Punch Drunk Wonderland

Fantasy Football Drafts: Auction is the way to go

Say-No-To-SnakesI’ve played in many leagues in many formats, and for years the standard Snake draft was the order of the day. Then along came the Auction draft. In the Punch Drunk Wonderland original league we switched to an Auction several years ago, and I don’t see why anyone would want to return to Snake drafts after having the Auction experience.

It’s obvious why the Snake draft is the most common draft type.  It’s quick and simple, and the average Joe can do his research and get in and out of a draft with ease. It’s vanilla. The Snake format is also the standard for expert rankings in most cases because it’s easy to project based on that drafting structure.  With the linear format you can come up with projections based off of WHEN a player comes off the draft board. That makes it quick and simple for those trying to do projections and offer fantasy football insight. After all, standard and simple make things easy.

What the Snake really is is a jail sentence for your draft. You’re locked into a position that, depending on the current year’s crop of options at the various positions, can seriously limit your options for building a team that you want. Sure, there’s a strategy to every draft position, but in the end it’s the luck of the draw and you get what you get. Good decision making will help you along, but the potential is very limited.

auctionEnter the Auction. Sure, it’s more difficult to come up with projection content if you’re an expert trying to fill your fantasy site with analysis and rankings. But, it’s logical, competitive, and a far superior drafting system. There is an extra layer of complexity that goes into your drafting strategy with an Auction.  You have your budget for the players you want and you also have a nomination plan. WHEN a player is nominated and HOW MUCH he goes for become the vital factors in an Auction.  Smart nominating can put you in a position to get better deals on the players you want, and smart budgeting can lead to a solid team at value.  Or, if there’s a player you really want, you can break the bank and get him. Throw caution to the wind and spend $100 on Megatron or A.P.  Why not?

It’s unfortunate that the experts don’t focus more on projection and analysis for Auction drafts.  They throw up dollar values in rankings as a nod to the Auction, but there just isn’t the wealth of material out there that there is for Snake drafts. As mentioned above, it makes sense. Churning out projections and analysis on linear Snake drafts is much easier. Running endless mocks and generating Average-Draft-Position data can fill pages upon pages for fantasy sites (I would know). Fantasy football has become huge, and there are countless websites out there devoted to providing projections and opinion. The money is in content, and lots of it. It makes sense. Who’s going to start bringing in economists to explore the intricate ins and outs of the fantasy Auction draft?

In the end it certainly feels like the Auction draft is the far superior format, and my hope is that the world of fantasy football analysis will come to evolve in a way that gives us in depth resources for Auctions just as it does for Snakes. That’s my perfect fantasy world at least.

Happy drafting!


K. Smelser About K. Smelser
Kelly Smelser is Owner/Senior Writer for Punch Drunk Wonderland and PDFantasy Sports. Architect of the PDW fantasy football world and general spinster of NFL and Fantasy Football news and analysis. Long walks on the beach, sunsets, and other such niceties are also fine...