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Ok, if you’ve been reading So-Called Fantasy Experts for any amount of time you know that the people who write for us are special. And when I say Special, I mean special as in ranging from slightly eccentric to bordering on mentally deranged. I’ll let you decide who the deranged folks are.

Anyway, I went to them with a very important question. What makes the perfect Fantasy Football draft party? Specifically, I wanted to know; Where you should have the draft? What Type of food should you have? Are there any special prizes or honors? What league traditions make the draft more fun?

As you can imagine I got a wide array of answers. Some were serious, some were illegal, and I’ve encouraged some of our staff to seek counseling.

In the paragraphs ahead I’ll share their answers and I’ll also lay down the gospel according to RotoDaddy. I’ve got my own ideas on what makes a draft party rise above all others.

We’d also like to get your ideas. If you’ve got something we didn’t think of use our contact page to let us know. If you give me some good stuff, I’ll add it to the article and credit you.

The Essentials for the Perfect Fantasy Football Draft Party

1. Tracking the Draft

Yeah, we started off with a serious question, though some of the answers were not. You have to track the players taken. That way when, for the third time, the league drunk drafts a player already drafted, you have even more reason to berate him.

One person suggested using a projector. That’s all fine and dandy, but it’s so temporary. Ideally we need something that lasts, so in future years you can remind your buddy that he continually drafts a kicker in the fifth round.

With that in mind, one of our “eccentric” souls suggested that each league member tattoo their draft choices on their back. While that is definitely more permanent, it has its flaws. First off, if you lose a league member, part of the league history leaves with them. There’s also the matter of space. While some of us have gotten larger over the years, eventually your back runs out of room.

There is really only one right answer here. The only right way to track your draft is by getting one of the So-Called Fantasy Experts Custom Fantasy Football Draft Boards. And I’m not just saying this because I get 50 cents from each draft board and my kids need new shoes for school. The calluses on their feet are getting pretty thick, so they’ll be fine if you decide to scorn them like that.

I recommend these because, first of all, they look pretty damn cool. They can accommodate up to 20 teams, and you can get stickers with all the teams names. They even have a place for your league slogan. We encourage obscenity there. Mostly I recommend using our draft boards because they’re a permanent record of your league history. The best Fantasy Football leagues have great traditions. At each draft you pin up the draft boards for the previous two or three years and that history is on display. So buy one of our draft boards and you’re all set. And to be honest, my son does need some new underwear for school. The ones we bought at the garage sale just didn’t work out.

2. Where Should You Hold Your Fantasy Football Draft Party

To be honest I was a little disappointed in the answers here. A few suggested your typical Hooters, Tilted Kilt, Winghouse or other Breataurant, but most of the time those are so noisy no one can even hear the player names when they’re called. I want my draft party to be the loudest noise in the room.

A couple others suggested Vegas. While I’m on  board with the idea, it’s not doable for many leagues. Heck in my hometown league some of the owners have to pay in installments. Our league fee is $50.

Ideally someone in your league would have a huge basement and neighbors that would likely not call the authorities.

Since we’re also considering tradition here, what if the loser of the previous season was required to host the draft and provide food?

Of course if you’re in an office league, make sure you get your boss in the league and hold the draft at work. You’re likely to get some pictures that might keep him off your back for awhile.

3. Food for Your Draft Party

I like the idea of having the previous year’s loser provide nourishment for the rest of the league, but maybe we’re asking the wrong question. Maybe we should be asking what food you should NOT be having at your draft party?

First off I know wings are often associated with football, but they’re a no-go at my party. Some idiot is going to get wing sauce all over my So-Called Fantasy Experts Custom Fantasy Football Draft Boards, and I’m going to be pissed. Hey, did I mention my kids need haircuts for back to school?

Anyway, I’m gonna leave food up to you. The one suggestion I have is this. If you’re hosting the part, make sure and have chips and salsa. And the salsa should be as hot as possible.

Spicy salsa means more drinking.

More drinking means more bad picks by your leaguemates… That’s good for you.

4. Running Your Actual Draft

While the draft itself may turn into an incidental part of the party, there are ways to make it more interesting, and this is where my SCFE brethren excelled. In no particular order here are some of the ideas thrown my way.

  • In order to decide draft order have everyone pull a number out of a hat. But then pull an M. Night Shyamalan twist. That number only decides the order they pull little duckies out of the sink. Those duckies have numbers on the bottom that decide the final order.
  • Draw numbers from a hat, but that’s not the order. Instead the person with No. 1 gets to choose his draft slot, and so on down the line.
  • Use FAAB money to bid on draft slots. You want to draft Eddie Lacy? Then pay for it!
  • I read on Reddit where someone set up a beer pong table, and people tossed ping pong balls into mixed-up red solo cups that had a draft number on the bottom of it. (DavidGonos.com)
  • Everyone goes naked; not without clothes (that’s bad idea with most middle aged men), but without draft aids. That means no laptops, no magazines, not even a cheat sheet on a napkin. Everyone has to draft based on what is in their head and have retained. It makes those “sleeper picks” far more impressive and the “Has Player X been drafted yet?” moments even more interesting as everyone looks around and realizes, holy cow, Tre Mason has not been drafted yet! (Because everyone forgets about Rams all the time!)
  • Penalize the guy who tries to draft somebody who’s already been drafted. Is losing that pick too severe? You decide. Maybe making him beer bitch until the next occurrence is good enough.
  • No freaking auto-drafters or phone-ins! A nine-team league is better than a 10-team league with one auto-drafter. If someone can’t make it to the draft, they’re not in the league this year. I’m sorry, you don’t get married in Fantasy Football draft season!
  • No wives, girlfriends, children, or mothers. The perfect draft party is going to be R-rated. Worrying about the police is enough. Your significant other doesn’t need to see you like this. Trust me, it’s just better this way.

5. Fantasy Football League Traditions and Other Ideas

Tradition is what makes each league unique. Without it, you’re just playing. With it, you’re living the Fantasy life. Here are some of the best ideas I’ve seen. I’ll admit to stealing a few from DavidGonos.com. I knew his warped mind would have some good ideas over there. I also stole a few ideas SCFE Writer Mark Strausberg used in a column on RotoExperts a few years back.

  • Award league trophy from previous year. They get one last chance to rub it in your face.
  • Give some kind of “honor” to the person who finished last the previous year. In my league we “award” the biggest loser with a 40 ouncer of Schlitz, paper bag included.
  • Make last year’s loser sing the National Anthem prior to starting the draft. This guy seemed to get into it.
  • Invite all owners to do a “post-draft” recap video or article. Most will be too lazy to do anything, but the one or two who take the initiative will usually do something funny, and do a good job recapping the festivities.
  • Have a fake cast on hand to give to the owner who drafts the “stud” that is already out for the season.
  • One alternative smack talk strategy I’ve wanted to try is a good one to use to rattle the returning champion. Secretly team up with at least five or six other owners and constantly pepper the returning champ with condescending comments after every single pick he makes. The returning champ obviously should know what he is doing, but constantly hearing about how bad his picks are every time, he could start to panic and question his picks—exactly what you want to happen.

We’ll be adding more of our own ideas over the next few weeks, so check back every few days. And remember if you send in a good idea, I’ll add it to the article and give you credit. Just use our contact page and tell us all about it. Just leave out names so we can protect the innocent… or guilty, as it may be.

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Doug "RotoDaddy" Anderson

Doug Anderson took on the moniker RotoDaddy with the birth of his son in 2003. He's a veteran of the industry and has been playing Fantasy Baseball for over 20 years. His work has been seen on RotoExperts.com, SI.com, Yahoo, USAToday.com and also in the pages of various Fantasy magazines. He's currently also in charge of aggregation efforts at The Fantasy Sports Network and represents them in the LABR Mixed Experts League.
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