Draft Room Nomination Formats

I'm Daniel, the founder, CEO, president, developer, designer, customer service rep, social media manager, and user experience expert at Drafty Sports. I made Drafty out of a desire to provide a better auction draft room experience than what currently exists on other mainstream fantasy sports league websites.

Aligning with that mission is a secondary goal to make auction drafts more approachable for first-timers who are new to auction drafting and who may be afraid to take the plunge in a new league (or to transition an existing league) because they've simply never done it before.

To that end, the default nomination format is a Drafty-exclusive called Freeze Tag, and it helps shorten auction drafts to be comparable in length to a snake draft. But of course, auction draft traditionalists came along and began requesting nomination formats that would accommodate their age-old league traditions, and of course I can't say no when the community makes popular demands!

The following is a guide to educate you about the nomination formats available on Drafty. There's a TLDR at the bottom if you're in a hurry.

Freeze Tag Nominations

The default format is called Freeze Tag and it eliminates 30-60 minutes of downtime from your traditional auction draft experience. You can read the article I wrote about player nominations if you like, which discusses the math behind this assertion.

In the Freeze Tag format, teams can nominate one player at a time and then their nomination privilege is frozen. Once their nominated player comes up for auction, they are put on a cooldown before they are allowed to nominate another player. Nominated players are put into the universal auction queue.

The start of the draft is a bit of a free-for-all as teams clamor to nominate quickly and be first in line, but beyond the initial frenzy it feels very turn-based as cooldowns will stagger. There is an extra thrill in the event that someone neglects their cooldown and another leaguemate steals their place in the queue.

When a team empties their budget and/or fills their roster, they are no longer allowed to nominate.

The Freeze Tag nomination format is easy to learn and keeps the action moving without having to wait for an indecisive leaguemate to spend 30-45 seconds in between each auction to choose the next player.

Round Robin Nominations

The Round Robin nomination format is the most traditional format in mainstream auction drafts. Instead of a frenzy at the start, the privilege to nominate follows a strict turn sequence (defined by the commish during draft room creation) and nominations occur between player auctions.

An example Round Robin turn sequence for a 10-team draft would be: 1-2-...-9-10-1-2-...-9-10-1-2-...

The turn sequence will skip any team that is disconnected or has a full roster or empty budget.

Auction drafts using this format will last 30-60 minutes longer than when using the Freeze Tag nomination format.

Snake Nominations

Just like Round Robin, the Snake nomination format follows a turn sequence (defined by the commish during draft room creation) and nominations occur between player auctions.

An example Snake turn sequence for a 10-team draft would be: 1-2-...-9-10-10-9-...-2-1-1-2-...

The turn sequence will skip any team that is disconnected or has a full roster or empty budget.

Auction drafts using this format will last 30-60 minutes longer than when using the Freeze Tag nomination format.

Winner Takes Next Nominations

Hopefully self-explanatory, but in the Winner Takes Next nomination format, the privilege of nominating a player is given to the team who just won the previous player auction.

If the winner of the prior auction has just filled their roster or spent all their budget, the nomination turn will temporarily proceed as Round Robin, following a turn sequence (defined by the commish during draft room creation) until an eligible team ("eligible" = connected, with roster and budget to spend) is found.

Auction drafts using this format will last 30-60 minutes longer than when using the Freeze Tag nomination format.

Czar Nominations

The Czar nomination format gives the fantasy league commissioner (AKA the commish, AKA the draft host, AKA the person who created the draft room, AKA the "Czar") full power/responsibility of nominating players.

Commish can queue up an unlimited number of players to keep the action moving, and the opening bid for each player auction is totally up for grabs (commish does not place an automatic opening bid).

I usually recommend the custom add-on called Queue Undo for any league wanting to use the Czar format, which gives commish the extra ability to remove players from the Queue and return them to the Draft Pool.

Summary / TL;DR

I hope you found this nomination format guide useful! Here is a summary of the main nuances:

  • The Freeze Tag format reduces downtime and puts teams on a freeze/cooldown after they nominate a player.
  • The Round Robin format is the traditional method used by mainstream sites, where teams take turns nominating in between auctions.
  • The Snake format is like Round Robin, but reverses the turn order at the end of each round.
  • The Winner Takes Next format gives the winner of each auction the privilege of nominating the next player.
  • The Czar format gives commish sole power to nominate players.

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