5 Fantasy Football Draft Party Ideas for a Successful Draft


Draft day is the best day of the year. It’s like Christmas for adults. And there’s nothing more fun than a really good draft day party. Good food, good friends, bitter (fantasy football) rivalries, and hours and hours of trash talk while everyone makes their picks.

Whether you’ve never hosted or participated in an in-person fantasy football draft party in need of tips, or if you are a seasoned veteran to the experience and want to liven things up, these recommendations will help make your in-person draft the most successful one ever.

1. Get A Fantasy Football Draft Board

A draft board is a must have. Along with kicking up the realism of draft day experience, it also aids in keeping things running smoothly. Instead of owners constantly asking “Who was just picked”, “Who’s on the clock”, “Who are the top QBs on the board”, or “What is this burning sensation?”…Ok maybe it can’t help with the last one, but having a draft board will answer ALL of those questions and more. Not to mention, if you have a digital based draft board like FanDraft, you can export the display for the whole league to enjoy a vast variety of multimedia effects such as a ticker, clock, team songs, logos, etc…It really makes it feel like a true NFL Draft.

2. Destination Draft

For some leagues, traveling is a requirement and not an option. I’m in a 12 owner league that was started back when I was in high school. Now we’re all old men spread throughout the entire US, so going to an agreed upon location for the draft is expected.
Doing a destination draft turns the draft party into a full on multi-day draft vacation.
Find a fun city like Las Vegas, LA, or Nashville and then get an AirBNB that will comfortably sleep your whole crew. The great thing about having 10-12 of your friends agree on this, is you get fantastic buying power. Head to some cheaper location like Arizona, and you can get a mansion with a pool, basketball court, and a kick-ass space to hold a draft — all for a pretty reasonable per-head cost.

3. Draft Day Drinking Rules/Games

This one you need to be careful with.
I’m in a league where any time an owner takes an extension, drafts a New England Patriot, or tries to take a player already taken, they are then forced to take a shot. Well, not really a shot, they take a Chambong (a chugging device for champaign — because it’s a very classy league).
It’s all pretty innocent, and while people do get a little drunkish, it all happens slowly over the course of the draft.
What you don’t want to do is have someone do a shot of Everclear any time they take a player with the letter “a” is his name. It may sound fun at first, but having everybody drunk and belligerent by the 3rd round of your draft is going to turn the experience quickly into a devolving shit-show that is actually NOT fun. Use drinking rules responsibly. Or at least, make sure people aren’t drunk until the end of the draft.

4. Announce Your Draft Picks

I’m a huge fan of all rituals that help simulate an actual NFL Draft. While it may seem cumbersome, there is something special about having owners write down their picks and walk them up to the commissioner to have them announced. ”For the first pick in the 2019 League of Leagues Draft, the Randy Kittens select…” You get it. If you really mean it, you can kick it up another notch like these fellas (in the side image) who went all out and even got a professionally designed podium.

5. Take a smoke break. AKA: Stop and smell the roses.

I waited 364 days for this day, and I’ll be damned if we need to rush through it. There’s always some jerk that wants to blast through the draft for some unknown reason, constantly blabbering out “Hurry up! Let’s get this thing moving!!” Screw that guy. The draft is a day that needs to be sipped and savored like a fine scotch. Take your time and enjoy it with a break every few rounds. Doing this aides in a few functions. First, it allows everyone some time to breath, grab some food and refill their cups without missing anything. Secondly, it calms people down that are in a rush. It (hopefully) forces them to stop and enjoy their peers and momentarily forget their urgency for the next pick to get to them. Finally, it creates a moment for side chatter reflecting on the draft thus far. This can cultivate some interesting trade discussions, or maybe just some humorous shit talking.