Often overlooked and underrated, how you choose to make your league’s draft order can set the tone for the entire season. Is this year actually going to be serious? Competitive? Fun? There’s a million different ways this can be done to spice up your league’s offseason, it just depends on your particular league and it’s players. Here are five ways to determine your league’s fantasy football draft order this year:

1. Bet on a Sporting Event

Sports on sports on sports. My girlfriend most likely stopped reading after that previous sentence. The wait for football season is grueling. My brain needs an alternative stimulation to get through the dog days of summer. Luckily, there are plenty of exciting sporting events that take place in the months prior to your fantasy football league’s draft date. Some events that can be used:

  • NCAA March Madness Bracket (March)
  • NBA Playoffs (May-June)
  • NHL Playoffs (May-June)
  • The Belmont Stakes (June 4 – June 6)
  • The Home Run Derby (Early June)
  • US Open Golf Championship (June 18 – 21)

Choose whichever sports event best suits your league’s and you’re ready for the draft order competition to begin. For the first three listed, everyone fills out a bracket; best bracket gets first choice at their pick. For the events that hold favorites like horse races and the home run derby, use your leagues final standings from the previous year. From last to first, have the league members choose whichever horse or slugger they would like until everyone has a contestant. You get the idea..

2. Beer Game Competition

If you’re anything like me, in that you’re friends are 50% human and 50% alcoholics. Is there a better way to decide your league’s draft order than through a drinking game tournament/competition? If you’re in college, that’s perfect, tensions will run high. Apparently, everyone is the best beer pong player in the history of their fraternity. If you received your bachelors before Justin Bieber became a full-grown woman, even better. It’s likely your league hasn’t gotten rowdy in some time and a good bonding experience can only help rally the league before the season begins.

Beer pong tournament anyone? Teams of two, once a team gets knocked out, those two individuals play 1-on-1 to determine draft order. Last team standing repeats the 1-on-1 game as well, vying for the top selection of draft spot. Maybe a giant game of flip cup is in order. Whatever sinks your submarine.

3. Video Game Tournament

If you like sports, you probably like video games; mindless activities help you get away from your own reality. Sorry, that was depressing. But, the good news is you can get the best of both worlds with this option.

Set up a tournament, with the game of your choosing. Whether it’s Madden, NBA 2K, Super Smash Bros, Mario Kart, James Bond: Golden Eye, etc. Doesn’t matter. To make it fair, throw 10 game choices into a hat and choose from that. Set up a tournament if the in-game settings allow, or simply create a manual bracket using pen and paper, then play to determine the champion.

Just make sure none of your friends are German, or French, or whatever these guys are

Winner, as always, gets their choice of draft spot.

4. Wonderlic Test

Forget the SAT, the CPA and the GMAT. This is now the most important test of your life. The Wonderlic Test is often associated with the NFL draft process, a measure teams use to gage a player’s intelligence off the field. You can find a sample 50-question test at Have everyone in the league take the test, highest score gets first choice of his or her pick.

*fun fact - Morris Claiborne scored a 4, the lowest by any NFL player in history.

5. Pick From a Hat

Boring, yes. But it gets the job done when you can’t get everyone physically together to act out a draft order event. Just make sure one or two of your buddies can join you or simply take a video of the random picking so the rest of your league mates know you’re not pulling a Brady. 

Something worth noting. If you’re determining your order based on a competition where there is a winner, give them the choice of where they would like to draft, don’t automatically stick them with the 1st overall pick. Most people would prefer choosing in the 3-5 range rather than first.


The last couple years I have been setting the draft order based off of a NASCAR race. We are drafting on Labor Day Monday and normally the Bojangles 500 is that Sunday. You take the top 10 drivers in the standings and randomly assign them to teams however you wanna do that. How they finish during the race determines your draft order.

Posted by Devin Dicus on May 21, 2018

Trevor, you’re a genius! I’m giving this “shooting blanks” game a try. Thanks for posting!

Posted by James on August 28, 2015

What’s up! I’ve spent lots of time this season AND last season, researching the net searching for a fun RANDOM way to choose a draft order. With my group of friends, it HAS yo be booze oriented! After searching and searching…I’ve found nothing but the some old stuff. I decided to invent my own way, it was a HUGE hit, and I thought I’d share it with you guys. I calk it “Shootin’ Blanks”. Here’s how it works:

Take the number of people in your league and multiply it times 4. We have 10, so our # is 40. So I took 40 small, shot sized, paper cups. On the bottoms of 10 out of the 40, I wrote numbers 1-10. Then placed each cup with a # into a cup without a number. This conceals the number so no one can see it. With the other 20 BLANK cups, I simply doubled them up stacking 1 cup inside another cup. Now I have 20 doubled up cups. 10 have hidden #‘s in them, 10 are " BLANKS". NOW THE FUN BEGINS! Everyone gathers around, picks a doubled up cup at random, fills it with a shot of their choice (I’m a whiskey man myself!) On the count of 3… DOWN IT GOES! Once the shots have been taken, everyone removes the inner cup and looks underneath it to reveal their draft order. Some will have #‘s…some will be "Shootin’ Blanks", and will have to do another round! Its a fun RANDOM, DRUNKEN way to pick your order, and sets the pace for a BLAST OF A DRAFT! You’re Welcome!

Posted by Trevor Dawson on August 09, 2015

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