Rules: Auction Draft Overview

Updated: February 6, 2009, 3:11 PM ET

NOTE: For Fantasy Baseball 2009 the "Auction" draft option is now available to Free Standard, Prize-Eligible and Custom leagues. The option for "Live Auction Draft" will appear on the DRAFT SETTINGS page only after all teams/team owners have joined the league (see instructions below).

AUCTION OVERVIEW

Auction Draft Screenshot
Click to view demo screenshot
Auction drafts are based on a bidding format and differ considerably from traditional "snake" live drafts. In those drafts, teams take turns drafting players from a fixed order in a back-and-forth serpentine or "snake" format (ie 1-10, 10-1, 1-10, 10-1, etc). Players disappear from the draft board and teams (waiting for their draft turn) can do nothing about it. In Auction drafts, teams have the chance to draft any player they want, as long as they have the available funds. As such, the likes of Jose Reyes and David Wright could be drafted by the same team, which would rarely happen in a Snake draft simply because both players are so early and close to one another in the snake draft ranking order

Leagues which use Auction to draft are setup with a preset budget ($260) to spend on a set number of players (25-man roster). Free Standard and Prize-Eligible leagues will have preset default auction values assigned to all players in the pool. Custom leagues have the option to edit the player default auction values to be loaded in the draft application prior to the draft start. This page can be access via the "Edit Auction Draft Values" link on the main "My Team" page.

Once a player is nominated for auction, the bidding begins. Team owners are free to bid however much they feel that particular player is worth (the preset value is only a guide). Bidding continues until there is a single remaining high bid (at which time the system will alert all bidders by saying "Going Once, Going Twice, Sold"). The player is awarded to the team of the highest bidder, and the bid amount is deducted from the team owner's available funds. This process repeats until every team's roster is completely filled.

When the draft is finished the league will move into "in-season" mode where teams can start making roster moves, waiver claims, trades, etc. Please note that auction salaries do not, in any way, carry over into "in-season" mode. As such there is no advantage in finishing the draft with any remaining budget.

CUSTOM LEAGUES ONLY: HOW TO SETUP YOUR LEAGUE TO AUCTION DRAFT

Draft Settings Screenshot
After your league is full the option to "Live Auction Draft" appears on the Draft Settings page.

Click here to setup a new custom league (will open a new window) and follow the specific instructions below.
1) On the "Create Your Custom League" page name your league, select one of the (5) five scoring types, select your number of teams (10 for example) and click the "Express Setup" button.
2) On the "Confirm League Settings" page click the "Create Your League!" button. Note the draft setting will by default be "Offline Draft" and you can leave it as such.
3) Once your league is created go to the "LM Tools" page and click on the "Edit Owners and Send Invitations" link.
4) On the "Owner Info and Send Invites" page enter each team owner's email addresses in the EMAIL column and click submit. Doing this will send an email containing a unique URL (link) to each person's inbox. They will need to click on this link and login to join the league. Note leagues can not be joined via passwords.
5) Once all teams in your league have been joined by their respective owners go to the "LM Tools" page and click on the "Edit Draft Settings" link.
6) On the "Draft Settings" page the option to "Live Auction Draft" will appear and ask you to select a date and time. You're now setup to Auction!
Note1: If the option to "Live Auction Draft" does not appear after all teams are joined your league settings are not in compliance with the eligibility rules.
Note2: Once your league is set to draft with the "Auction" setting do NOT change any other league settings.
Note3: All drafts which take place after the beginning of the season will have player stats retroactively applied to each team's drafted starting roster.

CUSTOM LEAGUE: AUCTION PRE-DRAFT
Once the league has its draft setting set as "Auction" each team has an "Edit Auction Draft Values" link available on the top-right of their main 'My Team' page. On this page each MLB player has a predetermined value (based on projected performance), which can be customized and saved. If no values are submitted pre-draft, the system recognizes the preset values. When the draft begins, the values are imported into the draft application.

ALL LEAGUE TYPES: IN-DRAFT (Convert to Auction Draft Mode)
A "Launch Auction Draft" link will be available on each team's main "My Team" page 1-hour (60 minutes) prior to the scheduled start time.

Each team is given a fixed amount of $260 to fill all roster slots (including bench).

A countdown clock will appear displaying the time until the first player is open for bidding.

Teams are randomly assigned in the nomination order (for example: 1-10). Nomination means when each Team Owner is required to select and submit a player to be openly bid on. Note that unlike traditional snake drafts, the nomination order works in a straight, left-to-right (for example: 1-10, 1-10, 1-10, etc.) order. While there are some minor strategies in player nomination, the order is mostly irrelevant in Auction drafts (since all teams can bid on any player).

Across the top of the draft app each team is represented with the colored baseball hat. Your team is highlighted and the $ dollar amount displayed below each hat is the team's current balance or the team's maximum bid (depending on which option is set). The hats of teams without an owner currently connected are grayed out. You can mouse over each hat to get more information about them (i.e. team & owner name, maximum bid).

At any time during the draft, players can be added to the PLAYER QUEUE panel by selecting a them then dragging and dropping them into the panel to the right.

ALL LEAGUE TYPES: IN-DRAFT (The Auction Begins)
Teams have 30 seconds to nominate a player to be put up for auction. Players are nominated by selecting them in the main PLAYERS table (doing this will display the player's image and 2008 stats) and then clicking the "Nominate Player" button. If no player is selected within the 30-second time frame the system will automatically nominate a player in the following order of priority 1) the top player in the Player Queue panel (if any) and 2) the highest priced player still available.

The default for all player nominations is $1. This amount can be raised by the nominating team before submitting if they want.

A successfully nominated player appears (with profile and stats) in the "On the Block" area, and the auction clock commences. The auction clock will countdown from 30 seconds. Once the clock shows 10 seconds or less remaining, any bids inside of 10 seconds remaining will reset the clock back to 10 seconds, until a bid is won.

Bids can be made on a "+1" basis (default), or by manually entering a dollar amount. There are two buttons in the application to submit a bid. The "Bid History" panel displays a running log of all active bids made on the current player.

Teams can only bid to a dollar amount which allows them at least $1 for any remaining roster slots. For example, in a standard 25 roster slot league, when the draft first begins, the maximum bid is $236 ($260 - 24 other roster slots). A team's maximum bid is viewable by hovering over the team hats. The maximum bid can also be set as an option in the OPTIONS tab. Once the bid max has been reached, the draft app will no longer let you submit a bid; the bid buttons will be grayed out.

Teams must draft a player to all active or "starting" roster slots. If all bench slots are full, the only players available to bid on are from unfilled active roster slots. Likewise, if any position maximum has been reached you can not bid on a player from that position (the system will not allow it).

ALL LEAGUE TYPES: IN-DRAFT AUTO-BIDDING (Absentee Team Owners)
Due to the interactive nature of the Auction draft, it is highly recommended that ALL team owners are present when the draft begins. If you're missing 1 or 2 owners at the beginning of the draft, we recommend the LM pauses the draft until all owners can be contacted and connected. If more than 3 or 4 owners are missing, we recommend you reset the draft time to a time when all owners are available.

Each team whose owner is not present will be considered on "Autobid" and the system will actively draft for them.

The Autobid system will bid up to a randomly determined % of the player's pre-set value. The bidding range for this is 60% to 110% of the set/default value. This means if Hanley Ramirez's preset draft value is $40 the autopilot system could bid up to $44, or only just to $24. This feature was built into to allow for bargains to still be obtained in a draft with absent owners, yet still field each one a competitive team.

NOTE: At anytime during the draft, if a team is disconnected, they will automatically go on Autobid.

CUSTOM LEAGUES ONLY: IN-DRAFT: LEAGUE MANAGER TOOLS

LM Tools Screenshot
LM Tools screenshot.
League Managers have the ability to perform a number of draft admin functions at anytime during the draft. These can be done on the LEAGUE MANAGER tab in the main window (this tab only appears for LMs). Only if the draft is paused can the LM perform these admin functions.

PAUSE DRAFT: LMs have the ability to pause the draft at any time. If this happens the bidding clock will stop and the app will display a "Draft is Paused" message. Once the draft is resumed, the clock will start for the current bid.

CONFIGURE TIME: LMs have the ability to set the time per Nomination and Bid. The system default for both is 30 seconds and these can be changed to other 5-second increments. Once the draft is resumed these new time configurations will be in place.

UNDO PICK(S): LMs have the ability to undo draft picks at anytime during the draft. If this happens the draft pick(s) will be reversed, the player(s) returned to the available pool and bid(s) refunded. NOTE: If a single pick is undone, all picks AFTER the undone pick will be undone as well. For example, if after 10 picks, the 5th pick is undone, picks 6-10 will also be undone.

RESET DRAFT: LMs also have the ability to "Reset" the draft at anytime. If this happens all previous draft picks will be reset, all players released, and all bids refunded. The Auction draft will start over from scratch.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
For the best possible performance, we recommend using a direct connection to the internet. Users connecting from behind a firewall and/or through a proxy (such as a corporate network) should be able to participate in the auction but may experience some performance issues.

It is not recommended to use the Auction draft on a dialup connection. Broadband access is preferred for a better user experience.

If you open the draft application and take no action, your team will NOT automatically go on Autobid. Rather the draft system thinks you are currently connected and will not make any bids (or nominations) for you. The end result of this will be that your team is completely filled with $1 players (not good!).

The entire frame of the Auction draft app can be resized, but has minimum settings to ensure proper spacing. Certain panels/windows within the draft app can be expanded and minimized.

The draft application is only supported on IE6, IE7, Firefox 2+ and Safari 3+ browsers.

NOTE: Due to internet connectivity, it is not a wise strategy to wait until there is only 1 or 2 seconds left on the clock to try to "snipe" a player. Any bid made with less than 10 seconds will reset the clock to 10 seconds remaining. More importantly, it is possible that a bid with one second left on the clock will not register due to latency on the internet, and you will lose that auction. So a word to the wise - bid for players you want but don't wait until the last second to do it.

It is not recommended, but is possible for two owners to use the same computer to participate in the Auction draft. In order to do this, both users would have to be signed in with different accounts and using different browsers to launch the draft application.

For example, one owner could be logged into a team on IE and the other on Firefox, and both could alternate nominating/bidding. Likewise, it is possible for the League Manager to make picks for another team if logged in with the absent owner's account and using a different browser to click the Nominate/Bid buttons.