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High Staked: Grind Bidding

Veteran high stakes fantasy football player Monty Phan chronicles his season.

I knew this would happen.

Every year, I tell myself not to add more leagues. If I do choose to join one, my rule is that it has to be different enough from my other leagues in some key area to make it worthwhile. Last year, for example, I joined dual 14-team leagues with all the same owners, with one league an auction keeper redraft, and the other a dynasty with an annual auction rookie draft, because I wasn’t in any auction leagues.1

This year, in March, I added a complex salary-cap auction dynasty league with other RotoViz writers. Then I signed up for a superflex, tight end-premium dynasty startup in April. Then in May, fellow writer John Lapinski coerced me into joining an FFPC startup best-ball dynasty league. I was on a massive fantasy-football bender, and I haven’t even mentioned Scott Fish Bowl or the offseason rookie drafts and free agent auctions for my other longtime leagues. How do you know when you have a problem? When people ask you, “How many leagues are you in, anyway?”, and you tell them you lost track, when the reality is that you don’t want to count. You don’t want to know. No one can ever know.

But now comes the hangover. What have I done? Now, every Wednesday, I have blind-bidding waiver runs at 9 a.m., two at 10 a.m., one at 4 p.m., one at 5 p.m., one longtime dynasty league at 7 p.m. and five other FFPC waiver runs also at 7 p.m. By mid-Wednesday, I had waiver fatigue, and Week 2 hadn’t even started yet.

So what does this have to do with high-stakes fantasy? Well, no matter how bad it sucks to do waivers, if you neglect doing them, you might as well just take the cash you spent on the entry fees and set it ablaze. Waivers is the only way your team can get better. So, yes, it’s a chore to scour the wire to see if San Francisco’s fourth-string running back is available and then figure out how much you want to bid and which end-of-bench preseason deep sleeper you want to cut loose – and then, if everything goes right, to do the same thing every week for three more months. Sometimes for multiple teams.

If you didn’t blow a huge chunk of your budget – or you tried to but were outbid – on Week 1 superstars John Ross, Terry McLaurin or D.J. Chark, then look at the guys who were dropped in your leagues. Chances are you’ll find some names of guys you wanted to draft but got scooped up before you could. In some of my leagues, late-round players I tried to target who are now available in free agency are Albert Wilson, Tre’Quan Smith and even Jameis Winston.

It seems – in my leagues, at least – that very few people went big on random Week 1 tight end explosions, which is always a possibility considering the FFPC’s 1.5 points per reception for TEs. Last year, folks unwisely spent huge amounts on Seattle rookie TE Will Dissly. But even though Washington’s Vernon Davis notched 4 catches for 59 yards and a score in what was the sixth-best TE performance of the week, there didn’t seem to be a clamor for him. Nice job, everyone!

Finally, if you won big in Week 1, congrats. If you didn’t, don’t panic. The three teams I drafted with my three friends did OK, horrible and horrible, in that order. We went 0-3. Last year, we had two FFPC Main Event teams that scored among the league-lowest in the first week, then practically doubled their scores in Week 2 and looked like juggernauts. One team went on to win the league. The other was drawing dead by mid-season. But, hey, there’s a silver lining in that too: We had one fewer waiver run to care about!

Image Credit: Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Jameis Winston.

  1. Not-so-humblebrag: I won them both.  (back)

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