The notion of who to target in an auction draft takes on a much different meaning than it does in a serpentine format. For traditional drafts, you are locked into a certain pool of players based on where you are picking, and that pool shrinks in a fashion that greatly limits your options. But in an auction, you can do so much more with the targets you enter a draft with. Your strategy for when you nominate your targets, how you can massage your budget to acquire the players you want, and the unpredictable run on positions all make it possible to grab a larger share of your targets than you can in a traditional draft.
When talking about auction targets it is natural to think of them as being low-cost options. But that isn’t necessarily the case. Targets are going to be lower-cost options than the players around them in the fantasy rankings. So targets can be high, moderate, or low priced players. But they become targets because you can hopefully acquire them cheaper than similar players in the same tier. The way you make your roster a championship roster is to pay the market price for the guys you really want, but then get deals on strong productive players that the rest of the room is fading. It’s a tall task, but that’s why you’re here.
The quarterback and tight end positions are similar in an auction room in that most leagues only require one of them to be in a starting lineup. In that regard, these two positions are much easier to navigate for true bargain hunting. You can often wait and be one of the last ones to get a starter at these positions and see prices truly bottom out when others don’t want to draft a backup or don’t want to pay for a starter quality player when they already have one on their team. Nevertheless, there are some targets that auction drafters should zero in on at all price levels for the combination of their price and upside in 2020 drafts.
Deshaun Watson – Everyone knows Watson’s upside because his bonkers rookie season is seared into the collective fantasy psyche. But for the first time since then, he is looking like he could be a draft-day value. While players chase Patrick Mahomes II and Lamar Jackson, and to a lesser extent Dak Prescott and Kyler Murray, take the discount on Watson. Since he lost DeAndre Hopkins this offseason there is likely to be a small price break on Watson as compared to previous years, and his upside remains intact with an explosive and professional corps of wide receiver talent at his disposal. Nominate Watson before the other four come off the board and see if you can grab him cheaper than he should go.
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