How to Prepare for a Live Fantasy Football Draft
Are you participating in an offline fantasy football draft for the first time? You'll quickly find out that an offline draft experience is much different than a traditional online draft on ESPN, Yahoo, NFL.com or CBS Sports.
Drafting online means that you have up to 60 or 90 seconds to make a pick when you're on the clock. All online draft platforms provide you with plenty of data to help make a strategic draft decision. You can quickly see who the next best player is based on the projected amount of points they will score this year, their Average Draft Position (ADP), last years statistics, as well as an up-to-the-minute "Player News" feature.
All of this data, statistics, news, and projections at your fingertips (not to mention, you can one a new tab to complete your own independent research), helps managers make good draft decisions!
What's Different About a Live Fantasy Draft?
There are a few key differences about live fantasy drafts that you should prepare for, to ensure that you make the best possible draft-day decisions.
Managers are not "on the clock", so the entire draft will take longer. In fact, the average offline fantasy football draft party will take anywhere from 2 hours to 5 hours. You could, of course, hold managers more accountable with a formal timer, but one of the benefits of a live draft is that you get to control the pace.
A live fantasy football draft is often more relaxed when it comes to time, but comes with more intensity and pressure, due to the live environment!
Less data is at your fingertips. This is especially true if you are drafting in a location that has limited / no WiFi or Cell service. Getting up-to-the-minute player news may not be an option, so there is more risk in drafting a player who has a recent injury.
Tip #1 to Prepare for a Live Fantasy Football Draft
Print Your Player Rankings on Paper
Yes, we mean with a printer. A physical player rankings spreadsheet where you can view all of your rankings at once. We suggest having an "Overall" ranking list, as well as rankings by position, both of which are broken out into tiers.
Use small enough font so that everything can be seen on a single sheet (front and back). As players are drafted, make sure to cross them off both lists, so you always have an up-to-date rankings spreadsheet. We suggest using the Fantasy Pros ranking spreadsheet, as you can create fully custom ranking spreadsheets using projections from the most accurate fantasy expert(s).
Keep in mind, all NEXT-LEVEL player labels sold by 360 Fantasy Football Draft Boards include the players average rank and the best rank. That being said, having a physical ranking spreadsheet is still recommended.
Tip #2 to Prepare for a Live Fantasy Football Draft
Order Your Draft Board 1-Week In Advance
Of course, any offline fantasy football draft party must contain a physical draft board. To ensure that your board arrives on-time, however, it's recommended that you place an order for a draft board 1 week before your draft day is scheduled.
This is true whether you decide to purchase one on Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, or here at 360 Fantasy Football Draft Boards (view all 2021 draft board kits here). We have an on-time delivery rating of 97.4%, however shipping packages through USPS, UPS, FedEx, or other delivery service can not guarantee delivery every time. Ordering in advance gives you the peace of mind that your board will arrive with plenty of time to spare.
Tip #3 to Prepare for a Live Fantasy Football Draft
Use Uber Eats, Delivery.com, Grub Hub, or other Food Delivery Service
A live fantasy football draft party is not complete without a steady and consistent flow of great food. There's nothing wrong with selecting classic draft party foods such as buffalo wings, pizza, nachos or burgers but consider going for an upscale draft party with a Catering service such as Moes.
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In addition to having a steady flow of great food, make sure to prepare your beverage situation. If this is an adult draft party, consider getting a mini keg or pony keg.
You'll want to pace yourself if you decide to drink alcohol, but encourage other league members to drink fast and drink often!
More beer = worse draft picks, it's a fact!
Have a Great Offline Fantasy Draft Party!
We hope these tips and suggestions will help you be better prepared for your next live fantasy football draft party. If you have any comments, feedback, or ideas to add to this list, please let us know!
Best of luck with your 2021 fantasy football season.