Home > Draft > Auction vs. Snake Draft

Auction vs. Snake Draft

A couple years ago, nearly every fantasy league in existence used the traditional “snake” style draft, where each manager picked in order — 1 to 12 in round 1 and then 12 to 1 in round 2, and so on. However, this draft has some fundamental problems that limit not only the enjoyment of each fantasy player but also the fairness of the draft.

As a result, the auction draft has gained popularity in the recent past. For the uninitiated, an auction draft provides each person with a salary cap (e.g. $200), and then asks them to bid on players. Good players (e.g. Adrian Peterson) go for as much as $75. The lowest amount a player can be purchased for is $1. You have to purchase your 15-player roster with that $200. So if you blow $75 on AP, you best know some “sleepers”  you can find later to fill out your bench.

Overall, I am convinced that the auction draft is far superior. And here are my reasons:

1. Everyone has an equal chance to draft each player. If you want Adrian Peterson, you have a chance to get Adrian Peterson (if you want to pay for him). But it a traditional draft, you will only get AP if you have one of the top picks. It is that simple.

2. It keeps everyone interested. During the traditional draft, quite a bit of time elapses between your picks. But in an auction draft,  you can actively participate in each player that is up for bid.

3. It is a more exciting draft process. Rather than sitting around, crossing off names while you wait for your turn,  you can actively compete with your friends for players. Try to out-bid them, or bid them up. Or just watch your friends do the same while you count your money and wait for cheaper players.

4. You can build “your” team. In the traditional draft, you are generally limited to the players who are available when you pick. But in an auction draft, you can actively attempt to build your “ideal” team. Obviously you are limited by how much you can spend, but you have way more control over your final roster.

5. You have no one to blame but yourself. I have said it before. And I am sure you have heard it before. “My team sucked because I had the 10th pick in my draft.” Partly this is an excuse, but in some ways, it is true. You cannot get the player(s) you want when you are slotted in a certain position. But if you do an auction draft, you can build your roster exactly how you want it. So, when your team is bad/good, you can only look in the mirror.

6. The auction draft involves more strategy. Many times, in a traditional draft, you simply look at your pre-ordered list and select one of the guys who is next. But in an auction, you have to monitor your funds, build your roster, and remember all those sleepers you want to buy for $1 at the end.

  1. Slim Tim
    September 1, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    After the auction draft, will I be able to select free agents. Will I need more money?

  2. September 2, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Depends on your draft. Usually, you have a specified amount to spend on the draft, and then if your league uses “Free Agent Acquisition Bidding” (rather than waiver priority) to add players, you should have a separate budget for that. But check with your league commissioner or look at the settings to be sure.

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