Check out “Part 1: Pros and Cons of Dynasty, Keeper, and Redraft leagues” for details on this series that, essentially works to help you choose a fantasy football league.
Serpentine Draft (Traditional)
Details: This type of league is traditional, especially for fantasy football. Similar to the real NFL Draft, a draft order is set prior to draft date and teams pick in order from the order set. The order can either repeat (Round 1: 1,2,3, Round 2: 1, 2, 3) or snake (Round 1: 1,2,3, Round 2: 3, 2, 1). A new developed way to draft is the first pick in one round moving to the back of the next round (Round 1: 1, 2, 3, Round 2: 2, 3, 1, Round 3: 3, 1, 2). Regardless this draft has an order that teams select a player for their team in.
- Simplicity - This is by far the easiest to set up and manage in-draft. Once you decide the initial order, either by drawing from a hat or from previous year’s results, the only thing left to do is place the names on a board, and nowadays a computer can do that step for you.
- Quick and easy - Unless you’re running an slow email draft, the time limit for each pick is relatively short. It can be as quick as just a couple of minutes for each pick, which makes for a short draft. There are always breaks between your picks, so you don’t continuously have to be sitting at a table or looking into your draft room online.
- Get together - More snake drafts are run offline than auction drafts. This makes for some fun meet ups and smack talk for owners in the league if you can arrange a draft meeting.
- Fairness - Some owners simply have better draft positions, there is no way to deny it. Snake drafts can quiet that fact, but at the end of the day, early picks have an advantage. Unless your league allows the ability to trade up in the draft, you have no way to pick the player that you might want if another owner above you wants him first. Especially in an inaugural draft where spots will be drawn out of a hat, this is extremely unfair.
- Hard to Strategize - Because your strategy relies greatly on what others do in snake drafts, it’s hard to not only conceive a strategy but also enforce the strategy when it actually comes time to draft. Mock drafts can always help, but you can’t recreate draft day.
- Fairness - Everyone has the same amount to spend in the option. Everyone comes in in the exact same situation, unlike in a snake draft. But it’s not only draft position, but you’re also able to get who ever you want, although you’re going to have to pay the price.
- Specific strategy - You can come into the draft already knowing who you want and how you want to model your team. Sure, it could be costly if you’re targeting a couple of top-notch guys, but if you can hit on your auction values then your team is set. Do what you want. No one is off limits in this format. It’s also important to use your nominations wisely, which is a whole other aspect to strategy.
- More strategics - Because there’s no bounding you to a spot and no other owners who can jump out and take a player before you, there are a lot of different directions to go in the draft. It’s more challenging, but also makes drafting a lot more enjoyable if you’re willing to put in the work.
- Flexibility - First round players can be sporadically spread throughout the draft because players aren’t necessarily put up in a particular owner. It’s all up to the other owners. This means prices will vary on different players and it just makes the draft all that more intriguing.
- Longer drafts - If you mind drawn out drafts, auctions probably isn’t the way you want to go. These, typically, will run more than an hour longer than standard snake drafts. There are no breaks between live auctions in an online draft room, so you must sit at your computer for hours on end.
- Difficult to Grasp - At first, auction strategies and drafts can be hard to fully wrap your head around. As I said, there are many different ways to draft and strategize. You might find yourself scraping the bottom of the barrel with $1 players at the end of your draft if you don’t do it right. A firm strategy where you don’t break the bank or your team is tough to develop.
So there you have the pros and cons of a snake draft verses an auction draft. I’m a fan of auction drafts because you have no restraints. It takes some work at getting used to, but it’s a lot of fun if you can dedicate the time to it. However, there’s nothing like getting together for a draft party as a league and having some fun. That’s where auction leagues are beat.
Tomorrow’s blog: To PPR or not to?