Auction Domination: The Perfect Fantasy Football Auction Draft

Let Trader Tim show you what a perfect auction draft should look like! Both standard and PPR styles!

Welcome to my idea of the perfect fantasy football auction draft you can pull off this season. This is a “perfect” draft so of course some liberties apply, we are going to assume that you can get every player for the dollar amount they are listed for on their individual sites. I’ll provide two perfect drafts for a 12 team league, one as a standard ESPN league and the other as a PPR Yahoo league (to change it up a bit). Obviously, you will see some familiar names from my article two weeks ago about best bargains on Yahoo and ESPN but this is also an exercise in lineup construction.

Yahoo 12 Team PPR “Perfect” Auction Draft

QB: Derek Carr $6

RB: Le’Veon Bell $56

RB: Danny Woodhead $7

WR: AJ Green $45

WR: Jordy Nelson $44

WR: Kelvin Benjamin $10

TE: Zach Ertz $7

K: Justin Tucker $1

D: Denver Broncos $1

B: DeVante Parker $8

B: Stefon Diggs $7

B: Theo Riddick $6

B: Duke Johnson $1

B: Austin Sefarian-Jenkins $1

I’ve previously advocated my desire to pay up for high end running backs and spend less on wide receivers because of where the value lies this year. However, as a PPR league, I’m willing to shift my focus a little bit and pay a premium for top end receivers because you can inexplicably get quality pass catching backs for cheap (at least on Yahoo) who will greatly outperform more talented rushers who lack the receptions. I chose to mostly go stars and scrubs here by spending roughly 75% of the budget on three players but being able to get a big advantage with your top two receivers while also collecting a huge advantage at running back with Le’Veon Bell is too much for me to pass up in a PPR league. The common theme here is roster as many cheap high reception players as you can in PPR, especially at running back and tight end (Woodhead, Riddick and Johnson will catch a ton of balls and Ertz has a sneaky chance at 70-80 receptions at tight end). The receptions won’t come cheap at wide receiver because of the format but if you can snag a couple of top end options for a reasonable price, you have to highly consider doing so.

ESPN 12 Team Standard “Perfect” Auction Draft

QB: Marcus Mariota $2

RB: David Johnson $66

RB: Todd Gurley $41

WR: Tyreek Hill $12

WR: DeVante Parker $3

TE: Travis Kelce $18

Flex: Isaiah Crowell $33

K: Justin Tucker $1

D: Denver Broncos $1

B: CJ Anderson $7

B: Doug Martin $3

B: Derrick Henry $2

B: Eric Decker $5

B: Adam Thielen $3

B: Jimmy Graham $3

Okay, I tried to present a different look from the first team to show multiple approaches that would make me very happy. Both drafts ended up as a stars and scrubs approach, which I generally advocate unless it’s a deeper league and you can’t grab the scrubs for low prices. Again, keep in mind this is a “perfect” draft and recognize that I realize nobody is getting Devante Parker for $3 even if ESPN has him rated that way after all of his recent hype. The idea still stands though, in PPR, I’m willing to spread the money out among running backs and receivers with more openness to paying up for receivers. In a standard league, especially one where I only have to start two receivers, I’m going all in on running backs and scooping up high upside bargains at receiver. I think Mariota can be a top 5 QB this year so paying bench prices for him is a slam dunk. Beyond that, I know I loaded up extra at running back but I don’t think a tandem of Devante Parker and Tyreek Hill would be that much of a drop off from many other receiver combos and the benefit of rolling out DJ, Gurley and Crowell is just ridiculous (I’d also be fine with going all the way and just taking David Johnson and LeVeon Bell both, but I wanted to diversify a bit from the first draft where I’d already taken Bell). This draft was made with the assumption that trades are allowed, which is why I went heavy with the bargain bench running backs in Anderson, Martin and Henry. If trades were not allowed, I would have tried for more balance and picked up bargain wideouts there instead.

The bottom line here is that there are many ways to construct a great auction lineup. My suggestion this year would be to come away from your draft with one of the big 2 (Johnson or Bell) unless their prices get out of hand and employ a stars and scrubs strategy (barring unique league settings or deep leagues). I generally think there is more value in top end running backs this year and certainly in a standard league, that’s where I’d lean, avoiding top end receivers unless the league is PPR.

I hope you enjoyed the lineup construction exercise of the “perfect” draft. This was the final Auction Domination article for this year, as next week will bring the start of the season and the end of draft time. I will be starting my regular weekly article highlighting player trade values and analyzing trades that I have completed throughout the season (and will answer reader questions on trade advice and offer post trade analysis). If there is anything you would like to see for next year’s auction prep or you want to start with trade questions early, hit me up in the comments below!


  • As a 20 year veteran of fantasy sports, I have seen everything and tried every strategy. I have learned that the keys to winning are preparation and focus. I am here to share my experience and preparation with all of you! My biggest strengths are drafting, trading and add/drops because they all require good preparation and knowledge of what you are doing. I will share my advice and my reasoning while hopefully sprinkling a little entertainment along with it.


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