Fantasy University: Live Draft Tips

Everyone loves getting together with a host of their closest friends to hold live Fantasy draft. But this is also serious business. Make sure you follow these tips in order...

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1. Prepare in advance

  • Do not just show up with a magazine and no game plan. Make a list. You can base it off our Preseason Draft Rankings.
  • You can also make a cheat sheet or print out our cheat sheets. Customize them to your league’s specifications.
  • Be sure to choose a location that is favorable for drafting.
  • Be sure to know all of your sleepers as well.
  • Understand your league’s rules, scoring system and rosters requirements.

2. Be prepared on draft day

  • Show up on time.
  • Do a final run-through of your draft strategy, understanding that you’ll need to be flexible.
  • Bring blank paper, writing utensils and any other tools you may need (highlighters, clip board, etc.).
  • Bring a roster grid to keep track of your team or use ours.

3. Don’t be “That Guy” at your draft

  • Pay attention to other people’s picks. Do not be the second person to draft Andrew Luck in the 12th round. He came off the board 30 minutes ago.
  • Do not get carried away with bathroom or, even worse, cigarette breaks. Nothing is more frustrating than having someone hold up the draft. That person may have their pick skipped.
  • It’s OK to have an adult beverage of choice, but don’t get carried away. Be coherent.
  • Focus on your draft. If you are staging it at a restaurant or bar, you are not there to perform a comedy routine or pick up dates. The waitress doesn’t want your number.

4. Attention to detail

  • Heed your players’ bye weeks, especially quarterbacks and team defenses.
  • Don’t overload your roster with players from one team.
  • Consider players’ Fantasy playoff schedule.
  • Be up to date on injuries, suspensions, news and rumors.

5. Do not share your secrets and be cutthroat

  • Speak only as much as you have to. There is no need to tell grandpa his RB1 tore an ACL last night. Let him find out on his own.
  • Keep your lists and cheat sheets covered. You are not there to help the owner who is not prepared.
  • Take full advantage of another owner’s mistakes or lack of knowledge.

6. Construct your roster accordingly

  • Fill out your roster completely.
  • Do not draft a third QB before you have your second running back.
  • Do not draft a kicker in the seventh round. As a matter of fact, don’t draft kickers at all. Just pick one up off the waiver wire.
  • Be sure that you have enough skill-position players. Depth is crucial.

7. Finish strong

  • Do not waste your late-round picks. Your success may hinge on these selections. Do your best to strengthen your team here. In my time playing Fantasy Football, I’ve seen many inexplicable late-round picks, including retired players, players on injured reserve, players who are still in college, coaches and baseball players.
  • Stay sober and be well-rested.

8. Consider trades

  • Do not be afraid to swap draft picks if that’s allowed in your league.
  • Try to trade for value if some owner is having immediate buyer’s remorse.
  • If you draft a player whom you know somebody else loves, attempt to trade-rob that owner.

9. Double check

  • Confirm your final roster.
  • Pay your league fees.
  • Make sure you have every owner’s contact information.
  • Know team schedules, important league dates and deadlines.

10. Have fun

  • Draft day is usually one of the most stressful days of the Fantasy year, but It should be one of the most enjoyable as well. It’s like Christmas, and each player you draft is like unwrapping a gift. If you stay on point, you won’t end up with lumps of coal.