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Auctions really don't get enough love. I am so much more excited for my auction drafts than I am for my snake drafts. There are a handful of players I am way more bullish on than consensus (which you'll see later on in this analysis) and in an auction, I know I have full control over my ability to acquire those players.

The players listed here will be discussed in tiers based on cost, but it is important to note that the tiers are merely a way to understand consensus and base value - they are not representative of how I would actually tier these players.

Note: these auction values are taken from RotoBaller's Fantasy Football Rankings, which are updated regularly. Some values may shift since time of publication.

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Tiered Auction Values

Tier 1

David Johnson $73
Le'Veon Bell $72
Antonio Brown $66

These guys are the best of the best. I recently wrote an auction primer where I discussed the importance of acquiring one of these elite players. With that being said, everything is within reason. As much as I'd love to have any of these players on my team, spending $70+ on a single player severely inhibits your ability to exploit value later in the auction. I find it difficult to rely on auction mocks as indicators of what will actually happen, but $70 is my informal "hard cap" on individual players. I know how much better DJ and Bell were than everyone else last season, but it's hard to advocate spending that much money on one David Johnson when a guy like LeSean McCoy is $20 cheaper. Ezekiel Elliott belongs in this tier and previously had equal value with Brown, but the reality is that I am probably not spending more than $20 on a player missing the first seven weeks of the season. Antonio Brown is probably the safest player in all of fantasy football. His security at $65 is bordering on not worth it, but not quite over the edge. I'd be willing to go to $65 for AB.


Tier 2

Julio Jones $63
Odell Beckham Jr $62
Mike Evans $55
LeSean McCoy $51
AJ Green, Jordy Nelson $48

Julio Jones at $63 and Beckham at $62 is fair value. 1300 receiving yards in each of Beckham's first three professional seasons. The ghost of Brandon Marshall does not concern me. Beckham will do what Beckham does. I wouldn't spend $55 on Mike Evans for no other reason than he's not worth the cost differential between him and the next tier of WRs. I love LeSean McCoy at $51. I don't think he's as far away from the big three as people think. He has no threats to his workload and catches a ton of passes. His touchdown count of 14 may also be repeatable as the nine touchdowns Mike Gillislee stole are now gone. AJ Green at $48 is a steal if he plays 16 games. Jordy Nelson's presence explains why I don't really like Evans in this tier. I'd much rather own Nelson at $7 cheaper.


Tier 3

Michael Thomas, Devonta Freeman, Melvin Gordon $42
DeMarco Murray, Jordan Howard $41
Amari Cooper $40

Thomas is a bit overpriced at $48. He's the WR15 on my board. I realize the consensus is high on him, but I think we saw his ceiling in 2016.  I'm also probably okay with Devonta Freeman for $42, but I struggle to believe he can maintain his touchdown rate and any RB with a really talented backup in a proven timeshare worries me. Melvin Gordon is someone I would never even consider in the first round of a snake draft. But for $42, even though I don't think he's a particularly talented player, I recognize that situation and opportunity trump talent. Gordon's situation and opportunity could hardly be better (well, maybe if the Chargers actually upgraded their offensive line). Any player that's a lock for 300+ touches if healthy is worth at least $40.

DeMarco Murray at $40 is a steal. He is my RB5 and I am not concerned one bit about Derrick Henry. This is Murray's last year with the Titans and they will run him until the wheels fall off. Murray has been quite durable over the past four seasons, missing just three games and while Henry may steal some touchdowns, the Titans should also be a better offense, thus allowing Murray to be more efficient. Jordan Howard is properly priced and I believe in his talent; I just struggle to pull the trigger on him because I feel like there are many more comfortable picks on better teams going for less. Amari Cooper is another example of why I won't spend $55 on Mike Evans. Give me Cooper for $15 cheaper.


Tier 4

Dez Bryant $35
TY Hilton $34
Jay Ajayi $33
Doug Baldwin $32

Doug Baldwin at $32 is probably the best value thus far. Baldwin's target count has steadily increased every year he's been a starter. How many years in a row does he have to be a WR1 before he gets treated like one? I definitely like Baldwin a lot more than Dez Bryant. This is coming from a Cowboys fan, too. I love Bryant. I love the Cowboys. I want no part of Bryant in fantasy this year. I question a lot of things, none of which are his talent: motivation, health, offensive game plan, Dak Prescott's unwillingness to force Bryant targets. Bryant is a hard pass for me at $35. TY Hilton was one of my best calls of 2016. He offers tremendous value at $34...if Andrew Luck is healthy. If you're drafting before we have clarity on Luck, then, well...good "Luck;" your guess is as good as mine. I'm surprised Jay Ajayi is only $33. I feel the same way about Ajayi as I do about Jordan Howard, yet Ajayi is $8 cheaper. I guess that means I prefer Ajayi at his cost, but, like Howard, I struggle to actually pull the trigger on him due to the way in which he scored his points last year and his reliance on the health of the offensive line.


Tier 5

DeAndre Hopkins $27
Lamar Miller, Todd Gurley, Brandin Cooks, Rob Gronkowski $26
Demaryius Thomas, Alshon Jeffery, Aaron Rodgers, Keenan Allen $25
Leonard Fournette, Terrelle Pryor $24

DeAndre Hopkins is an absolute no-go at $27. He's one of the most talented WRs in the league, but 2015 looks like the outlier here. His teammate, Lamar Miller at $26 makes me laugh. Miller is not built to be a feature back. I don't want to hear about his QB play last season. Miller faced fewer stacked boxes than the league average and performed quite poorly. He's just not that good. Todd Gurley is a buy at $26. I'd be willing to go up to $35. For all his failures last season, he was still a mid RB2. Jeff Fisher is gone and Jeff Fisher leaving any location automatically makes that a better place to be. I believe in Sean McVay's ability to use Gurley's talents properly.

Brandin Cooks is my WR7. I'm way above consensus on him. I know. But I honestly believe what he did last year is his floor in New England. His ceiling is the best thing Tom Brady has had since Randy Moss. I know that Cooks and Moss are not comparable players, but in terms of raw receiving talent, Cooks is the second best of Brady's career. For $26, I'll gamble on a player tied to Tom Brady that could return elite WR1 numbers. Fellow Patriot Rob Gronkowski at $26 is a steal. For that price, he can play half a season and be worth it. The upside of having a WR1 at your TE slot is the exception to my rule on TEs.

Demaryius Thomas is the low ceiling, high floor option, but we can't ignore the fact that he's gotten progressively worse the past two seasons as we saw the decline of Peyton Manning and then Trevor Siemian. Whether you go after Thomas for $25 will largely depend on the construction of your team and what role Thomas will play for you. Alshon Jeffery is another hard pass. I have no interest in an oft injured WR on an offense headed by Carson Wentz. In a snake draft, I have to take a third round player in the third round. I have no choice. In an auction draft, I can just choose to not draft a third round player because I don't like any of them enough. Aaron Rodgers is probably a bit underpriced at $25. But I am never spending $25 on a QB. I am probably not spending more than $5. Keenan Allen at $25 has everything to do with how much gambling you want to do. Allen is a PPR WR1 if he plays 16 games. He's played nine over the past two seasons. Your call. Leonard Fournette at $24 seems like a mistake. He's a second round pick in snake drafts. He should be going around the Jordan Howard price range. I'm all in on Fournette at $24. Terrelle Pryor has true WR1 upside. He could easily be a $40 player next year. I'll gladly take the freak athlete on a strong passing offense for $24.


Tier 6

Allen Robinson, Sammy Watkins $21
Travis Kelce $20
Ty Montgomery $19
Drew Brees, Tom Brady $18
Michael Crabtree, Davante Adams, Christian McCaffrey $18
Jordan Reed, Jarvis Landry, Larry Fitzgerald, Golden Tate $17
Tyreek Hill, Isaiah Crowell, Marshawn Lynch $16

Allen Robinson at $21 is a better value than expected, but that's still too rich for my blood. Robinson is another talented player victimized by abysmal QB play. I don't think Blake Bortles makes it through half the season as the starter so there could be an opportunity to move on ARob during the season, but not for $21 in September. Sammy Watkins is a WR1 if he plays 16 games, even in Los Angeles. Is that worth $20? Your call. Travis Kelce at $20 is too pricey. This is the same logic as I used for Rodgers - just not spending that much on a TE in an auction when I don't have to. Ty Montgomery is fine at $17. I believe in Montgomery's talent. I don't believe in Mike McCarthy having any modicum of a clue as to how to coach a peewee football team, let alone a professional one. If McCarthy lets Montgomery shine, then $17 is a steal. Drew Brees at $18 is a pass, but at under $20, I can understand if you want to make the move on an elite QB.  Tom Brady at the same price as Drew Brees is surprising. I still don't like spending this much on a QB, but $18 is pretty good value on the best QB of all time with the best group of pass catchers he's had since Randy Moss.

Michael Crabtree is fairly priced at $18. However, if and when the Amari Cooper takeover happens in full, Crabtree will experience a substantial drop off.  I'd rather be early than late on those types of things. Davante Adams at $18 is par value. The problem with Adams is he's largely a product of Aaron Rodgers. If Rodgers decides he doesn't like Adams, then it's game over. Christian McCaffrey is probably worth the gamble at $18. The Panthers have a history of not throwing to running backs, but they also have a history of not having Christian McCaffrey. The kid has talent and given his draft stock, I tend to think the Panthers will go out of their way to prove they were correct in taking him. I'm more of a buyer than a seller on McCaffrey, but don't expect Jonathan Stewart to just go away. For my thoughts on Jordan Reed at $22, I refer you to the previous sentences on Gronk. For what it's worth, Reed has actually been the number one TE on a per game basis over the past two seasons.

I don't like Jarvis Landry at $17 as he's another high floor, low ceiling PPR guy that now has gunslinger Jay Cutler launching passes down the field, which is not Landry's domain.  Larry Fitzgerald is 34 years old. The Cardinals also have no one else to throw to besides David Johnson, and he plays running back. Fitz has an incredibly high floor. $17 is a fair price, but, like Demaryius Thomas, it depends on how you're constructing your team. Golden Tate is undervalued every year. 90 catches for three straight seasons. 16 games played in three straight seasons. He's the number one receiver. What's not to like?

Tyreek Hill is my number one outlier. He's my WR10. Yes, you read that correctly. Hill is properly priced based upon what the general consensus is on him. I am admittedly extremely high. Obviously I advocate aggressively pursuing Hill. I'd go up to $35 on him. That's how confident I am. Isaiah Crowell at $16 is far better value than Isaiah Crowell in round two of a snake draft. I'd be okay with taking Crowell at $16, but I'm still not in love with the player or the situation. I find it hard to believe Marshawn Lynch will be this cheap by the end of the month, but even at $17, I'm not willing to spend any relevant amount on a 31 year old RB coming out of retirement having been pretty terrible the last time we saw him in 2015.


Tier 7

CJ Anderson, Greg Olsen, Julian Edelman $14
Emmanuel Sanders, Kelvin Benjamin, Spencer Ware, Carlos Hyde $13
Danny Woodhead, Matt Ryan, Frank Gore $12

I don't want to spend $14 on CJ Anderson. If Jamaal Charles is healthy, Anderson will struggle to provide any sort of return on investment. Greg Olsen at $14 is another hard pass. He has three touchdowns in his last 22 games. The Panthers now have two more weapons on offense. Cam Newton is declining. I'm not interested. Julian Edelman is going to take a back seat to Brandin Cooks. He really didn't do much last year when everyone was healthy, but saw a spike after Gronk went down. Obviously that's liable to happen again, but I'm not bullish on Edelman this year. However, $14 might be worth gambling on a Gronk injury. Emmanuel Sanders is undervalued. $13 seems a bit low given that he was slightly better than Demaryius Thomas last year. Kelvin Benjamin at $13 is not going to stand after his performance in the preseason opener. I hate overreacting to the preseason, but I know it happens. That one filthy TD grab will spike his average cost. It's just something I'm not interested in. He also constantly struggles with his weight in the offseason, which indicates to me that he doesn't care all that much. He also makes Cam Newton worse. Newton has been a top 5 QB in every season without Benjamin, but outside the top 15 in Benjamin's two healthy seasons.

Spencer Ware and Carlos Hyde are steals at their current price. Ware is my RB9. Hyde is my RB13. I have no concerns that Kareem Hunt is stealing the job of the guy that made the Chiefs comfortable letting a hall of fame RB and the heart and soul of their franchise walk. Hyde is in a far less enviable situation, but he's the best player on the team and it's not particularly close. Recent reports about Hyde have been glowing. Danny Woodhead is probably worth about $15 so $12 looks good. He comes with a safe floor. Matt Ryan at $12 is surprising because his value has not experienced an overreaction to last year's performance. I'm expecting a regression from Ryan and still don't want to spend the $12, but the price is fair. Frank Gore at $12 is great value is this isn't the year he finally breaks down. I think it is. I've also thought that each of the past three seasons.


Tier 8

Jamison Crowder, Jimmy Graham, Andrew Luck, Martavis Bryant $11
Russell Wilson, Brandon Marshall, Stefon Diggs, Bilal Powell, Dalvin Cook, Paul Perkins, Delanie Walker $10
Derek Carr, Tevin Coleman, Eddie Lacy, Pierre Garcon, Mark Ingram, Ameer Abdullah $9
Willie Snead, Kirk Cousins, Joe Mixon, Cam Newton, Rob Kelley, Donte Moncrief, Ben Roethlisberger $8

I'm not as bullish on Jamison Crowder. He's not a high-end talent and there are a lot of weapons on that offense. Pryor is the deep man and red zone target. Reed is the man underneath. Where does that leave Crowder? Jimmy Graham at $11 is fair and worth it. Graham is now another year removed from his torn patellar tendon and he almost posted 1,000 yards receiving last year despite barely playing the first two weeks. Andrew Luck at $11 is a steal and worth breaking my under $5 QB rule...if he's healthy, which we may not know until right before week 1. Are you feeling "Luck-y?"

Martavis Bryant's reinstatement process has been quite the enigma, but if the Steelers are confident he'll be cleared by week 1, then so am I. $11 is worth the upside, but I have a feeling he'll be trending a bit higher by the end of the month. I'll pass on Russell Wilson at $10. He's just not so much better than the really cheap QBs. I'd rather put that money towards someone else. Brandon Marshall at $10 is a hard pass. I just think he's done. He will have a couple big weeks, but I anticipate a lot of 3-40 type games.

I love Stefon Diggs at $10. He has high end WR2 upside. Bilal Powell averaged over 20 touches to close out 2016 and looked every bit capable of doing so. The Jets are worse than a dumpster fire this season so unless they bench Powell to get a better look at Elijah McGuire, Powell offers tremendous upside at $10. Dalvin Cook will be closer to $20 by the end of the month. I'm coming around on Cook as a prospect, but Latavius Murray still exists and Jerick McKinnon will play. Also, this line still isn't good. Cook had nowhere to run in his preseason debut. Paul Perkins somehow scored zero touchdowns last season. He is horrendously inefficient and just an all around awful football player. $10 is $9 too much. Delanie Walker is fine at $10. That's about all I have to say about him. There are multiple QBs better than Carr that I haven't mentioned yet because they cost less.

Tevin Coleman an elite RB1 if Devonta Freeman goes down and a standalone RB2. $9 is well worth it. I'm not entirely sure I'd pay $1 for Eddie Lacy. I mean that. Pierre Garcon should see all the targets. We also said that about Torrey Smith last year. Garcon is better than Torrey Smith, though. I have no interest in Mark Ingram in the fourth or fifth round of a snake draft. I'll gladly take him for $9, though. I think AP is done. Ameer Abdullah can't stay healthy. He cedes pass catching work to Theo Riddick. He cedes goal line work to Zach Zenner. So how is this between the 20s runner that doesn't catch passes generating fantasy points? Willie Snead is solid at $8. He should thrive as the non Michael Thomas guy in that offense, but reports of him not playing in two receiver sets are worrisome.

Kirk Cousins at $8 is almost worth it...almost. Joe Mixon at $8 is a steal. His snake ADP is shortly after McCaffrey's. Mixon will not cost $8 in your draft. Cam Newton at $8 is a big no thanks. I've covered my thoughts on Newton in discussing Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen above. Rob Kelley is terrible at football. He was actually worse than Matt Jones from a performance standpoint last year. Let that sink in for a moment. Samaje Perine is taking that job eventually. Donte Moncrief's value is directly linked to Luck's health. Ben Roethlisberger is only trustworthy at home. Are half the games worth $8?


The Rest

I am going to stop the tier analysis at eight. I probably should have stopped it sooner, but I was enjoying going through each player. At this point, I'm just going to rattle off a few names I feel are strong values.

Marcus Mariota $7 - I'm all over Mariota at this price. He's my QB5 with true overall QB1 upside. I will break my $5 rule by a small margin to get this kind of upside.

Cameron Meredith $6 - He's my WR18. 100+ yards receiving in every game where he saw 10+ targets last season (four). I'd spend up to $25 on him. $6 is a gift.

Mike Gillislee $7 - There's just no way he will be this cheap. He's trending as a fifth round pick in snake drafts.

Tyrell Williams $6 - I love Williams at this value, but I can't imagine it holds. His ADP has been steadily climbing so I would expect his auction value to do the same.

Tyler Eifert $6 - Or, Gronk lite, as I like to refer to him as. Eifert has the same touchdown upside as Gronk for a quarter of the cost. He also has the same injury risk.

Theo Riddick $4 - Another guy whose value won't hold. Riddick is a borderline RB1 in PPR with one of the highest floors at the position. Anything under $10 is a steal.

Adam Thielen $4 - The championship week darling of 2016 is actually somewhat of a Jordy Nelson clone, albeit on a far worse offense.

CJ Prosise $3 - Eddie Lacy is fat, terrible, and also fat. Thomas Rawls is going to take this job, but if he gets hurt, it's the Prosise show. Of course, that also involves Prosise not getting hurt.

Tyrod Taylor $2, Andy Dalton $2 - These are the types of QBs I'm targeting. In an auction, as I explained in my primer, the value saved by waiting on a QB can be put towards improving the caliber of your starters, making it quite worth it to wait.


More 2017 Fantasy Football & ADP Analysis

Check out all of RotoBaller's fantasy football rankings. Staff rankings are updated regularly for all positions and include standard formats, PPR scoring, tiered rankings and dynasty leagues.