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NFL Draft Contest

Posted by Doug on March 9, 2007

UPDATE: "live" scoring will take place here

There is very little in this world that I enjoy more than cooking up contests with funky rules. So here I am announcing the

First Annual NFL Draft Contest

Prize: 20 virtual dollars with which to sponsor a page at p-f-r. Also honor and glory.

How it works:

1. Select, in order, the players you think will be selected in the first round of the 2007 NFL draft. Post them in the comments to this post, like this:

1 - JaMarcus Russell - QB - LSU
2 - Calvin Johnson - WR - Ga Tech
32 - Greg Olsen - TE - Miami

The NFL teams that these players get drafted by are irrelevant. And don't worry about the exact format; just make sure every player is identified unambiguously.

2. Every player who gets picked in the first round is worth one (1) point. That point will be split among all participants who correctly predicted that player to be picked in that slot. EXAMPLE: suppose Adrian Peterson is picked third. If 14 participants had Peterson being picked third, they each get 1/14 of a point. If only four participants had Peterson going third, they each get 1/4 of a point.

3. Every participant's score will be computed via the following formula:

SCORE = (total points from #2 above) * (1 + N/25)

Where N is the number of days before the draft you posted your entry.

This isn't as complicated as it looks. If you post on the morning of the draft, your score is the number of points you got in step 2. If you post 25 days before the draft, you get double points for each correct pick. If you post 15 days before the draft, you get to multiply your points by 1.6. And so on.

We're about 50 days out right now, so you can get triple points if you're willing to take a stab at it today. That's a pretty steep multiplier. Note, however, that waiting gives you two advantages. Not only do you have more information about how the players are grading and what the teams are thinking, but you also have, because you can see the earlier entries, more information about the payoffs for picking certain players.

Obviously, you're not allowed to change your entry in any way once posted.

4. Participant with the highest SCORE wins.

I think you'll find that there is some nontrivial strategy here. Or maybe not. I made up the rules in about 20 seconds. But I do think these rules should result in an entry pool that is fairly nonhomogeneous. In my opinion, that's the first prerequisite for an interesting contest.


a. If you don't care about winning yourself, but want to keep your friend from winning, you could simply wait for him to post his entry and then flood the contest with entries identical to his. For that reason, everyone is limited to one entry per person. This will be enforced by the honor system. If caught breaking this rule, you, your children, and your children's children will be banned from all future p-f-r contests. For three months *.

b. Just to make it interesting, I'll stipulate that you are allowed to name the same player in more than one slot. For instance, if you want to put Calvin Johnson in the #1 slot and the #2 slot, that's legal. You'd then get credit if he is drafted either first or second. Of course, by doing that, you forfeit the chance of getting points from both the first and the second picks (or maybe not --- I wouldn't put anything past Matt Millen).

c. I won't enter the contest myself, which will allow me to arbitrate any dispute impartially. Any ambiguities in the rules will be clarified by me in whatever way causes me the least amount of hassle.