Building the Perfect Fantasy Auction Assistant

I built basic auction handling into the 2022 DraftKick Football app. The next step is to identify and implement the features to make DraftKick the best tool for auctions.


Here are the features that I think are useful for auctions:

Tiered/position view

For a draft, you are most concerned with knowing who are the best available players. Your primary tool is the overall player view.

For an auction, nominations may come from any level in the player pool. You need to quickly assess a player compared to your other options at that position. So your primary tool is the positional view.

Existing Tools: RotoLab (which doesn't have an overall view) has a good tiered view. Mr. Cheatsheet also has a very good positional view, but without any toggle for tiers.

Fantistics and Big Board have a stripped down version (best remaining by position).

RotoWire doesn't have this at all.

DraftKick: This was one of my original features, with a toggle between a basic positional view and a tiered view.

I think I should add the winning bids to this view.


Your willingness to spend may increase or decrease based on how the room is spending money.

Generally, I find inflation to be most useful for assessing the impact of keepers. IMO it's not actually that useful to track price changes during the auction.

Existing Tools: Everyone does inflation.

Mr. Cheatsheet calculates inflation for hitters and pitchers separately, which I would think to be less accurate for keepers (where it matters) but fine for in-draft inflation.

DraftKick: I didn't have this for football, but I added it for baseball in 2023. I implemented it as a toggle, but I think it might be better to have the original and the inflated values as separate columns.

Team Budget Tracking

Budget tracking can be broken down into several possible metrics:

Some of those are pretty close to telling you the same thing. For a good UI, we want to show the best data rather than all the data.

My opinions:

Put that together, and my personal preference would be to show:

Existing Tools: RotoLab tracks most of this on the Rosters view: money remaining, max bid, $/player remaining, total team value, and profit. On the Standings they have all of those but also money spent.

Fantistics has money remaining, max bid, $/player remaining, profit, and hitting/pitching split.

Those two are pretty close to the ideal I proposed above.

On the Standings page, Mr. Cheatsheet has money spent/remaining, max bids, $/player spent/remaining, and projected team value. (The column ordering seems wacky, though.) It has money spent/remaining on the rosters page.

Big Board has money spent/remaining and max bids.

RotoWire is bare-bones for auction features, so they don't track any of this.

DraftKick: My quick-and-dirty version for football did money spent/remaining and max bids. With a little reflection, I think I'd default to those four data points I listed above. Maybe let users choose what they want from those ~8 possibilities.

Beyond Feature Parity

All of that is just about getting DraftKick even with the feature sets of other applications. It's also interesting to think about what are useful features that no one else is doing. Like DraftKick's projected availability for straight drafts--a feature that is incredibly useful but missing from most tools.

One idea I've had is thinking about how to adjust bids based on team needs:

Either of those would actually apply for straight drafts as well as auctions.

The trick is thinking of features that are truly helpful vs. those that just add clutter to the application.

DraftKick is available now!

If you're still tracking your draft with a custom spreadsheet or even just pen and paper, you need to try DraftKick.

It is packed with features to help you succeed on draft day:

  • Projected availability
  • Keepers
  • Salary cap (auction) drafts
  • Custom league configuration
  • Editable projections
  • ...and more

It's completely free to try out!


I'm Mays. I've been playing fantasy since I was in high school (over two decades ago).

My speciality has always been player valuation—converting player stats into rankings and salary values. VBD for fantasy football? Rotisserie z-scores? We go way back. In 2009, I started Last Player Picked, a site that generated fantasy values customized for your league.

These days, I'm building DraftKick and Projectile, a fantasy baseball site with in-season projection visualizations.

You can find me on Twitter at @MaysCopeland or email me at