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Fantasy Football Auction Draft Recap - The King's Classic at Fantasy Football Expo

Joe Burrow - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Injury News, DFS Lineup Picks

The Fantasy Football Expo is an event that takes place annually in Canton, Ohio. It continues to grow in popularity, with on-air personalities, writers, and fans assembling for a weekend devoted to all things fantasy football. For those who haven't attended, you'll want to include it in your summer plans next year.  Of course, the weekend wouldn't be complete without the King's (and Queen's) Classic.

This year, I once again had the honor of representing RotoBaller in the George Blanda division, something I've done for the past four years. But unlike previous years, I wasn't alone, as Dan Palyo, RotoBaller's Lead DFS Editor, accompanied me. It didn't end there, as RotoBaller's Matt Donnelly and the legendary Scott Engel each held their own squads, which I will list for comparative purposes.

The rules of the auction draft were straightforward. Each of the 14 teams had a $200 cap and was responsible for rounding out a lineup consisting of a quarterback, two running backs, three wideouts, and three flex spots. Oh, and that's not counting your bench. Sounds easy, right? Please check out Dan's article for a breakdown of how we approached the snake draft.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers won two writing awards and received 12 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. A big congrats to our very own Byron Lindeque (Golf) and Jordan McAbee (NASCAR) for both winning Writer Of The Year awards! Be sure to follow RotoBaller's analysis and advice all year long, and win more. Win More With RotoBaller!


Fantasy Football Auction Draft Strategy

Auction drafts continue to grow in popularity, so now is an excellent time to review some tips and strategies. Hopefully, you will find this section helpful, especially if you prefer this format moving forward.

Make a budget - Don't just make a budget, but stick to it. It doesn't need to be anything fancy, just something you can reference (either on paper, a spreadsheet, or mentally) to avoid overbidding. We were capped at $200 in our auction, and it's generally the same in "home drafts," so having a clear idea of how much you're willing to spend on each player can help prevent overspending.

DON'T PANIC! - Emotions can get the best of anyone, especially for those who get outbid on a player they had their heart set on. Anxiety, disappointment, and frustration can easily lead you down a dark path for the remainder of the draft, so utilize the tools you use in your personal life to help you relax and stay focused.

Balance is key - Ideally, we'd love a starting lineup consisting of Patrick Mahomes, Ja'Marr Chase, Justin Jefferson, and Travis Kelce. However, that's not realistic. Can it be done? Sure, but you need to have a handle on under-the-radar players, which isn't easy for most. My most successful auction teams through the years had one, maybe two, studs, no more. Find the players who are productive and at a reasonable cost. Let everyone else blow their cap on "sexy names."


Fantasy Football Quarterbacks

A lot of people haven't emphasized the importance of a stable signal-caller, at least those playing outside SuperFlex setups. Yet, having a reliable quarterback has proven crucial. When you look at last year's top four fantasy quarterbacks--Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts, and Joe Burrow--they were head and shoulders above everyone else.

Although Mahomes and Allen were in a tier of their own, it's reasonable to assume Burrow will be better than ever. The Bengals have an enhanced offensive line, and the former No. 1 pick has Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd at his disposal. For this reason, we didn't mind spending a little extra on reliability.


Dennis Clausen/Dan Palyo
Joe Burrow CIN $17
Russell Wilson DEN $2


"The King" Scott Engel
Josh Allen BUF $27
Tua Tagovailoa MIA $4


Matt Donnelly
Kirk Cousins MIN $4
Kyler Murray ARI $2


Fantasy Football Running Backs

As highlighted below, Scott Engel acquired Saquon Barkley for $40, and Matt Donnelly used nearly a quarter of his salary on Christian McCaffrey. Although Barkley and McCaffrey are undoubtedly difference makers, we had a hard time "paying up" on players in that price range, considering this is a 14-team league.

However, you can't fault Scott and Matt for going in that direction, especially since those guys have the knowledge to make them comfortable going after bargain options with upside. On the other hand, we opted to balance things out. There are plenty of questions surrounding some of our running backs. Kenneth Walker III will split touches with Zach Charbonnet in some capacity, while Javonte Williams is coming off a knee injury.

At the same time, Brian Robinson has Antonio Gibson breathing down his neck, and Joe Mixon was nearly sent packing. And we all know Alvin Kamara will miss time due to suspension. Still, all the players we took are the No. 1 options on their respective depth charts, and we didn't need to spend more than $20 on any of them.


Dennis Clausen/Dan Paylo
Kenneth Walker III SEA $20
Javonte Williams DEN $18
Brian Robinson WSH $8
Joe Mixon CIN $16
Alvin Kamara NO $12
Alexander Mattison MIN $18
Gus Edwards BAL $4


"The King" Scott Engel
Saquon Barkley NYG $40
Zach Charbonnet SEA $13
Jamaal Williams NO $8
Zamir White LV $2
Evan Hull IND $1


Matt Donnelly
Christian McCaffrey SF $45
Aaron Jones GB $24
Miles Sanders CAR $13
Rashaad Penny PHI $12


Fantasy Football Wide Receivers

Speaking for myself only, I felt confident about our running back situation after the draft. Unfortunately, I can't say the same about our receiving corps. But grabbing Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk for $21 each was a bargain, and Tyler Boyd is an injury away from climbing the Bengals' depth chart.

Speaking of, we also have the oft-injured Kadarius Toney, and while there are questions about his health (rightfully so), he may emerge as the No. 1 receiving option in Kansas City not named Travis Kelce.


Dennis Clausen/Dan Paylo
Deebo Samuel SF $21
Brandon Aiyuk SF $21
Tyler Boyd CIN $9
Kadarius Toney KC $7
Quentin Johnston LAC $10


"The King" Scott Engel
Stefon Diggs BUF $47
George Pickens PIT $21
Tank Dell HOU $1
Odell Beckham Jr. BAL $6
Romeo Doubs GB $8
Mecole Hardman Jr. NYJ $1


Matt Donnelly
Keenan Allen LAC $35
Mike Evans TB $17
D.J. Chark Jr. CAR $3
Jakobi Meyers LV $9
Treylon Burks TEN $16
Darnell Mooney CHI $7
John Metchie III HOU $2
Darius Slayton NYG $2


Fantasy Football Tight Ends

And lastly, everyone's favorite, the tight end position, the most unpredictable group of fantasy performers. We've all seen what Travis Kelce has done through the years, and he'll at least have a few more seasons of dominance left in the tank. But after him, then who? T.J. Hockenson has a way to go before becoming a consistently productive fantasy asset, and George Kittle has been injured far too much for my liking.

Then, of course, there is Mark Andrews, who could turn things around under Todd Monken. That said, it's safe to assume most won't feel great about who they draft at the tight end spot, so this may be a position we'll need to address as the season rolls on.


Dennis Clausen/Dan Paylo
Chigoziem Okonkwo TEN $5
David Njoku CLE $8


"The King" Scott Engel
T.J. Hockenson MIN $19
Jelani Woods IND $1


Matt Donnelly
Dalton Schultz HOU $7
Juwan Johnson NO $2

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