This article is part of our The Long Game series.
Last week, the RotoWire Staff Keeper League (or rather, the original Staff Keeper League since there are two others now) wrapped up its auction. A couple of the other people in the league – Chris Liss and two-time defending champ Ryan Rufe – have already offered their thoughts on how things went, but I want to use the proceedings as a jumping-off point to discuss some more general auction tips and strategies that are applicable specifically to keeper and dynasty leagues.
As background: it's a deep 18-team 5x5 mixed roto league with standard $260 auction budget, $100 FAAB budget, and overall $360 salary cap. Once the auction is completed, there's a 17-round combined reserve/minors draft – 10 minor leaguers, seven reserve players. Inflation is rampant (I had it pegged at 49.2 percent, up a bit from 2018's 45.0 percent but still down from 2017's dizzying 57.4 percent) since players selected as minor leaguers all uniformly have a $3A contract that kicks in the season after they exceed 20 games played in the majors. (For instance, Austin Hays – who played exactly 20 games in 2017 – was not only still eligible to be drafted as a minor leaguer this year, if he does break out for the O's he'll have a $3A contract if he's kept in 2020, and be usable as a $0 player in 2019 if he's activated from his minors roster slot.) Reserve contracts have a similar structure – $0 players the year they are drafted, $5A