More than 30 million people participate in fantasy football each year, and with the first NFL regular season kickoff on Thursday, September 4, now’s the time to get planning your in-person draft gatherings. Sure, it’s easy enough to unfurl some folding chairs and pizza boxes in your garage, but why not plan a real get together with snacks and a setting worthy of your drafting savvy? In order to keep you from being the butt of all jokes like Andre on The League, we put together this handy guide to help make your draft worthy of the Lombardi Trophy (or at least The Shiva).
Get Outta Dodge
Fantasy football draft deserves a guys’ weekend. That doesn’t mean you have to book a Draft Room in Vegas—bars around the country now offer draft packages so you can feel like a VIP as you play GM. The big win here is that you don’t have to clean up.
Fantasy drafts are lengthy affairs. You have to pace yourself. Otherwise you’re the guy slurring, “Is Calvin Johnson still available?” in the 10th round as your friends pelt you with pretzels. That’s not a good look. Beer is probably your safest bet. There are tons of craft beer brewers making flavorful, low alcohol session IPAs that will allow you to stay sharp even in the 15th round. Our pick for endurance drinking sessions is Jim Meehan’s “Great Pumpkin”.
Don’t arrive at your draft like Taco, thinking you can pick up Canadian Football League players. You’ll never win the Shiva that way. Well, you might, but you won’t win much respect. By the time draft day arrives, you should know ESPN fantasy insider Matthew Berry’s ranking of the top 25 kickers backwards and forwards. If you want to be a benevolent commissioner/host, you could also print out player rankings for your fellow competitors. (Don’t worry, you’re under no obligation to share your sleeper picks.)
Check The Internet
There is nothing more frustrating than WiFi that cuts in and out as you’re trying to pick your team. And if you have people who are drafting remotely, you’ll want to be able to mercilessly make fun of them via chat when they select Sam Bradford. So make sure you have the proper bandwidth.
Seriously. Everybody loves nachos.