings RB NYG 4
Carlos Hyde RB SF 4
Alfred Morris RB WAS 4
Duke Johnson RB CLE 3
Isaiah Crowell RB CLE 3
Shane Vereen RB NYG 3
Darren Sproles RB PHI 3
Ryan Mathews RB PHI 3
LeGarrette Blount RB NE 2
Giovani Bernard RB CIN 2
Joseph Randle RB DAL 2
Tevin Coleman RB ATL 2
Rob Gronkowski TE NE 30
Jimmy Graham TE SEA 15
Travis Kelce TE KC 13
Greg Olsen TE CAR 8
Jordan Cameron TE MIA 3
Kyle Rudolph TE MIN 2
Dwayne Allen TE IND 2
Martellus Bennett TE CHI 2
Antonio Brown WR PIT 28
Julio Jones WR ATL 27
Dez Bryant WR DAL 26
Marshawn Lynch WR SEA 25
Demaryius Thomas WR DEN 24
Calvin Johnson WR DET 24
Odell Beckham WR NYG 23
Randall Cobb WR GB 22
A.J. Green WR CIN 22
Brandin Cooks WR NO 20
T.Y. Hilton WR IND 18
Mike Evans WR TB 17
DeAndre Hopkins WR HOU 17
Alshon Jeffery WR CHI 16
Jordan Matthews WR PHI 15
Jarvis Landry WR MIA 15
Davante Adams WR GB 13
Amari Cooper WR OAK 13
Jeremy Maclin WR KC 13
John Brown WR ARI 12
Andre Johnson WR IND 12
Vincent Jackson WR TB 12
Keenan Allen WR SD 11
Mike Wallace WR MIN 11
Emmanuel Sanders WR DEN 10
Golden Tate WR DET 9
Julian Edelman WR NE 9
Martavis Bryant WR PIT 8
Allen Robinson WR JAX 7
Sammy Watkins WR BUF 6
Nelson Agholor WR PHI 6
DeSean Jackson WR WAS 5
Charles Johnson WR MIN 5
Brandon Marshall WR NYJ 5
Larry Fitzgerald WR ARI 5
Eric Decker WR NYJ 5
Steve Smith WR BAL 5
Steve Johnson WR SD 5
Roddy White WR ATL 3
Marques Colston WR NO 3
Torrey Smith WR SF 2
Michael Floyd WR ARI 2
DeVante Parker WR MIA 2
Anquan Boldin WR SF 2

Note: See assumed league settings earlier in article for lineups/scoring