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The single most important tool to have in a fantasy auction draft is an efficient way to examine the big picture at any point in the process. I get a lot of questions about so-and-so being worth such-and-such money. The answer is almost always … “heavens to Betsy, no!” When I’m surprised by a question, I revert to exclamations from the 40s. Sometimes the answer is also “maybe.” I that’s the case, it’s almost always dependent upon factors such as: how much cap money have you already spent? Who else is on your team? How many teams are there? How many roster spots are there? Which players are you targeting? and so-on. More than snake drafts, auctions are a careful dance of timing, bluffing and careful reckoning.

Since all auction drafts are beautiful and unique snowflakes, it’s hard to assign clear-cut values to the players. I’ve seen Kobe Bryant go for as much as $57 in one draft and as little as $20 (Twenty!?!) in the other. Below is what I would consider the best of that “careful reckoning” you’ve been hearing all about recently (approximately 60 words ago). The value listing below is for a 12-team league with a $200 cap. The majority of leagues I’ve seen use $200, but some stick with the standard $260. If your league using a $260 cap, I would divide the the $260 budget G ->$100, F ->$100, C -> $60 instead of the $76-$76-$48 model noted at the top of the chart for leagues using $200 budgets. The prices under which each player is listed are the maximums I’d pay for any player. Would I pay $11 for tony Parker? Yes, I would. Would I pay $12? Only if Eva Longoria came to my house once a week to make sure my DVR properly recorded all my programs.

Also, for those of you hungering for a tier listing of the top 120 – this doubles as one. It may even triple as one on account of it’s splendid tier details, right down to the nearest dollar. No need to thank me. Your stunned silence is thanks enough.

Here are the auction draft values for 2010 fantasy basketball: (Click pic to see the entire spreadsheet).

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  1. brad says:
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    [stunned silence] ^

  2. Jay says:
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    Comparing your sheet with others I’ve seen, I’m wondering why you only go as high as $50 for Durant. Is he really only worth $5 more than Brook Lopez or Deron Williams? ESPN has him at $76, I think, and that’s in a 10-team league!

  3. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @Jay: Auction drafts are tricky. Is Durant worth $5 more than Lopez? It depends on what someone is willing to spend for him. I don’t doubt that Durant will go for far more than I’ve listed him here (or Paul or LeBron, etc.) but at some point, what someone is willing to pay for a player isn’t equal to the production they’ll get out of him.

    No one player will produce enough to justify spending 35-40% of your cap space on him. That’s literally like the Yankees paying A-Rod $69 million to play baseball just this season.

  4. Jay says:
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    @Adam: Right, I appreciate the fact that auction values are just any one fantasy owner’s estimation of what they’ll be worth in the upcoming season, and some people will get too Durant-crazy and spend more than he’ll end up being worth.

    For example, using Basketball Monster, Durant and LeBron ended up with stats that were head-and-shoulders above the rest of the league (by my settings, $63 and $55 production, respectively, with Nowitzki a distant 3rd at $44).

    As LeBron (despite the Miami move) is a proven stat sheet-filler (as is Paul) and Durant is a young superstar with an unknown ceiling, shouldn’t we pay a premium for them? I am pretty sure, if healthy, Durant, LeBron, and Paul will be A LOT more valuable this season than guys like D. Williams, Lopez, and David Lee, two of whom few expect to improve much.

    I’ll be glad to pay about 35% of my budget for Durant. As an active waiver wire watcher, I’m a firm believer in studs ‘n’ duds. I could match Durant up with a few other $25-$40 players and fill in the gaps as the season progresses.

    Again, auction values are up to the individual fantasy owner, so we each have our own list. But as an expert don’t you need to, at least somewhat, present to your readers what to expect from other owners? With your cheet sheet, hardly any of your readers would end up with a top 5 player.

  5. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @Jay: I see your point. I’ve never loved the studs ‘n’ duds method of building a team. It CAN work, I just think it forces undue difficulty over the course of a season, especially in competitive leagues.

    But you’re absolutely correct, if you’re willing to be ferocious on the waiver wire throughout the season, it can be worth it to pay more for elite players.

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