Cockcroft: End-of-Draft Bargains

Originally Published: March 14, 2005
By Tristan H. Cockcroft | ESPN Games Fantasy Edge
How many times has this happened to you: As your draft nears its final rounds, the owner sitting next to you calls out a name. You suddenly realize that it's the final one listed on your cheat sheet -- or at least, the final one you actually want. Now comes the mad scramble to find anything useful to fill that final starting spot or navigate through the reserve round.

Many owners consider $1 auction bids, the final five rounds of a draft or the reserve round a complete throwaway in the fantasy draft process. In fact, I've seen nary an owner or two make an early exit from the draft room, not-so-politely asking the commissioner to just "pick me some guys to fill the team, I'll cut them later." Coincidentally, these are usually the same owners who struggle to remain contenders come September.

Folks, the conclusion of your league's draft is not a time to catch up on lost sleep, race out to the local fast-food joint for a burger and onion rings, or catch that "important" NCAA Sweet 16 game on the TV. (Yes, over the years I've seen owners do each of these things instead of pay attention beyond, say, Round 15.) I'm not going to understate the importance of working the waiver wire in the regular season's early stages, but those final picks for your fantasy team can often save you hours of work plugging in holes at the back of your roster. There's always value to be had, whether it's Round 1 or Round 30.