Cassy Aite

How To Host an Unforgettable Fantasy Football Draft Party

Jul 3
10 minutes

You’ve assembled your league of friends and smack-talkers, done your research, and put together a draft strategy. Now comes your fantasy football draft day - aka the best day of the year. It’s the time when your execution is tested, the players fill up the draft board, and you construct a champion or a dud.

But it’s also the time to have a bit of fun. A fantasy football draft can last up to two hours, and sometimes, a few man sodas and some chips aren’t enough to entertain your league members. Plus, how often do you get 10 or more buddies together in person in the same room?

If you want to make a statement that inaugurates a fresh season and turns into one of the best social events of the year, you need a fantasy football draft party. You know your league mates better than anyone, but maybe you don’t have the party-planning prowess of a David Tutera or a Mindy Weiss (ask your spouse if you don’t know them).

Using a few creative ideas, you can kick off one helluva party. Let’s get started.

Tips and Hacks To Host the Ultimate Fantasy Football Draft Party

Fantasy football draft day cheat sheet

The best fantasy football draft parties mix elements of the gridiron, draft day nonsense, and birthday party-esque fun. They also have a component of seriousness, but you can’t afford to border on the mundane. While the draft is the most important aspect, you still want to entertain.

Balancing entertainment with draft-day excitement is probably your most difficult task. So if you want your party to stand on equal footing, you need a game plan. Follow these tips to get you started.

Whether you’ve been appointed by the commish or you volunteered for the job, hosting a memorable fantasy football draft party requires some planning, but it isn’t out of reach. You just need to work out the details and plan well in advance.

During the planning phase, you get to use your creativity and organizational skills. If you find they’re lacking, follow this checklist to guide you. Stick to it, and your fantasy football league will honor you. Stray from it, and you may end up missing some key components.

Select a Date Early

Getting 10 to 12 people together in the same room isn’t easy. People have commitments, vacations, and work, making the scheduling aspect a bit of a headache if you wait until the last minute.

Ideally, you want to plan your fantasy football draft in the space between the final NFL preseason games and the start of the football season. This gives you a 10-day window to throw your fantasy football draft.

Make sure to look at the schedule and offer alternative dates for the draft at least 1.5 months before the season starts. This should give all the participants of your PPR, flex, or superflex league plenty of time to retool their schedules and find something that works for everyone.

Choose a Venue

Participants drinking beers at a fantasy football draft party

One aspect of your fantasy football draft party that will define the entire experience is — as they say — location, location, location. But choosing between a home field and a neutral site isn’t as easy as it sounds.

You need to consider your league mates’ budgets, travel considerations, and personal/work schedules. Obviously, if you have the budget, traveling to Las Vegas or a football-themed trip to an NFL city would be awesome, but it’s not always in the cards.

The most important part of the venue is that everyone can attend without issue and your wifi speed is good. So you’re basically down to two options: someone’s home, a restaurant/bar, or a public building you can rent.

If you’re not really into the planning aspect, local bars and national chains offer fantasy football draft party packages. These usually include a war room, food, and drink that fit your budget. Or you can select a community center to host your own.

Don’t be afraid to use your home as ground zero for the draft. Many times, it’s more budget-friendly, you can arrange everything as you please, and the bathrooms are more attuned to the bashful — you don’t want any actual party poopers ruining the draft.

For wifi speeds you can run a speed test before hand. We recommend having at least 10 Mbps download speed for each person at the draft (ex. 10 people = 100 Mbps).

The Details Matter

Like any other party, the little details are what make your fantasy football draft party an unforgettable experience. Some of the things you may want to consider to give that added touch include:

  • A physical or digital fantasy football draft board. Digital draft boards provide a real-life quality to the event, but are more expensive if you need to rent equipment like a projector or monitor. Physical draft boards are cheaper (and sometimes free), and you can purchase a draft kit that includes the board and color-coded player stickers. Some of these are fully customizable with your chosen graphics. And there’s nothing like slapping a sticker on the board when you’ve chosen someone else’s franchise player with your first draft pick.
  • Branded cups or shirts. If you want to make sure everyone remembers your fantasy football draft party, these are must-haves. Plenty of online companies can create just what you want, and typically, they aren’t as expensive as you think.
  • Draft order festivities. Every fantasy league has a different way to determine draft order. But instead of drawing straws or using last year’s standings, you can make it more interactive. Playing beer pong or holding a short football-themed trivia competition prior to the live draft adds another layer of excitement.
  • Other activities. Before or after the event, plan some other activities. Having the new Madden with four or more controllers is always a winner, but get creative. You can go outside and catch high flying punts, play flag football, have a TV with prior Super Bowl or Draft Day highlights. Or maybe even trivia between each round with small prizes. The choice is yours.

Have Everything Organized

The devil is in the details, as the phrase goes. Organization plays a vital role in your fantasy football draft party, but it ensures that everything goes smoothly. Ask yourself these questions to avoid any hiccups:

  • Does the chosen venue have high-speed free Wi-Fi?
  • How many people are coming? Are you allowing spouses, partners, and spectators? Or is it a closed-door event?
  • Can everyone see the draft board with ease?
  • Do you have enough seating?
  • Does the seating area have enough room for food, drink, and a laptop?
  • What’s everyone’s budget?

Answering these questions should help you avoid any hassles or problems on draft day.

Food and Drinks

Food spread for a fantasy football draft party

For organizers, food and drinks are the most crucial part of a fantasy football draft party. It sets the tone for the entire event, and heck, it’s just part of being a great host. Fortunately, you have plenty of options for both.

Beer is the preferred drink of many fantasy football players, but tastes vary. Grab an assortment of cheap domestics, imported favorites, and local craft-brews. You can also grab a bottle or two of liquor with some mixers if that’s your jam. Make sure you have soda, water, and other non-alcoholic options for those who don’t drink.

The food for a fantasy football draft is entirely up to your tastes and level of motivation or laziness. If you’re among the latter, get a local business to cater your event. If you’re motivated, you have more creative options.

A tailgate-themed BBQ is always a favorite. Or you can just put together a few stadium favorites. Nachos, burgers, and hot dogs are always a people-pleaser. But again, tastes vary. If you have a picky eater, make sure there’s something for them to chow down on.


Presentation is everything for a fantasy football draft party. Realistically, you need to appoint an emcee or do it yourself to keep the draft moving. But how you do it can make a real impression on your fellow league members.

Aside from the draft board, here are some other novel considerations:

  • Getting a smoke machine or confetti guns for the top picks (or a slide whistle to tease bad picks)
  • Introducing each person and letting them walk to their seat at the table
  • Wearing an outlandish outfit or just going in a suit like a true commish
  • Announcing each pick just like the real-life draft
  • Having rewards or dummy prizes for those who take questionable players or are the first to select a kicker

After Party

After the draft, you can send everyone home, or you can keep the party going. It can be a time to let the smack-talking begin. Alternatively, you can just analyze the draft choices, discuss bye-week strategies with your league mates, or look forward to your favorite upcoming matchups.

Want a Memorable Fantasy Football Draft Party? Leave Your Friends in the Dust

The perfect NFL fantasy football draft party builds with anticipation, reaches an apex as you build your team, and finishes with a satisfying denouement of a slight buzz and excitement about the upcoming season. But if you don't want to continuously chase that high, the best plan is to destroy your opponents on the digital field.

Wise Guys Edge lets you do just that. Using the latest Vegas odds used by real sportsbooks, you have up-to-date information that lets you snap up waiver wire sleepers, choose who to start on game day, and compare up to five players at a time. If last year ended in heartbreak, the best remedy is to demolish your friends and foes in the league.

Just make sure the party sets the tone for the season. It’s not just a fantasy football draft party; it’s a testament to your greatness both on and off the field. Make sure you’re the one to hoist the fantasy football trophy — both for having the best party and winning the league.