FFL 101: Picking A Draft Day And Style

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Fantasy Football, though competitive is a game you play with friends or at least starts off friendly before someone flips a desk after they forget to change their line up.

Before you can kick back and watch the games, keeping track of your team and sipping a cold beer, you have to draft players. This can be done in one of three ways: Auto-draft, offline draft, or online rafting.


Auto-drafting in my opinion is boring. Hands down lazy! Never auto-draft and consider kicking out managers that allow their team to be auto drafted.

This style of drafting is when you allow the computer to pick what players are going on your team. Depending on what service you use for your site (I use Yahoo) the players are given a numerical value from some unidentified person that ranks them 1st to last. Then the computer goes in order dealing the players out to each manager like a deck of cards.

There are customizations and lists that you can make for auto-drafting, but it’s too easy to screw it up.

Offline Drafting

Offline drafting is by far the coolest, but is a lot more work. Generally every manager gets together at someone’s house, and draft in person. This can be during a party or chatting as friends, but requires a lot of commitment and generally everyone needs to know each other in the league. There also is a lot of statistical knowledge needed for this as managers have no assistance in whom to pick.

The compromise between these two styles of drafting is to draft online through a service like Yahoo…

Online Drafting

You pick a date in which everyone logs into their fantasy football account, and joins a drafting program. This allows you to choose your players from the generated list, sort by stats, and draft in real time. There is less commitment on this part, as some people could be in another state or country when you draft.

Last year one of my league managers was deployed to the middle east, but still was committed enough to jump on his computer at 4 a.m. and draft with the rest of the league (he made it all the way to the championship and lost the final game).

Picking your draft day is important as well. Choose a day that the most managers can be available. Also be sure to do your drafting before the first week of the season, but late enough into the preseason so that injuries or suspensions/ retirements don’t interfere with your teams.

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About the Author

Nathan Cheatham
Nathan Cheatham grew up in downriver Detroit, and after much traveling landed in Hartford, CT. A journalism major, he has been writing news for the past four years. You can see examples of it at www.facebook.com/cheathamscorner and contact him at www.twitter.com/natecheat. A newer football fan, Cheatham became a Detroit Lions fan soon after the 0-16 season. An avid Fantasy Football enthusiast, he has been running his own personal league for nearly 10 years. Regardless of what some might say, he is convinced the Lions will have Super Bowl Victory next year!