As you all know, I love auctions for Fantasy Baseball (and football too). There is nothing quite like having the opportunity to bid on every player you like without having to wait for 20 or so picks until you pick again. Auctions take a lot of time (usually five hours or so) and a lot of effort, so don’t just go in capriciously. Do your homework and be prepared. The more prepared you are, the better the chance you have of coming out with a team that can compete for a Fantasy Championship.
Make sure you have a list of the players who have been taken and cross them off after the player is sold.
Pay attention to other teams’ tells. Learn to know when someone wants a player badly. Watch to see if another owner is looking more intently during the bidding. This way you can bid him up and make him pay more that he wants to for a certain player.
Vary your bidding. Sometimes I bid on guys I like; sometimes I bid on guys I don’t like. Think of an auction like poker—sometimes you go all in, but other times you are bluffing with a deuce and a four.
Know how much money each team has left. This way you know if another owner can outbid you for a player.
Know what positions other teams need in your league. If three teams need a catcher (including you) make sure you have three guys you like left on your list. If you don’t have three guys left, pay up for the first catcher, so you don’t get stuck overpaying on the second catcher.
Don’t get caught up in a bidding war that you can’t afford. Just because you like a player doesn’t mean you need to overspend drastically to obtain that player. This is probably the biggest rookie mistake in all auctions.
Don’t always call out a player you want. Sometimes you need to mix it up. I call out players I like along with players I don’t like. If people know you want a specific guy, they might bid you up just to make you pay more.
Try to bid in increments of $1 to $3. If the bid is $3, don’t jump to $10.
Be ready at all times. Sometimes good value comes early in an auction; sometimes it comes late.
Try to avoid having only $1 for a bunch of players at the end of your draft. If you go with the stars and scrubs philosophy, it often leaves teams with $1 to spend on their last 10-12 players. This is a tougher way to win your league, especially if your stars get hurt.
Rank your players in tiers. I like to make sure my players are ranked in groups and not by specific dollar amounts. Sometimes I need to pay more for players than I want simply because there are fewer players available at the positions I need.
Make sure the auctioneer can hear and see you. You might lose a bid if you are hiding in a corner, sticking your pencil up in the air and the bidding is closed.
Try to make sure there are bathroom breaks spread out during the auction. You do not want to miss out on a player because you had to go take a leak and the room refused to stop bidding while you were gone.