What. Was. THAT?!?!
No one warned me that participating in a fantasy football auction draft is exactly like showing up to a Chinese buffet moments after they refill the orange chicken. I thought I was going to lose a limb when Adrian Peterson went up for auction.
Being the meek, timid, frugal old soul that I am, my auction draft strategy was to wait and hoard. Hoard money, that is; not players. I was content to sit idly by and watch the free-for-all over running backs and people paying hand-over-fist for players like the immortal Matt Forte and the immobile Steven Jackson. I had a plan: Cash out my savings on the auction draft and buy a PS3. These ESPN fantasy auction dollars are real dollars, aren't they?
The first ten picks of my fantasy auction draft went like this:
- Peterson, $62.00
- Matt Forte 56
- Michael Turner 58
- Maurice Jones-Drew 56
- Steven Jackson 55
- Chris Johnson 49
- Ladanian Tomlinson 46
- Drew Brees 44
- Deangelo Williams 46
- Larry Fitzgerald 43
It was about the ten-player mark that I realized I should probably start bidding on players. And blinking. I hadn't done that since the auction started.
Quite honestly, I had no idea what was going on for the first several players. The prices went from $1.00 (my comfort zone) to $50.00 faster than I could long for the days of the ESPN AutoDraft. One guy who obviously didn't mind the spending spree was team Texas Tornadoes. He drafted Forte, Turner, and Tomlinson in the draft's seven picks, leaving himself with about $14 to spend over the next hour-and-a-half. Enjoy having Joe Flacco as your quarterback, you hoser.
I will probably lose to him in Week Two.
Finally, I said enough's enough. I needed to draft someone. Actually, those words were spoken by my co-owner who was watching helplessly on a shared monitor 1,000 miles away. He may have been talking to me during the first flurry of picks, but I wouldn't know for sure. I was in a coma.
My co-owner wanted Steve Slaton, apparently because he likes disappointment. I conceded the point, because I knew I was going to ask his permission later on to overpay for New England Patriot players that he most definitely did not want.
Slaton came onto the auction block at pick No. 16, and considering that we had zero other players on our roster and every single dollar at our disposal, we were prepared to do whatever it took to bring Slaton home. "Whatever it took" ended up being $38 and a little bit of pee when my computer froze mid-bid and we almost lost him. Success! A player! And one I am pretty confident I can talk myself into!
The next player to be auctioned off was Tom Brady. My co-owner and I had made a pact earlier that we would forgo the expensive running backs who stand a good risk of getting injured, splitting carries, or having down years, and we would draft a superstar quarterback who would guarantee us points week-in and week-out. And this strategy somehow led us to Tom Brady, injured a year ago and probably never going to replicate his 50-TD 2007. I hate us.
Actually, that's not true. I should have hated us, but I am a big Patriots fan, meaning that I over-rationalize my selecting them too early and paying too much for them in fantasy drafts. Remember Troy Brown? I had him as a keeper for the last decade.
Brady was expensive, but seeing as how we were still one of the most cash-rich teams on the board (Financial Peace University WIN!), we went after him like Bernard Pollard. Thirty-nine dollars later, he was ours.
After back-to-back splurges on Slaton and Brady, we laid low while the rest of the nine teams in our league picked over some mid-range players. At pick No. 28, we paid $16.00 for T.J. Houshmandzadeh then patted ourselves on the back because we thought we got a deal. Twenty picks later, we plopped down another $16.00 for Jonathan Stewart, whom I placed on the bench eight hours later thanks to a leg injury.
Over the next 15 to 20 minutes, we added players here and there, for reasons I cannot adequately express to you now because I do not remember what they were. Greg Olsen? Beats me. LenDale White? Gut feeling, I guess. Torry Holt? We thought it was Y2K?
The highlight of the back-half of the draft was probably my stubborn refusal to be out-bid for kicker Nick Folk. I think that some synapse snapped in my brain, blinding me to the fact that I was in a bidding war for a position player who plays a position where three-quarters of his peers get auctioned off for zero dollars. I ended up spending four on him, sticking it to team NY Bronx Boys in the process.
It was around this time that I began to seriously reconsider my auction drafting strategy. My co-owner and I adopted a feverish abhorrence of spending money for one of the following reasons:
- We didn't want any of the top ten players on the board.
- We wanted to overwhelm our opponents with a collection of $15.00, slightly-above-average receivers.
- This was our first auction draft.
Reason number one is a boldfaced lie, so that's not it. I would have drafted every player in the top ten if that was at all feasibly possible. Number two can't be right, either. Who are we? The Seattle Seahawks?
It was obviously, painfully number three.
Our nubileness was on full display at pretty much any given time during the draft.
- The 10-pick mark: We hadn't bid yet.
- The 30-pick mark: We had the most money remaining, by a longshot.
- The 100-pick mark: We had enough money left to spend an average of $9.82 on each of our six remaining roster spots. (Players were going for an average of $1.50 at this point.)
But you know what? When the dust had settled and we emptied our coffers on our final roster spot, I said to my co-owner the same thing I say after every fantasy football draft - regular, live, autopick, or otherwise: "I'm really happy with our team."
I hate us.
Since when is drafting backup running backs a bad option? (via assets.sbnation.com)