How I Botched the Steak League Auction (For Real)

After the Steak League auction two years ago, I wrote a post of the same name, but wound up leading the 16-team league in total points. Last year, I wrote “How I Dominated the Steak League Auction” and once again led that 14-team league in total points by year’s end. But this year, I botched it, and I’m pretty sure it’s for real.

For some background, the Steak League is a 14-team non-PPR league with 1-QB, 2-RB, 3-WR, 1-TE, 1-K, three IDP (defensive lineman, linebacker and defensive back) and six bench spots. Scoring is standard except IDPs get one point per tackle, three per sack, five per INT and six per TD.

In each of the two divisions (Los Angeles and Madison), there’s a sidebet whereby the lower points-scored teams (through 17 weeks) buy the higher scorers dinner at a steakhouse (Hence the name of the league.) The lowest team buys half the meal, the second lowest a third of the meal and the third worst one sixth (also known as the “self-buyer.”) In 16 years of the league, I’ve been a self-buyer once (mid-2000s), a double-buyer (last place in 2010) once and eaten for free 14 times.

But my streak could very well end this year, and I don’t think my victims – those who every year shell out $35 for shrimp scampi entree ordered as an appetizer, market price surf and turf  ($90+) as my entree in addition to multiple drinks, wine, salad, soup, dessert wine, coffee, etc. – are likely to go easy on me if my team performs as poorly as it looks post-auction.

Here are the results in the order in which each team purchased its players:

Schoenke $ McKeown $ Siegrist $ Doria $ Liss $
T.Y. Hilton $32 David Johnson $59 Jatavis Brown $1 M. Lynch $18 Justin Tucker $4
Antonio Brown $55 Aaron Rodgers $32 Odell Beckham $51 S. Gostkowski $3 Ezekiel Elliott $52
C. McCaffrey $28 Mark Ingram $14 Carlos Hyde $28 Julian Edelman $11 J.Pierre-Paul $2
Bilal Powell $13 E. Sanders $18 Aaron Donald* $2 D. Thomas $29 Tom Brady $35
M. Wilkerson $1 D. Jackson $16 Golden Tate $20 Gronkowski $29 Jimmy Graham $26
Andrew Luck* $14 Kyle Rudolph $17 Karl Joseph $1 Isaiah Crowell $42 Amari Cooper $47
Delanie Walker $14 Eric Decker $8 Jordan Reed* $21 Khalil Mack $6 Landon Collins $6
Eric Kendricks $1 Tyrell Williams $11 Dalvin Cook $29 Kirk Cousins $19 Adam Thielen $11
Moncrief $10 Duke Johnson $6 Stefon Diggs $13 Frank Gore $12 Ryan Shazier $1
Philip Rivers $5 John Brown $11 Dak Prescott $9 B. Marshall $15 Terrance West $7
Kareem Hunt $11 L. Williams $1 Jake Elliott $1 Reshad Jones $4 Austin Hooper $3
Matt Forte $2 Zach Brown $1 M. Stafford $7 Randall Cobb $5 Kenny Golladay $1
Jac. Rodgers $4 Eric Weddle $1 Jesse James $1 Paul Posluszny $1 Josh Gordon $1
Kurt Coleman $1 Jam.Williams $2 Josh Doctson $5 Dwayne Allen $1 Giovani Bernard $1
Marlon Mack $2 Tavon Austin $1 Latavius Murray $3 D. McFadden $3 J. McNichols $1
B. Perriman $6 Darren Sproles $1 Aaron Jones $1 Eli Manning $1 Ar. Stewart $1
Wil Lutz $1 Caleb Sturgis $1 Jordan Matthews $7 R. Anderson $1 DeA. Washington $1


Erickson $ Schuler $ Puig $ Thornbury $ Ross $
L. Fournette $40 Todd Gurley $43 Alshon Jeffery $19 Julio Jones $54 Keenan Allen $21
J.J. Watt $5 Derek Carr $10 Jordy Nelson $41 A.J. Green $54 Travis Kelce $26
Matt Ryan $17 Mike Evans $50 Michael Thomas $38 Russell Wilson $20 Joey Bosa $7
D. Freeman $41 Dan Bailey $2 Mike Gillislee $17 Spencer Ware $27 C.J. Anderson $19
D. Adams $29 Dez Bryant $39 Ty Montgomery $23 Eddie Lacy $19 Allen Robinson $36
Doug Baldwin $37 J. Crowder $13 Mason Crosby $2 Bobby Wagner $5 Paul Perkins $22
M. Bennett $12 J. Cyprien $2 Jeremy Hill $4 Julius Thomas $3 Pierre Garcon $13
Keanu Neal $2 L. Blount $14 Adrian Peterson $8 Barry Church $2 Matt Prater $1
Corey Coleman $9 Cameron Brate $1 Jack Doyle $6 Tyler Lockett $3 Cam Newton $8
L. David $1 B.Roethlisberger $8 Luke Kuechly $6 Robert Tuin $1 Robert Kelley $10
S. Janikowski $1 Eric Ebron $7 Marcus Mariota $9 Jamaal Charles $6 Samaje Perine $7
T.J. Yeldon $1 Sterling Shepard $2 Thomas Rawls $5 Zay Jones $1 Vontaze Burfict $3
John Ross $1 Alec Ogletree $2 Marvin Jones $5 Cooper Kupp $1 Jeremy Maclin $10
Rex Burkhead $1 Jalen Richard $1 Devin Funchess $7 Paul Richardson $1 Derrick Henry $13
Cole Beasley $1 James White $1 Jonathan Stewart $7 Calais Campbell $1 Jamal Adams $1
Braxton Miller $1 Taylor Gabriel $2 Morgan Burnett $2 Josh Lambo $1 Branden Oliver $1
D. Pumphrey $1 Jerry Hughes $3 Cameron Jordan $1 Kenny Stills $1 D. Booker* $2


Sedler $ Jenstad $ Joe Bartel $ Crites $
Melvin Gordon $46 Sammy Watkins $23 Jay Ajayi $40 Joe Mixon $18
Brandin Cooks $40 Lamar Miller $19 Jordan Howard $41 Le’Veon Bell $59
DeMarco Murray $31 LeSean McCoy $46 DeAndre Hopkins $35 Terrelle Pryor $37
Michael Crabtree $17 Drew Brees $24 Larry Fitzgerald $11 Danielle Hunter $2
D. Parker $13 Kwon Alexander $4 Kelvin Benjamin $19 Jarvis Landry $13
Jameis Winston $11 Willie Snead $11 Hunter Henry $14 Greg Olsen $24
Zach Ertz $6 Matt Bryant $2 Dustin Hopkins $1 Melvin Ingram $1
D. Woodhead $6 Martavis Bryant $20 C. Meredith $8 Tyreek Hill $32
Mike Wallace $6 Tyler Eifert $14 Deion Jones $1 Kam Chancellor $1
D. Buckner $1 Ameer Abdullah $15 Kenny Britt $6 Adam Vinatieri $1
Sean Lee $5 Harrison Smith $2 Tevin Coleman $11 Theo Riddick $2
Marcus Peters $1 Carlos Dunlap $2 J. Clowney $1 Andy Dalton $3
Doug Martin $4 C.J. Prosise $3 Clinton Dix $1 Tyrod Taylor $3
Ri Matthews $4 Corey Davis $9 Robert Woods $2 J.J. Nelson $1
Cairo Santos $2 D’Onta Foreman $2 Alvin Kamara $2 Mohamed Sanu $1
Coby Fleener $2 Kevin White $2 Blake Bortles $2 Charles Sims $1
Marqise Lee $4 Ted Ginn $2 Jon. Williams $5 Tim Hightower $1

I didn’t have much of a strategy going in except to grab a few good players at cost and pick my spots in the end game. I was in on the pre-suspension Ezekiel Elliott bidding not really planning to land him, but the music stopped at $52, and in a non-PPR he’s arguably the No. 1 overall pick – assuming he were out for 0-2 games which is what I thought at the time.

I got Tom Brady more as a troll of Patriots homer Mike Doria than anything else. I had just squeezed an extra $2 out of Chargers homer Josh Ross on Joey Bosa, and once I saw Doria in on Brady, I figured I could go up to $40. Doria dropped out after $34, sticking me with bill, but I didn’t mind getting Brady at the time. Of course, when Andy Dalton went for $3, I realized maybe I should have spent money elsewhere.

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Despite the Elliott and Brady purchases, I still had plenty of money left, and I didn’t want to get stuck with no great players on which to spend it. So I went in on Doug Baldwin and Brandin Cooks, but let them go when they got too pricey. That turned out to be a mistake as I wound up going all the way to $26 on Jimmy Graham, my No. 2 TE in this format, and a ridiculous $47 on Amari Coooper who as the last obvious difference maker on the board.

Even after that I could have scored some bargains in the end game, but went to $11 on Adam Thielen (who I liked but should have let go) and $7 on Terrance West who I don’t like, but who has a job for now. That got me down to a $3 max bid which I wasted on Austin Hooper, a TE I like, but for whom I have no room (There’s no flex in this league.). I think I just saw a player I liked and was sick of getting outbid, so I reflexively went another buck. That put me into dollar days where I helplessly watched a lot of my targets get swept up.

Still, I managed some upside picks like Kenny Golladay, DeAndre Washington and Jeremy McNichols. I love Landon Collins as my safety (overbid for him as a Giants fan), have the league’s best kicker, arguably its best QB and a top tier TE. But with Elliott now likely out six games, no real third receiver and only Adam Thielen and Terrance West as my No. 2 at WR and RB, respectively, this team is weak.

Team By Position:

QB Tom Brady

RB Ezekiel Elliott/Terrance West

WR Amari Cooper/Adam Thielen/Kenny Golladay

TE Jimmy Graham

K Justin Tucker

DL Jason Pierre Paul

LB Ryan Shazier

DB Landon Collins

B Gio Bernard/Austin Hooper/Josh Gordon/Jeremy McNichols/ArDarius Stewart/DeAndre Washington