Graduate to Auction Drafts

Got a question in my inbox this morning about auction drafts; someone had never done one, but was considering giving it a try, and asked if I liked that format better. I’ll share my response here as a general informational resource for anyone else who may be considering taking the next step in their fantasy careers…


You can draft pretty much anyone you want, within reason. Get CMC and Cook if you want–you’ll need to find some bargains at WR–but you can do it. Your two favorite WRs both have the same ADP? In auction drafts you won’t have to constantly choose between them.

And then there’s all the little subtle strategies of bidding players up without getting caught with a guy you don’t want, knowing when to nominate hyped players and sleepers, waiting for late bargains without losing out on all the stars–or getting caught paying tier 1 dollars for tier 2 talent when you have to bid for the last tier 2 player against ANOTHER owner who waited for a bargain… etc.

It takes some skill and finesse–not just crossing the next name off the player list every ten minutes when you’re on the clock–but you are kind of involved in EVERY pick–and you can craft a team in an auction draft that would be “unfair” in a snake draft, if you know what you’re doing (you might have seven players that would normally go in the first five rounds or something like that). But on the flip side, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you can easily end up with the other kind of “unfair” team, something like Mahomes and Kelce and Zeke, with Jamison Crowder and Tre’Quan Smith starting at WR.

Snake drafts are kind of like the elementary school drafts, where everyone gets to take their turn, and that ensures that everyone gets a fair shake at crafting a good team.

And then you graduate to the real world…

Auction drafts take off the safeties. You are free to be “unfair” to your leaguemates in creating the most lopsided team of all, within the $200 budget, if you have the skill to do so. The cream rises to the top, and lesser men die like dogs.

So sure, see if it’s for you, if you think you’re ready–but in all seriousness, once you go auction, you never go back.