Many people love fantasy football. These fans often start by watching the NFL, and then they find out that fantasy football can make that even more exciting. If you like football and you’re a competitive individual, you might want to join a fantasy football league this year.
You might decide that you intend to start your own league if you can’t find one that interests you. You may ask some friends and family members whether they want to join up with you. Perhaps you’ll ask some of your work buddies to join the league instead.
If you’re ready to get a new league together, you’ll probably want to throw a fantasy football draft party. Let’s discuss how you can make yours as enjoyable as possible.
Tips to throw a great fantasy football draft party
Get a draft kit
First, you’ll want to get yourself a fantasy football draft kit. You can purchase these draft kits from many reputable entities. Your kit should have everything you need to draft the players you want for your team.
Your draft kit will likely come with a phone app that everyone can install on their phones to help with the process. It should come with tier-based player rankings, so you’ll know which players have the most potential value for you. That will help anyone who doesn’t know much about football but who wants to play in your league anyway.
Your draft kit should include premium stat projections. You’ll know what each player can likely do for you based on those. You can look at them and see projected point totals for quarterbacks, tight ends, wide receivers, running backs, and more.
Your kit should have video player profiles with detailed information about each player. It should come with custom cheat sheets that will give you player insights that will better enable you to make your picks confidently. It should have sleeper picks and hints telling you who might become a breakout star in the coming year.
Your kit might also come with in-depth player analysis. That may include historical red-zone performances, schedule strength analysis, and more.
At the very least, make sure that everyone in your league agrees on what draft kit to use. Since you can find so many of them out there, you want to get a popular one that most of your league’s players appreciate. New fantasy football players will probably not care much about which one you choose since they’ve never gone through this process before.
Figure out where to have the draft party
Next, you must figure out where to have the draft party. You will probably choose someone’s house or apartment. If so, you must pick someone’s residence that’s large enough to accommodate the whole league.
Maybe you have a small league with five or six people, or perhaps you have double that. If your league has a dozen players in it or more, make sure you have a space large enough to accommodate them.
You can go to someone’s house with a finished basement, and you can all sit down comfortably on the couches or other furniture. You might pick someone’s house that has a dining room large enough to fit all of you. Someone might have a den or living room large enough for the whole league instead.
If you can’t find anyone with enough room for the whole league, you might also choose a neutral location to have the draft. For instance, maybe you’ll go to a bar with a back room the owner or operator does not mind you using. You might head to a Buffalo Wild Wings, an Applebee’s, or something similar if you have one in the neighbourhood.
Pick a time that works for all of you
You will also need to select a time that works for as many people as possible. Ideally, you want a date and time when everyone in the league can appear in person.
You might choose a Saturday or Sunday when no one has to work. You may have the draft during the afternoon or early evening.
If that doesn’t work for everyone, you might have the draft on a weeknight. Check with everyone and try to get on the same page. You’d like to accommodate everyone as best you can, but sometimes, you’ll have to leave out one or two people if their schedules seem impossible to navigate.
Don’t bother anyone while you draft
Fantasy football draft days can get pretty wild. You’re presumably all excited about the upcoming season, and maybe you’re talking loudly or even yelling at each other occasionally.
Make sure that you pick a location where you’re not bothering anyone. For instance, if you choose someone’s house or apartment, keep the volume down so you don’t bother one of their roommates. If this person lives at home, try not to make so much noise that you bother their parents.
You don’t want neighbours banging on the door and asking you to turn it down, either. If you pick a restaurant, try not to get so rowdy that the manager or owner asks you to leave. Obviously, you can’t choose a location like a public library since there’s almost no way to keep down the noise level entirely.
Have some snacks and drinks
You will probably want to accommodate everyone as best you can when you do your fantasy football draft. You can try to schedule the event so it works for everyone, but you also want to set up a fun party atmosphere that makes everyone feel welcome.
You might order a few pizzas or some wings. You can call Dominoes, Pizza Hut, or Papa John’s, but you might feel better about supporting a local place and not one of the national chains.
You might also decide to make some food yourself. You may feel like now’s the time to make a big pot of your famous chili, or you can make some other crowd-pleasing food that you think will go over well.
Make sure to think of everyone with different dietary needs. You might have some vegetarian or vegan options if some of your guests need those choices.
You should provide drinks. You might have some juices on hand, or perhaps you’ll go with a bunch of two-litre soda bottles.
You can serve alcohol if everyone there can legally drink. If you have some league members under twenty-one, you might still have alcohol for anyone who can drink legally. You can ask anyone under twenty-one to stay away from the alcohol, or you risk the cops breaking up your draft party.
If you do serve alcohol, try to keep everyone under control. You’re there to draft players and have a good time, not to get rambunctious.
Try to keep the noise down if anyone has one beer too many, and keep any fistfights from breaking out. Hopefully, no one in your league does that sort of thing, but friendly competition can sometimes turn unfriendly with too much alcohol involved.
If everyone does indulge, take their keys, so they don’t drive. You can call an Uber or a Lyft for anyone who can’t drive home. You can also look into public transportation options if you live close to a train or bus line.
You might go all out and decorate the place you’re having the draft with football-themed items. If you’re having the draft at your house or apartment, you can pick up football-themed party packs at party stores, or you can order one online and have Amazon or another company deliver it to you.
You might ask everyone to wear their favourite team and player jerseys. You want to create a festive, lighthearted atmosphere if you can. Remember, you’re supposed to have fun with this activity.
Break up the party before it gets too late
If you have the party in the afternoon, you’ll probably break it up before it lasts long into the night. If you have an evening draft party, you might have to tell the crowd to disperse eventually.
Once everyone has their team in place, you can all go your separate ways. If people want to stay and hang out later, that’s fine, as long as they don’t get too loud and rowdy.
If the party keeps going until the early morning hours, that’s okay, but you might bother the neighbours if you’re still carousing at four in the morning. People might have to work the next day, and you don’t want to make nuisances of yourselves.
As long as you treat your fellow players courteously and respectfully and plan ahead, you should enjoy a fun draft party that kicks off the fantasy football season. Make sure to only invite individuals into your league who you feel will play well with others. You don’t want to play with anyone aggressive or obnoxious.
It’s fine to talk a little trash, but avoid players who take things too seriously. You probably won’t find playing with them so much fun.
Featured image: Phillip Goldsberry/Unsplash