Fantasy Baseball: The Five Commandments of Auction Drafts, Pt. 4

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Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

This week we’ve been reviewing the most important concepts to keep in mind during a fantasy baseball auction draft — and how caring for my infant daughter during a draft led to me disobeying every single one of them.  And boy did I pay a steep price for it.

In case you missed all the fun we’ve had so far, here are the previous installments:

Commandment #1: Do Your Homework

Commandment #2: Have a Plan, and Then Have Another Plan

Commandment #3: Respect the Nomination Process

and now…

Commandment #4: Exercise Cautious Caution

Everyone starts with $260 and your goal should be to walk out of the auction with at least $300 in player value.  Naturally you should want a core of star players—they’re all but guaranteed to put up excellent numbers in addition to being fun to root for — but you’re not going to get much in the way of profit in these elite players.  Your dependable profit is going to come from the middle tier of $10-19 players and your biggest percentage profit will emerge from your $1-3 lottery tickets.  For this reason I prefer to have the majority of my star players fall around the $22 mark.

According to BaseballHQ.com the most valuable fantasy asset in 2013 was Mike Trout with a value of $47.  This means if you are dropping over $50 on him, then he needs to be even better than he was last year just to break even.  And if, God forbid, Trout gets hurt, then you’ve just flushed 20 percent of your payroll down the toilet.  Nothing can submarine a season faster than freak injuries and/or underachievers.  By spreading your money evenly throughout your roster, you’re taking much of the power out of Luck, and putting it into Skill.  If you’re confident in your fantasy baseball prowess, then this is the method you should be choosing.

The only potential pitfall with frugality in an auction — and I found this out the hard way — is the same with frugality in real life: you should spend it eventually because you can’t take it with you.  This seems like the most obvious of advice, and every time I had heard it in the past I laughed.  “You’re telling me to spend all of my money, money that disappears once the draft is over?  Next you’re going to tell me that Contents May Be Hot.”  You laugh, but I can now say, shamefully, that I have done it.

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Tags: Auction Draft Strategy Fantasy Baseball Mike Trout