Drafts: Autopick
If your league is using the "Autopick Draft" option, the system automatically drafts players to each team in the league on a scheduled draft date. There is no need for any team owners to be online during the draft. We strongly suggest team owners customize their draft lists to enhance their chances of getting the players they want. Draft lists can be customized until the midnight before the day the draft is scheduled to process. If no draft list is submitted, the system uses the default ESPN draft list as a guide.

When the draft starts, the system loads each team owner's draft list, and this list is used as a basis to draft each roster slot for every team. The system selects the highest-rated available player - without exceeding any roster maximums - that can fill one of the undrafted roster slots, including bench slots.

Your league's draft type, draft date and a link to edit your draft list are displayed on your League Office page.

NOTE: In Custom leagues if the League Manger edits any of the draft's settings, you will receive an e-mail notifying you of the changes.

We highly recommend that all autopick draft users customize their draft list before the scheduled draft date. While our default draft list is updated to reflect changes in the off-season, customizing your list will enhance your chances of getting the player(s) you want. Your list will be used as your rankings during the draft. The links to editing your draft lists are available in two places:

  • On your League Office page in the "DRAFT INFO" box
  • On your main team page. All players available during the draft are listed on the Draft List. Rank the players in order of preference and click the "Save Rankings" button.


Autopick Strategy
Click to view Autopick Strategy demo screenshot
New to Fantasy Football is the ability to specify which position the system will draft each round in the case you are either disconnected during a draft or are not able to participate in it. The link for editing your draft strategy can be found on your main Team page before the draft begins by clicking on the "Edit Auto-Pick Strategy" link. Note this page is only available for leagues that use either the Live Snake or Autopick draft type. On the edit page each round of the draft is presented with a pulldown menu to select which position you want to draft during it. The default setting for all rounds is always "Best Available", which means the system will draft the highest remaining player from any position. If you change this to a particular position - ie "Tight End" - the system will draft the highest available player from that particular position.

On the page you are also presented with the option to set how many players at each position the system will draft for your team. This interface can be seen on the right side of the page in the "Position Limits" table. Simply set the minimum and maximum number of players you want the system to draft for each position. For example, if you only want the system to draft one (1) Kicker for your team, set both the Min. and Max. value here to "1".

Also new for this season is the ability to draft "by stat" in any round. Perhaps you want to draft a player who racks up steals. You can select "steals" from a list of standard stats and the system will select the best available player by all statistics but prioritizing stolen bases.

NOTE: You can edit your draft strategy as often as you like until one hour before your scheduled draft time.

After the system has finished processing the autopick draft, it will need a few minutes to convert the league into regular-season mode where owners can start managing their teams. All owners will receive an e-mail notifying them that the draft is complete.

Teams that joined a preseason league will draft on the date listed on the league page. You should always check the listed draft day and Draft type before joining a group.

In Free Standard and Prize-Eligible leagues, ESPN reserves the right to merge undrafted autopick leagues if they are not full and run them. Leagues will not be broken up to complete other leagues to run a draft, but if the numbers of teams in each league equal six, they can be combined to make one full league (at the discretion of the ESPN Fantasy League Office.

Draft lists can be modified until the team's draft is held. To ensure that changes are included, owners should have their draft lists customized by 11:59 p.m. PT, the night before the date listed for the draft.

Once the draft has concluded, the system automatically fills all of the Team Rosters for the league with their selected players. All undrafted players are placed on Waivers.

All undrafted players on Waivers remain so for two days. Team owners are able to put in claims on these undrafted players. Once the two-day waiver period ends, the system will automatically execute the pending waiver claims according to claim priority. When the waiver period is complete, all remaining unclaimed players become free agents and can be picked up on a first-come, first-served basis.

Custom leagues have their Waiver Rules based on theleague creator's initial set up and preferences.


  1. Changing preseason leagues: When a team joins a Free Standard or Prize Eligible league and then leaves that league, or enters into a new one, any previously saved draft lists may be lost in the process. Draft list alterations will be deleted (returned to default rankings) when switching draft types (e.g., from an autopick to a live draft or vice versa).
  2. Draft list deadlines: You can revise your draft list as often as you wish until your draft is held. To ensure your changes are registered, you should complete them by 11:59 p.m. PT the day before the scheduled draft date.

Drafts are held at various times during the draft date, so it is not possible to know ahead of time exactly when a particular draft will be held. Owners are e-mailed as soon as their team has been drafted.