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How do I get started at DRAFT.com?

An introduction and helpful tips to get started on DRAFT.

If you’re unfamiliar with what DRAFT has to offer and how your Footballguys subscription can help you beat their games, this article is for you.

What is DRAFT?

Maybe you’ve heard of DRAFT before or seen ads where they claim to be “more fun” than other daily fantasy sports (DFS) sites and assume they’re just another competitor for DraftKings and Fanduel. While DRAFT does offer in-season daily games, assembling rosters there is altogether different than what you’re used to if you’ve played on mainstream DFS sites before. And unlike most DFS sites, you can play in season-long “Best Ball” contests on DRAFT. More on these in a bit.

Regardless of which format you choose, DRAFT -- as the name implies -- is all about the excitement of drafting. With very few exceptions, the contests offered on DRAFT feature the snake draft format any veteran of season-long fantasy leagues is used to. DRAFT understands the most enjoyable part of fantasy football for many people is the act of drafting a team, and they allow you to capture that experience as often as you’d like via their desktop or mobile platforms.

Their mobile app, in particular, sets DRAFT apart from other sites in the DFS space. It’s slick-looking, easy-to-use, operates flawlessly, and sends you alerts when you’re on the clock to make a pick. You can join a league and draft a team in minutes, no matter where you are, from either Apple or Android mobile devices.

Best Ball Contests

If you’re ready to play before the season begins, you can start playing Best Ball leagues on DRAFT today. The popularity of the Best Ball format has grown widely in recent years, but if you’re unfamiliar, here is the basic premise from our Justin Howe’s Best Ball Primer:

“As you can probably guess, best ball fantasy takes its name and format from the golf style of the same name. A golfer will play two balls simultaneously in one round, but only take the score from the better ball from each hole. As a result, he’s counting only his best ball of the round.

That’s exactly how a best-ball league operates: you’ll be given your best scores at each position every week. Let’s say the quarterbacks you drafted were Russell Wilson, Marcus Mariota, and Tyrod Taylor. Each week, the highest scorer among them is the quarterback used to fill your starting quarterback slot. Whether Wilson is off, Mariota is injured, or Taylor is benched, they’re your guys for the year, and your starting quarterback each week will be the one who scores the most points.

That’s right: they’re yours for the year. A best-ball league features no in-season management – free agency, waivers, and trades are disabled, so your drafted roster is your year-long roster and that’s that."

You can play Best Ball leagues on DRAFT starting at a $1 buy-in. First-place in a $1 buy-in Best Ball league pays $10.80. If those stakes don’t excite you, you can also enter leagues for $3, $5, $10, or more on a single contest. Payouts vary based on league-size and buy-in but are always clearly shown prior to entering each contest.

On DRAFT, you can choose from Best Ball contests with as few as three and as many as 12 entrants, and two different pick clock options:

  • Slow drafts - These can take hours between picks. Enter them when you don’t have time to complete an entire draft in one sitting. You’ll be alerted each time it’s your turn to pick and can opt to pre-rank players and/or add them to a draft queue. Typically, these drafts will last for several days, but require zero attention when you’re not on the clock.
  • Fast drafts - These are drafts at hyper-speed with 30-second pick clocks. They begin as soon as the league fills, so you shouldn't enter one (or leave your screen) if you don't have time to complete the entire draft in one sitting. Fast Drafts are much easier to manage when you are prepared since your next turn to pick is never too far away. To make this a breeze, DRAFT allows you to upload your customized rankings (such as the rankings we publish here on Footballguys) with the push of a button in their draft lobby. If you plan on playing (and enjoying) Fast Drafts, uploading your custom rankings is probably the most important step you can take.

The mechanics of the actual draft are the same as any 18-round season-long snake draft, but the format lends itself to different strategies when it comes to roster construction. And if you plan on entering a lot of Best Ball leagues (think 10 or more), you’ll also want to think about how best to spread your exposure to individual players. This is where your Footballguys subscription becomes a trusted companion to playing Best Ball on DRAFT.

Just hover over the Articles tab at the top of the home page and click on the Best Ball category (see illustration below). In the last week alone, four articles were published specific to the Best Ball format, including late-round targets, a comprehensive deep dive on quarterbacks, and a strategy guide for the biggest Best Ball contest DRAFT has ever offered -- the $1 Million Best Ball Championship. Footballguys coverage of Best Ball leagues on DRAFT will continue throughout the preseason.

DFS Contests

If you like playing daily contests for cash but don’t care for the traditional salary cap formats featured on other DFS sites, you’ll want to wait until Week 1 contests open. DRAFT offers a variety of daily games, at a wide range of buy-in levels, that pay out as soon as the last game on the slate concludes:

  • H2H (Head-to-Head) Drafts - Draft a five-player roster against a single opponent in snake-draft format. Whichever team scores most wins the entire payout. Public H2H drafts have a 30-second pick clock. Private H2H drafts can choose an untimed option. DRAFT also prevents expert-level players from scooping all of your H2H games. If joining an H2H draft from the lobby, you cannot be matched with the same player twice for the same dollar amount within the same slate of games.
  • Multiplayer Drafts - Snake drafts with more than two participants. Contests with 3-5 participants are winner take all, but drafts with more than six participants have payouts that vary. The pick clock for each person is 30 seconds.
  • Dream Team - In Dream Team, you select any five players that you think will score the most points that day. There are no salary caps or restrictions on player selections. Players are not removed from the player pool if another user selects them, so there could be some roster overlap between you and your opponents. The Dream Team to score the most points wins. Payouts depend on the entry fee and contest size.
  • Tournaments - Tournaments allow you to play multiple rounds of drafts for bigger prizes. Each round of snake drafts is between two and 12 people in size. Winners advance to the next round. Brackets and seeds are created randomly when the tournament fills (or 10 minutes before the draft). Tournament drafts run at scheduled times and you cannot leave a tournament once joined, so be sure to check schedules on the join screen to confirm you will be available at the draft times before entering a tournament. Only tournaments that explicitly say they are Guaranteed will run even if they do not fill. These contests are the best to enter because if a 100 person guaranteed contest has only 75 entries at the start of games, the contest will still run and the payouts will still be based upon entry fees of 100 players.
  • Expert Drafts - Expert drafts are designated in the lobby by a tag that reads “Expert.” They are snake drafts designed to be more skillful by removing the top projected players at each position. The number of removed players is outlined on the screen where you join the draft.

Three More Helpful Tips

  • Beginner Games - If you are playing one of DRAFT’s DFS contests, check the lobby for $1 beginner games. These games are only available to players who have entered less than 20 drafts in one sport, or 50 drafts overall.
  • Know Your Rules and Scoring - Each contest listed in the lobby clearly displays the draft type (fast/slow), the number of entrants, entry fee, prizes, and the start time without a single click. But before entering a game, you’ll also want to know roster sizes, starting positions, and the scoring rules. To find this information, click on the draft type, then the Rules & Scoring link (see illustration below).

  • Get Help - If you’re ever at a loss for details on gameplay or rules & scoring, scroll to the bottom of any page on the Desktop site and click Rules. An easy-to-navigate Help menu makes it easy to find the answers to your questions.