Why a Live Fantasy Football Draft is Better than Online

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Fantasy football has been around since 1962, When Bill Winkenbach, who was then the part owner of the Oakland Raiders, got together with some friends in a New York City hotel to create the GOPPPL, otherwise known as the Greater Oakland Professional Pigskin Prognosticators League.

Since then, it has become one of America’s favorite games, keeping fans interested in games that most casual fans have long forgotten about. Although there are fantasy sports leagues for just about any professional sport you could imagine (fantasy rugby, anybody?), fantasy football has become the most popular here in the United States, with a majority of the games played on one day each week and the same schedule from week to week.

Of course a live fantasy football draft was the only way to do it for the first few decades of the sport, since the World Wide Web as we know it was not even invented until 1990, and online drafts did not really gain popularity until the turn of the millennium.

Slowly, though, online drafts have become the norm, whereas getting together with your friends to do your draft in person has gotten lost in the world of landlines and VCR’s. Here is why I think a live fantasy football draft is better than an online draft.

Get to hang out with your friends

Let’s face it – we already spend too much time on social media and such, and not enough time being social in person. Why not have an excuse to get together, to see people that you might not see very often throughout the year, with our busy lives getting in the way.

Yes, the live draft will probably take longer, but we rush through everything else in life, why not slow down and enjoy yourselves for once?

Makes it more difficult to “luck” into a good team

If you are drafting on a computer or your phone, you do not have to know as much, since the system will tell you who is the next best player available when it is your turn to draft.

In a live draft, however, you can print out your list or bring your fantasy football magazine, but in the end you have to have at least an idea of who should be taken when. No computer to tell you who is next to draft.

This also makes “auto” drafting more precarious. When auto drafting online, the computer picks the next best available player that fits into your team, or you can preset your player preferences before the draft so that you can have some choices on who makes it onto your team.

In a live draft, you are basically letting the other players in the league choose who you will be drafting. And although in most leagues I have been in you won’t be given a kicker with your first round pick, you may not get the absolute best player available.

That being said, most people that play fantasy football don’t like when a team that was auto drafted wins the whole league, even if sometimes things do come up.

You have a little more time to make your pick

A live draft has a little more flexibility when making your picks. Whereas the computer will automatically pick for you in an online draft if you do not make a decision in the minute or so that it gives you to pick, you will have a little more wiggle room when drafting in person.

Although you do not necessarily want a 5-hour draft (trust me, it starts to drag after awhile!), it is nice to have a little more time, especially when that player that you were sure was going to make it around to you gets drafted by the person right before you!

Different leagues have different rules of course, in my league we give a full two minutes to draft after the year with the 5-hour draft, but typically that gives you plenty of time to come up with a back up.

Live trash talk

So this is a continuation of hanging out with your friends, but you will see how quickly your friends ridicule you when you make your first “questionable” pick. Dede Westbrook in the 7th round? You can guarantee that you will be mercilessly ridiculed for that for at least a couple rounds (Or a couple weeks like our league does!).

Yes, you can still talk trash on the chat part of the online draft, but it doesn’t come close to having the same effect. You have to have a live draft to properly give you friends grief about their poor picks.

Conclusion

Although online fantasy football drafts are not going anywhere, there is something nostalgic about getting together with your 10-12 closest buddies and hashing it out old school. Even though it can be stressful at times, especially when somebody cannot make the draft, it is still a ton of fun!

What do you think? Have you ever had a live draft? Have a favorite draft story? Tell me about it in the comments below!

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6 Comments

  1. I have never tried the live draft before but now I see why it is actually better than playing it online and tight now I am looking for a way to be able to register for this live fantasy with the way you shared it. I must agree with most of the things you wrote but I am thankful for this 

  2. Hi, I saw your website and had to laugh as Fantasy Football is huge where I am from. However, being British our Fantasy Football would be better known as Fantasy Soccer on your side of the pond. Forgetting that, you have an incredible set up that I can but admire. My brother in law is a massive fan of  “American Football” and is already intrigued by your website. Well done. 

    He is also an avid Everton fan and spends an awful amount of time on UK Fantasy Football Leagues. Yes, you guessed it my sister is not a fan lol. I can already see his brain ticking over at the thought of joining your group.

    • That is funny, my brother in law is a big fan of traditional Football, in fact his favorite team is Liverpool.  do not believe he plays any fantasy sports though. Tell your brother to check it and and say hi sometime, that’s the best part of fantasy sports, talking with other sports fans!

  3. Doing things on a computer is indisputably more efficient but you have more fun hanging out with friends and doing it in person. And this applies not only to fantasy football but to a whole range of activities. Technology is good and we need to embrace it with gratitude but we also must be careful it doesn’t isolate us too much!

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