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EAV$: Expected Auction Value - A Valuable Tool for Auction Drafts




One of the features in our Fantistics Baseball Software is Expected Auction Value (EAV$). EAV is an algorithm developed to mimic the non linear decline in auction prices during the span of a fantasy draft. Its primary function is to aid those who participate in an auction draft

For the first time, we are presenting a calculation based on your league settings where we attempt to mimic what the auction bidding will be like during your draft. Since the natural laws of supply and demand are still unpredictable to an extent, the values presented in EAV will represent an approximation based on the typical bidding pattern of most Fantasy Baseball Drafts. EAV or Expected Auction Value is based on our study which analyzed the results of 600+ completed auction drafts. Our auction draft data collection includes results from national contest drafts, private drafts, and public drafts. Private League drafts included leagues that ranged from 6-24 GMs and scoring setups that were based on Fantasy Point, Rotisserie, and Head to Head leagues.  In the end, we found that most drafts fell into one of three patterns.


The Typical Bidding Draft -  In this type of bidding environment, most of the top players are sold at reasonable or full projection valuation, which leads to the typical amount of bargains in the middle and late stages of the draft. This type of bidding is most typical in private leagues that are managed by seasoned GMs.

The Conservative Bidding Draft -  In this type of bidding environment, most of the top players are sold at a discount, as a good number of GM's are looking for bargains.  This typically leads to the bargains in early portion of the draft as top players (top 5%) are selling at a discount greater than 10-15%. This leads to higher than expected winning bids on the mid to late round players.

The Aggressive Bidding Draft -  In this type of bidding environment, most of the top players are sold at a premium as an assertive majority of GM's are infatuated with the top players.  This typically leads to bargains in the latter portion of the draft as early mid quality players are selling at a discount greater than expected. This also leads to lower than expected winning bids on the mid and late round players due to the money drain on the top players.

What type of auction will you be in this year? If you have a history with the same GMs, what has your auction been like in the past? If you have last year's auction draft info, then it's a good idea to look back and see how your league typically bids. The good news is that none of the three EAV options will be dramatically different (only a 10-15% difference for a mid tier player.) Using this tool, you should be able to conceptually find bargains based on the computed fantasy $ valuation, the Expected Fantasy Auction Value and the current bidding level.

To illustrate our concept, below is screenshot from the projections software showing the Expected Fantasy Auction Value and the Inflation Adjusted calculation side by side:

Depending on your league setup, some players offer additional value based on the uneven distribution of auction $ spent during a typical draft. This difference is called Inflation (INF$)

This is technique is applied to account for players who were “keep or protected” in keeper leagues at values below Fair Market Value ($EAV) or where drafted below their expected auction value.  In theory this means that the remaining players, especially the top players remaining to be drafted, will increase in auction value. The purpose is to increase the EAV$ of the top players while maintaining the same budget.

As a formula, Draft Inflation is: ((Original League Budget)-(Frozen prices of all kept Players))/((Original League Budget)-(Fair Market Value of kept Players)).

Middle tier players are often discounted in an un-linear distribution (unevenly) during a live auction, EAV attempts to estimate what this value will be for each player. Using EAV with the Linear Player Valuation ( $ ), you can spot the players that offer value in the later phase of your draft and what you can expect to pay for them.

More thoughts and suggestions:

Mid tier players typically sell for more than expected when nominated early during a draft. Resist the urge. As an example: Someone nominates Player X very early in the draft. You look at his projected year end $ value on our software (lets say $27), his Expected Fantasy Auction Value shows $19, he's currently auctioning at $24.  Obviously he's trading for a premium, which will mean that other players in his neighborhood (offensively) could be had at a possible discount at some point in the draft. Unless you have a strong conviction, it's probably wise to let him go.

Top tier players typically sell for a discount during the middle to late stages of a draft, which is sometimes a great situation for those who have excess funds. As an example: Bryce Harper is not nominated until the back end of your draft. You look at his projected year end $ value on our software (lets say $29), his Expected Auction Value shows $26, bidding is ending at $20.  Obviously he's trading for a discount, if you're in need of a quality OF and have the excess funds; you have yourself a draft day steal.

Bottom tier players sell at a great discount when top and mid range players are sold above their expected levels. This aggressiveness early in the draft will drive down prices in the back end, making for great deals. However it's highly improbable to win a fantasy championship with a team full of bottom tier players, no matter what the level of value.

One of my draft day strategies prior to draft day is to conduct a mock draft, selecting the type of players that will fill my roster with "the best fit" (Maximize output with the best allocation of dollars...the goal of every Fantasy GM and MLB GM). Of importance is not necessarily the players, but the type of players that should be selected to produce the best outcome for my team. If you do mock draft using the software, our Draft Summary section will account for both the dollars spent and the accumulation of stats. Using these stats we'll be able to tell you the total Fantasy Point expectation for your team if you play in a Fantasy Points League as well as the Rotisserie ranking expectation of your team for each of the scoring categories.

Here's to your success on draft day!

Anthony A. Perri - Statistician & Publisher

Fantistics Fantasy Sports 


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Anthony A. Perri is the founder and the resident "Stats Nerd" here at Fantistics. Anthony is the designer of the Fantistics Projections, Grading, & the VAM drafting strategy models. His fantasy expertise has been published in several national publications, including being featured as a guest expert on Major League Baseball's official website. Anthony has worked as a He can be seen hanging around the MLB spring training facilities (wishing they let him play) during the months of February and March. Having won a "trophy room full" of Fantasy Sports Championships over the last 25 years, he hopes to continue to lead you in the same direction. 

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