The League of Champions is different. Not just anyone can play in the LOC, you need to win your way in. Once you’re there, you’re facing off against the cream of the crop. And that means things should be a little more challenging. Ergo, the LOC doesn’t conduct a snake draft. Instead, they hold an auction draft where every owner has a shot at every player. Owners also need to pay attention throughout the draft and not just on their turn in the order. It’s fast-paced and riveting and you’re going to love it.
For those who have never participated in an auction draft, here are a few Frequently Asked Questions to help get you started.
How does an auction draft work?
Instead of simply taking turns drafting players onto your squad, each player is put up for auction and every owner has a chance to bid for and win that player. In a snake draft, if you wind up in the 7th draft slot, you basically have no chance at a top 3 RB, but in an auction those players can be your if you’re willing to pay for them. In the draft room, the owners sit in “Nomination Order”. The first owner chooses the player to put on “the auction block” and what their starting bid will be. From there, an auctioneer will hear bids as the price goes up. When the price plateaus, the auctioneer will do a “going once, going twice, sold”, award the player to the winner and update the draft board.
What are we using to bid and what’s the strategy?
Each owner starts with $100 imaginary dollars that they can use to bid on players. It’s up to you to come up with some kind of a strategy for how to allocate those dollars to roster spots. Maybe you have decided you will own Adrian Peterson no matter the cost. You may pay $45 dollars for him, or 45% of your total team budget. Now you will be less able to bid up other talented players that are on the block later.
Do I have to use all $100 during the auction?
No, you don’t. BUT, you do have to fill all 15 spots on your roster during the auction. You can’t, let’s say, spend all your money and still have an open spot that you think you’ll just fill in free agency when the season starts. That would give you an unfair advantage in the auction by giving you “more money” than other owners. How this plays out is that the maximum you can pay for any player in the auction is $86. If you did that, you would need to buy 14 more players at only $1 each. Make sense? It also means that your maximum allowed bid goes down as the draft progresses. At draft night, you’ll be able to look at the big draft board and see what price will bid certain owners out of the market, which can be very valuable information as you compete for players.
So if I fill all my roster spots early in the draft, can I leave early?
Absolutely! The reverse is also true. If you only leave yourself with one roster spot and $1 to spend, the only way you’ll be able to leave is if you yourself nominate a player for a dollar and no one else bids him up (and it can take hours for this to happen for you, as Tyler learned one fateful year). It might be a good idea to leave yourself more than a buck for your last roster spot.
How long is the draft going to take?
If history is any indication, probably 3 hours or so.
Can I draft remotely?
Yes, we’ll likely utilize Yahoo’s online auction draft tool. It has improved a lot over the last few years and makes things easier for me to manage.
How should I prepare for an auction draft if I’ve never done one before?
Yahoo offers Mock Auction Drafts, so you could play around with that. Otherwise, decide how you would like to see your team constructed and come up with a budget. If you are the kind of owner who values top RBs, then you might say you’ll spend 30% and 20% on your two starting RBs and divvy up the remaining 50% on the other positions. Maybe you love Aaron Rodgers, so you’re willing to pony up 40% of your budget on him and take your chances on the rest. And just like how a late round sleeper in a snake draft can be very valuable, bargain players who sell for lower than they should can make a huge difference on your roster.