Snake and Auction Drafts for Fantasy Football

Kevin Waida, a business graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, enjoys playing fantasy sports. Kevin Waida has had particular success in fantasy football.

A fantasy football season, along with most other fantasy sports leagues, begins with a league draft. A fantasy draft mimics a professional draft in several ways, with fantasy owners choosing which individual players he or she wishes to use over the course of a season. However, fantasy drafts can play out in a number of different ways. The snake draft and auction draft are the two most commonly utilized methods. Both drafts begin by establishing draft order, which may be determined at random, through the use of a contest or friendly game, or by using the prior year’s league rankings. Once an order has been established, however, snake and auction drafts begin to diverge.

During a snake draft, the first person in the draft order can select from any available player. This player pool may represent the entire NFL or only those players who have not already been reserved by fantasy owners from the previous year. After the first selection has been made, the second team owner picks, and the draft continues in this fashion until every team has made a first round selection. The draft then begins to snake backwards, with the last manager to pick in the first round making the first pick in the second round. The draft continues in this fashion until each manager has a full roster.

During an auction bid the draft order only determines who makes a player nomination. The first manager nominates a player and the rest of the league makes bids using a predetermined dollar amount to buy that player for their team. A league may choose to use real money for an auction, but generally a fantasy budget mirrors an actual salary cap, equating to tens of millions of dollars. Auction drafts require a finer attention to detail, which can benefit


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