How I Botched the RotoWire Steak League Auction

Don’t get me wrong. My team is probably above average, and I don’t expect to be buying steaks for these douchewads. Why would I? In the league’s 15-year history I’ve had the indignity of paying for my own steak once and the humiliation of double-buying once (My big purchases that year were rookie Ryan Mathews and Randy Moss who played for three teams.) Every other year, I’ve eaten for free. I’m the guy who brought ordering the shrimp entree as an appetizer into vogue:

“I’ll have the shrimp scampi as my appetizer, please.”

“Sir, you want the grilled shrimp appetizer with your steak?”

“No, I would like the full entree as an appetizer and also the 20-ounce NY steak.”

Last year the conversation started that way with the following addendum:

“It says ‘market price’ for the surf and turf, how much is it?”



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Luckily for these serial buyers, the steakhouse (Taylor’s in LA’s Koreatown) is rather modestly priced. It’ll still cost the double-buyer $400 for himself and two others, but it’s not the life-altering tab we’d get at Mastros or some other high-end joint. Still, it’s prime steak at an old-school Hollywood place, and the food is pretty good.

The league is standard scoring, non-PPR, but instead of team defense, we have three IDPs, one DL, one LB and one DB. It’s one-point per tackle, three for a sack, five for a pick and six for a TD. There are 16 teams in the league, and we start one-QB, two-RB, three-WR, one-TE, one-K and the three IDPs. There are six bench spots.

Eight of the teams are in the Madison (Wisconsin) Division and eight are in the LA Division. Among the eight LA guys, the six in the sidebet are me, Jeff Erickson, Tim Schuler, Jason Thornbury, Josh Ross and the Vlad Sedler/Scott Jenstad team (how we’re going to work out the eating and paying with a two-man team remains to be seen.)

Here are the results:

Team Schoenke $ McKeown Siegrist Doria
QB Ryan Tannehill 9 Peyton Manning 22 Philip Rivers 12 B. Roethlisberger 27
RB Matt Forte 34 Justin Forsett 30 Lamar Miller 32 Marshawn Lynch 51
RB Giovani Bernard 16 Andre Ellington 34 Todd Gurley 22 De. Williams 5
WR Emmanuel Sanders 29 Amari Cooper 17 Jordy Nelson 40 Julian Edelman 15
WR Randall Cobb 33 Sammy Watkins 29 Dez Bryant 49 Andre Johnson 17
WR Martavis Bryant 30 Marques Colston 16 Kendall Wright 6 B. Marshall 21
TE Greg Olsen 18 Jimmy Graham 29 Delanie Walker 1 Travis Kelce 20
LB Kiko Alonso 1 DeAndre Levy 3 C.J. Mosley 2 Jamie Collins 2
DL M. Wilkerson 1 Ndamukong Suh 2 Cameron Wake 1 Calais Campbell 2
DB D. Bucannon 1 Earl Thomas 2 Landon Collins 1 J. Cyprien 2
K Phil Dawson 1 Greg Zuerlein 2 Dan Bailey 2 Adam Vinatieri 2
BE B. Perriman 10 Percy Harvin 6 T. Bridgewater 5 Doug Martin 17
BE David Johnson 7 L. Taliaferro 2 Chris Ivory 10 Mike Wallace 15
BE Lance Dunbar 1 Brandon Coleman 1 Duke Johnson 6 Robert Turbin 1
BE Terrance West 3 Buck Allen 2 Doug Baldwin 4 Jerick McKinnon 1
BE James White 3 Tavon Austin 2 Roy Helu 3 Joe Flacco 1
BE Josh Robinson 1 Zac Stacy 1 Jeremy Langford 4 Charles Clay 1


Liss Merrill/Gay Erickson VanRiper
QB Tom Brady 14 Andrew Luck 40 Eli Manning 18 Aaron Rodgers 48
RB Alfred Morris 28 T.J. Yeldon 21 Jeremy Hill 47 DeMarco Murray 47
RB L. Murray 36 Reggie Bush 4 A. Abdullah 17 Arian Foster 8
WR Antonio Brown 46 Alshon Jeffery 33 Mike Evans 37 Roddy White 21
WR DeAndre Hopkins 35 Odell Beckham 45 Nelson Agholor 15 Anquan Boldin 8
WR DeVante Parker 7 Marvin Jones 6 Jarvis Landry 13 Allen Hurns 1
TE Vernon Davis 4 Josh Hill 8 Jason Witten 5 R. Gronkowski 42
LB Lavonte David 3 Justin Houston 1 Paul Posluszny 3 Alec Ogletree 1
DL Aaron Donald 3 J.J. Watt 14 Robert Quinn 3 Everson Griffen 1
DB T.J. McDonald 1 Richard Sherman 1 H. Clinton Dix 2 Kam Chancellor 1
K Matt Bryant 1 Steven Hauschka 2 Justin Tucker 2 Nick Novak 1
BE Donte Moncrief 9 David Cobb 3 C.J. Spiller 21 Ryan Mathews 15
BE Dwayne Bowe 6 Seferian-Jenkins 2 Denard Robinson 2 James Starks 1
BE Chris Polk 2 Pierre Garcon 5 Brian Quick 9 Danny Amendola 1
BE Robert Griffin 2 Jay Cutler 3 Tyler Eifert 1 Sammie Coates 1
BE Stevie Johnson 2 Greg Jennings 3 Dwayne Allen 2 Miles Austin 1
BE Terrelle Pryor 1 Devin Funchess 7 Matt Jones 1 Ahmad Bradshaw 1


Schuler Puig Ilk O’Brien
QB Cam Newton 18 Sam Bradford 13 C. Kaepernick 21 Drew Brees 25
RB C.J. Anderson 40 L. Blount 16 Adrian Peterson 54 Jamaal Charles 52
RB LeSean McCoy 42 Devonta Freeman 14 Mark Ingram 27 Jonathan Stewart 20
WR Golden Tate 25 Julio Jones 46 Calvin Johnson 43 Brandin Cooks 28
WR Michael Floyd 15 Jordan Matthews 41 Davante Adams 20 Kevin White 7
WR Torrey Smith 14 Larry Fitzgerald 10 Steve Smith 11 Kenny Stills 15
TE Jordan Cameron 6 Ladarius Green 5 Richard Rodgers 1 Julius Thomas 9
LB Luke Kuechly 5 Jelani Jenkins 1 D’Qwell Jackson 1 Bobby Wagner 2
DL Mario Williams 3 DeMarcus Ware 1 Fletcher Cox 1 Olivier Vernon 1
DB Eric Weddle 3 T.J. Ward 1 Barry Church 1 Charles Woodson 1
K S. Gostkowski 2 Blair Walsh 1 Mason Crosby 2 Dan Carpenter 1
BE Tevin Coleman 14 Shane Vereen 6 Michael Crabtree 7 Knile Davis 7
BE Andre Williams 4 Matthew Stafford 15 Fred Jackson 2 John Brown 12
BE Jonas Gray 2 Allen Robinson 25 Daniel Herron 6 Bishop Sankey 9
BE Pierre Thomas 2 Eric Ebron 3 Cord. Patterson 1 Terrance Williams 5
BE Kenny Britt 1 Khiry Robinson 1 Branden Oliver 1 Jay Ajayi 1
BE Cecil Shorts 1 Stevan Ridley 1 Marqise Lee 1 Phillip Dorsett 4


Thornbury Ross Jenstad/Sedler Lutterman
QB Tony Romo 20 Jameis Winston 3 Matt Ryan 19 Russell Wilson 25
RB Carlos Hyde 28 Melvin Gordon 41 Eddie Lacy 52 Le’Veon Bell 55
RB Joseph Randle 35 Alfred Blue 13 Joique Bell 9 Frank Gore 27
WR A.J. Green 45 T.Y. Hilton 30 Kelvin Benjamin 34 Dem. Thomas 44
WR DeSean Jackson 24 Vincent Jackson 21 Keenan Allen 31 Eric Decker 13
WR Cody Latimer 5 Jeremy Maclin 25 Charles Johnson 12 Malcom Floyd 3
TE Coby Fleener 2 Owen Daniels 6 Kyle Rudolph 1 Mart. Bennett 16
LB Paul Worrilow 1 Sean Lee 1 NaVorro Bowman 2 Jerrell Freeman 1
DL Jerry Hughes 2 Carlos Dunlap 2 Chandler Jones 2 Ezekiel Ansah 1
DB Donte Whitner 2 Harrison Smith 3 Reshad Jones 1 Morgan Burnett 4
K Caleb Sturgis 1 Matt Prater 1 Cody Parkey 2 Connor Barth 2
BE Jaelen Strong 4 Isaiah Crowell 13 Rashad Jennings 13 D.Green-Beckham 2
BE Markus Wheaton 4 Darren McFadden 5 Brandon LaFell 7 Marcus Mariota 1
BE Tre Mason 10 Victor Cruz 17 Zach Ertz 8 Darren Sproles 2
BE Theo Riddick 2 Montee Ball 5 Andy Dalton 2 Antonio Gates 2
BE Nick Toon 5 Charles Sims 8 C. Artis-Payne 3 Danny Woodhead 1
BE Rueben Randle 7 Carson Palmer 6 Stedman Bailey 2 Ronnie Hillman 1

I started out fine, buying Antonio Brown for $46 and Alfred Morris for $28, but for some reason, I backed off the bidding on players like Odell Beckham who went for $45, thinking I could shave a buck or two off and get a comparable Tier 1 WR or RB. That was a mistake, and one I knew better than to make. In auctions like these, the bargains so often come early, and it’s wise to grab three premium players for two-thirds of your budget before bargain hunting later.

When the last remaining upper-tier player (Jeremy Hill) came out, I vowed to go up to the low-$40s on him, but other people were also in my shoes, and he went for $47 to Erickson. In retrospect, maybe I should have bid $48. Fortunately, once Hill was gone, I realized how dire the situation was and went to the mat on two third-tier players (DeAndre Hopkins for $35 and Latavius Murray for $36.) Would I rather have Beckham and $25 than those two? Yes. But at least I got the money out and landed two potential difference makers.

At the end of the draft, I made one other error. I had wanted Zach Ertz and had the money for him, but got into a bidding war on Dwayne Bowe, couldn’t afford Ertz and settled for Vernon Davis (who I like but not as much as Ertz.) If you’re wondering why on earth anyone would get into a bidding war and spend six precious late-auction dollars on Bowe, my third receiver slot was a combo of Donte Moncrief and DeVante Parker. Both have upside, but I needed five points a week from someone with a job while I’m waiting on them. It’s a 16-team league, so getting 50-60 yards from your third wideout is perfectly acceptable.

I’m happy with the rest of my roster – Tom Brady for $14, pending his possible suspension reduction, felt like a good deal, and I liked getting Robert Griffin as my backup/early-season starter for $2. And watch out for Terrelle Pryor – he’s 6-4, 233 and runs a sub-4.4 40. How hard can it be to learn route running?

For more on the Steak League Draft, you can listen to Jeff Erickson and me discuss it on the podcast. To subscribe to the podcast, click here.