What are you going to do if you're stuck with the 7th pick in a snake draft? CJ, AP, MJD, Rice, Gore and Turner are gone. Andre Johnson? Would you take a thirty-sum dollar WR after a handful of $55-$70 RB were just selected? You want Steven Jackson after back surgery? Want to show off your cojones and take Mendenhall, Greene or Mathews? I know you are smart enough to avoid a QB in the first and second round. You don't have to worry about not having a top six pick in auction drafts. Everyone is available and players are drafted at their true price rather than where they fall. Snake drafts are a thing of the past and Cash Rules Everything in an Auction Man. How are you spending your dollar dollar bills y'all?
Full disclosure This old dirty bza only plays leagues that have a flex spot, so I can start three RB every week, and I will not play in a league that has less than 14 heads. Everything I have to say here is geared toward these deeper leagues. We're always looking for deals, but auction drafts are unpredictable, ever changing beasts. Anything can change, depending on manager spending tendencies, the available player pool and how your budget is shaping up. This is simply a loose guideline that I will use to construct my teams and triumph.
Running Backs The core of any team. I will spend a large chunk of my money on Running Backs, looking to land one of the top six players. All of this depends on the size of the league and how managers are spending, but I really, really want Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Ray Rice, Frank Gore or Michael Turner on my team. Likely one of the latter four because CJ and AP are popular and their prices will be extravagant. Maybe I can even land two of the four. Of my $200, I am willing to spend upwards of $150 on three starting RB if I feel comfortable spending only a couple dollars on a QB. If the top players are too expensive (people are crazy, you never know) I would feel comfortable spending less for Shonn Greene and Ryan Mathews. The further down the ranks my first RB is, the further up I want my third RB. If I blow my wad on two top RB, I'll look for a semi-sleeper RB to play at the flex spot, like Montario Hardesty, Ben Tate, Michael Bush, etc. As much as I want a MJD-Gore tag team, I wouldn't mind having a Greene-Pierre Thomas-J.Stewart trio. Anyway you slice it, I want three killa RBeez. Shame on a manager who tries to run game without a running game.
Wide Receivers After I deplete my funds on Running Backs, I'm looking to fill my WR slots. Hopefully I have enough money to buy a pair of golden armed players like Sidney Rice, Greg Jennings and Roddy White, but I don't mind rostering cheaper WR options like Mike Sims-Walker, Robert Meachem, Jeremy Maclin, Mike Wallace, Pierre Garcon or Dez Bryant. My third starting WR will most likely be a cheaper breakout candidate like Donnie Avery, Jabar Gaffney, Johnny Knox, Chaz Schilens, Laurent Robinson, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Mike Williams, Arrelious Benn, Demaryius Thomas, etc. I'd like to have a couple of these breakout candidates in case the first one I choose doesn't pan out.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees will not be on my team, that is a Million Dollar Guarantee. No way in hell am I paying more than $20 for a QB. The top ranked QB aint nuthin to f**k with. There really isn't much difference between the top eights Quarterbacks and if I can, I'll take the cheapest of the bunch. I am talking about Rodgers, Brees, Manning, Schaub, Romo, Brady, Rivers and Favre. If I spend too much filling out my RB and WR slots, I am completely comfortable spending less for the other Manning, Flacco, Kolb or Palmer. If I only had a dollar to spend, I'd hope to land Chad Henne.
Tight End Again, this is where I am looking to spend only a few dollars. It's nice to own Dallas Clark or Antonio Gates, but I likely will not do so. If I do land a top TE, it will likely be Jason Witten, who seems to be a cheap buy because of last season's low TD total. If my league is deeper than 14 teams, I may need to fork out a few bucks because I see a drop off after the Shiancoe, Cooley, Z.Miller, Carlson, H.Miller tier. My heart will not gently weep over anyone who spends money on Clark or Gates, they're average draft price and production matches up well with some of the second tier WR. I just need to save money somewhere and I feel comfortable playing Zach Miller.
K/DEF I will not spend money on a Kicker, I'll pick one up before Week 1 and stream them week-to-week. This is not da mystery of chessboxin'. The three things I look for when streaming a Kicker: plays for a good offense, plays against a poor defense, kicking inside a stadium or outside in favorable weather conditions. It's easy and you're better off drafting a sleeper at any skill position and cutting someone a day or two before the season starts. Defenses are pretty much the same. The #1 ranked New Jets defense was outscored by San Francisco, Green Bay and New Orleans. I'm not putting much value into drafting a defense.
IDP I'm not going to spend much on Independent Defensive Players in my leagues, but I wouldn't mind owning a few of the top Defensive Linemen. In my leagues there tends to be a drop off after the top eight players. All of this depends on your league scoring and set up. Figure out how well these players match up with the offensive players, gauge the supply and demand and figure out what you're willing to spend on IDP. Do work son.
Bench My leagues start at least 42 WR, 28 RB and 14 Flex players. I do not expect there to be much for leftovers so I will not save much money for my bench spots. I will try to protect my neck and handcuff my top RB, but I am not going to go out of my way and save money to do so. It is always nice to have a strong bench so I will attempt to save a hott nikkel for some bye week flavors and insurance policies, but I will not be surprised to see myself trying to fill my bench spots with $1-$2 buys.
Unless the league is an expert's league where I want to beat up on some stiff competition, I am completely done with snake drafts. They are outdated and useless. The player prices do not match the cost. Only the free market system of auction leagues gives us the opportunity and freedom to truly construct a football team. Again, this is simply a loose guideline that I will use to draft. If you have a differing opinion on any of this, hit up the comments, bring da ruckus and let us all know your method, man.