The fantasy football draft. It happens once a year and it keeps everyone occupied throughout the fall and winter months, so it’s critical you make the most of it. If you’re hosting, this means ensuring it’s the best day of the year for your entire league.
Here are the minimum requirements for pulling off a successful fantasy football draft.
TECHNOLOGY AND WIFI
It goes without saying that having good WiFi coverage, range, and speed is the bare minimum for hosting your league-mates on draft day (especially if you’re doing an online auction). Not being able to handle the pace of the draft with research, live draft tools, and up to the minute injury and roster cut information is unacceptable. Make sure the fine folks (using this term very loosely) at Xfinity have received your most recent payment.
Having readily available snacks and propane loaded up for the grill is key for the mid-round munchie break. Fueling up will ensure your league will pay attention to those late-round selections to keep the pace moving, as opposed to focusing on where to snag Uber Eats from. Exclude the Cheetos on draft day, unless you want cheese dust all over the draft board stickers. Adequate cooler space is also a must for hydration on draft day, along with bags of ice. This is one that is easy enough to delegate to your idiot league-mates that even they can’t screw up.
DRAFT BOARD OR SOFTWARE
If your league does an offline draft, a draft board combined with visible player-name stickers is critical to keeping everyone engaged throughout the draft, and more importantly, knowing when their selection is coming up. This will avoid having to wait for them to come back from the bathroom, or finish plowing through their steak tips. A projector with computer draft software is also nice but can prove to be difficult during daylight hours. A simple draft board and stickers will ensure the optimal experience on draft day.
SEATING/ TABLE SPACE
A comfortable owner that can see the board/stickers or type away like a hardo on their laptop is an owner that will stay locked in during the draft. This should also keep the “Speed Bumps” to a minimum. Ensuring enough folding chairs, card tables, cup holders, etc.. will keep everyone at ease and prevent getting antsy for the 14 or so rounds you’re gathered together with your league on a 90-degree August afternoon.
DRAFT ORDER DECIDED AND READY TO GO
Deciding the draft order is the second-best part of the fantasy season behind only the draft itself, and there are many ways your league can decide who will be the lucky recipient of Jonathan Taylor’s services for the 2022 campaign. Be sure the order has already been agreed upon, or the format is locked in on draft day, so Mr. 1.01 can be stuck on the board, without someone calling for collusion (Rodney Ruxin is the GOAT).
Last, but not least, is ensuring the home amenities are up to the task of handling the chaos that is about to ensue for the next handful of hours. I’m talking about central air pumping, canopies put up for shade, and making sure the plumbing is ready to receive more flushes than the World Series of Poker. You don’t want to be stopping the draft because your Kohler is overflowing after your hot wings didn’t agree with everyone’s colon.
The draft is arguably the closest thing we get to that Christmas morning feeling as grown adults, so it’s key to optimizing the experience for everyone. It’s a tall task hosting, but if pulled off correctly, will garner the respect of all your league-mates, even if you draft Josh Jacobs in the first round.