In pretty much all of the sports that are popular here in the UK—football, rugby or cricket, for instance—the ‘draft’ is unheard of. So, especially if you’re new to DFS, you could be forgiven for wondering what this oft-used word means.
So, what is the DFS draft? Why is it mentioned so often, and where did DraftKings get its name from? Well, the draft is a crucial element of many American sports, and it’s part of what makes DFS such an exciting pastime for folks on both sides of the pond.
We’re here to dispel your confusion here at DailyFantasyUK: read on to have all your questions answered.
What is the DFS draft?
Effectively, the draft is a means of allocating certain players to teams. Teams take it in turns to pick from a pool of players, and once they’ve selected (or drafted) a player, only that team has the opportunity to offer the player a contract.
The players can come from various places such as colleges, high school teams, or amateur leagues. The exact system varies depending on the sport.
Reasons for the draft
The draft is intended to make sports more equal. By eliminating any huge bidding wars for up and coming new players, it allows smaller teams to progress up the league, even if they don’t have the same kind of capital as the biggest clubs.
Which sports use the draft
The draft is a key feature of NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB in the US. The Canadian Football League and the Kontinental Hockey League in Russia also use the system.
The NFL draft
The NFL draft is perhaps the best known, and is one of the most eagerly anticipated events in US sports. In this draft, the team that placed lowest in the league in the previous season gets first pick of the college players, which really shakes things up for the coming year. In 2017, there were 7 rounds, and 253 players were drafted. Pretty much all of the players come from college football programs.
The first NFL draft took place in 1936, so it’s a long-standing feature of the sport. In the early days, players were selected purely on the basis of word-of-mouth, or rumours in the press. However, as the sport developed and the draft became more and more crucial to a team’s success, teams started employing dedicated scouts whose job was to select the best talent.
The NBA draft
The NBA draft is much shorter than the NFL’s, lasting only 2 rounds. Another key difference between the two systems is that the top players in this draft are much more valuable than those in the NFL. Similarly to the NFL draft, players are mainly selected from colleges across the US.
The NHL draft
Conversely, players can be selected from a broad range of different programs in the NHL draft. Other than that, broadly speaking it’s fairly similar to the NFL draft.
The MLB draft
Unlike the other major drafts, the MLB‘s takes place during the season. It’s also the longest of them all, lasting a marathon 40 rounds. The excitement that the draft brings to baseball is just one of many reasons to get into this great sport. You can check out a few more of them in our recent article.
Why don’t we see the draft in UK or European sports?
It’s a good question, and one that’s difficult to answer. Simply put, we just do things differently over here! In the UK and in Europe, young and promising players are often bought from smaller clubs, or nurtured through development programs.
What do you think, should we adopt the draft in the UK? The Mirror certainly seems to think we should. What would happen to the Premier League if we did? Let us know in the comments section below, and don’t forget to check back for more daily fantasy tips, tricks and updates!