Dynasty101 The Auction Zodiac

Dynasty101 The Auction Zodiac

As a Chinese-American, Chinaman food is part of my regular meal (me > Eddie Lacy). It’s not a particularly novel or exciting experience for me to frequent a Chinese restaurant. In fact, it may just as well be telling me that I am going to a McD’s or BK.

In many Chinese restaurants, they have these place mats. On the place mats, you can see 12 animals (well, truth be told it’s probably closer to 11 animals and one mythical beast) that are known as the Chinese zodiac. I would enjoy reading those descriptions while waiting for our food (it was a period before smart phones, so yeah, I was a lot smarter because I read instead). I noticed that the end of each description of the Zodiac, there is always a description of who one will be compatible with and who one should avoid. It’s similar to astrology, but these zodiacs have much bigger cultural implications than you can imagine (You may probably notice a lot of babies born in the year of the Snake).

So, what does this story have to do with dynasty fantasy football? Well, as part social scientist, I am very wired to identify a prototype of a particular approach that an individual primarily use to function in social settings. In the same way, during an ongoing slow auction for one of my dynasty league, I noticed that there are particular types of auctioneers. I’m sure this is not the first article to talk about auction draft in dynasty, but I do like the idea of combining the element of a zodiac to describe certain auctioneers, and who they’re compatible with and who they should avoid. So, here are some quick observations I found.

The Tierful Bidder – This person approach the auction with a very prepared mind. Before one even goes into the draft, he/she has prepared a tiering system, and planned out to only spend within the limit of the tier, and almost always target the last available player of a certain tier. This strategy has been touted as one of the best approaches to most auction drafts, and probably something you’ve come read in dynasty circles. It requires patience and timing, so it would take some effort on your part to keep track of when a bid is getting close to your limit. Tierful Bidders are natural predators of The Stud Muffin. The Muffins tend to use up all their auction money rather quickly, so the Tierful Bidder slow and meticulous planning will help you find great value in the late phases of an auction. But you are prey to The Value Dictators who has other plans for player values. The Tierful Bidder is involved in every phase of the auction.

stud muffiThe Stud Muffin – This person has an agenda in mind: “To acquire at least one stud starter for all positions”. There isn’t much planning to be done, just have to make sure to acquire a strong player at QB, RB, WR, TE, and maybe even stack a position. This person has to worry about having enough budget left to find cheap depth. This may include settling for a 3rd or 4th string backup and being confident that he/she can find help in the UFA pool throughout the season. Often, your roster looks pretty in September, but it’s quite vulnerable to injuries, suspensions, or down years. This person will likely enjoy the company of The Discount Double Checkers, because they will almost likely have position advantage (e.g. Stud Muffin will have Aaron Rodgers vs. Discount Double Checkers will settle for Ryan Tannehill). However, the Stud Muffins can quickly lose their cool when facing a Nickel and Sniper. Stud Muffins aren’t as involved in the late auction game.

The Nickel and Sniper – This person embraces the “patience is a virtue” motto almost to a tee. TheySniper are psychological masters, hoping to a.) get a player for the least high bid as possible, and b.) testing the patience of other bidders. If your minimum bid is $1, they’ll continuously up bid $1 on players they want. Often times, they also use the eBay sniper tactic (you know! The one that decides to be $1 more at the closing seconds of a bid). They gain the advantage at buying the player at the lowest possible price. They also raise a psychological warfare with other owners, sometimes causing impatient owners to overspend or having their bids locked in an active bid, thus eliminating the competition for a different player. Nickel and Snipers love toying around with the Stud Muffins. They may find the company of Discount Double Checkers quite unpleasant, because they are likely in direct competition with each other towards the mid-late tier players. Nickel and Snipers can also be their own enemy when they overestimate the impatience of other owners, and accidently clog their rosters with low-end players, and they heavily involved in the late phases of auctions.

The Discount Double Checkers – This type of bidder is all about value. They made extensive research and aggregate all the data from various sites and sources, to come up with a value board that will guide them on draft day. Everything is about value, if they can get the player under their projected auction $ they are happy as a clam. The double checkers won’t bid a single dime over the real value of an players, and will hold fast and strongly to this personal rule. Like the Tierful Bidder, DDCs are very cost conscious and will attack the values. Of course, without a proper tier system, they may end up having great values at QB, but left with very little to pick from the RB pile. They too, will find it a challenge when encountering The Value Dictators.

Value dictatorThe Value Dictators –  There is a correlation between individuals who wants to take charge and those who become Value Dictators. Instead of slow playing the field, these individuals would take the initiative to set the values early on of specific positions. Once a value is set for a player, it naturally dictates the value of the rest of the auction. For example, working with a $1000 budget, when the Value Dictator attacks the top ranked player of the position, say Odell Beckham Jr., and establishes a winning bid of $350. Naturally, that would mean only a handful of remaining WRs would match or exceed the $350 price tag. All other bids will be working relative to this anchor point set by the Value Dictator; a powerful position indeed. However, like a real dictator, when the rest of the field decide to ignore or even go against the anchor value, the plan will unravel rather quickly. Fortunately for the dictator, few owners actually work together to go against the dictator. With everyone looking out for their own interest, the dictator can sustain his powerful presence. They can drain The Stud Muffin’s budget quickly and mess up the preparations of The Tierful Bidders. But they’d certainly be annoyed by the Nickel and Snipers.

I have thus far only identified these Auction Zodiacs. Of course, these prototypes never exist in such clear-cut fashion. Many natural auctioneers use a combination of these bidding personalities. However, if you can identify them, then maybe you can take advantage with counter attacks as suggested here. Do you know any other Auction personalities I can add to my Zodiac?

Please let me know @ffdynasty101

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