Throw the Ultimate Fantasy Football Draft Party

It’s time to buckle down and get to work. With so many different statistics, projections and previews at hand, you might as well put another pot of coffee on now. A successful year hangs in the balance, and you can’t bare another poor performance.

That’s right, fantasy football season is finally here. As you prepare to stock your squad with talent, it’s time to plan a killer draft party. Likely ingredients include beer, wings, jerseys and a stellar draft kit. This is your year, so don’t spare any expenses on the kick-off party.

The Draft Kit

Keep things clear and organized with an official draft kit, which includes poster mounts, draft order cards and player markers. Bruno’s Draft Kit offers handy extras, including defensive players, rookies only kits and salary cap/auction stickers. You can hold a draft without a draft kit, but you probably won’t enjoy it as much. These big boards make fantasy football players feel like real GMs. Save yourself the time and energy of having to write down every player taken. With a draft kit, teams form in front of everyone’s eyes.

The Spread

Although it’s called a “draft party,” this fantasy event is also a real chance to eat all of the football-related food you can imagine. Start with wings and pizza. When that runs out, fire up the grill and cook some brats. When the latter rounds come, top things off with your favorite nacho recipe. Wash the grub down with an assortment of your favorite beers. Just like with your lineup, remember to diversify. Light pilsners, robust ales and dark stouts will satisfy the gamut of beer fans.

The Highlights

Stat projections and draft experts can only go so far. Devoted fantasy managers need a first-hand look at breakout prospects. Luckily, there’s no shortage of preseason NFL coverage across the cable TV landscape. NFL Network hosts “Inside Training Camp” from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., featuring exclusive access to all 32 NFL camps. Fantasy managers can keep up to date on injuries, rookie reports and other relevant information. ESPN’s “NFL Live” also offers expert coverage and camp footage. Fantasy football may be about stats and numbers, but it’s nothing without real athletes making world-class plays. Boost your fantasy party stock with pre-season coverage to give the managers a live look at the player they’re drafting. If you don’t have ESPN or NFL Network, www.GetDirectTV.org can provide all the highlights you need to get pumped for the season.

The Research

The wise fantasy football manager goes into his draft with plenty of information in hand. Despite what they may claim, Fantasy pundits don’t have the magic bullet for success. Your best bet is browsing enough Draft boards to get a consensus on who is going to shine in 2013/14. ESPN.com, Sports.yahoo.com and NFL.com all offer free fantasy draft rankings. One word of advice: browse the injury report just before your draft. You don’t want to be the sucker who drafts an RB with a torn ACL.

Creative Commons image by jdn

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