Draft Order Selection
GREEN BAY, WI – SEPTEMBER 16: Josh Jackson #37 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates with fans after scoring a touchdown on a blocked punt during the first quarter of a game against the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field on September 16, 2018 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) Draft Order Selection

It’s that time of year again, as the Redraft season of fantasy football is fast approaching. While the month of August is the real #redraftszn, June and July allow for fantasy owners to craft their draft strategy to prepare for the upcoming season based on their draft order selection.

For many, the highlight of their fantasy year is the fantasy draft day, itself. Fantasy football players have identified boom/bust candidates, prepared their tiered rankings, and began trash talking their opponents. The only thing left to do for many is to determine the draft order selection. Let’s take a dive into some of the more popular ways to determine the draft order selection in fantasy football Redraft leagues.

Draft Order Selection

4. Inverse Order

The “inverse order” draft order selection has grown to become my least favorite. In this strategy, the league commissioner looks at the standings from the previous season and uses the inverse order to determine who gets the 1.01 and so on. 

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While this seems logical, the entire idea of a Redraft league is based on starting anew each year. Just because one’s team was derailed the previous season does not mean they deserve the 1.01 the following year. After all, none of their “bad” players carried over. 

Whether it be poor management, injuries, or a victim of scheduling, getting last place should not determine that someone is worthy of the 1.01. This also is a big “screw you” to the champion of the previous season, as they are guaranteed to not land any of the top studs (although that also might be a blessing based on your relationship with your previous champ!)

3. Randomizer (of any kind)

Most, if not all, of the fantasy platforms have the ability to randomize the draft order when determining the draft order selection. While this is certainly more fair than the “inverse order” selection, it takes all the fun out of the selection process. Essentially you have no control over what is going to happen, and there is really no “excitement” involved, thus team owners are really not invested in the process. 

Personally, when I am in leagues such as this (most often work leagues) I will log-in 30 minutes before the draft, see my draft spot, and then have to do panic research on the ADP of the players I am interested in. While, yes, I do plan for all spots ahead of time, there is only so much time one can dedicate to 12 potentially different teams and strategies based on the spots available. This is just slightly better than inverse order, in my opinion, because at least this doesn’t reward the worst team in the previous season automatically.  

Personally, my favorite randomizers are websites that do different randomization contests. My favorite one is 100yardrush.com as it is still random, but you can add handicaps if you want, and it at least gives people something football-related to cheer for. Essentially, it is a 100-yard dash that has football avatars and names assigned to them. You can customize a lot of the ways they move and it just adds an element of fun to the mundane randomizer process we are used to. If random is how your league establishes draft order, check it out!

An adjustment one could make to the “inverse order” argument above is that you can combine that with a randomizer and use “NBA Draft Lottery” style rules. Your league can give a higher percentage chance to the worst team from the previous season and the worst chance to the winner and so on.

This could be as simple as names in a hat or as involved as a bingo machine where each member of the league has a range of ball numbers. We did this in a league I am in and it actually turned out quite entertaining as the worst place team had over a 20% chance to claim the 1.01 and ended up with the 1.08. Needless to say, emotional chaos ensued. Priceless.

While it is still random, it does provide a bit of a leg up for the loser of the previous year. This is still not ideal, but it’s better than nothing!

2. Final Standings to Determine Pick Selection

This is the one that is probably my favorite way to determine draft order selection, even though it is not listed as number one. What I like about this, unlike the idea of inverse order, is that it rewards all teams from the previous season except for last place. The way that this works is exactly as it sounds. 

The team that finishes in first place for the previous season gets to select any draft spot that they want for the following year. In our leagues, we place a 24-hour clock on the draft order selection process per player. If the champion takes the 1.01, then that means the second place team can pick any spot #2 through #12 in a 12-person league. While this may seem like people would go right down the order, it is very rare for the champion of the previous season to pick the number one spot. As veteran fantasy players know, picking on the turn can sometimes be more difficult than following trends and picking in the middle of the draft order. 

By selecting the draft order this way, it also encourages the teams in the loser’s bracket to continue playing for something. Nothing is worse than just barely missing the playoffs and then having nothing to play for minus a potential punishment dished out by your league mates. By knowing that every game counts, each team is motivated to stay and play. When it comes down to the toilet bowl, the ever so important last game of the loser’s bracket, it determines whether you get to select your draft spot or if it will be determined by the person who beat you. The last place team in the league is always stuck with the leftovers.

Another reason why this option is so great, as most of my friends would agree, is that it gives you another opportunity to get your league-mates together and create an “event”. Our main league is always looking for reasons to get together and have a fun afternoon or night of competitive banter. As a parent of two, any excuse to meet up with the crew and have a few cocktails is fine by me! By determining draft order this way, it allows us to get together to select our draft spots during a separate event from the draft itself.

1. In-Person Contests

This is the method of draft order selection that tends to give you the most enjoyment, the most entertainment, and also a chance to have the craziest results. 

Many fantasy writers have spent tons of time talking about all the different types of in-person contests that have determined their draft order. Anything from a foot race, to a rubber ducky race down a river, to even racing children against each other (ala the League) could be used to determine your draft order. 

Much like the previous entry, the in-person contests are the most fun because it creates another event around your fantasy season. The smack talk and in-season banter is always fun, as is getting together to watch games with your friends, but really it is like any other event in life–the anticipation is almost more fun than the event itself. Any chance I can get to stretch out the enjoyment of the fantasy draft season, I am all for it.


While there are certainly many more ways to determine the draft order selection, these are some of the most popular. When determining how you will decide your draft order selection, keep your league and league-mates in mind. If you know a foot race isn’t going to be the most fair due to some *cough* less than athletic league-mates, then opt for a Madden tournament instead. If you like the idea of going purely random but hate pulling names out of a hat, use a generator or choose a random sporting event (if sports ever come back that is) and assign each league-mate a competitor. Whatever you decide, most of all, HAVE FUN WITH IT!

Thanks for reading Draft Order Selection!

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