As the football season approaches so does the beloved hobby (or lifestyle for some) of fantasy football. This is the ultimate competition of luck and skill. It makes Sundays and Mondays even more enjoyable than simply watching the games. Fantasy sports provide great bragging rights and even social conversations. What else are we supposed to talk about when hanging out with friends? Managing fantasy teams is merely a part-time job, except that it is way more fun and you aren’t payed by the hour (unless that is an actual thing in which I want in).
The only problem that arises with fantasy football is the order of draft selection. Every league usually has "that guy" as commissioner who "randomly" chooses the draft order for the whole league. Whether it’s by true random selection or it’s some kind of popularity contest among the members. I find that the usual means of determining the draft order are extremely boring and uneventful. I have compiled a list of cooler, more exciting ways to determine the draft order of the upcoming fantasy football season. It may seem like this is too early, but for some of these options your league needs to get involved soon. These are basically a whole other activity within themselves that also add more fun to the summer so we’re really killing two birds with one stone here:
1. Olympic Sports
This is my personal favorite option on the list. It is basically 100% luck. Choose an Olympic sport that is not quite as popular but is also entertaining to watch. I recommend water polo, volleyball, and/or rowing. For a ten member league, every member is randomly assigned a country participating in the event that isn’t terrible (so you may have to do some research). Then the order in which the countries or teams finish is the order you get to pick your draft selection. For example, if I choose Australia to win water polo and they win gold, then I get to choose any number in the draft that I want.
The reason I recommend an event that is unpopular is because it gives you a reason to watch a sport that otherwise you wouldn’t care about. If you choose a sport like soccer or basketball then obviously everyone wants U.S.A to win so it’s not as fun.
2. U.S Open (Golf)
The U.S. Open golf tournament is quickly approaching and provides a great opportunity to determine draft order. Golf isn’t necessarily the most exciting sport for some people, but that can change with a simple addition of competition. This is the same idea as the Olympics option because it is 100% luck. Same method as above: Every member is randomly assigned a top 15 golfer going into the tournament. It would be a safe bet to be Jordan Spieth but you never know who may choke on 12…too soon? As guessed, the order of finish between assigned golfers is the order in which each member selects for draft. The tournament begins Monday, June 13 so if that is too soon there will also be other opportunities before fantasy season to use this option with other tournaments.
I will admit NASCAR is a boring sport in my opinion, but opinion varies for many people. Once again this is 100% luck and provides yet another opportunity to be involved with a sport you usually wouldn’t watch or care about. Each member is randomly assigned a car/driver within the top 20 of the starting pole (or whatever makes sense for your group). As in previous options, the order of finish determines order of draft position selection. There are a total of ten Sprint Cup Series races between now and football season and all will be televised.
4. Home Run Derby
The MLB Home-Run Derby is usually an entertaining event to watch during the All-Star break because let’s face it…what else are you going to watch on Monday night? Yet again you can use this event that is somewhat exciting and turn it into a mosh pit of competitiveness amongst your league. Every member is randomly assigned a hitter going into the competition and the order of finish determines the order of draft position selection. Really nothing new in terms of luck and result but I think this option may provide the most excitement because there is just something about home-runs that gets the blood pumping!
This option would only work for leagues with less than eight members because there are only eight players in the derby.
5. Madden Tournament
This is where skill becomes a factor. This option involves taking something like a Madden videogame and turning into something actually meaningful. This means every member will face off in a round robin format tournament. The order of finish is decided by best overall record, head-to-head, and point differential. As in previous options the order of finish determines the order of draft position selections. In a ten member league every person will play nine games. This will take some time so I recommend playing five minute quarters and possibly plan at least a week or two before the draft date to complete the tournament.
This option is less about skill and more about pure strength. It is for those who want to be efficient and build some gains at the same time. I can already see some people training just for this single event because fantasy football is just that important. This option is pretty self-explanatory but let me explain. The person who does the most push-ups without stopping gets to determine his draft position first and it trickles down from there. If there are ten members in your league then while five people are doing push-ups the other five are counting and making sure they do a full-range push-up. This has got to be the manliest way to determine draft order right?
7. Round of Putt-Putt
This option is the ultimate combination of luck, coordination, talent, and composure. Yes, I’m talking about putt-putt! Also it’s a great way to get out and be social with league members. Everyone in the league will hit a round of putt-putt and the lowest score will select their position in the draft first and it goes down from there. If there is a tie, then there will be a sudden death playoff hole in which best score wins.
There are obviously many, many ways to determine draft order for your league, but these are some that were compiled by myself and my roommate. The important thing here is that while you are waiting for Texas Tech football and fantasy league you can get creative with some of the sports and fun activities that summer has to offer and turn it into meaningful competition.