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What's your favorite way to determine draft order?


I’m sure most of us are a fan of the zany ways that the characters in The League used to determine draft order before each fantasy season. I really enjoyed when Andy, Jason and Mike touched on the concept earlier in the offseason. After using a randomizer last year, my league attempted a new method: We made a mini-game of betting on kids in the Scribbs National Spelling Bee.

Each leaguemember picked three kids for their fantasy team from the Scirbbs’ website. We have a 12 team league and there were more than enough to pick from. We scored really simply: you get 1 point per word spelled correctly by your kid. Some screwed up in the first round, others just got 2 or 3 right, and a select few made it into the finals.
There ended up being quite a few tiebreakers at only 2 and 3 points, so to fix that, I ranked these individual players based on the total number of letters in the words that their kids spelled correctly. Completely arbitrary, but effective and kind of fun to research and figure out the metrics of. Each person had a different strategy: some looked for the “horse girls”, others looked for the kids who had competed in the Spelling Bee before, one guy just picked all the kids that looked most like Pee-Wee Herman.

I’d love to take credit for the idea, but my friend definitely got it off of someone’s post on Reddit a while ago. It was pretty hilarious to follow each round of the bee, hoping your kid gets a word right as much as you hope OBJ breaks off a 50+ TD. Logging/tracking the stats gave me a true appreciation for the true heroes of fantasy football: the numbers guys! To top it all off, the Spelling Bee offers a live broadcast for those who have the free time to get together and make a get-together out of it.

What do you suggest as unique/fun/fair ways to determine draft order? What has worked, hasn’t worked? Do you prefer to determine order based on previous season’s standings? If so, how do you work new members in if you transition to a larger league?


We determine draft order by picking cards. A through 10 (or however many teams there are). If two divisions, 5 red, 5 black. It’s worked for the past 8 years in my league. I like keeping it simple.


Once a league is established, we go with reverse standing order but randomize the bottom 4 teams to prevent intentional tanking. If a team knows it’s out,and is guaranteed a #1 pick the next year, they’ll tank on purpose. If they know they may wind up with the #4 instead it at least keeps people competitive.


I can’t take credit for it but I thought that it was fun and interesting.

A buddy takes a random sporting event, this year it was the Master’s and everyone in the league gets a golfer and they draft on how the golfer finishes. Another one was the Olympics and you couldn’t have the US. Something different at least.


@foxlvstrng yeah that does sound fun. It’s a good way to get your ff fix in when you’ve still got months to go until the regular season. Also like how mini-games like that in the offseason can help build the rapport between leaguemembers.


One year out league had turtle races to determine draft order. Each person got a box turtle, named it, and we drew a 5 ft diameter circle around the middle where the turtles we’re kept. Owners were giving pre-game massages, pep talks, etc. When the race started it was hilarious as you saw some turtles take off, stop, then move again but in a different direction, other’s not move at all, and one bolt for the top pick.