Well, football fanatics, it’s finally here … that time of year where you get to start anew and pick your fantasy football team. There’s no better feeling than the anticipation of what lies ahead for the season. Hopefully, you’ve been keeping up to date on all the latest draft kits, injuries, stats and cheat sheets. Doing your research will help you to make wiser choices and increases the odds of you coming out a winner.
If you are your league’s organizer or commissioner, you’ll have plenty to do draft day. Be sure to get your draft strategy together way ahead of time so you can build as strong a team as possible. Here are also some great strategies to making sure your football fantasy draft party runs as smooth as possible.
5 Tips for Throwing a Great Fantasy Football Draft Party:
- Schedule draft party before season Starts
This season, the games run from September 10, 2015 to January 3, 2015. For your league to score for the entire NFL season schedule, your draft must be complete by 11:59 pm PT on September 9, 2015.
- Clarify the rules
There are many scoring systems, so you’ll want to set your rules well in advance so that the owners can base their draft picks on the scoring method you’ve chosen.
The serpentine (or snake draft) is the most popular draft system. The order of the draft reverses with each round. Owners should also be informed about trade policies, all fees and prizes, the website specifics and the protocol for settling any disputes. You may want to make up a short rule book in advance and distribute copies to owners on draft day.
- Prepare for Draft Party
Asthe draft host, it’s your responsibility to plan the party – whether you host it at your home or meet at a bar or restaurant is up to you.
The draft is sure to last several hours, so consider serving some food, it could be simple such as pizza, chips and wings or more elaborate. A tailgate theme might be appropriate, considering that it is in essence the beginning of the football season. Or you could have all the owners meet at a favorite restaurant when the draft is over to enjoy fine food and brag about their teams.
By all means, have a well-stocked refrigerator full of everyone’s favorite beer!
- Create a Draft Board
The most important item to have ready for draft day is the draft board. It could be a simple piece of poster board with room enough to make a 6-inch column for each team. At the top, write the team name. The rows below will represent the draft rounds. Make up color-coded (by position) deck of cards with the names of the eligible NFL players.
Be sure to keep the board up to date as the draft proceeds, making sure to keep track of all trades. Or, you could use an erasable white board and write in the players’ names. Pre-assembled boards are also available on the Internet with a set of player cards. Another possibility is to use a computer with an Excel spreadsheet to list the choices.
- Keep things Moving
Consider using a stopwatch or kitchen timer to keep the draft moving. Many organizers give owners 90 seconds or 2 minutes for each pick. Others allow longer, say, 5 minutes, for the early picks and only 1 minute during later, less critical rounds.
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Important Fantasy Football Dates:
April 27, 2015 –NFL Fantasy Registration Opens
June 1, 2015 – NFL Fantasy Mock Drafts Open
June 15, 2015 – NFL Fantasy Drafts Begins
August 9, 2015 – NFL Preseason Begins
September 4, 2015 – NFL Preseason Ends
September 10, 2015 – NFL Regular Season Kickoff
October 17, 2015 – NFL Fantasy Drafts Close
February 7, 2015 – Super Bowl 50, Santa Clara