Ask the Experts
What is your preferred draft format?
Posted Jul. 22 at 08:57 PM
ASK THE EXPERTS appears weekly during the preseason and regular season, with answers to a new question being posted every Thursday morning.
How the guest experts responded when we asked them:
What is your preferred draft format: live, extended, or an auction?
My preferred draft format is an auction. In no other format do you get a fair shot at each player in your draft. As proponents of the stud running back theory, that's essential: In auctions, KFFL is often able to land a solid core of running backs while still fielding a high-end receiving corps. Targeting undervalued players becomes much more of an intellectual game. How far are you willing to go to land that sleeper? How soon do you drop out of the bidding for an underappreciated player? The strategy involved in an auction, and the thrill that comes with it, is tough to beat.
KFFL offers football as well as baseball content and has captured over a dozen expert league championships. Founded in 1996, this company offers daily news, preseason draft guides, player rankings, sleepers, busts, weekly newsletters and more. KFFL also provides fantasy content to various organizations including SportsTicker and Yahoo! Sports. For more information, visit www.kffl.com.
Call me a traditionalist, but I prefer the live snake draft format. I believe fantasy football and being a fantasy GM should mirror the NFL experience as best as possible. And players such as Reggie Bush and Calvin Johnson were not auctioned off in April of 2006 and 2007, respectively. Dealing with the draft and the surprises is part of the challenge for NFL franchises, and it should be for fantasy players too.
Hansen has published www.fantasyguru.com since 1995 and FantasyGuru.com Magazine, a national print publication, since 2003. He's been seen on NFL Network, hosts a fantasy TV show on Comcast Sportsnet, and co-hosts a weekly fantasy football show on Sirius Satellite Radio. His daily blog can be seen at www.fantasyguru.com/blog/.
I prefer auction drafting; everyone is on equal footing because they have a chance to get any player, no matter what their draft position is. If you get stuck with the 12th pick in a 12-team snake draft league, you have no chance at any of the franchise players. In an auction, you have as good a chance as any to get players like LaDainian Tomlinson or Shaun Alexander - as long as you're willing to pay the price.
Swaw is senior writer and owner of GameTimeDecisions.net and the co-host of two fantasy football radio shows for ESPN AM 1000 in Chicago -- Fantasy Football Island and Fantasy Expert. He has been a keynote speaker for the FSTA and several fantasy football conventions with the likes of John Clayton, Chris Mortensen, Sean Salisbury and Mark Schlereth. For more info, visit www.gametimedecisions.net.
Auctions every day of the week, and twice on Sunday. They're more challenging than drafts, more complex, more interesting, even more fair. Every action at the table has a ripple effect on the entire room. Why settle for checkers when you can play chess? (Don't stop the auctioning once the season starts - I'm all for free agent bidding, as opposed to cheesy snake drafting. Why should teams that do poorly early in the year get a benefit for it?)
Pianowski is a free-lance journalist who's been writing about sports (fantasy and otherwise) for a variety of websites, newspapers and magazines for the last 20 years. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I prefer a live draft. Especially when you can get together with a group of close friends on draft day to kick off the season. Of course, this also starts the season's trash talkin', which is always an integral part of an good fantasy league. The thing I like most about live snake drafts is that it best simulates the NFL draft as you are drafting players and not bidding on them.
Ramsay is the senior analyst for draftchamps.com. Draft Champs has been providing custom cheat sheets and value-based draft guides to the fantasy football community since 2003. For more info, visit www.draftchamps.com.
For football, I’ll still take the serpentine draft format, although I like the serpentine Third Round Reversal (3RR) we’re using in the NFFC this year. By reversing the order in the third round, it gives owners at the bottom of the draft order an even better shot at competing with the teams at the top of the order. I love the auction format for baseball and football, but the percentage of people who have experience doing auctions in football is still very, very small.
Ambrosius has been the editor of Fantasy Sports Magazine since 1989 and is the founder of the National Fantasy Football Championship, the industry's first multi-city, high-stakes event with a $100,000 grand prize. Greg also founded the Fantasy Sports Trade Conference and was the FSTA president from 2002-2006. For more information on the NFFC, go to www.fantasyfootballchampionship.com.
There's nothing like the excitement of the live serpentine draft. You can usually catch the unprepared in a few mistakes, which is great to capitalize on. Of course, an online draft on a board spread over several days or a few weeks (extended format) is also nice, as you have plenty of time to analyze every single pick and forecast the future round before your next pick. I enjoy both of these types of drafts equally.
Nazarek is the CEO of Fantasy Football Mastermind Inc. His company offers an online rookie draft kit, preseason draft guide, customizable cheat sheets, a fantasy auction drafting program, weekly in-season fantasy newsletters, injury reports and free NFL news (updated daily) at its website. He is also a nationally published writer in several fantasy magazines and a columnist for SI.com. For more info go to www.ffmastermind.com. Nazarek can be reached at 702-568-7118 or email@example.com.
I’m an auction guy. It gives everyone a fair shot at every player, and it adds another dimension to the evaluation process. Everyone agrees, for example, that Peyton Manning, LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates are the top players at their positions, but how much are those guys worth? How much better are they than the No. 2 guys? I saw on a poll at our website that currently about 20 percent of leagues use auction. I expect that number to move over 30 percent within a few years. It’s the way to go.
Allan is the senior writer for Fantasy Football Index magazine. He’s also one of the main content contributors for that company’s website, www.fantasyindex.com. His IAN ALLAN’S MAILBAG column is posted on Tuesdays and Fridays.
I really like the auction style drafts. Having the chance to get any player you want makes an auction appealing. I think there is also another level of strategy with budgeting and wheeling and dealing that you just don't get in a regular snake draft. That said, I have had a hard time convincing a couple of the leagues that I am in to even try this format. As we all know the fantasy football draft is one of the highlights of the year for many, and some just can't bear the thought of changing something that has worked so well, for so long.
Kamys is president of Dr. Stats Fantasy Sports. His company, via the web, offers player news, injury reports, cheat sheets, projections, weekly matchups, statistics, and a customized team tracker. Dr. Stats Fantasy Sports also e-mails preseason newsletters and reports throughout the season. For more info visit www.docstats.com or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you love competition and have a desire to win then any rule parameters will work. I'm in auction, snake and keeper leagues, plus one that draws cards for new draft order every back and forth round. The auction is exciting, and the cap management aspect is another facet of the real NFL injected into fantasy gaming. I love it, but, miss the party. The draft party is original fantasy football, the one time everyone gets together. We have a buffet and spirits, and, somehow 14 people show up each year to make this happen. The camaraderie is awesome and the banter priceless. Without the party you're kind of just playing a computer game. The problems with the snake are perceptions of unfavorable draft order, but good research and prescient sleeper gambles coupled with an experienced strategy can overcome this.
Gleesing is the owner and senior writer for fantasyfootballdrafthub.com . He can be reached at email@example.com. For more info, visit his website at www.fantasyfootballdrafthub.com.
Live. No question. You can see exactly what’s going on as it goes on and react to it accordingly. (Just don’t overreact – stick to your cheat sheet.) Auction drafts take a very different strategy and are certainly fun but can be too long and too unpredictable. Extended drafts are more practical sometimes but it’s easy to lose track of what’s been happening in the draft as long delays between picks are common.
Endsley is co-owner and a senior fantasy football consultant for FantasyDraftEdge.com. For more info, go to www.fantasydraftedge.com.
Hands down, I prefer auctions to any other type of draft. There is much more strategy involved in the auction process than there is that the draft table, particularly because draft software will often list the "best available" players which tends to remind owners of guys they have otherwise forgotten about or passed on. In an auction, you need to have a top-to-bottom strategy, but you're able to land the roster you actually want, not just the one tailor made for the place in the draft order where you were randomly assigned. Further, nobody can "luck" their way into LT or the consensus top pick in any given year when they have to use a high percentage of their team budget to acquire him.
VanRiper is an editor for RotoWire.com and is entering his third season with the company. His weekly column "Moving the Chains" is syndicated at FoxSports.com, while his other duties at RotoWire include tracking Average Draft Position and managing the team defense and offensive line rankings. He's also worked as a Contributing Reporter on Yahoo! Sports' Fantasy Football Live Webcast on Sunday mornings.
I think all three drafts are effective ways of getting your fantasy league going each year, but my preferred draft format is a live draft. The main reason I enjoy the live draft is all the owners are involved and who doesn’t love a little banter between everyone? Additionally, having a live draft allows you to get it done in one night and shouldn’t take up too much time for those on a more-complicated schedule. When you participate in a live draft, it’s also interesting to see how the rest of the rosters are shaping up in the league and this can help you plan your strategy for upcoming rounds. Extended drafts are good if you need flexibility in your schedule and can’t get all the owners together for one set time, but often end up taking too much time and auction drafts can be fun, but can be time-consuming.
Lassan is a senior staff writer for Pro Fantasy Sports. For more info, visit the websites www.profantasysports.com and www.fswa.org.
I have to go with a live draft, for the same reason many people will say so – it’s what I know best. I’ve been doing live, online drafts for years, and things like draft order and wondering if guys will be gone by my next pick are old friends to me. I can’t see myself ever wanting to give that up. I’ll concede that people who land the top spot or two have an advantage, but I just view that as more of a challenge. Those top spots are a double-edged sword; you get the best player, but your team is more dependent on that one guy and vulnerable if he gets hurt (Shaun Alexander a year ago). With that said, the auctions I have done have been a blast, and I’ve got two more coming up this preseason. Maybe my view will change. At the very least, I think everyone should experience both. As for extended formats, I generally enjoy them, but one or two inattentive owners can sometimes damage the experience for others. Maybe a 2-4 hour clock would solve that problem.
Richardson has been a columnist and contributor to the Fantasy Football Index magazine and web site for the past six years. His responsibilities include team defense and IDP projections, as well as various site features. He has run the magazine's annual draft and auction leagues since their inception. Other writing credits have included FFToday.com and football coverage for newspapers in Colorado and Florida. For more information go to www.fantasyindex.com.
Posted by Billy LeRoy | Jul. 23 at 03:26 AM
My 12 team, 16 roster spots league may be trying an auction this year. Mr Gleesing says that he loves auctions, but misses the party. I don't understand why an auction can't be a party just like a draft. Can anyone tell me about how long an auction is likely to take our first year? Thanks.
Posted by ANDY RICHARDSON | Jul. 23 at 05:59 AM
My guess is that Pat has only done auctions online, which is also how I've done them. However, there's no reason you can't do an auction live as well -- I know people who have done it that way, too. Just make sure somebody keeps track of everyone's salary caps. I can't help you as far as length of a live auction (hopefully someone else will weigh in), but my most recent online one took almost 4 hours. It makes sense it would take a little longer than a draft, if you think about it. In a draft, someone takes LaDainian Tomlinson, and it's on to the next player. In an auction he gets nominated, and there will be multiple bids involving many owners before someone ends up with him. Figure it will probably move slower when the big names are up for auction, faster when the smaller names are left (or when people start to run out of money).
Posted by CURT GOLDGRABE | Jul. 23 at 11:47 AM
I've been in an auction draft for 5 years--give it 4 hours for a 12 team league. For the bigger names, we have a non-bidder count down the time in between bids (3,2,1,sold) to speed the bidding process. Auction draft day is the best day of the whole year! I'm in a serpentine draft also, and that draft is not nearly as challenging. The evaluation of talent, value and depth pays off in the middle and late rounds--I got Frank Gore for 75 cents last year in a $75 salary cap league, and Antonio Gates in 2004 for a quarter, which was his first big season.
Posted by MICHAEL WETZEL | Mar. 09 at 06:46 AM
Come on...you don't have some copies laying around for loyal customers???? Please???
Add a Comment
Already a registered user? Please sign in to add comments.
To add comments, you must become a registered user of our site. To register, please click here.