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How to Switch Your Snake Draft Fantasy Football Keeper League to an Auction

Ever thought about switching from snake to an auction? Here’s how you can make the monumental change of switching fantasy football formats.

Derrick Henry in 2020 on Wikimedia Commons is licensed under Attribution 3.0 Unported.

How to Switch Your Snake Draft Fantasy Football Keeper League to an Auction

Estimated Reading Time: 4 Minutes

Many people say variety is the spice of life. You could also say we need that now more than ever after the last year plus. Being forced to stay indoors for an extended period has motivated some big life changes. People have changed jobs; they have ended relationships. But let’s focus on the important things here.

What do you do if you want to change the format of your fantasy football keeper league?

We will be looking at changing your league from a snake draft to an auction. A snake draft is where teams can select any player they want when it’s their turn to pick. The “snake” comes from the order going one way in the first round, followed by the opposite order in the second, and on and on. An example being if you are in a 10-team league and have the 10th pick in the first round, you’ll also have the 1st pick (11th overall) in the second round.

An auction draft is when every team has a set amount of money to use to bid. Every team has an opportunity to bid on every player, so if you want to spend $150 of your $200 on Christian McCaffrey, then that’s your prerogative my friend.

Most fantasy players start with snake drafts, but an auction has been said to be more fun and requires a higher level of strategy. Therefore we’re going to look at the switch from snake to auction.

Now if you always do a fresh snake draft each season it’s easy to one day wake up and say, “We’re switching to an auction.” Case closed.

The difficulty comes with snake draft keeper leagues. If you had the foresight to draft Patrick Mahomes in the 8th round in 2018 then you want to use that to your advantage for as long as you can. A switch to a different draft format would likely make you think you’re losing that benefit.

One of the universal truths of any fantasy league is the absurd difficulty it is to get anything agreed upon by all teams. It’s understandable that a switch like this would be met with apprehension despite the potential advantages. So, what can a league do if switching to an auction format is truly desired?

We have an idea to help.

First, you’ll need to find a site/sites that offers fantasy football advice that has the trust of your league. You want to find two things:

  • A mock draft that mirrors your league format (e.g., 10-team PPR)
  • An auction value ranking for your league format (again, PPR vs. non-PPR)

For this, we’re using a 10-team PPR mock draft from ESPN and their PPR Auction Values.

This isn’t an exact science by the way. It’s a recommendation for one way you can make a switch that you might have thought was previously impossible.

Here’s what you do. Take the mock draft first round and get the auction values for every player, like this:

1. Christian McCaffrey Car (RB1)$62
2. Dalvin Cook Min (RB2)$59
3. Travis Kelce KC (TE1)$58
4. Alvin Kamara NO (RB3)$56
5. Derrick Henry Ten (RB4)$53
6. Ezekiel Elliott Dal (RB5)$51
7. Saquon Barkley NYG (RB6)$59
8. Tyreek Hill KC (WR1)$46
9. Jonathan Taylor IND (RB7)$50
10. Nick Chubb CLE (RB8)$43

The average of these 10 players is $54 dollars. So, if you are keeping a player in the new auction draft that you previously drafted in the first round then that player will cost you $54 dollars.

You then repeat this for Rounds 2-16, and you would get:

Round 2$41
Round 3$31*
Round 4$23
Round 5$15
Round 6$10**
Round 7$10
Round 8$5
Round 9$4
Round 10$2
Round 11$2
Round 12-16$1

* I removed Michael Thomas’ $9 value from this round when calculating the average as the mock was before his injury was announced.

**The actual average for Round 6 was $9 but it doesn’t make any sense to have Round 6 be $1 less than Round 7.

Again, you want to do this with a site you trust, and you’d likely want to do this as close as you can to when you’re selecting your keepers as possible. This mock draft is from late July.

Here are a few player examples of how this would net out:

Antonio Gibson

  • Mock Draft Round – 2
  • Auction Value – $43
  • Value if 2nd Round Keeper – $41

Mike Evans

  • Mock Draft Round – 4
  • Auction Value – $24
  • Value if 4th Round Keeper – $23

Josh Allen

  • Mock Draft Round – 6
  • Auction Value – $10
  • Value if 6th Round Keeper – $10

Jerry Jeudy

  • Mock Draft Round – 8
  • Auction Value – $6
  • Value if 8th Round Keeper – $5

This isn’t going to be exact for every player but it’s close enough for most where this is a solid option. Making such a drastic switch in your football league is a big deal and there’s likely no perfect way to do it. But hopefully this option at least allows you and your friends to spice up your league.

Terry is from Massachusetts and is a passionate fan of the Patriots, Celtics, Red Sox and Bruins. He also will admit he only pays attention to Syracuse basketball when they're good. If there's a Twitter trade rumor even remotely associated with one of his teams, he's likely fallen for it. Finally, he believes 100% that if the Celtics had beaten the Heat in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals they would have swept the Thunder in the Finals.

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