Score a touchdown with your friends by hosting a fantasy football draft party, and use our tips and ideas to make sure you don’t fumble.
The most important elements of a fantasy football draft party? Comfortable chairs, a big TV and a cable sports subscription so you can watch as many games as possible.
You’ll also want to keep a computer handy so you can check cheat sheets online and get insider info on who’s looking good, who’s injured and who are this season’s expected sleepers and snoozers. If you’re partying mid-season, you can use it to check your stats to see how the players are faring.
At your draft party, keep things old-school and organized by making your own draft board. Create your board using a large white board or poster board. Pre-print each player’s name and position on colored stickers or colored index cards—that way you don’t have to deal with spelling any tough last names or risking that you’ve written down a player’s position wrong.
When someone picks a player, put the name on the board under that person’s team. Color-coding the cards by each player’s position makes it easy to prevent illegal picks and helps the draft run more smoothly.
Keep the fighting on the playing field by getting your scoring and trading rules set before the season starts.
Scoring Systems: The most important thing to nail down with your league is how you plan on keeping score. Most leagues use a performance-based scoring method where a pre-set number of points are awarded for things like touchdowns, field goals and rushing yardage, and points are subtracted for fumbling the ball or throwing an interception. Create your own scoring guidelines or find one you like online.
Trading Players: You’ll also want to decide whether team owners will be allowed to trade players during the season. Usually, leagues set a deadline for when players can be traded and set up conditions for how and when other team owners can veto a trade that seems bogus.
A draft party kicks off the season right. Start the festivities by having team owners announce their team names. Vote on the best name and award the winner a pizza or six-pack of beer.
Then go over your league rules. In addition to guidelines for scoring systems and trading players, go over other key issues, like how many players can be on a roster and how many QBs you can start.
To keep things fair, nominate league officers:
- A president to make official rulings on any league issues that come up
- A referee to maintain the draft order and be the official scorekeeper
- A treasurer to collect money and hand it over to the winner
Keep it casual at your fantasy football fest. The last place you’ll want to be is stuck in the kitchen, so put out a buffet of foods that can handle being eaten at room temperature.
If you’re tired of the usual pizza and wings, set up a sandwich bar with sliced rolls, cold cuts, cheese, lettuce and tomato slices. For condiments, put out bowls of mustard, relish and Thousand Island dressing and open a large jar of dill pickle spears. Potato salad and pasta salad make great sides.
Bowls of miniature candy bars do double-duty as snacks and dessert. Go the extra mile by also serving rich frosted brownies.
Touchdown (serves 1)
- 1 ounce orange-flavored vodka
- 6 ounces energy drink
Fill a shot glass with vodka. Pour 6 ounces of energy drink into a highball glass.