In order to host a live fantasy football draft in your home, the first order of business is to know your fellow fantasy football owners. Know what sort of refreshments they like, what sort of snacks they prefer and make sure all your owners are on the same page as far as the kind of fantasy football league they would like to participate in.
You wouldn’t want a fight to break out over draft order or one or more owners trash talking the other owner’s draft picks, so be sure all the participants in your fantasy football league agree on the way the draft order is to be determined. Also, it would be a good idea to have all the people in your league agree on scoring rules in advance so as not to have disputes on this during the live draft.
Get all your fantasy team owners together to decide how long each has to make their choice and how many rounds there will be in your live draft. It is not necessary for all your fantasy team owners to like each other, although it would help, especially if you’re hosting the live draft in your home. However, all must be able to work and play together, or it will ruin the fantasy football experience for everyone in your league.
Here are some suggestions for hosting a fantasy football league live draft in your home: Don’t have loud music or a dvd playing. It would be hard to get all the owners to agree on the musical selections or movie. If you can do that fine, but it could be a distraction to some, so I would recommend that you just have sports center or a baseball game or something in the background if you have any distractions at all.
Obviously, it’s hard in this era to find a time that everyone is available, so I’m assuming if you’ve gotten this far in your plan, that you’ve already made arrangements for that. Elect or agree on a fantasy football commissioner before hand, then have that person, or if they are in the league as is usually the case, have them appoint a third party to oversee the draft. Here is a good article on what to look for in a commissioner. There should be someone in charge to see that everyone follows the rules and submits their draft pick in a timely fashion.
Agree on a time limit for the draft picks even before you determine the draft order. If not, you will have one or more owners stalling for time, holding up the draft process for everyone. I would suggest having an hourglass or egg timer to time the picks. In online live drafts, one usually only has a minute or two to make their picks. If you stretch the time limit any longer, you’re going to be in for a loooong night.
Most fantasy football leagues have what is called a serpentine draft, meaning whoever drafts first in say a 10 team league, doesn’t pick again until the final pick of the 2nd round. Therefore, the order would be 1/20, 2/19/ 3/18 and so on. the player with the last pick in the first round actually doesn’t have a bad deal this way since he or she will have the first pick in the 2nd round, thus selecting 2 of the top 11 players on the board.
To decide the way you determine the order of your draft, there are many ways to do this. The simplest way would just be to write a number 1-10 or however many teams are in your fantasy league and have the owners draw a number out of a hat held by the commissioner. You might pick the numbers alphabetically by last name, age or however you want to do it.
The fantasy league commissioner or host should furnish all the players with a printout of all NFL players at fantasy league positons. You could simply print out the ratings from a free fantasy football league at foxsports or yahoo.com for all draftable players, and have all the players cross off each name as the player is selected. The league commishioner or third party could keep tabs to make sure everyone is kept apprised of the players already drafted with the drafted players’ names written on a dry erase board.
To avoid misunderstandings such as someone drafting Chicago’s Adrian Peterson instead of the Minnesota Adrian Peterson, have the players submit an index card, just like the NFL draft, to the league commissioner with their guy’s name, position and team. The the league commissioner announces to everyone what the pick is and whose pick it was and write the pick on the dry erase board. This would be the simplest and least expensive way to conduct your fantasy football league’s live draft.
Again, I would suggest that you limit the picks to 1 minute, two at the most to keep things moving, have only as many rounds in your draft as you have positions and agree that any players not picked in your live draft become free agents able to be picked up by anyone within three days or so.
The way most fantasy football leagues do this is to have the player with the latest pick in the first round have waiver priority if a player is coveted by more than one team owner. Then the waiver priority changes with an owner picking up a player going back to the end of the line.
In any fantasy football league, just as in life, there will always be one or more who feel as if they’ve gotten a raw deal whether in draft order or whatever. You just try to be fair to everyone in your league and enforce your league’s rules evenly and to the winner go the spoils.
Remember, the object of fantasy football is to have fun! Keep up with the NFL and player trends. There will always be guys who come out of nowhere like Kurt Warner a few years back, not to mention last season, and post impressive statistics. Always be ready to pick up such a player and even if you have a bad draft, you could still win your league.
Have fun and I think these tips will help your fantasy football league to be fun for all involved!