Tips for Hosting Your Live Fantasy Football Draft August 05 2014

Fantasy football season is fast approaching and as your league prepares for its live draft, here are some things to consider to make it as smooth as possible. 


Before the Draft

  • Choose a host with a good sized house and lots of room. No one likes to be crammed in a one bedroom apartment with 12 guys, half of which are sitting on the floor. Make sure the host has good wi-fi and plug-ins nearby for laptops and tablets. 


  • Lock in your date and time early, especially if your friends play in multiple leagues. Nothing worse than a player bailing at the last second and throwing off your even number of teams. 


  • If you're hosting, delegate as much as possible and get other people to bring food and drinks. If you are a guest, don't show up empty handed.


  • Have a sharpie on hand to write in those late round fliers. 


  • Grab a couple coolers, fill them with ice and keep the beer in the drafting area. Saves people getting up every 5 minutes to grab beer and slowing down the draft. 


  • Along with people bringing laptops and tablets, make sure everyone brings a backup paper copy of their cheatsheet. This can save the draft if the wi-fi goes down or someone can't connect to the wi-fi and they are borrowing other people's drafting material to make their picks. 


  • Tell everyone to bring the entry fee to the draft and put it in a sealed envelope then and there. Saves you the hassle of tracking down the money later. 


During the Draft

    • If you are doing a snake draft, use a random method (names from a hat, random number generator, etc) to determine draft order. 


  • I recommend making the last place finisher from last year the "sticker guy" for the draft. Their job is to add the stickers to your draft board for everyone which speeds up the draft. 


  • By using a draft kit, you can save people picking the same player twice by mistake and the headache that creates. The player's sticker is gone, so it is impossible to screw it up. 


  • We don't use a timer in our drafts, but feel free to call time on a guy who is taking forever. Every draft has the slow guy who takes forever to pick and has some anecdote about every player in the draft and how they screwed/saved them in the past. Cut this guy off early and often. 


  • When the draft if done, get everyone to take a picture of the draft board with their smartphone. That way you have a record of the draft just in case there is an error in entering the teams. 


  • As cliché as it is to say...have fun during the live draft. Talk smack, laugh at the guy who takes the player on season ending IR, and have a good time chilling with your friends.

      My friends and I only try to only do live drafts now because they are so much more enjoyable than online drafts. You don't have to worry about Yahoo! kicking you out of the draft and the awful autopicks which happen while you scramble to get back in. You get an awesome evening with your buddies and with our draft kits, you get the satisfaction of seeing your winning team on a displayed proper draft board for all the world to see.