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Money management wins auction draft leagues

Clinton Portis will have a better value than Marion Barber III.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Joke all you want about the "boring" accountant profession and how you wouldn't want their job, but they all seem to have one characteristic that is invaluable to fantasy owners playing in an auction draft league...they know how to manage their money.

If you have an accountant in your auction league, be prepared to battle him all day long, because he will probably have more money than you.

Why?

Because he is thinking about the budgets he has set for each position. Because he has set limits for each player that he will not cross. And because he is being less emotional than you when it comes to a specific player - he is willing to accept another "same-tier" player while you will spend the extra dollars to get the "name" player you have been dreaming about having on your team all week.

So you spend the extra $10 on "highly-touted" Marion Barber III and he gets a player of almost equal value for less, like Clinton Portis, who since he left Denver has lost his "flash."

Now he has more money than you!

You should also know that managing your money, doesn't necessarily mean saving your money. Sometimes the bargain comes out first and you must recognize when to spend the cash.

Ray Rice will be a lot cheaper to buy if he comes out before Willis McGahee. Rice might go for just a couple of dollars early in the draft, but later on, when an owner already has McGahee on his roster, the cost will be much higher to "handcuff" the two Baltimore running backs. The same can be said for Minnesota's Chester Taylor and Adrian Peterson or Tennessee's running back tandem of LenDale White and rookie Chris Johnson.

Or sometimes you will find yourself in an auction draft where three or four guys seem to be hoarding their money for the "end game." In this situation there will NOT be any bargains late in the draft because too many people will still have healthy bank accounts. If you see this happening it means there are only six owners "participating" in the early portion of your draft and bargains will be available. Buy now...and then enjoy the "floor show" when Edgerrin James' price goes through the roof because he is the last "tier-four" running back available.

Roster management is another key area. Many leagues limit the number of players you can have at a position. Or just the lower number of roster spots available limits your choices naturally. I have a 20-man roster team in one league which means virtually no limits. I can have three quarterbacks if I want and if another bargain presents itself I can still take advantage.

But if you have a 15-man roster league which limits quarterbacks to a maximum of three, it wouldn't matter if Peyton Manning was going for $1 and you still had $200 left in your bank account. If you have already used up all of your QB roster spots you will be left out of the bidding.

Keeping your roster flexible to take advantage of opponent mistakes is paramount.

Here is another adage that applies to auction drafts - spend wisely, but spend it all. The only thing worse than running out of money is having money left over at the end of the draft. They don't give you a refund!

There is one "secret" that I use during bidding which has worked to my advantage many times which I will reveal for the first time.

I call it the "jump-shift." It's actually a bridge term, but I use it for when I sit out the bidding until very late in the process. There are two bidders left for a particular high-value player. They are frequently down to raising each other by one dollar at a time and taking the full time-limit before making a decision. As a third party, I jump into the action and raise the bidding by five or seven dollars, any odd number. The confusion of not only a new bidder, but a totally different dollar level has them silent and with just one bid I have stolen the player.

Good luck and good bidding!

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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