We are frequently noticing a lot of postings on various online communities discussing "the best ways a league can determine their fantasy draft order". Since this is something very of interest to our readers (the community of FanDraft users who live to make their fantasy experience more exciting), we thought it'd be a good idea to compile and share some of the best "draft order lottery" ideas. What we found during our research is that the draft order lottery ideas/methods all fall into one of 5 broad categories. Each category contains ideas with specifics that can be easily exchanged and modified based of unique interests of a league. For example, some leagues play a video game to determine. Every group of friends has a different favorite video game, which can be easily exchanged. In fact, the "video game" aspect of the idea isn't even important, as that could be exchanged for any competitive challenge.
The important thing to consider for your league is the "Category" that works best with your league's goals and ideals. Choosing a "competitive" method (such as playing a game of skill to select your draft order outcome) may not be the fairest method, especially if there are owners in your league vary in skill level with the challenge. Another example is keeper and dynasty leagues who desire a fun draft order process, but also want to see that the bad teams get a better pick the next year. The randomness can be mitigated by choosing a category that limits this.
In conclusion: The goal should be to maximize fun, but not at the expense of other league goals/ideals. Find a category that will work best with your league, and then let yourself be inspired.
RAFFLE This category contains the general concept of total randomness. Sticking names into a "hat" and pulling them out. The randomness can be managed however by controlling the number entries each team gets (i.e. giving bad teams more chances for the better pick).
Put Names in a Hat/Bingo Cage: Have option to give some teams more "entries" to give better chances to bad teams.
Software that replaces name in hat: There are options out there such as FFNerd, and Draft Order Generator, which computerize the method of paper in a hat and can allow for more customization and excitement to the experience.
Leaf Blower Powered Lottery Machine to pick the order
COMPETITIVE This category contains ideas that entail games of skill to determine the draft order. Most of these games are unrelated to fantasy sports, so it's good to decide the skill level of owners, and whether it's a good fit for your league.
Drinking Games: Flip Cup, Beeriocart, Beer Pong.
Video Games: Hold a video game tournament, where order of winners determines draft order. Some of the top games tend to include Mario Kart, Madden Football, and Call of Duty.
Punt, Pass, and Kick contest: Rules can be found here.
Have every manager take the wonderlic test and whomever got the highest mark gets first pick and then work your way down
Everyone gets 100 tokens and goes to Chuck E Cheese, whoever gets the most tickets gets first pick.
Poker Tournament: Get a couple of tables of Texas Hold’em going, then mash the final six contestants together for the final table. Elimination determines where you pick.
SEMI-RANDOM BASED ON OUTSIDE OUTCOME This category contains ideas that determine a draft order based on outcomes of unrelated events. The randomness is managed by the fact that the outcomes have better or worse odds for each chance. For instance, some horses in a race are better than others.
Outcome of NCAA Tournament: Each team gets a select number of teams in the NCAA Basketball Tournament. The final outcome determines the order of the draft. This would require a lot of "side rules" (i.e. how to handle teams exact placement and of teams knocked out, and distribution of top teams).
NCAA Bracket: Best finish wins first pick.
Outcome of the Kentucky Derby: Each team given one horse, and outcome of race determines draft order. Horses could be distributed by "vegas odds of winning", giving worse teams better horse, or just selected randomly out of a hat.
Results of National Spelling Bee: We heard a great anecdote about this mentioning "There's nothing like streaming the spelling bee live at work, yelling at a fifth-grader for fucking up a word you've never even heard of before."
Reality TV: Choose a contestant on a competitive reality TV program (ie The Bachelor), and order they are ejected is the draft order.
Outcome of NFL draft: Randomly assign each person one of the top 12 projected picks. The order that they get picked is the order that you get to pick your draft position.
Draw from top golfers and draft order determined by how finish in PGA Championship.
Home Run Derby: Each team gets a player randomly assigned to them.
TOTALLY RANDOM BASED ON OUTSIDE OUTCOME This category is very similar to the one before it, however, the outcomes are equal odds and thus totally random.
Rubber Duck Race: Each owner gets a rubber duck, place them in a river, and the order they cross the finish line determines draft order. The randomness can be managed by giving some owners more than one duck.
Snail Race: Each person gets a snail and puts a dot of different colored paint on its shell to recognize it. Put all the snails in the middle of a outlined cirlce. First snail outside the predetermined circle gets 1st pick and so on.