‘5 Dirty Tricks For Fantasy Baseball Auctions’ — Fantasy Book Excerpt!

  • David Gonos

Fantasy Baseball Book - Definitive-Guide to Fantasy Baseball

The following is an excerpt from the book, “Benny Ricciardi’s Definitive Guide To Fantasy Baseball.” Daily Fantasy Baseball writer Benny Ricciardi gathered over 20 other Fantasy experts to contribute to the best Fantasy Baseball book I’ve ever been part of.

You can buy the book here – in e-book and paperback versions — and I recommend you giving it a shot, regardless of the fact that I’m involved in it! These guys are awesome. Look at some of the writers in this book, as well as the chapters they’ve written:

  • Jake Ciely: How to Use Advanced Stats
  • Tony Cincotta: Target Numbers In Each Stat Category
  • Nando Di Fino: Digging Deep For Obscure Longshots
  • George Kurtz: How the Average Player Can Win His League
  • Tim McCullough: Strategies For Identifying and Drafting a Winning Pitching Staff
  • Joe Pisapia: Relative Position Value
  • Mike Rathburn: Finding Value In the Nuances of the Game (Daily Fantasy Baseball)

There are 22 chapters in all, running 232 pages long. I believe you’ll enjoy this book for this season, and for several years to come. It has advice that will affect how you play all year, every year.

For my chapter, I took on the challenge of sharing my Fantasy Baseball auction tips, which I couldn’t  wait to write! I decided to make it a little evil sounding, calling it “39 Dirty Tricks,” but really, they’re just smart pieces of advice to help you win the secondary poker game that is the auction before the real Fantasy Baseball game even begins. I shared three tips already here on my own site, and below are five other tips.

“39 Dirty Tricks For Fantasy Baseball Auctions”

For the entire chapter, as well as the entire book, please visit Amazon here to purchase it.

If you have never taken part in an auction for your Fantasy Baseball league’s entry draft, you might not realize what you’re missing.

It’s like learning how to drive a stick in a sports car – you suddenly have a lot more control.

It’s like going from checkers to chess – where there’s so much more strategy involved.

It’s like figuring out that girls aren’t stinky and full of cooties – when you’re 26.

We’re going to go through the wonderful world of Fantasy Baseball auctions, hitting on some things you might already know, and touching on brilliant points that will change your life (I might be overselling). I broke this article up into four different sections – intro to auctions, tips for nominations, tips for bidding and tips for team building (trust falls!).

Understanding How a Fantasy Baseball Auction Works

A Fantasy auction is very much like a poker game, full of strategy and unsavory people!

There are a lot of mind games you can play with your leaguemates, and even some bluffing. Your goal in both games is to acquire the best hand you possibly can, hoping to outlast all the other competitors – and to get free drinks.

But the best way to understand why an auction is much better than a draft is that in a straight draft, you are very much limited by what everyone else is doing. If you have the eighth pick in the first round, you can’t do anything about the first seven picks going off the board (outside of making a last-minute trade). In an auction, however, you are only limited by the salary cap and your great, big brain.

Also, every single auction is completely different from another auction, which is unlike straight drafts, which usually roll out relatively the same way every time (Yay, ADP!). While dollar values near the top of every auction are similar, the timing of when they’re nominated, along with the different values later in the draft make each auction completely unique – like ugly people!

Once the season starts, your auction league runs the same as your draft league (possibly with FAAB rather than waiver wire, but you can use both methods in either type of league, really).

For the sake of this article, we’re going to be referring to 12-team, mixed auction leagues, with $260 salary caps.

Speaking of that $260 cap – do you know how that came about? Back when Daniel Okrent came up with Fantasy Baseball at the La Rôtisserie Française restaurant in New York City, he set a $250 salary cap. Then, they decided to add a designated hitter lineup spot, and arbitrarily bumped the cap up $10 to $260.

Boom! You just got learned!

Something else to remember is that dollar values are a little skewed when comparing one player to another. For instance, say you like Mookie Betts as a $40 player, and Jose Abreu as a $20 player. Does that mean you believe Betts to be twice as good as Abreu? Probably not. Is a $1 player 1/40th as good as Betts? Definitely not. Look at the dollar values as a curving slope, with very few players in the high-price segment, but an increased number of players at lower prices.

Great players are expensive because there aren’t many of them, and they bring with them the opportunity to own large chunks of Rotisserie points (there are only 120 Roto points to go around!) . The lesser players are cheaper because they will bring smaller chunks of points – and they are interchangeable with other cheaper players. Either way, numbers make us crazy!

In an auction, each owner will take turns nominating players, then that player is up for auction, until the auctioneer says “Going once, twice – sold!” Hearing that when you are the high bidder on a player brings with it a mix of emotions. It’s like when a girl says “Yes” to a date, and you are elated – while simultaneously wondering if you could do better.

A 12-team auction with 23 starting players for each team means there will be 276 players auctioned off (there’s usually a reserve draft after the auction), with a total of $3,120 available (12 teams x $260 salary cap) to be spent on them.

5 of My Favorite Fantasy Baseball Auction Tips

For the entire chapter, as well as everyone else’s chapters, visit Amazon here to buy the book. What follows in the slideshow are five of my favorite Fantasy Baseball auction tips.

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David Gonos

David Gonos has been writing about sports online since 2001, including CBSSports.com, FoxSports.com, NFL.com, MLB.com and SportsIllustrated.com.