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Final Thoughts From Vegas Auction

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Our local fantasy players, Rob Brotzmand and Mark Handwerger, who spent a weekend in Las Vegas as part of the World Championship of Fantasy Football e-mailed some closing thoughts about their experience. Here's the latest from Rob:

QBs went for a lot less than they had in the past. There was not one QB over $30 (out of a $200 budget). This is consistent with what we saw in our home auction league. In the $5k/head auction, we saw Tom Brady and Peyton Manning go for upper $20s and when Brees was at $22 we jumped in and won him at $23. Not only a bargain (he was the top QB on our board), but he showed his value with 6 TDs in Week 1.

Good WRs with, ahem, behavioral issues, went at a discount. Chad Ochocinco, Brandon Marshall, TO, and Dwayne Bowe all have baggage. We happened to like Bowe the most of all, so it is no surprise he went $5-$7 cheaper than our projections.

We believe in the "law of large numbers:" KC will need to pass a lot, and with no Tony Gonzalez in KC, Bowe should be near the top in targets in the NFL. In a PPR league, you want lots of catch potential, and he oozes both potential and production. For leagues that allow trades, owners may want to think about targeting Bowe after a bad week.

We also picked up Braylon Edwards in one league based on the same principles. His stat line didn't look great, but anyone watching the game knows he had a long touchdown reversed. He made the catch after pass interference so it was nice to see he didn't drop it.

RBs at the top end were affordable. Last year the champion of the $5k/head league got in a bidding war for LT, resulting in a winning bid of $87 (out of $200). Needless to say, he didn't repeat. This year MJD topped out at $60 in one league with most of the top RBs going in the mid $50s.

Regardless of the trend, we wanted to diversify risk (and opportunity), so we had our eyes on pass-catching RBs in the non-elite tiers including Kevin Smith, Frank Gore, and Ronnie Brown. We figured Smith suffered from the stink of Detroit, a rookie QB, and a generic name, which enabled us to get him way below our target price. We see Smith being a workhorse and PPR stud this year. Gore had put up ridiculous fantasy numbers a few years ago, and we think the stars may align for him again with Martz gone. Ronnie Brown is an interesting case because he's healthy, in a contract year, and shares with Ricky Williams. How to value him? No one was passionate about having him, so we avoiding bidding wars on him.

The auction competition is great, featuring former WCOFF champions and full-time fantasy football columnists and experts. We had a great time and enjoyed seeing the activity attracted some celebrities like Evander Holyfield, Gary Payton, Erik Kusealius (ESPN), and Dan Negreanu (poker star).

The folks at WCOFF are very friendly and inclusive. For example, Mark and I had a long chat with Dustin Ashby (WCOFF brass) about our passion for auctions, and Dustin looks forward to the format growing in popularity. We were pleasantly surprised to see Negreanu's home (Vegas) league does an auction, so we sat in and watched the trash talking and wild bidding. Lots of fun.

By Gene Wang  |  September 16, 2009; 10:30 AM ET  | Category:  Fantasy Football Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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