The ultimate goal for a league commissioner is to run the most fun, realistic and competitive fantasy football league possible. We try our best to mimic the NFL with our own personal touch to it. We add a little fun to the league as well, like punishing the loser or doing something completely stupid to set the draft order. Eventually you want your league to be a dynasty league where people are interested, invested and committed year after year. Playing in a dynasty and keeper model is most similar to how the NFL run things. NFL teams have their core players year after year, build for the future in the draft, and then fill out their rosters via free agency.
I propose you add another element to your existing dynasty drafts, whether it be adding a snake or auction. If you are already running a dynasty league with keepers then you can jump right into this draft format. If you are starting from year one, then you may need to start with either snake or auction in the first year. Let’s assume you are in year two of your dynasty league with established keepers.
Here is a proposed draft format for dynasty leagues that is looking for an NFL twist.
1) Separate Draft for the Rookie Class – Standard snake style draft. Worst team gets first pick and so forth. In the NFL, the worst team gets the first pick and has a chance to get a franchise changing player. In your league you want this same format so the bad teams can build for the future. Typically this would only go for 1 round, seeing that not many rookies are picked up in fantasy football anyways.
2) Separate Auction for the Free Agents – Assuming you put a limit to keepers or position limit to keepers, there are a lot of players on the board. If the NFL has free agency, then so should your league. To keep parity in your league, you may want to give those teams outside of the playoffs a bigger budget for the Auction.
This draft style puts different elements in your league, especially during the off season where many trades and transactions can happen. You can trade assets such as players, draft picks, and auction cash. This also parallels the NFL since the rookies are drafted and existing players are handled in free agency. This draft style is definitely not for the average player, but for those leagues that are years in and looking to take it to the next level.
My current league set up is.
Year 1 – Standard snake draft. Draft order determined by a horse race in which we drew random horses out of a hat.
Following Years –
Draft for Rookies – Not only does the worst team go through an unusual and embarrassing punishment, but they get the first pick as well.
*last year the loser had to reenact the Nicki Minaj Anaconda video.
Auction for free agents – We only keep 3 players and they rest go out to the free agency pool for auction. Also for the players we keep, we determine their average/projected value and subtract that from our auction budget. We have also added a luxury tax where an individual can go over their budget, but must pay a fee of $X amount per dollar they are over (we also limit how much over the cap they can go). We have also given the teams who have not made the playoffs a bigger budget, but in reverse order (best team to not make the players has most money and goes down the line)
This may not be new to most fantasy players, since many have been auctioning for years, but adding the rookie draft element makes it that much more interesting. This style also brings parity, but not instant parity. The worst teams build through the draft and those teams on the bubble have a chance to add through free agency.
Please let me know if I have something here or if I’m just a complete idiot. If you have any questions about my league set up or want to just tell me I wasted your time, you can leave a comment or find me on twitter @