How Do You Start A Snake Draft: The Opener

Snake Drafts take me back to a simpler time. With so many auction drafts now, I miss the ease of knowing exactly where I pick without have to try and outbid for the player I want! So in this article, I want to walk through the basics of a snake draft, as well as some strategies you could use during your snake draft. You typically see a snake draft used during the initial startup for a new league, where each team is given a pick (1-12/14/16 depending on how many teams are in the league), and then the next round goes the opposite order (see graphic below).

How Do You Start A Snake Draft
Sample of how a snake draft looks for a 12 team league.

How Do You Start A Snake Draft: Deciding the Draft Order

Deciding the draft order is a delicate situation, as you are wanting to make sure you are being respectful of all owners in the process. If you want a cool way to randomly generate the order, a site like Random will allow you to put in the owners names and randomly generate the draft order.

What we’ve done in the past is record it or live stream the draft order, so all owners can see the process and ensure it’s all legitimate. If you and your league mates want to try some other fun ways, I’ve seen Madden tournaments to decide draft order where the winner gets their choice of draft pick. Really any type of game to decide who picks at what spot is always the most fun.

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How Do You Start A Snake Draft: Setup The Draft Order

Once you’ve determined the draft order, now the simple part is to input the order in whatever site you decide to use (, Yahoo, ESPN, MFL, etc.). If this is a new league, take this friendly FYI to make sure all your league settings, roster setups, and anything else league-related are setup, just in case your league mates need a reminder during the draft.

How Do You Start A Snake Draft: Draft Strategies

Your strategy will change depending on the type of league you’re in (Standard, TE Premium, Superflex, IDP). If you have been looking around on the internet, you’ll see strategies like RB/RB, WR/WR, etc., but basically you want to take the best player available.

Now, that changes if you are in a dynasty league snake draft, as younger players could shoot up your draft board due to their long term value (i.e. Jerry Jeudy, Cee Dee Lamb, etc.). In a redraft league, you just want to build the strongest roster you can for this season, as you just want to win the championship this year, as there is no next year! In a dynasty league, it’s nice to win now, but you also want to set yourself up for long term success.

How Do You Start A Snake Draft
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – OCTOBER 01: Jerry Jeudy #10 of the Denver Broncos runs against Brian Poole #34 of the New York Jets during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium on October 01, 2020 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

How Do You Start A Snake Draft: The Conclusion

Once you have done these steps, it’s doing your prep, figuring out your draft board (or just checking here at for our rankings), and getting ready for your snake draft to begin! If you ever have questions, the team at RotoHeat is here to help! You can hit me up on Twitter or jump into our Facebook and Discord communities where you can get your questions answered by the whole team! Thanks again for checking out How Do You Start a Fantasy Football League!

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