If you miss your Fantasy Premier League Draft or cannot stay for the duration of the draft night, it is not the end of the world.
What is Fantasy Premier League Draft?
Fantasy Premier League Draft is a new method of playing fantasy Premier League football in private leagues of 16 or less.
Instead of picking whatever players you like within a budget, you must now take it in turns with the other managers to select players to fill a 15 man squad.
Once a player is picked, he cannot be selected by another team.
The draft usually works in a 'snake' pattern, with a timer set, where whoever has the last pick of round 1 has the first pick of round 2 and working back to the start where the process is reversed again. That is to balance the #1 overall pick having an advantage, as he must then wait until the end of round 2 to pick again. It sounds more complicated than it is. Here's a quick diagram from an eight team league with 15 picks each:
We ran a draft to show how a private league of eight players would pan out if the dreaded auto-select is used.
The order of the picks also shows how the Fantasy Premier League website ranks the players in the League.
The rankings are calculated on past performance and potential future performance this season, however there are some teething problems in the system that are glaringly obvious in the rankings, such as the inclusion of new Roma player Aleksandar Kolarov and long term injury absentee Seamus Coleman was auto-picked before his fully fit Everton teammate Leighton Baines.
Other worries include the auto-picking of a substitute goalkeeper who is unlikely to get game time for their club such as Man Utd's Romero while a goalkeeper much more likely to get minutes and therefore points, such as Swansea's Fabianski went undrafted.
The auto selected teams and Premier League player ranking generated by the Fantasy Premier League website are as follows:
Here are how the auto-picked squads lined out:
Although securing the number one draft pick - Harry Kane - Team A ended up with an unbalanced defence consisting of three Liverpool players and two Man City defenders. The midfield is more varied but big question marks will be over the potential gametime of players such as Toure, Mkhitatyan, Perez and Sturridge. Work will be needed on the waiver wire to rectify this, to draft starting players from clubs that aren't battling it out in top eight of the Premier League.
This squad would be my pick for early pace setters in this Draft League, with a lot of big hitters included. However work is also needed disposing of Kolarov and Coleman in favour of players that will be active in the league in gameweek. Up front Sandro and Welbeck should also be swapped out for players more likely to play more minutes.
Concerns in Team C would be the three Chelsea defenders, this is heavily relying upon Chelsea clean sheets each week. Only other major question mark in the squad would be swapping Bravo out for a goalkeeper that will play every week.
Team D boasts two defensive pairings from each of Liverpool, Man Utd and Spurs, placing a high reliance on their clean sheets. Elsewhere there's no guarantee Cazorla will kick a ball in the Premier League again in his career. The same can be said Courtois' understudy Caballero, while Janssen's gametime at Spurs has been extremely limited to date.
Sevilla's Nolito won't provide much points for Team E's manager while other adjustments could be made in shipping out injured Rojo and Liverpool's sub goalkeeper Karius. Ross Barkley's uncertain future may also prove worrying fo this manager.
Team F has been handed three Spurs defenders which again is an over-reliance on one club keeping a clean sheet each week. This would need to be looked at as well as Slimani and Romero's potential gametime and Van Dijk's uncertain future.
Team G's manager should be largely happy with their charges. Injuries are the main concern here, while two striking berths taken up by Chelsea players would be overkill.
Despite having been dealt the last draft pick in round one of the draft Team H looks well balanced throughout, aside from injuries the only other major things to consider are Costa's future and the gametime of Origi and Walcott.
This mock draft shows that although managers in an eight team league can rest assured that their season won't be over if they miss out on the initial draft of their private league. There are clear teething issues in the new Draft section the Fantasy Premier League website, in how injured players are ranked ahead of fit players. This in addition to players that no longer play in the league being selected on auto-picks, which is concerning for absent managers.
Other clear inefficiencies are that no players from promoted teams were drafted, nor any players from Watford, West Brom and Stoke were ranked high enough to be drafted. This however would provide managers with a rich depth of potential reinforcements to draft in on the waiver wire, should they wish to rectify any problems they see with their Drafted Teams.