Once you’ve purchased your team and entered a league, it’s time to draft! The draft is among the most challenging and fun elements of the game.
When drafting, you will list the player you want to select for each round of the draft (Manual Drafts are a bit different, as described below). You can also list an alternate for each round of the draft. If your first choice is taken, we will give you your alternate, if available. If the alternate is no longer available (or you did not select one), the system will go to your next pick in automated draft, and then at the end of the draft it will select the most similar player in the player pool who is still available to replace the player you had listed for the pick that was skipped. In a Manual Draft, you can choose whether you want the system to move on to your next pick if your choices are taken or STOP and let you decide what to do next… but only until your time expires if it’s a timed draft, in which case the system will randomly select from among the cheapest players available.
Until the season starts, you may release this player (or any other players on your roster) after the draft if you don’t want him and get a full salary refund (unless you’re in a Custom League with different rules).
Drafting for Standard Leagues is a snake-style, round-by-round draft, and draft position is determined randomly. That means that once the draft order is determined, we do the first round starting with draft position 1 through 12, then the second round in reverse order, position 12 through 1. That makes the draft fair, as the positions even out. So, team one gets its first pick, then team 2 gets its pick listed in the first draft slot, and on down the line. We do 28 rounds (25 player rounds plus 3 for IR), and you must list a player for each round. After you’ve selected at least 23 players, you may choose to select “Pick least expensive player available” to speed up the completion of your team's draft form and our system will simply give you the lowest-priced players available to fill in your remaining slots. These options may not be available in leagues with limited draft pools.
On the draft form, you select your players by first clicking on a position (standard lineup positions and bench players (“util”)). You then enter our player selection system, which allows you to search all sorts of ways, including last name, years played, teams, and many performance criteria, including regular ones like batting average or fielding percentage, and advanced sabermetric ones like RC+ (Runs Created vs. League). For detail on abbreviations, go to the Glossary or, if you would like an explanation of the various statistics, go to our Reference article Explanation of Statistics. You can mix and match to narrow down the list and find exactly what you’re looking for in every price range.
NOTE: if you enter a position, you can still search other positions by changing the search parameter for position, but the player you select will appear on your Draft Roster at the position where you started the process, not the position of the player selected (unless that position is also that player’s primary position). So, for instance, you can select a player not listed as a CF even though you are selecting a CF by changing the position to “Any” or, say, OF. A search for DH will include all position players unless you tick the box "Only primary positions".
Once you search, you can add a player to your roster simply by clicking on the name of the player you want. You must choose a player for each position in the lineup and at least 4 starting pitching slots must be filled (these are the first 4 pitcher slots).
Once you have selected your team, click “Finished”. This button will not display until you have met all of the minimum requirements for a team (28 total players and at least 8 pitchers, 4 of whom can start). Next, you will be asked to place them in preference order. Drag and drop the player you want most as your #1 pick in the first slot, and so on through #28. For each draft slot, you can list an alternate in case your choice is taken (but the alternate must have a salary equal to or less than your primary pick). If your choice and alternate are both taken, the system will go to your next pick, then at the end of your draft assign you the player who is most similar but not yet drafted by anyone for the pick that was skipped. Of course, draft strategy is part of the fun … and the challenge! Should your first pick be your best player … or the one you think is the best value? You decide!
NOTE: Your draft is NOT complete until you’ve ordered your picks AND clicked the button to finalize the order AND then confirmed that this is the way you want your draft! Until that final confirmation, you may use the Edit links to go back and modify your choices, alternates and/or draft order. PLEASE NOTE that none of the players listed in the “Position Players” section of the Draft Team page (the part on the upper left) and none of your four required Starting Pitchers can be one of the last three selections on the Order Your Picks page, because then the system won't be able to assign the player properly when the league runs.
Once the draft runs, we will notify you by email that your league is ready and when the season starts. You can also monitor league status on our site on your MY TEAMS page.
Custom Leagues can choose to draft manually, round-by-round in turn, one pick at a time… like in the big leagues. When such is the case, clicking on your team will take you to the “Manual Draft HQ”, the spot where you can monitor your draft all in one place. The two most recent rounds are displayed (and you may use the pull-down box to select other rounds if you desire) as well as all of your picks to date. You may wait until your next turn to pick or you may enter “Pre-picks” (with alternates) that will automatically be selected when your turn comes up. The process for making manual draft picks or Pre-picks is the same as choosing players for the Automated Draft. You can also monitor the entire draft status of all teams using the Draft Matrix. You will receive an email notifying you when it’s your turn to pick, and you can also choose to have an email sent to you of every pick. Even if you choose not to receive a notice each time a pick is made, we will send you an email notice if one of your pre-picks got taken by someone else before your turn came up.
MANUAL DRAFT PLAYER POOL
During the course of a manual draft using a limited player pool (custom, random players or by season), to ensure that drafts do not "crash" if an owner has insufficient funds to complete their draft from the players remaining in the pool, a minimum salary starting pitcher or position player will be added to the player pool each time the last player of that type is drafted. These players will be labeled [NON-POOL]. After the draft concludes, players like this who have not been drafted or who are released will be "hidden" and unavailable to other teams to sign as free agents.
Once the draft has run, there is a 24-hour “hold” period during which no free agent changes or trades may take place (unless you are in a custom league for which the hold period has been varied in length or eliminated). This gives everyone a chance to get notice that the draft has run. After that, any player on your team may be cashed in at 100% of his salary until the season starts (unless different rules apply in a Custom League). During the hold period, you may search for free agents and plan moves using the “Browse” feature found in both the Cash Worksheet and Free Agent sections under Front Office. NOTE: You may change your team name until the regular season commences, but are disabled from doing so during the hold period.
Your league’s opening day will be the next Monday after the draft has run, unless your draft runs past midnight PT Friday, in which case opening day will be the second Monday after the draft has run.
Good luck … and enjoy!
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