Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

How To Find Value In Fantasy Basketball Auction Drafts


Often I've been asked by fantasy players if they've gotten a good value for a certain player in an auction draft, but without the person giving me an entire breakdown of their draft, I have to give my decision on if I like the pick based off of the player's perceived value. Writers often look at the player based on how they value him and not on how the actual draft valued him. This is a flawed way of looking at this question on everyone's parts.

Looking at the question from this perspective, I decided to do auction drafts based on the sole purpose of getting value on every single pick.  When I did this, I felt very similar to a character from the 20-year-old movie Rounders, Joey Knish, who said “I’m not playing for the thrill of f***ing victory here, I owe rent, alimony, child support, I play for money, my kids eat, I got stones not to chase card actions of f***ing pipe dreams of winning." To bring this back around to auction drafting just based off of value, you're not focused on saving money and getting the wins.

Here's how my recent drafts turned out.

Editor's Note: Our friends at Monkey Knife Fight have the best, most fun, fastest growing DFS props game! It's super simple to play and to win real money. Just choose your NBA, NHL or PGA game, and make your picks! Get a 100% instant deposit bonus up to $50 using promo code: BALLER. That's $50 for free - don't miss out! Play Now!

 

Auction Draft Value: The Strategy

When I went started this experiment, I went in planning to get every player below their listed value unless that listed value was one dollar, since you have to bid a dollar to get a player. The hypothesis was that I wouldn't get the top-end players because they'd end up going for more than their listed value, but my team would end up having a higher overall rank because I'd be able to outbid them in the middle and late rounds. I only drafted in 12 man category leagues so that the rules would be the same in every draft. I also tried to not punt too many categories. When I did this, I used ESPN rankings and auction values to give me a constant and to give me a reference point between the various leagues I did. The way I judged the results was which team had the higher average rank for each player.

I used average rank as a baseline stat in determining the final value of the team, since in a standard snake draft, the format means that every two rounds should feature each team ending up with the same value. For example, in a 12-team snake draft, the team picking first has the first and 24th pick, while the team picking second has the second and 23rd. Those both end up with an average of 12.5. With this logic in mind, a perfectly balanced auction draft would yield every player with the same average draft rank at the end of the draft.

There are many positives I gleaned from this exercise. For the most part, this value drafting gave me a team that would be competitive in fantasy leagues. The average rank for the nine drafts was 3.55, which means that the team that was drafted had the third-best average rank for the players on each team. In the most leagues, the top 3 are in the money and if that is the barometer for how successful a team did in fantasy than five of the nine teams had an average player rank in the top three. If the money group is expanded to the top four then seven of the nine leagues would go into the season as one of the favorites.

When expanding it out to all the leagues that were drafted the results become even more interesting. Out of all 108 teams that were drafted, my value drafted teams had an average player rank of 75.15 and the other teams drafted had an average player rank of 82.84. This means that consistently the value drafted teams had better rosters top to bottom. The downside was that the value drafted teams had an average team rank that would have ranked 58th overall out of the 108 teams drafted.

 

Auction Draft Strategy: The Players

When drafting in this way, you can't be afraid to become the “Island of Misfit Toys”. When I say that, I mean that some names that aren't fun to talk about can be valuable. Case in point, I drafted Denver Nuggets shooting guard/small forward Will Barton in seven of my nine leagues. He has positional flexibility in four different slots, so you don't have to marry him to any place in your roster and he helps you multiple categories. For Barton, it's three-pointers, points, and assists, and only hurts in only one category, field goal percentage. ESPN ranked Barton as the 54th best player going into the season and he was getting drafted for six dollars or less.

There are a couple of other players that also fit the title of “Misfit Toys” that I also drafted often that helped fill out my rosters in my value drafts. Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside was one of these players. I drafted Whiteside in six of my nine auction drafts. Whiteside helps in field goal percentage, rebounds, and blocks and considering Whiteside is a center he only really hurts in free throws, since we can assume most centers don't make three-pointers or get many assists. I was also winning Whiteside for five dollars or less on average, and with him ranked 73rd by ESPN, this added to my value.

Denver Nuggets shooting guard Gary Harris also gave me really nice value as well. I won Harris in five of my auction drafts at two dollars or less and he is ranked 56th in ESPN rankings. Harris really helped out, giving me a boost in field goal percentage, free throws, three-pointers, and steals. In a categories league Harris also only hurt me in just rebounds and blocks and that is where Whiteside's strengths come in and level out my squads.

 

Conclusions

The outcomes weren't all positive for the value drafted teams. The value drafted teams only went into the season as the favorite once. To expand it to the top-two teams in a league, the value drafted teams were only in that top-two twice. Also, only one of the value drafted teams were in the top 10 of the 108 teams drafted and only two drafted were in the top 20. While drafting in the value style, I only won a top-12 player four times, and never more than once in a single draft.

This way of drafting isn't for everyone and it also isn't perfect. The positives are that you should be competitive and that the big injuries won't destroy you because of the even dispersal of assets over your entire team. Your likelihood to leave the draft with the best team is low. In some drafts, I didn't win a player until I was over 30 minutes into the draft, so this strategy can be extremely tedious, especially since fantasy sports is supposed to be fun. All in all, it's a good strategy to try in an auction draft, but if you end up only drafting for value you'll likely be hamstringing your chances of winning it all.

More Fantasy Basketball Analysis




More Recent Articles

 

Week 15-16 Playoff Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

Still doing things a little differently this week--for those of you who are still alive. I want to take a look at the playoffs as a whole (and in this case we are considering Weeks 14-16) and determine which DSTs you can ride all the way through and which ones you should stream this week.... Read More


Week 15 Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds

You have to love fantasy football. You have to, otherwise you would have given up by now. In a week that most likely represented the first matchup of the fantasy playoffs or a must-win in some form for the vast majority of players, we were treated to the following: Alvin Kamara netting three fantasy points,... Read More


Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 15

It is almost inconceivable that we are progressing into the second week of fantasy postseason matchups. Congratulations to those of you whose teams are still competing in the playoffs. Your meticulous planning during the draft process and the regular season has been rewarded with an opportunity to win your leagues' championships. This critical week provides the opportunity to... Read More


Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 15

Week 15 is upon us, which means that even the holdovers who play in leagues with four team playoffs and no byes are now in fantasy playoff mode. This is it: the home stretch. Are there any wide receivers left on the waiver wire who can help you in the playoffs? Let's look at some... Read More


Week 15 Tight End Waiver Wire Picks and Streamers

If your fantasy football season is over, either because you did not make your league’s playoffs or because you have had enough of failing in DFS contests, then this column is not for you. Congratulations if you HAVE qualified for your fantasy league’s playoffs! To reach the postseason you must have received some decent play... Read More


Quarterback Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers - Week 15

The first week of the fantasy playoffs in almost in the books, and if you're fortunate enough to have advanced then it's already time to start thinking about Week 15 lineups, especially for those who stream quarterbacks. Luckily, there are plenty of viable options available as eliminated owners have stopped making moves, and if you... Read More


Waiver Wire Express - Week 15 Lightning Round

An injury-laden Week 14 decided many matchups, with several big names going down in a Red Wedding-esque affair. Not only was Josh Jacobs was a late inactive, but Jared Cook, Devante Parker, Albert Wilson all left with concussions, Mike Evans pulled up with a hamstring injury, Calvin Ridley and Ryan Griffin hurt their ankles, Derrius... Read More


Fantasy Football News and Injuries - Running Updates

Below is a quick-hit list of running notes on relevant injuries and player news, including pre-game reports and live in-game updates. Stay tuned for updates all throughout the week and on Sunday morning game day:   Week 14 Josh Jacobs (shoulder) has officially been ruled out. Jared Cook has been ruled out of the game after... Read More


Monday Night Fantasy Football Starts/Sits - Week 14

Finally, we had a good fantasy matchup last week. And now, as punishment, we get this. The Eagles against the Giants is a good rivalry game. But for fantasy? Not so much. Even key players Saquon Barkley and Carson Wentz have been severely disappointing in 2019. The game is not going to be something to... Read More


Week 14 Chat - Live Fantasy Football Game Day Q&A

It's Sunday Morning Week 14... Do You Know Who to Start? Each Sunday morning of the NFL season, RotoBaller's experts will be moderating the industry's leading live chat room and answering a bunch of your fantasy football questions, from around 10:30 AM to 1:00 PM ET. Come join in on the fun, and get your... Read More


Updated Week 14 PPR Rankings (Top 300)

Welcome to Week 14 RotoBallers. Below are our updated consensus Week 14 PPR rankings for fantasy football, including some running notes on relevant injuries, player news and rankings updates: Josh Jacobs (shoulder) has officially been ruled out. Will Fuller (hamstring) is expected to miss Week 14. Adam Thielen (hamstring) has officially been ruled out. Le'Veon Bell... Read More


Fantasy Football Mailbag - Q&A for Week 14

This article's content may vary week-to-week, but generally, it will be answering questions fielded from either the @RotoBallerNFL twitter account or my personal one (@RotoSurgeon). This week, the focus is on start/sit questions, and there were plenty. Every week, many of us struggle with which quarterback to start, or who to flex, and I am... Read More


Fantasy Football Starts and Sits: Matchups Analysis for Week 14

Welcome to our Week 14 matchup analysis and start/sit column for fantasy football. We'll be covering every single contest from the Sunday slate in one convenient location, helping you make the best decisions for your fantasy lineups. Be sure to check back regularly because this article will be updated as news comes in regarding injuries and other... Read More


Wide Receiver Matchups To Target In Week 14

In Week 13, Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill were the high-end options that had great matchups. Adams had a huge two-touchdown game while Hill only came up with 55 scoreless yards, falling victim to game flow as the Chiefs led from start to finish, scoring a defensive touchdown in the process. Several of the wide receivers... Read More


Week 14 Fantasy Football Staff Rankings

Below you will find all of RotoBaller's fantasy football weekly rankings, tiers, player news and stats for the 2019 NFL season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Weekly PPR Rankings Weekly Half-PPR Rankings Weekly Standard Rankings Dynasty League Rankings     Fantasy... Read More