What is it about
If using a serpentine draft order is getting old for your in-person draft, but the idea of an auction kills too much of the draft experience for the traditionalists, here's the solution: the random card selection method.
1. Before the draft, lay out cards on a table corresponding with each draft slot with the ace representing the top pick (for leagues with more than 10 teams, use the face cards to represent higher draft slots).
2. Randomly pick out owners to flip the cards for the card selection order and keep track of it.
3. Reshuffle, lay out the cards face down and use the selection order for each owner to pick a card (thus avoiding a free-for-all card grab in place of an orderly selection process). Whatever card they end up with, is their draft position for that round.
4. Reshuffle and repeat for each round, but slide the selection order up one spot each time. For example since the 10th owner in a 10-team league never got to pick a card in the first round, in the second round that person slides up to being the first in line to select a card while everyone else slides down in the batting order, so to speak. The main arguments against this is A) what if an owner has a cold streak of selecting cards and B) how can one plan their draft out, because it's too spontaneous. First off, it's true that a cold streak early on can leave one with daunting draft positions, but the averages usually work out 90 percent of the time. For example, in Sunday's draft, my average picking position was 4.4 out of the first 10 rounds. Lead SI.com fantasy writer and fellow owner
Since Jay wasn't there, this brings up the next caveat, for the league with a satellite franchise, have a different fellow owner in person, pick a face-down card for the out-of-town owner each round, therefore keeping it random. When it comes to tough luck, one owner averaged a brutal 9.2 draft position through four rounds but still ended up with RBs
Secondly, it makes every round unpredictable and up for grabs but still keeps the essence of what makes a draft great without the free for all of an auction. Even Jay, once against the card draft method, has come around, affectionately calling it "drafting without a net."
My 10-team league for which I'm the commissioner, held its 17th annual draft Sunday and kicked off with a familiar theme -- a top-three pick somehow avoiding my grasp (what did I say about that card picking method . ) but with pretty good results. Here are my 18 picks, with the draft round and draft slot preceding my choice.
Overall, my top two backs stack up against almost anyone but the depth is shaky. Bush is a great RB3 who can step in on a bye week, but if either Grant or Jackson get hurt I will be in trouble. Williams has the potential to be a steal, while Colston, Clark and Davis make a fine receiver trio.