Be Water: Auction Draft Recap

by Cornhole God · Fantasy Football

This article will recap two auction drafts: a Dynasty SF startup (June 2021) and a Best Ball Seasonal 1QB PPR  league (August 2021). The dynasty startup was filled with big spenders, whereas frugality was the theme of the best ball draft.  Ultimately, success was achieved when value trends were quickly identified and attacked with vigor.

1 QB PPR Best Ball draft: Don’t wait for the dip

Format: 1 QB – 2 RB – 3 WR – 1 TE – 1 W/R/T – 8 BN

Budget: $500

The first round of nominations consisted of players with first or second round ADPs. So, the price was set for the top-end players within the first 12 picks.

1 QB PPR Best Ball Auction Draft, Nominations 1-12

This draft has been haunting my dreams because I failed to recognize that the top players were extremely undervalued. I compared my projected auction values against the actual player values to illustrate how the RB1 and WR1 groups were the most undervalued collection of players.

Projected and Actual Average Auction Values

*Davante Adams and Christian McCaffrey are excluded from the data set because they were extreme outliers in the Actual Average Value column.

This table gives me PTSD. The majority of teams either miscalculated the value of the top players or held onto money for too long.  I was foolish to sit and watch Dadoggin1 snatch up Ezekiel Elliott for 72.9-percent of the projected RB1 value. Learn from my mistake by recognizing and attacking value when it presents itself.

Studs and Studs is the best strategy to win in this environment. Yes, Studs and Studs. It is conceivable to build an entire starting roster with two RB1s, three WR1s, the TE1 and a WR1 in the flex. Scary.

Here is a fantasy studs and studs team that I built using the results from this draft:

1QB PPR Best Ball Auction League Dream Team, The one that got away ☹

Only in auction format is it conceivable, better yet possible, to fill out the entire starting lineup with top-36 players.

Draft Winner: Dadoggin1

1 QB – 2 RB – 3 WR – 1 TE – 1 W/R/T – 8 BN, PPR Best Ball Auction Draft

Starting Budget: $200

QB: Lamar Jackson ($31), Daniel Jones ($5)

RB: Ezekiel Elliott ($72), Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($51), Chase Edmonds ($26), David Johnson ($9)

WR: Tyreek Hill ($68), Justin Jefferson ($65), Mike Evans ($30), Courtland Sutton ($21), Michael Gallup ($31), Marquise Brown ($15), Will Fuller ($33), Sterling Shepard ($1)

TE: Mike Gesicki ($13), Logan Thomas ($14)

Remaining Budget: $15

Dadoggin1 crushed this draft. First, he quickly identified the value of top players, acquiring Ezekiel Elliott, Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Tyreek Hill, three top-24 players, within the first round of nominations. Second, he set the market price for QB by nominating and acquiring Lamar Jackson for $31, 75.6-percent of the average QB1 cost. Lastly, he filled his flex and bench position with volatile, high upside WRs Michael Gallup, Marquise Brown and Will Fuller. An absolute master class by Dadoggin1.

The majority of teams held onto their auction dollars, expecting a dip in price for the non-elite players, but the bargains never materialized. Instead, these teams missed out on the WR1 and RB1 values. Don’t get caught sleeping –  pay attention to the projected values against the actual values and adjust accordingly.

Also, don’t drink and draft.

Missionary’s Downfall


Patience is a virtue: Dynasty SF PPR startup

Format: 1 QB – 2 RB – 3 WR – 1 TE – 2 W/R/T – 1 SF – 14 BN – 2 TX

Budget: $500

Expectedly, many top-end players were selected in the first round of nominations.

SF Dynasty Startup, Nominations 1-12

At first glance it seems that QB1 is being overvalued and RB1 is slightly overvalued. I complied my projected values against the actual values for the entire draft to find the truth.

Dynasty SF Auction Values by Positional Rank

The QB1 and RB1 positions were overvalued when compared against my projected values. I recognized this and opted for a productive struggle strategy. As a result, I was pleased with how my team filled out.

Unbiased Draft Winner: Cornholegod

1 QB – 2 RB – 3 WR – 1 TE – 2 W/R/T – 1 SF – 14 BN – 2 TX Dynasty Startup Auction Draft

QB: Jalen Hurts ($72), Zach Wilson ($14), Tua Tagovailoa ($23), Mac Jones ($12)

RB: D’Andre Swift ($91), J.K. Dobbins ($80), Travis Etienne ($42), Miles Sanders ($27), Javonte Williams ($24), Damien Harris ($7), Elijah Mitchell ($1), Marlon Mack ($2)

WR: Devonta Smith ($28), Rashod Bateman ($16), Chase Claypool ($14), Tee Higgins ($14), Curtis Samuel ($5), Deebo Samuel ($9), Rondale Moore ($4), Amon-Ra St. Brown ($2), Terrace Marshall ($3), Michael Gallup ($3), Parris Campbell ($1), Bryan Edwards ($1)

TE: Adam Trautman ($2), Cole Kmet ($1)

Gold in the Bargain Bin

QB Values: Zach Wilson and Mac Jones

I couldn’t believe that I scored two starting QBs, each for under 3-percent total budget. These QBs were nominated late in the draft, long after most teams blew threw their budgets.

WR Values: Chase Claypool ($14), Tee Higgins ($14), Terrace Marshall ($3), and Rondale Moore ($4)

It was criminal to land Claypool and Higgins, two top-24 dynasty WR, for 6-percent total budget. Also, it should be a felony to steal Marshall and Moore, two beloved rookie WR, for less than 2-percent of total budget.

The ideal strategy was not to spend up for the studs in this draft. Rather, the optimal approach was to acquire players outside of the top-24. What I lack in premium talent, I more than make up for in highly valued dynasty players whose value will appreciate sooner rather than later.

Be Water, My Friend

“Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” – Bruce Lee

A flexible, water-like strategy is the best way to handle auction drafts. Do not try to force a preconceived plan into the draft, but instead, understand the value as it presents itself and adapt to new information. If the room is afraid to spend money, then build a team of superstars. If premium players are flying off the board at astronomical prices, then let the high-upside WR2 and RB2 fall into your lap. Be water, my friend.