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7 Fantasy Football Draft Day Essentials


With the first game of the season set to open in less than three weeks, chances are that your draft is near. There are some key ingredients to a successful Fantasy draft.

1. Make sure everyone is in attendance for the draft.

Aside from a team in the league being out of the country, there is no reason for anyone to be on “auto-draft.”

The best fantasy football drafts are the ones where everyone is present. If someone can’t be present, see #3. And aside from Auction drafts, please avoid the timed online draft.

2. Provide food and drinks.

A must for a good draft. You’re a grown person so you can decide if you want to grill, do a potluck, or even go to a place like Buffalo Wild Wings for your draft.

Here’s a tip though — have your food AFTER your draft and not before. This allows for each person to convince everyone else in the league how great his/her team is.

3. Have a Draft Board or Draft Software.

The most pivotal part of a live draft is the “draft board.” There are two options: Printed Draft Boards and Draft Board Software.

Printed draft boards are the classic staples of live fantasy football drafts. The boards are large (normally 3′ x 4-5′) and come with player labels (stickers). Have an official “Vanna White” to place all the labels on the board, or have each owner come forward to announce the pick as they place the label themselves.

Shameless plug: we are selling personalized fantasy football draft boards.

Draft software like FanDraft.com allows you to connect your computer to a projector or big screen. There is a timer, draft ticker, and multiple views of the draft, rosters, who’s available etc.

Draft software is great, but we only recommend if there is projector or at least a 60″ HDTV available. It’s also nice to have someone NOT drafting to run the computer.

If someone can’t physically be at the draft, consider using Skype so that they can be clued in to who has been chosen.

If you’re using draft software, there are a few ways to share your screen remotely with those not at the draft. Examples include:

FanDraft has a “FanDraft Web” $5 add-on feature that will share your FanDraft screen during your draft.

4. Get Paid.

If you don’t pay, you don’t play. Make sure that all league members have paid their dues BEFORE the season starts.

Payment methods:

  • Cash – Nothing beats cold hard cash.
  • PayPal – Send your payment via PayPal. (Hint: to avoid fees being taken out, mark the payment as a “Personal Gift”)
  • Square – Card readers like Square (SquareUp.com) are completely free and take out just 2.75% of the payment. Having a card reader at the draft eliminates the “I forgot to bring cash” excuse at the draft.
  • LeagueSafe – LeagueSafe.com is a site set up specifically for fantasy football league payments and pay outs. If you’re a commissioner, it’s definitely the most hassle-free option.

5. Agree upon league rules.

Before you draft, make sure that everyone is aware of new rules. If you are a serious fantasy football league, draft a constitution with all of the important league details.

6. Keep track of your team.

Whether it be on paper or on your computer, make sure to keep track of who you draft. Not only will this help you with your draft, but it also might clear up any confusion if the  league commissioners messes up when inputting the selections into the league.

7. Wagers.

There will undoubtedly be some players touting their picks as the best of the draft. Interesting wagers include: More wins, most points, making the playoffs, etc.

Just make sure to keep a record of any monetary or embarrassing wagers, so that the losing party doesn’t “misremember” when it comes time to pay up.

What are some of your own draft day essentials. Tell us in the comments below.

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