If you have played fantasy football, or any fantasy sport for that matter, you are most likely familiar with the “snake” draft format. The player with the first pick will have the last pick in round two, then the first pick in round three and the theme continues. Another form of draft is the “auction” format. This is where each team starts with a budget and will buy players in an auction. This allows you to pick any player you want if you are willing to pay the price.
So which type of fantasy draft is better? Which is more fun? Which is harder?
I am very partial to the auction style draft. There is something about it that makes me feel like I’m in control. The ability to zero in on a core group of players and get them is easy. If I want a stud running back and I’m prepared to pony up the money, Arian Foster is mine. As a manager, you can go into a draft like this and pick any strategy you want. The key then becomes, can you execute your strategy?
During a live auction there is so much gamesmanship. Managers will bid on player they don’t want just to drive up the price. This works until you are left with a player you didn’t want and then no longer have the budget left to get a quarterback. In an auction format, you have to focus, be sharp, be able to read your opponents, understand their strategy, and know what players have been drafted and which players are not. Throughout this entire fantasy football draft you are engaged, evaluating each players value and the dynamics of every managers team. To me, this is fun.
My biggest complaint about a snake draft is that you don’t always have the options you want. Depending on your draft position you may be limited to the kind of team you can draft. Sure, you will have choices between Victor Cruz or Brandon Marshall, but you won’t have an option to take Calvin Johnson. Taking Aaron Rodgers with the first pick is probably not good value, but you know he won’t be available at the end of the second round. Snake drafts are all about your draft position and understanding which players are available in those rounds. Preparations using mock drafts really helps you get a feel for the kind of team you need to build. To me, this takes out a lot of strategy.
If you haven’t tried a fantasy football auction style draft, I think you should look into it. Nobody has an advantage, and you are inform a dramatic live draft for sure!