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Fun Ways to Determine Draft Order in Redraft Leagues


Fantasy football drafts are always an event filled with eager anticipation. One part of that process that often turns into a tedious one is determining draft order. Sure, you could just base it on last year's finish or do random generation, but where's the fun in that?

This article is all about some interesting ways to spice up how you and your fellow league-mates can make figuring out the order of your draft picks a much more thrilling and eventful experience than what most conventional leagues would have. Each method will be separated into distinct categories and explained with a succinct amount of detail so as not to drag on.

Although many fantasy football leagues have already had their drafts, making a change for this season or next year can help make the offseason an extremely fun time for your league. Without further ado, let’s dive in.

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The Old Fashioned Way – Predetermined Order

If you are in a fantasy football league with owners that don’t live nearby one another, it’s difficult to recommend some of the later methods on this list simply because of distance. However, I’ll open with a few common methods for predetermining draft order that most leagues can try out.

 
Base Order on Positional Finishes from Last Season

Perhaps the most traditional way of assorting the draft order, everyone’s position is decided based on some feature from the last season. This could be the order in which everyone finished overall, allowing the non-playoff teams to get selections first, assigning based on points scored against, or anything else. The choice is mostly based on personal preference, but here are a few suggestions:

  • Emulate the real life NFL Draft by having the first place team pick at the back end of the first round and the last place team at the earliest pick of the first round. Any team who didn’t make the playoffs is ordered by their points for from the past season
  • Each team ‘drafts their draft pick’ with the last place team getting the first crack at choosing where they want to draft (i.e.: the last place team could select to pick second overall, the next worst team could pick to go eighth overall, and so on)

 
Make it Random!

For those who can, gather your buds around and host a raffle party with beer, food, and more beer! Although making the draft order more random can sound unfair, there are certain ways to make adjustments with better odds for worse teams to get an advantage.

  • Putting names in a hat or ping pong balls in a bowl with picks on them can bring an element of suspense to determining draft order. To give owners who finished worse off last season a better chance at selecting first, give them more ping pong balls than those who placed in the upper tiers
  • If you don’t want to go through the hassle of picking up ping pong balls and a bowl (but seriously, it’s totally worth it), there are websites specifically devoted to making things easier. I’ve been in a couple of leagues that use http://www.draftpicklottery.com/, which is a useful website for making determining draft order easy
  • Make the order completely random by bobbing for draft picks! Each owner is blindfolded and required to reach their hand into a bucket of water with ping pong balls that have a draft spot number on them. Aside from a hilarious and embarrassing method, it will really make things interesting when someone gets pushed in…

 

Ready to Gamble? - Order Based on an Outside Source

Sometimes, you just have to trust your gut. It may not seem popular to make your draft order determined by something like the National Spelling Bee results, but there are plenty of thrills to be had if your fellow league-mates are willing to play along! It’s tough to adjust these options so that the worst teams get a better chance, but hear me out before you read on.

  • Predict the results of NFL preseason games by allowing each owner to pick three or four matchups for which they have to choose a winner. By the end of Week 3 or 4, the owner with the best record gets to go first. If there are any tie-breakers, let the owner whose teams he/she projected to win scored the most points go ahead (i.e.: if one owner picked teams that scored a total of 65 points while the other picked teams that scored 50, the first team would go ahead of the second team)
  • Gamble on the outcome of the Kentucky Derby, a competitive reality TV show (my family league did the Great British Baking Show), or the PGA Tour. Any event will do, but most of the time you should have each owner randomly assigned a horse, contestant, or golfer. Alternatively, the worst place teams could get a first crack at choosing whomever they like compared to the best teams. Either way works!

 

Earn Your Spot! – Compete With Your Fellow Owners

My personal favorite method, sometimes you need to just have an extremely competitive way of earning your draft spot. If you and your fellow league-mates are extremely passionate about fantasy football, imagine how passionate everyone will be in having to beat out their competition for a draft position.

  • The first thought that jumps into people’s heads first is likely to be drinking games! A beer pong tournament, flip cup, speed ball, and beersbee are all great ideas
  • Got any gamers in your group? Try something like Mario Kart, Super Smash Brothers, or even Madden to let the shouting matches begin
  • Choose a series of events to be called ‘The Draft Olympics’, keeping cumulative finishes as the primary factor for determining the order. You can have multiple games that appeal to different league members’ strengths while hosting multiple events over the summer

 

Conclusion

As someone who has taken part in leagues that range from casual to competitive, I can honestly say that making a big event out of determining draft order can help to break the monotony of the offseason with some exciting events. It’s fairly easy to get lost in the must-win mentality of fantasy football, but sometimes you have to step back and remind yourself that it’s also about bringing people together. The above ideas should definitely help you do that whether this season or the next.

 

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