Fantasy Football Auction Drafts: A Beginner's Guide

Auction drafts add another level of strategy to fantasy football. Learn how to use the draft process to your advantage.

Cam Newton
What was once a niche version of fantasy football is heading toward the mainstream. Auction drafts, in which owners are given a set amount of money or points to spend on players, are becoming more popular every year, but if you're taking your first crack at one, the format can be a bit daunting. Fortunately, Yahoo Fantasy Football expert Brandon Funston is here to educate you on the basics and teach you how to have a fruitful first auction draft experience.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Don't go into your first auction draft blind, even if you feel like you've got the hang of how it will play out. No two auction drafts are ever the same, so hone your craft in one of the many mock draft rooms Yahoo offers. They can prepare you for any situation. Mock drafts allow you to simulate an auction draft against other, live drafters, so be sure to take advantage of them.

It's All About the End Game

It's crucial to have money left for the later rounds, so don't go into an auction draft with the idea that you have to draft a specific player regardless of the price. "You can't chase all your sleeper guys if the price isn't right," Funston said. "All it takes is two people to love one guy, and all of a sudden the price goes way above what you expected."

You're going to have to spend early on a few big names, but that's to be expected. Those guys will be the cornerstones of your team. But you want to conserve some money for the later rounds, when the rest of the league will be low on cash and quality players will still be on the board. This will put you in a powerful position.

Know Your Enemy

The old adage "keep your friends close and your enemies closer" holds true for auction drafts. Be cognizant of exactly what your opponents need and what they have to spend. That way, you can get a guy to spend more money than he would have liked on a position he desperately needs. "If you see most everyone else has wide receivers, and one guy needs them, then you've got to start throwing out guys that you think that he knows he has to spend his money on," Funston said.

Forcing your opponents to spend more than they planned on critical needs will open up the board for you in later rounds.

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