Rules: Live Draft

Unless you've got $200 million to spare, ESPN's Live Draft is the best way to experience the thrill of a gut-wrenching, real-time, player-by-player live draft process, in which owners pit their knowledge and skill against others, building a unique squad to coach through the rigors of the fantasy football season. And like any prospective NFL team owner, it's smart to be prepared before you set out. To help make the live draft go as smoothly as possible, the following information has been prepared on the ins-and-outs of the live draft Note: Depending on the number of teams/roster slots in your league (and the time allowed per pick) the live draft can take up to 3 hours.

Pre-draft: Your live draft date, time and details are listed on both your League Settings page, as well as on your League Office page (as seen in the example below).

Type: Live Draft
Date: Fri., Sept. 3, 2005
Start Time: 4:00pm ET
Time per pick: 90 seconds

Editing Draft Lists: We highly recommend that all live draft users customize their draft list before the actual draft. This protects an owner from getting an unwanted player with a high default ranking. The list can be ordered using our Pre-Rank or Lite Version Tool available on your pre-season team page ("Pre-rank Players" link). Your list will be used as your default rankings if you are disconnected for any reason during the draft. The links to editing your draft lists are available in two places 1- on your pre-season League Office page in the "DRAFT INFO" box and 2- on your main team page.

Note: You can edit your draft list as often as you like until one hour before your scheduled live draft time.

Entering your live draft: The live draft can be entered up to one hour before the scheduled start time. Links to enter the draft are available on Fantasy Football front page as well as your League Office and Team page. Please keep in mind that all leagues must be full in order for a draft to begin.

Live Drafting: The draft order is determined before the live draft begins (league managers in custom leagues can manually adjust the draft order) and the order in which each team drafts will match it. The first pick of the draft will be 'on the clock' within 3 minutes of the scheduled draft time, so all teams should make sure that they are ready to go. Owners participate in each round of the draft by taking turns selecting players in a "snake" draft format (i.e., 1-10, 10-1, etc). Each team drafts one player per round until their all their roster slots are full (including bench).

Pick player in Java: Note: Be sure to test the PC you will be drafting on to make sure you can run the draft. Look for a "Test Your Draft" link located on League Office. We also recommend lowering or disabling your anti-virus and/or firewall security settings. Once you complete your draft, you will be able to return the settings back to normal.
Notice your draft list in the center of the application. To draft a player, click on his name. Doing this will highlight the player's row and add him to the Draft Player area on the bottom (including his mug shot, if he has one). Simply click on the "Draft Player" button to draft the player onto your team. If you're not on the clock you will not be allowed to draft the player until it's your turn but you can sort players in your draft list or add them to your watch list. You can filter to view available players by position or by team and can search by the player's last name. You can also use the column header links to sort the players by a particular stat category. Should your draft display seem off you should try reloading the application.

In customizable leagues, the league manager will be able to draft players for other teams using this tool. In order to draft for another team, the league manager must click on Pause Draft. Once the draft is paused, the league manager can select the Draft option under the appropriate team name. The league manager will then be able to draft a player. The league manager can then continue drafting for other teams if need be. The league manager can resume the draft by clicking on the "resume draft" link. The league manager can pause and resume a draft as many times as needed. The league manager can also undo a draft pick. This will reset the clock.

Pick player using Lite Version: Participants can also select players using the Lite Version, which is linked off both the League Office and Clubhouse Page when the league is in draft mode. To select via the Lite Version draft, you will want to click on the player you want to draft and then select draft. In customizable leagues, the league manager will be able to draft players for other teams using this tool. Remember, you must refresh the Lite Version Draft Warroom to get the most recent draft status. Note: The League Manager can undo a draft pick as many times as needed.

Auto-pilot Status: If you fail to make your selection within the allotted time period, and have no pending claims, your draft list is used for executing the draft pick. At this time your team's auto-pilot status will be changed to "On". When your auto-pilot status is set to "On", the live draft system makes your team's picks using your draft list as its guide. Specifically, the live draft system picks the top ranked player on your draft list who is still available at the time of your pick, while making sure that you meet the roster position requirements. All picks for that team are made immediately until the team owner sets their auto-pilot status to "Off", at which point they will again have the allotted time to make their selections. Note: If your team has its auto-pilot status set to "On", and you have draft claims pending, the system will select your pending draft claims before the draft list.

Pending draft claims: You may submit draft claims for upcoming rounds of the live draft. You must highlight a player's name and click the "Add to Pending" button. This will move the player in the to pending picks area. There's no limit to the number of players that can be added to pending picks. When it's your turn to select a player, and you have a player in the pending picks area, the first player listed will be drafted onto your team once your selection time has expired.

Conclusion of the draft: After all rounds have been completed the system will need a few minutes to process it and convert your league into regular season mode where you can start managing your team for the season!

Customizable Leagues

In customizable leagues, the league manager has the ability to customize many parts of the league's draft.

Edit draft settings: LM Tools >> Edit League Settings >> Edit Draft Settings. You can access the "Draft Settings" page at anytime until your league's draft is scheduled to begin. On the page you can change any of your draft settings and any edits submitted to the system will automatically trigger an email to each owner in the league notifying them of the changes. Changes to Live Draft settings can be changed up to one hour before the scheduled live draft time. Additional draft times will be added as required. Changes for Autopick drafts can be made until 2:59am ET the day the autopick draft is scheduled to process. If your league is set as an Offline Draft you can make changes until the time you begin entering the offline results.

Set draft order: LM Tools >> Set Draft Order. If your league uses the LIVE or AUTOPICK draft method you can access the "Set Draft Order" page at anytime until your league's draft is scheduled to begin. On the page you can manually assign a draft position for each team in the league. If no draft order is set the draft order is randomly determined when your league's draft begins. Note: For OFFLINE drafts the system does not observe a draft order.

Reset draft: LM Tools >> Reset Draft. You can access the "Reset Draft" page after your league's draft is complete. If you wish to reset the draft the system will completely revert the league's status from post-draft to pre-draft. This will undo all draft picks and allow team owners to set their draft list again if they wish.