Fantasy Football Auction Draft Strategies to Win Your League 2021

Jason Schandl
Fantasy football draft strategies to win your auction draft league in 2021.
Fantasy football draft strategies to win your auction draft league in 2021. / Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
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Fantasy football auction drafts can be intimidating, but if you're well prepared, then they can be one of the most fun ways to pick your fantasy football team.

In an auction draft you have full control over your roster. You're not left to the mercy of draft order and your leaguemates.

How Does a Fantasy Football Auction Draft Work?

In an auction draft, there is no traditional "draft order." Instead of picking in order, every team receives a budget or salary cap to work with, and every team has the option to bid on any player.

The only thing a draft order determines in auction drafts is whose turn it is to nominate a player to bid on.

This format takes much of the luck out of the draft process, as you have a chance at drafting any player if you're willing to spend enough on them. 

The complexity can be pretty daunting though, and that's why The Duel is here to help with our best fantasy football draft strategy for auction leagues.

3. Spend All Your Bidding Dollars

You can't take it with you when you go. There's no prize for having the most money left over at the end of your draft. All too often beginner drafters will get intimidated by the high price-tags for some of the top picks in the draft, instead opting to try to load up on more mid-priced players. There can be some value to that, but you also run a serious risk of ending up with an underwhelming roster and unspent cash. There's usually a sharp drop-off in price as you climb down the rankings, and this can catch an unprepared owner off guard when they start winning some of their late-round players for just a couple dollars.

2. Nominate the Players You Don't Want Early

A complement to spending your own money is making your league mates spend theirs. Preferably on players you don't want. If there are a couple early-round players you're not at all interested in drafting, make sure to nominate them early. This will cut into your opponents' salary caps and reduce the competition available to afford the players that you do want.

1. Don't Bother Trying to Price Enforce

To "price enforce" is to bid on players because you think someone is about to win them for too cheap. If you'd be happy to win the player for what you're bidding, then by all means bid away. But if you are just hoping to cost your league mate a few dollars and you don't want the player, you're just taking a silly risk. There's not a ton of upside to the move (cutting someone's salary cap by a few bucks), but the downside is that you note only waste some of your budget, but also a valuable roster spot on a player you don't want. The whole point of an auction draft is that you can specifically fill your team with players you like. Doing the opposite is not wise.

Be sure to also check out The Duel's auction draft values, based on our 2021 fantasy football rankings.


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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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