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Auction Domination: 2017 Fantasy Football Auction Values

This is the big one! We’ve been discussing auctions and how to most wisely use your money for weeks in this piece, but this week I’m going to turn theory into reality for you with my personal handcrafted dollar values for all skill position players in fantasy leagues this year.

Note: This was published before the Ezekiel Elliott suspension and the Bills’ trades

Before we get rolling, there are some items I want to address to hopefully clarify exactly what you are looking at and how to use this information to your benefit at your next auction. First and foremost, if you haven’t already read last week’s article, I would recommend that you do so now. There’s a lot of good knowledge in there on how these numbers came to be.

What I’m providing for you today are the values for quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and tight ends based on the general settings for 10 team and 12 team Yahoo and ESPN leagues. Both standard settings and 1 point PPR leagues. It should be clear which dollar value matches with which league setting and size (since there are subtle differences between all of these leagues and settings as discussed in last week’s article). I did not include dollar values for kickers or team defenses because you really should only be looking to spend $1 for any of these. That being said, if you really want to lock down a top end D like the Broncos or Chiefs, then going an extra dollar (or maybe even two) shouldn’t break you and I’m willing to sign off on that. Otherwise, plan to spend only $1 on each and plan to nominate your kicker early which should ensure that you get a top end kicker.

Projections

As I said last week, the base to any dollar value is going to be the projections. As such, I’ve included all of my projections for the upcoming year for each player that I would expect to be drafted in the aforementioned league formats. These are my projections, they differ from those of The Wolf and they differ from any other website or magazine that you may come across. My dollar values are obviously based off of my projections, if you don’t agree with the numbers that I have projected a player to get for the upcoming year, then you need to adjust that player’s dollar value to reflect the numbers you actually expect him to get this year. I will explain what I expect to be some of my more controversial projections below each section where it applies. I know some of my projections will be wrong and if anybody who gives you projections says otherwise, they’re lying to you. Each season is unique and there are a multitude of factors that cannot be predicted beforehand, however, I do have reasons for every projection I created and I’m fine with explaining any to anybody if you wish to inquire about a player that I haven’t explicitly explained.

Additionally, projections (and dollar values) are a very specific number, but each player actually accounts for a range of numbers in reality. What I mean by this is that a reasonable range of expectation for a player like Antonio Brown might get anywhere from 95-130 catches, 1,100-1,700 yards and 7-14 TDs. If Brown has a catastrophic year (by his standards) then it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that he’d have 95 catches for 1,100 yards and 7 TDs, if he has an amazing year, he could have 130 catches for 1,700 yards and 14 TDs. Obviously each version of Antonio Brown is worth a significantly different amount of auction value. Since we can’t know exactly which Brown we’re getting, I have to project him for what I expect is the most likely outcome, which is what I’ve done for Brown and every other player.

If you see a player and think that I’m too low or high on that player, this is likely the reason and it doesn’t mean I don’t believe in the upside, just that I can’t in good conscience project him to necessarily meet that upside. That being said, in many cases there is only one touchdown worth of points separating a group of similar players and in those cases, while I have to rank the player with the greater amount of fantasy points higher, it doesn’t mean that I would always take that player higher if I like the upside of another lower ranked player.

Use your judgment when following my (or anybody else’s) projections.

What Do These Dollar Values Represent?

One final point of clarity before we get to the dollar values, these are the values that I believe each player is worth relative to the worst player likely to be drafted at that position. What that means is that while quarterbacks may score the highest number of points, I’d still pay less for Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers than Jordy Nelson because Nelson is going to score more points over the worst wide receiver drafted than Brady or Rodgers will over the worst quarterback drafted.

Additionally, these are what I believe the players are worth, not necessarily what these players will sell for in an actual auction. What that means is that most of the top end talent will sell for more than what I have listed here (especially wide receivers). If you want top end players on your team, then you must be prepared to overspend on those players because you are not going to get them at these prices (except maybe with running backs and perhaps tight ends). What this means is that you may see Julio Jones rated as a $41 player in a 10 Team Yahoo PPR league and that’s because I project Jones to be worth $40 more than Tavon Austin, who I expect to be a $1 player in that same league, however, that doesn’t mean you’re going to get Julio for $41. In fact, Julio is likely to sell for $50 or more in most PPR auctions.

The key here is that you should feel comfortable spending more than what I have projected for top talent because everyone else in your league will likely be doing the same, which will lower all of the prices for the mid-and-low level players. Many of the players that I have rated as $10 players will actually end up selling for closer to $5 or even lower and that’s where you and the rest of the league can make up for overspending on top talent. These numbers are meant to show you the true value of players but if you don’t overspend somewhere and just try to soak up all value buys, you’re going to end up with a mediocre team and maybe money left over at the end.

Bottom line, don’t be afraid to overspend for top talent (or you won’t get any) but just be aware that you are in fact paying more for those players than their expected rate of return so you have to make that up with players that you grab later. Finally, what I would take away from these numbers is that the top handful of running backs are likely to return value at close to the cost you’ll have to pay to get them, whereas the top level wide receivers will cost you more than the value they’ll return. When constructing a roster, I’d look to put my top end money into high level running backs and maybe a player like Rob Gronkowski while scouting out mid-level bargains at wide receiver because I think that’s where I’ll get the most value for my dollars.

Image result for marcus mariota

Quarterbacks

QB Dollar Values (Yahoo)

NamePassing YardsPassing TDRushing YardsRushing TDInterceptionsFantasy Points$ Value 10 Team (Standard)$ Value 12 Team (Standard)$ Value 10 Team (PPR)$ Value 12 Team (PPR)
Tom Brady
480042005355$28$28$22$22
Aaron Rodgers42003630028346$25$25$20$19
Marcus Mariota410031300210320$15$16$12$13
Derek Carr430035100011311$11$13$9$11
Jameis Winston430032150216311$11$13$9$11
Kirk Cousins460028100213305$9$11$7$9
Drew Brees4700310114304$9$11$7$9
Matt Ryan460030100012302$8$10$6$8
Russell Wilson410025300310302$8$10$6$8
Andrew Luck 400029250212301$8$10$6$8
Andy Dalton430028150210301$8$10$6$8
Eli Manning4400330015293$4$8$4$6
Ben Roethlisberger4200340013291$4$7$3$6
Matt Stafford430026150212291$4$7$3$6
Philip Rivers4200320118284$1$5$1$4
Cam Newton400024200312282$0$4$0$3
Tyrod Taylor31001857556278$0$3$0$2
Dak Prescott370023250310273$0$1$0$1

QB Dollar Values (ESPN)

NamePassing YardsPassing TDRushing YardsRushing TDInterceptionsFantasy Points$ Value 10 Team (Standard)$ Value 12 Team (Standard)$ Value 10 Team (PPR)$ Value 12 Team (PPR)
Tom Brady
480042005350$25$25$21$19
Aaron Rodgers42003630028338$21$21$18$17
Marcus Mariota410031300210310$13$14$11$11
Derek Carr430035100011300$10$11$8$9
Jameis Winston430032150216295$8$10$7$8
Kirk Cousins460028100213292$7$9$6$7
Russell Wilson410025300310292$7$9$6$7
Andy Dalton430028150210291$7$9$6$7
Drew Brees4700310114290$6$8$6$7
Matt Ryan460030100012290$6$8$6$7
Andrew Luck 400029250212289$6$8$6$7
Matt Stafford430026150212279$3$5$3$4
Eli Manning4400330015278$3$5$3$4
Ben Roethlisberger4200340013278$3$5$3$4
Tyrod Taylor31001857556272$1$3$1$3
Cam Newton400024200312270$0$3$0$2
Philip Rivers4200320118266$0$2$0$2
Dak Prescott370023250310263$0$1$0$1

Why do I have Marcus Mariota, Derek Carr and Jameis Winston rated so high, while I have Drew Brees and Andrew Luck rated so low? Basically, I think last year was legitimate and not a fluke for Carr. I love the upgrades to the offense that Mariota and Winston both received this offseason and I think they were two talents trending upwards even before those additions.

I still think Brees will be fine but as we’ve seen with Peyton Manning and Brett Favre, the end comes quickly when you hit a certain age at QB and his team traded away one of his biggest weapons in Brandin Cooks, while focusing on upgrading their defense. Then, they signed one of the most prolific running backs in history in Adrian Peterson. Those are all the moves of a team that clearly wants to bring more balance to their offense which means less passing attempts for Brees and a more tempered expectation for his upside.

Luck is low because he has a history of injury and there is a lot of cloudiness about his recovery from his current shoulder ailment. As a general rule, I don’t like to heavily invest in QBs with injured shoulders, particularly when there are rumblings that he may miss regular season games. As I write this, I question whether Luck should be even lower to be honest, I’d probably let somebody else take the risk unless he’s super cheap.

Continue to page two for running back auction values

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One Comment

  1. TraderTim

    August 11, 2017 at 10:04 am

    One early note, and obviously this is not set in stone – the word is that Ezekiel Elliott may be out for 6 weeks on a suspension. Obviously if he misses that kind of time, you can cut his value in more than half and you can pay an extra $10-$15 for McFadden.

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