While snake drafts are always fun and the traditional way to draft for fantasy leagues, auction drafts have become more popular over the past few years.
When doing an auction draft, I tend to spend 80% of my budget on the starting line up while looking for good values to fill out my bench with the remaining 20%. In an auction draft I never select a second quarterback, tight end or D/ST as I go dirt cheap on these positions; spending the majority of my budget on running backs and wide receivers.
Using Fantasy Pros Auction Values as a guide, I built a seven man bench using just 20% of my $100 budget.
Cooper Kupp for $6
Last season Kupp finished either first or second in almost every receiving category for the Rams, only topped by Todd Gurley in most cases. Kupp lead the team with 94 targets, was second with 64 catches, first with 869 yards and tied for third with five touchdowns. While Gurley is the focal point of the offense and Brandin Cooks will take on a bigger target share than Sammy Watkins had last season (14%), Kupp is still Jared Goff’s go to wide receiver. Last season Kupp had five weeks where he finished as a WR1 in PPR scoring, three more than Robert Woods, four more than Watkins and the same number as Cooks. Kupp was one of my sleepers last season and this season he is well worth the value at 6% of your budget.
Ronald Jones for $4
The Buccaneers didn’t have a player finish in the top 55 among PPR scoring running backs last season. Peyton Barber lead the way with 85.7 fantasy points for the season, averaging just 5.4 FPPG. The 2017 team leader in touches, Doug Martin, is now in Oakland and his 147 touches need to go somewhere. The Buccaneers didn’t spend a top 40 pick on Jones just so he can watch Barber from the sideline. The Buccaneers signed Ryan Jensen in free agency and drafted Alex Cappa in the third round in order to booster their offensive line. According to reports, Jones is expected to get 15-20 touches per game this season. With many fantasy owners still sleeping on Jones, smart owners can grab a potential mid RB2 who could get 240-320 touches this season for 4% of your budget; an absolute steal.
Ronald Jones in line for 15-20 touches a game https://t.co/6dWUFBuQXa
— Rotoworld Football (@Rotoworld_FB) June 17, 2018
Tarik Cohen for $4
This one was a little surprising to me. Cohen is one of the more common sleepers and yet he is still valued at just 4% of your budget. Last season Cohen was second on the team in touches and scrimmage yards. New head coach Matt Nagy wants to get Cohen more involved in the offense this season, similarly how he used Tyreek Hill in Kansas City. Furthermore, Nagy refused to declared Jordan Howard a “bell cow back” and with all the new receivers the Bears added this offseason, it is clear that Nagy wants to pass much more this season, which is good news for Cohen. Last season Cohen had 71 targets and I believe he could get closer to 90 this season. For just 4% of your budget, Cohen is a great value given his high ceiling and safe floor.
Allen Hurns for $2
Despite playing with a below average quarterback and never the number one wide receiver, Hurns has always averaged at least 9.2 fantasy points per game every season. Now as the number one wide receiver in Dallas, Hurns should see an uptick from his career 5.8 targets per game. The Cowboys need to replace 233 targets from last season and the majority of them should go to Hurns and rookie Michael Gallup (another good value for less than 1% of your budget). Hurns’ career high in targets is 105 back in 2015 when he finished as the WR14. Dez Bryant had 132 targets last season despite catching just 52% of them. Hurns should be in line for about 110 targets this season and could easily finish the season as a mid WR2.
Allen Hurns is Cowboys' 'clear-cut' No. 1 WR https://t.co/eKa7QxAYTD
— Rotoworld Football (@Rotoworld_FB) June 20, 2018
Ty Montgomery for $2
Reports out of Green Bay suggest that the Packers will use a running back by committee approach this season; limiting the fantasy value of any running back. Many forget prior to Montgomery getting hurt early last season he scored 38.3 fantasy points over the first two weeks of the season; with three total touchdowns. With a running back by committee approach, the Packers will tend to lean on the hot or trusted hand. Montgomery has the most history with Aaron Rodgers and is the best pass catcher of the three running backs. The Packers will need to take advantage of Montgomery’s versatility with the loss of Jordy Nelson. Montgomery led all Packers running backs last season in every receiving category over a full 16 game pace. The biggest issue with Montgomery is his health, but if he can stay on the field, fantasy owners could have a low end RB2 or weekly FLEX play in PPR leagues for just 2% of their budget.
Corey Clement for $1
Starting in week nine when Jay Ajayi arrived in Philadelphia, he averaged 8.5 fantasy points per game compared to 7.5 for Clement. Over a full 16 game season Ajayi would have finished the 2017 season as the RB36 with 135.8 fantasy points, while Clement would have finished as the RB40 with 120.4 fantasy points. With the solid gap between their cost (Ajayi is valued at 6% of your budget), Clement is one of my favorite sleepers while Ajayi is on my “do not draft” list as both players will have a role in this running back by committee backfield. When filling out the bottom of my bench in auction drafts I tend to look for running backs with safe floors and solid upside. Best case scenario Clement could end up as weekly FLEX option while the worst case scenario is he will be a bye week starter, either way he is worth 1% of my budget.
— NFL Fantasy Football (@NFLfantasy) June 4, 2018
Tyler Lockett for $1
With the lost of Paul Richardson, Jimmy Graham and others the Seahawks have to replace 197 targets from last season. While the Seahawks will hopefully be able to run the ball better this season and lower Russell Wilson’s 553 passing attempts from last season, the defense is expected to take a huge step back and probably force Wilson to pass more than last season. The Seahawks did recently sign Brandon Marshall but I’m not convinced he makes the final roster. Even if Marshall does make the final roster and Amara Darboh takes on a bigger role in the offense, Lockett is the Seahawks’ wide receiver I’m targeting late in my drafts. At just 1% of your budget, Lockett is clearly a low risk flier. I believe he is in line to take over Richardson’s role from last season. Lockett and Richardson had similar targets, catches and yards per target last season. Someone has to step up opposite of Doug Baldwin and my money is on Lockett.