Yep, I paid $16 for Michael Cuddyer this year in a standard-issue 12-team league with a $260 budget. I felt like I had to. Allow me to explain.
I had to have a 1B and all of the decent options were drying up. There were a few other guys I liked at other positions or as bench players: Howie Kendrick, Edwin Encarnacion, Lucas Duda. Cuddyer was the last one available that I liked who I figured would probably play for me at 1B.
I assumed the bidding would stop around $8 or $9, maybe as high as $10. I had him pre-ranked at $12 so I figured I would get him easily. Wouldn't you know it, there was one other player who liked him too and felt the need for a 1B. So, together we cruised right past $12. I hesitated on $14, but figured it was worth it. He hesitated on $15, but did it. Curses... $16? Really? For Michael Cuddyer? Ugh.
So, I bid $16 and got the guy. I have him with a drop in average and a spike in home runs... Maybe .260 with 34 taters. If he does that, I'll be fine.
But, check it out... I was able to also get Kendrick at $14, Duda at only $1, and E5 for only $3 at the very end of the auction. So, for $34 I gave myself four excellent options at 1B, all with flexibility to play elsewhere. That is how you win leagues, my friends. Do what you have to here and there, but make sure you get value overall.
That, and positional flexibility. I can play matchups. Most days I will probably start three of those four guys, with obviously only one at 1B. I'm not locked into one $30 type like Paul Konerko who has to play every day no matter what.
I greatly prefer my way.