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NRL Fantasy Draft: What it is, and why you should play

NRL Fantasy is the most addictive way to follow the footy while taking on your mates each week – but there are two vastly different ways to play the game.

The classic NRL Fantasy game involves picking a squad with a $9.8 million salary cap, spotting undervalued players and working your way towards building a star-studded super team by the end of the year.

But if you don't want to worry about salary caps and player prices, or don't want anyone else in your league to have the same players you've picked, or you just want another way to beat your friends, then NRL Draft is for you.

How it works

The highlight of playing NRL Fantasy Draft is arguably the draft itself.

Get a group of friends, family or work colleagues to sign up, pick a time for your league's live draft, then get together with pizzas, snacks and drinks and enjoy the pressure-cooker situation of the draft.

You've got one minute on the clock. Payne Haas, Damien Cook and James Tedesco are taken. Who are you going to pick?

The draft itself is customisable – you pick the league size, time, how the draft works and how much time you have for each pick, from a range of options – and if you can't make it the game will make your picks for you, based on player prices or on a draft order you can set yourself.

You can also run multiple draft competitions during the season – start in round one, or round 10, or round 15. If your classic Fantasy team is struggling, start up a new Draft comp.

Will you swoop on a gem of a buy that everyone else in your league misses? Or will you panic and grab a dud?

Rabbitohs hooker Damien Cook.
Rabbitohs hooker Damien Cook. ©Nathan Hopkins/NRL Photos

Trading & playing

Once the draft is run and done, the time for trading begins. Unhappy with your starting fullback? Make a trade with a rival player in your league. Trading is allowed throughout the season, and you can also pick up undrafted players from the free agents' list between rounds.

Each week of the NRL season your team will be pitted against another in your league – just like in a Classic head-to-head competition – and you'll battle to climb the ladder and snatch a place in your league finals.

Once the finals begin the players in teams who missed the playoffs are locked out of the game, with the best of the best playing off for the Draft premiership.

It's the form of NRL Fantasy that's becoming more popular every year and is an easy way to pick up and play the game without worrying about cash cows, break evens and price rises.

Set up an NRL Draft league today for a chance to win a VIP trip for two to the NRL Grand Final and guaranteed Fantasy fun.