What is FPL Draft and how does it work?

what is fpl draft how it works

This article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of what the Draft mode in Fantasy Premier League is and how it works.

What is the FPL Draft and how to play it?

FPL Draft is a variant of the traditional Fantasy Premier League game. Unlike the classic FPL where participants have a set budget to build their team, FPL Draft employs a draft-style team selection system. This means that FPL managers select their players through a draft process, similar to many American sports leagues.

Basically, in the FPL draft, there are no budget or team constraints, or price changes.

Note: FPL draft mainly targets the American FPL managers to provide them a way to run a mini-league in a way they are more familiar with.

The most distinctive feature of FPL Draft is that players cannot be owned by multiple managers within the same mini-league. In other words, once a player is selected by a manager in a mini-league, no other manager in that same league can own that player.

So if you pick Haaland into your team, no other manager in your league can have him too. 

What about the scoring system in FPL Draft?

FPL Draft runs alongside the regular Fantasy Premier League, using the same scoring system. This means that the points players earn in classic Fantasy Premier League game mode are the same points they’ll earn for the FPL Draft mode. So, while the team selection process is different, the goal remains the same: to score as many points as possible.

Learn more: How are points awarded in Fantasy Premier League?

In FPL Draft, managers also pick a 15-man squad, just like in the traditional FPL. This squad consists of 2 goalkeepers, 5 defenders, 5 midfielders, and 3 forwards. However, the challenge lies in the fact that you can’t just pick the 15 players you think will score the most points. You have to consider the draft order, the players that other managers might pick, and the players that will still be available when it’s your turn to pick.

How Does FPL Draft Work?

The process of selecting players begins with the draft order, which is randomized by FPL when your draft starts. This means that the manager who gets the first pick will only find out as the draft begins. The order of picks is crucial as it determines the sequence in which managers can select players for their team.

If you pick first in the first round, you will pick the last in the second round.

The draft system used in FPL Draft is often referred to as a ‘snake’ draft. In a snake draft, the order of selection reverses each round. For instance, if there are four managers in a mini-league named A, B, C, and D, and the draft order is A-B-C-D in the first round, it will be D-C-B-A in the second round, and A-B-C-D in the third round again.

This system ensures a fair distribution of top-tier players among all managers.

In the draft process, every manager gets a chance to pick players, one at a time, across 15 rounds. This means that each manager will sequentially choose a player until they’ve all selected 15 players to complete their squads.

You have up to 2 minutes in one round to pick a player

The time each manager gets to make their player selection during each round can vary from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. This duration is set by the person who administers or manages the league.

Tip: If you are unsure, how the FPL draft works, join a mock draft. It is an opportunity to practice and try this mode. It operates just like the real draft, but the teams selected do not count for the actual game.

If you cannot participate in the draft, build a watchlist before the draft starts

When a manager is absent during the draft, the system will automatically use their pre-arranged watchlist to make selections on their behalf. This ensures that even if they can’t actively participate, their preferred players will still be considered.

If a manager hasn’t set up a watchlist, the system will use draft ranks to determine the priority of automatic selections. These draft ranks are assigned to each player based on their FPL points from the previous season and their potential performance in the upcoming season.

Creating a watchlist is highly recommended as it saves valuable time during the draft, preventing the risk of missing out on desired players. 

How to make transfers in the FPL draft

After the draft is completed, managers have the flexibility to make changes to their squad before and during the season. They can do this by submitting waiver requests, signing free agents, or making trades with other managers in their mini-league.

1. Understanding Free Agents

If some player was not selected in the draft, he became a free agent. You can transfer him into your squad anytime during the Free Agency Mode which is 24 hours before the Gameweek deadline.

Note: New players in FPL or players transferred out by other managers have to be initially acquired via Waiver requests

2. The Waiver Process: How do FPL draft waivers work?

Thank to waiver requests, you have a chance to pick up new signings or players that were transferred out by other managers in your league.

It is a similar process such as the first draft.

Each manager can submit their waiver requests – that is basically their proposed transfers when they want to replace a player in their team with another player from the same position.

Then 24 hours before the gameweek deadline, all waiver requests get processed. It will go from the bottom of the table – the first request that is processed is the first waiver request of the last manager in the league table.

So if you are last in your draft league, you can pick one in-demand player first. 

Once all waivers for that round are done, free agency mode is activated.

3. Trading Players with Other Managers

Regarding player trades, managers have the opportunity to trade players with one another, but this depends on how the league is configured. The league administrator can choose whether trades are allowed or not.

It’s essential for managers to be aware that trade settings can only be adjusted before the draft starts. Once the draft is completed, the trade settings remain in place for the duration of the season.

FPL Draft Leagues available

In FPL Draft, there are two main types of leagues that managers can participate in: Private Leagues and Public Leagues.

Private Leagues

Private Leagues are typically created by a group of friends, colleagues, or family members who want to compete against each other. The creator of the league sets the rules and invites others to join. The number of participants in a private league can vary, it can be between 2 to 16 managers.

In a private league, the league administrator can decide the draft date and time, the time each manager gets to make their pick during the draft, and whether or not to allow trades between managers are allowed.

Public Leagues

Public Leagues are open to anyone and are a great option if you don’t have a group of people to create a private league with. When you join a public league, you’ll be randomly placed in a league with other individuals who’ve also chosen to join a public league.

Public leagues have a set number of managers (4, 6, or 8), and the draft takes place approximately 15 minutes after the first manager joins in.

Scoring in the Draft league

  • Classic Scoring – participants are sorted based on their total points gained
  • H2H scoring – On each gameweek, every team faces another team and gets 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw

Read more: Join our FPL Draft League for the 2023/24 season!


When does FPL Draft start?

The exact date and time when the FPL draft starts is set by the league administrator in private leagues. In the public leagues, the draft starts approximately 15 minutes after the first team joins.

Can I preselect players for FPL Draft?

Yes, you can create a watchlist, so if you do not participate in the actual draft, players in your watchlist will be auto-picked for you based on your priorities and preferences. However, keep in mind that the watchlist is only used as a reference during the draft, and it doesn’t guarantee that you will get all the players on your list. The final selection will depend on the draft order and the availability of players when it’s your turn to pick.

Additionally, you should actively participate in the draft if possible, as it allows you to make real-time decisions and adapt to the unfolding draft strategy of other managers. FPL Draft is a dynamic and exciting format, and being present during the draft can lead to a more satisfying and competitive experience.

How does the average score work in the FPL Draft league?

The average team is not a real team managed by an actual player; instead, it’s a virtual team created by the fantasy league system. This team does not have any players in its squad. Instead, it scores an average number of points for that specific gameweek based on the scores of all the real teams in that particular league.

For example, if there are 9 teams in the head-to-head league, one team will be left without an opponent since 9 is an odd number. In this case, the system will create the average team as a placeholder to act as the “opponent” for the team without a match that week. The average team’s score will be calculated by taking the average of the points earned by all the other real teams in the league for that particular game week.

How long does FPL Draft take?

The length of the FPL Draft can vary depending on the number of managers in the league and the time allocated for each pick. However, it usually takes a couple of hours to complete. At maximum, if your draft league has 16 players and the draft league manager allowed 120 seconds for each manager to pick a player in the round, the longest possible draft can take 16*2*15 = 480 minutes = 8 hours.

However, if your draft league has only 2 participants and they have only 30 seconds to make their pick, the draft could take only 15 minutes.

How many drafts can you join on FPL?

You can join up to 10 private draft leagues and 3 public draft leagues.

How to leave an FPL Draft league?

You can only leave a league before the draft has taken place.

Is FPL public draft free?

Yes, joining a public draft league in FPL is free.

What does locked mean on Fantasy Draft FPL?

“Locked” status in FPL Draft means that a player cannot be selected for your team, either because the player was recently added to the game or recently removed from another squad. Do not worry, locked players will be available for waiver requests in the next gameweek.

Where to see waivers in FPL Draft?

You can see your waivers in FPL Draft on your team page. There will be a section for ‘Waivers’ where you can view, add, or adjust your waiver requests.


Matej Šuľan

Fantasy Football enthusiast with two top 1k finishes in FPL. Best FPL overall rank: 119th in 2019/20 season. Five top 500 finishes in UCL Fantasy, best overall rank: 23rd in 2018/19 season. Founder of Fantasy Football Reports.

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