Thursday, April 01, 2010

Asymmetrical Auction Strategy II: Keepers

The other day, I blogged about a theoretical strategy designed to achieve the 78% discount target in fantasy auctions. I was pleasantly surprised at the number of readers who instantly grasped the concept despite my admitted difficulty at summarizing the idea. An instant theme emerged, though, where many readers wondered how to apply it to their keeper leagues. In fact, I think keeper leagues would work well with the strategy but the emails so far caused me to want to clarify and amend my comments of the other day.

Returning to the chart I published (if you missed the concept or want to refer to the chart, we encourage you to read the full article here), we have 34 different blocks, each representing $10 of the total goal of achieving about $340 in total projected value by spending only $260, both by the end of the auction process. The top blocks, the ones we would expect to use on superstars early in the auction, enable us to deliberately overbid for such players with an eye on picking up bargains later.

But suppose you have some great keepers and you want to account for them in your strategy, as you should? Well, there's no rule that you have to achieve these blocks in sequential order. For example, if you refer to the chart we published in part one, you'll see various discount amounts for each stage. Let's say that you have a projected $20 value keeper reserved at only $10. That means that you already succeeded at picking up an undervalued player that saved you about $10 so you can look in the chart and find two blocks (because you've got $20 in projected value) that add up to $10 in savings, such as blocks 290 and 310, which together happen to add up to a target of savings of $10.

So, you cross those two lines out, already content in the knowledge that you've got a $10 savings and $20 projected value achieved in the bottom part of the goal chart. You can do this for every keeper or your entire keeper list at once as there's enough of a scale that you should have little trouble finding a match. Have a $30 player for $18? Well, then you want to cross off three blocks (it's important to remember that each $10 in projected value achieved means another block needs to be removed) that happen to add up to $12 in savings. In this case, we could cross out blocks 230, 240 and 250, which add up to approximately $12 in savings and $30 worth of block value.

The blocks don't even need to be adjacent in the chart, either. For example, let's say you have a $20 player who only is costing you $13 on your keeper list. You could cross off blocks 190 and 240, which add up to $20 of target value (two blocks) and a target savings of about $7.

One other clarification I want to make about the idea is that you don't necessarily have to carry down savings during the auction to the first available remaining block, as I described in part one. You can instead easily distribute that savings among several remaining blocks to distribute your remaining overbidding money among several players or remaining stages of the auction. As long as you put the savings so far somewhere in your remaining chart, preferably earlier than later, by the time you finish the process you will have achieved the target value for the auction.