Online Draft

Fantasy Football Definition of "Online Draft"

An online draft is the first big event held by any online fantasy football league. Unless you're playing FF on paper with a group of other math geniuses, you'll have to deal with some kind of online draft. The draft is where you pick players for your fantasy football roster -- the online aspect of it is that the draft takes place . . . wait for it . . . online.

Preparing for your league's online draft is the largest burden of any fantasy football manager. Your fantasy draft will determine your success during the fantasy season. This doesn't mean you have to draft every single player you intended -- in fact, the best quirks in any fantasy roster are the guys you drafted that were outside your scope. Regardless, a successful online draft usually requires hours of preparation beforehand. There's no shame in starting your research in the middle of the summer for a September draft -- I'd suggest doing that very thing.

Before you get to draft day, figure out what kind of online draft your fantasy league is using. If it is an autodraft, your work will consist mostly of building the best player hierarchy -- the ordered list of players the computer will use to determine your draft behavior. If you are going to participate in a live online draft, you'll need to spend a bit more time researching basically the entire NFL roster, making cheat sheets and participating in mock drafts. Maybe your league is following the herd and holding a serpentine draft, in which each round's draft order is the reverse of the round before. The most popular alternative to serpentine drafts is the auction draft system, where managers make "bids" for different players, rather than draft in an order. No matter the draft, there is a way to prepare for it.

The biggest mistake you can make about your online draft is to ignore it. You should know your draft day well ahead of time and plan accordingly. Already committed to your brother's wedding that day? One word for you my friend -- wireless. There's nothing wrong with drafting during the Wedding March as long as you don't punctuate the silence with "YES!" when you sign that studly RB you had your eye on.

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