It’s 3:30 in the morning and I’m pissed. I’ve had this stomach crud that’s tortured me for almost a week, but tonight it’s my bad electrical system that’s screwing up the works. I have incomplete feeling in my left leg from a long battle with a staph infection 12 years ago. For the most part, I’m used to it. Every once in a while, like this morning, I get the “zaps” which is like my nervous system is on the fritz. My foot won’t stop feeling like when you zap someone with static electricity. It’s so freaking wonderful.
Josh Gunnels invited me to join an auction league with some friends. My entire goal was to pick the team for the owner who couldn’t make it. This, to me, seemed like the perfect way to spend a Tuesday night.
Gunnels invited me because to him, I am a fantasy expert. I was completely honest and said that I had never done an auction, even a mock auction. He was fine with it.
The auction started at 8:30. For the first 15 players or so, I watched. Everyone was paying out the wazoo for the Adrian Petersons and the Calvin Johnsons. The cap was $350 and you the starting lineup was 2 QB/3 RB/3 WR/TE/D/K. Quarterbacks were going to be a little tight, running backs all right and there would be plenty of the rest. Because I had no idea how to value players, I used the 4for4.com rankings.
You walk a fine line in an auction. You don’t want to just stand on the sidelines but you can spend half of your cash in a hurry.
The good in an auction: You can pick up any player. The bad in any auction: You have to pay attention to every player. The ESPN auction room went down the list of eight owners and each owner got to nominate a player. You could up the bid, click the “pass” button to ensure that you were not going to bid on the current player, or you could just wait. The fun part is being able to bump the bid with one second to go. At first the clock was fast but after a while it seemed slow and the Commish shortened it.
My strategies included bidding on a kicker to open, and I got Blair Walsh for a buck. I stayed out of things and was the cash leader for a long time. Then C.J. Spiller came on the board. The bidding went on for a while and I won him for $78. One player would get about a quarter of my money. In no time I won RGIII for $37 and DeMarco Murray for $26. I looked at the 4for4 values and Murray was a bargain, while the other two guys were about right.
Since it was a two-QB league, I waited on my second guy but Russell Wilson came up and even though his “value” was about the same as RGIII, he went for $25. In hindsight, I could have been more aggressive early as there were crazy bargains at the end.
I picked up LeSean McCoy as my last “cornerstone” player for $63. That felt relatively cheap. There were times when I bid on a guy just to bump and ended up with him, like Chris Ivory at $12. Later bargains included Mike Vick for $4 and Ryan Mathews for $5. Ryan Mathews for $5 is like drafting him in the 10th round. Here’s my final roster, and yes, I spent my entire $350.
Russell Wilson: $25
CJ Spiller: $78
LeSean McCoy: $63
DeMarco Murray: $26
Larry Fitzgerald: $23 (at a certain point, wideouts lost their value completely)
Marques Colston: $12
Hakeem Nicks: $10 (I opened a bid for Nicks for $10, so maybe I could have gotten him for less)
Vernon Davis: $17 (another example of splashing the pot and nobody upped me)
Blair Walsh: $1
Bears D: $3 (my last $3)
Chris Ivory: $12 (maybe an overspend)
Ryan Mathews: $5 (experts were right about every player having value)
DeAngelo Williams: $3
Mike Vick: $4 (this blew my mind as guys like Eli went for $20)
Sam Bradford: $11 (getting late in the game and he was the top guy by far left)
Steve Smith: $7 (kind of snuck in there)
Eric Decker: $13 (seems cheap, but guys like James Jones went for $9)
People were right. Auctions are a lot of fun. You do need to take some breaks and I’m not sure how it would work live in person like my local keeper draft. There would have to be a third-party auctioneer, but damn, what a way to spend a few hours.