Disclaimer: the following is for auction players only. Snake drafters, get the fuck out.
Premise: When an inexperienced fantasy footballer struggles to write an auction advice column, he finds unlikely inspiration after drafting the very expensive Adrian Peterson.
“The key to winning a fantasy football auction pool this year is drafting Adrian Peterson or LeSean McCoy,” is something that Captain Obvious would say. Problem is, spending a small fortune on one of these studs doesn’t guarantee a championship. Not to say that you shouldn’t spend a small fortune on one of them, just make sure you are thrifty with the rest of your money. The last thing you want to do is be irresponsible with fake money because auctions kind of work like real life. Think about it: if you spend more than you have, you end up broke, destitute and doing things you said you would never do, like drafting New York Jet Eric Decker.
The following is a list of comparable players. One player is the expensive option, the other is the cheaper option. You will be faced with some tough decision and some not so tough ones. But filling out the rest of your roster after you’ve bagged a stud with the cheaper, yet productive options will win you a championship. Call it the Mr. Burns strategy, if you will.
“Then get me the next best thing…”
Eddie Lacy average price on ESPN… 51
Zac Stacy average price ESPN… 33
Eddie Lacy should have a better season than Zac Stacy. Leaving talent out of this, its obvious that Aaron Rodgers’ magical skill set will open running lanes that St. Louis’ quarterback Shaun Hill—the G.O.B. to Rodgers’ Tony Wonder—wont. With that said, will Lacy out produce Stacy enough to justify the cost? I don’t think so. First of all, Shaun Hill isn’t much of a downgrade from Sam Bradford. Second, Stacy’s relatively low price has more to do with him being shamed and forced to wear the equivalent of a scarlet letter for a running back during the offseason: 3.9 yards per carry (YPC) as rookie. Oddly enough, Eddy Lacy, A.K.A. the guy who costs 18 dollars more, averaged 4.1 YPC–that extra $18 gets you 4 more yards per 20 rushing attempts! Obviously, it doesn’t quite work that way, but if you tune out the hype you can get a good player who wont force you to draft Eric Decker. Bonus: if you’re looking for a fantasy team name, you can’t go wrong with falling in love with “Zac Stacy’s Mom.”
Jamaal Charles average price on ESPN… 58
CJ Spiller average price on ESPN… 16
Jamaal Charles will cost you a lot of fake money. Personally, I would go with Adrian Peterson or Lesean McCoy ahead of Jamaal Charles. But if you’re seeking a Jamaal Charles like performance, buy a lottery ticket like CJ Spiller. I know, Spiller ruined fantasy teams and friendships alike like in 2013, but go back to the future to 2012, when Spiller was second in the league to only Adrian Peterson in yards per carry (6.0 YPC) and then tell me you’re not willing to take the chance. If that doesn’t work watch the video below.
Bishop Sankey average price on ESPN… 8
Carlos Hyde average price on ESPN… 2
Neither rookie running back will cost you a significant amount, but when it comes down to filling out the last spot on your roster, you should be looking for upside, instead of a fading star like Maurice Jones Drew.. In lieu of drafting someone old and not reliable, swing for the fences with a rookie—just don’t make it Bishop Sankey. Sure he has the clearest path to a starting job, but even if he wins it, the preseason has exposed his lack of talent. The guy to go with is Carlos Hyde. Yeah, you’re peddling hope to yourself, but is it that crazy he unseats a 31-year old Frank Gore? After all, father time catches up to everyone. And, Jim Harbaugh sure does make a great grim reaper.
Aaron Rodgers average price on ESPN… 46
Matt Ryan average price on ESPN…6
I love Aaron Rodgers as much as the next human, but at 46 dollars you can have him all to yourself. I know Rodgers has a history of production that far exceeds that of Matt Ryan. For example, in 2012 Ryan had a career year of 32 touchdowns, where as Rodgers had his second best year with 39. Thing is, in a fantasy auction those $40 you save can help you build a team around Matt Ryan that wins you a championship. And don’t worry about Aaron, he’ll be just fine.
Jordy Nelson average price on ESPN… 25
Keenan Allen average price on ESPN… 16
Jordy Nelson has not gotten much recognition for his stellar play until this year—a 1,300 yard season will do that. Nelson now goes for $25, which is fair considering the stats he put up last year, however, paying for past performance in fantasy limits your potential. Instead you want to find a guy like sophomore Keenan Allen. As a rookie, Allen put up 1,000 yards and 8 touchdowns, despite not starting for the Chargers until week 4. This time next year, you will be looking for the next Keenan Allen.
Tom Brady average price on ESPN… 54
Peyton Manning average price on ESPN… 10
The insane debate over who’s better has raged on forever. I’m going to be the bigger person and avoid it altogether. All I have to do is avoid mentioning who I think is better (Peyton Manning) and destroy my memories of Spygate like the NFL destroyed Bill Belichick’s home videos. I’ll focus my energy on deciding who is the better value this year. And quite frankly, when it comes down to value this year, you wont find a better one than Tom Brady ($44 dollar difference between the two rivals). As much as I enjoy the Schadenbrady Schadenfreude, I can’t pass up a deal like that if I want to win a championship.