March 14, 2013
11 Things to Know/Have at Your Auction
It’s that time of year again: Auction season is upon us. Over the next four weekends, most leagues that have live-action auctions will be getting together to build rosters, rib the cellar dwellers from the previous year, and copy the strategy of the team that brought home the title. My first auction is this coming Sunday, and I’m sure I will have extra eyes on me as the defending champion—though it’s a keeper league, and it’s not quite the same.
Everyone prepares for their auctions in different ways, from the most important (sources of information, spreadsheets versus printouts) to the things that make an owner comfortable (good luck charm or food/beverage of choice). However, there are 11 things that you should either know or have at your auction before the bidding starts—and I’ve broken them down into two separate sections: The Preparation and The Changing Room. All of the research in the world can’t help you maximize the team you buy in an auction if you don’t have the right tools at your disposal.
1) A Plan (and a Backup Plan)
There are a million different roads you can take in a roto auction. From simple ideas like employing a “stars and scrubs” methodology or spreading the risk/wealth around your entire roster to more complex plans like the LIMA (Low Investment Mound Aces) Plan, there is no wrong way to put a team together. Actually, scrap that. The only wrong way to put a team together is to go into your auction without a plan.
This goes well beyond having a plan with a name. It means knowing what you’re looking for. I don’t like drafting one-category, stolen-base guys, and if I end up taking a Ben Revere or a Juan Pierre, either they were very cheap or something went horribly wrong with my plan. Which leads to the next point: have a backup plan. If you go into the auction knowing you want to get one ace and then fill the rest of your staff with depth, things may just not go according to plan. If you don’t get that $25 ace, do you want to grab two $15 pitchers instead or take one $15 pitcher and reallocate the other $10 to load up on more offense? The more of these outcomes you plan for ahead of time, the more prepared you’ll be when they happen.