Drafting the All-Stars

Where to begin… The All-Stars. The best of the best. The Saquon Barkley’s, the Michael Thomas’s, the Patrick Mahomes’s. The most expensive but most productive players in fantasy football. I consider “all-stars” to be the top 3 or 4 players in their respective positions. So, do you draft them?

Yes.
Maybe.
Well, it depends…

This decision is sort of implied in a snake style draft. If you’re #1 pick, obviously you are drafting an All-Star. In that scenario, you must. Many of your decisions are essentially determined by your randomly generated draft order, unless you’re getting really outlandish. Therefore, this article is aimed towards auction drafters but will still contain valuable information for any snake drafting players.

In the world of auction drafts, All-Stars can be purchased at any price, regardless of the draft order. I’m going to quote a book I recently read called Liars Poker by Michael Lewis: “If you believe in it, go with it, but if it doesn’t work, you’re fucked.” A saying repeated among investment bankers, and that’s the exact case for bidding on all-stars in an auction draft. You can expect to pay a pretty penny, or a large chunk of your auction balance on one or two players. Leaving you to scalp and bottom feed for any remaining. Usually in order to win the championship you’re going to need at least one big name player, sometimes two, depending on your league size. How do you decide? What’s the strategy?

I have deployed both strategies over the course of 10 years and have found mixed results. Remember: If you believe in it, go with it. But if it doesn’t work… Well, you know what. You will find that in auction drafts, big name all stars will be spent on heavily, with many players being overpaid for. At least it would seem. If you spend >30% of your budget on one player, he better put up 30% of your team’s total points. Otherwise, you’re being ripped off. It’s a high risk, high reward gamble. Getting ahold of McCaffrey and Barkley (#1 and #2 respectively) is viable in an auction draft, where it isn’t even a possibility in snake. The crux of the gamble is, for example, I draft McCaffrey and Barkley for 70% of my total draft balance, leaving me with 30% to fill the rest of my roster. This can be tricky. Finding value after dropping 2/3 of your balance is no easy task. But, you will have the strongest and most dominate set of RBs your league will ever see. Unless…

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