So, you finished the first season of your Campus 2 Canton league. Congratulations! Now onto the offseason. Your league commissioner will guide you through the offseason, from how to handle offseason trading in your league to rolling your league into the new year on Fantrax, to your annual supplemental draft.

What is a Supplemental Draft?

Even if you’re new to Campus 2 Canton leagues, you most likely have some experience with traditional NFL Dynasty leagues. In those leagues, you have an annual Rookie Draft where you draft the rookies in the NFL Draft for the upcoming season. The NFL side of your Campus 2 Canton league will also have a rookie draft like an NFL Dynasty league does. And, similar to an NFL Dynasty league, the college side of a Campus 2 Canton league also has an off-season draft to help replenish your roster.

Unlike the NFL, the college side will likely have many open roster spots to fill during the off-season draft. On the NFL side of a Campus 2 Canton league, available roster spots result from a player retiring or being cut from your roster. On the college side, open roster spots can also result from players being cut from your roster. But instead of that rare player on your NFL roster retiring, the college side sees numerous players graduate from college or declare for the NFL Draft early every year. This is where the Supplemental Draft comes into play.

A Supplemental Draft on the college side of your Campus 2 Canton league is the off-season draft that allows you to fill your open roster spots. The draft is called “supplemental” because it consists of a variety of different players, not just rookies.

What Players Are Eligible For A Supplemental Draft?

An NFL Rookie Draft is self-explanatory. The player pool consists solely of rookies entering the NFL that off-season. A Supplemental Draft, however, is different. All players in the Football Bowl Subdivision, or FBS, who are not currently on a manager’s roster, can be selected in the Supplemental Draft. 

Several players from the lower levels of college football each year transfer to teams in the FBS and become eligible for your college side. In addition, there is a new crop of freshmen entering college, similar to rookies entering the NFL. These players also now become eligible for your college side. And lastly, given the high number of players who leave college each year, numerous players who were unrostered at the end of the season are suddenly thrust into starting roles and fantasy relevancy. These players will also be in the player pool for the Supplemental Draft. 

In summation, the players available in your Supplemental Draft player pool fall into one of three categories:

  1. Players who transfer into the FBS
  2. Freshman entering college
  3. Any player who was not on a roster in your league at the end of the season

How To Navigate A Supplemental Draft

Like an NFL Dynasty league, the best players from each team are often already rostered on your college side. Even with players leaving college and creating openings in starting lineups, the depth of rosters on the college side of a C2C league causes many of the important backups from the previous year to already be rostered. This means that, more often than not, the best players available in your Supplemental Draft were those who were not in the FBS the previous year.

Like the NFL with rookies, the incoming freshmen are often the most coveted players in the Supplemental Draft. Freshmen Fever strikes, and we become enamored with the potential of the unknown. And rightfully so, the incoming freshmen offer the most upside of any players in the available player pool, almost regardless of your league settings. You won’t often find the next starting QB at Alabama, Ohio State, or USC in the players who were unrostered at the end of last year. 

The freshmen player pool is where you will find most of your high-end future NFL draft picks and where you should spend your early draft picks more often than not. The goal with any draft pick should be to maximize the value of the pick. The future QB at Western Kentucky may score more points for your college team than the five-star prospect and potential future starting QB at Alabama. However, the latter is much more likely to provide value to your NFL squad and thus have more long-term value. But, not all freshmen will have this immense long-term upside. 

There are a finite number of top-tier freshmen, which also increases their value. Ranking the incoming freshmen in tiers will allow you to determine where the drop-off in talent occurs more easily. After your top 2-3 tiers of players are depleted, the remaining freshmen can be mixed in with the next group below.

Now, it’s time to pivot to drafting players who can help your college side by scoring you points. Your league’s waiver settings and roster depth will play a significant role in the quality of talent in the pool of unrostered players. The deeper your rosters and the more waiver pick-ups your settings allow, the shallower this pool of players will be. You may find a few players worthy of early-round selections in your average league. But, most players in this category should be selected in the middle to late rounds of the Supplemental Draft.

Exporting the player data from the previous year from your league on Fantrax before they shut down at the end of the season will be invaluable. This data, combined with understanding each team’s offensive tendencies and histories, will allow you to more easily rank the available players from last year and determine their fantasy relevancy. 

The last important piece for navigating a Supplement Draft is the age-old debate of drafting talent vs. need. Obviously, the ideal situation is to marry the two. But “talent” can look different depending on the point in the draft. In the early rounds of the draft, “talent” typically refers to a player who has the upside to be an impact starter for your NFL side. In the middle to late rounds, “talent” can also refer to players who will be an impact starter for your college side. Talent should always come before need, regardless of your point in the draft.

However, the later the draft gets, the more important the “need” becomes. Injuries, bye weeks, and matchups impact your starting lineup more heavily than on the NFL side due to the variance of College Football. So, it’s essential to make sure that you feel confident in your depth at each position before you finish the Supplement Draft. Use the last few rounds to fill any holes in your roster to make sure your roster will be as close to ready as possible for Week 0.

Conclusion

The Supplemental Draft is one of, if not the most important, off-season event. Remaining competitive on the college side each year can be easier than on the NFL side, provided you navigate the Supplemental Draft well each year. Drafting for talent over need early, particularly for the top-tier freshmen, helps ensure you have a strong core of assets that will hopefully develop into high-end NFL talent someday. Whether it’s for CFF production, a better chance at NFL upside, or to round out a position on your roster, drafting for need will help to keep you competitive on the college side year in and year out. Navigating the Supplemental Draft is one of the most important skills to being a strong Campus 2 Canton manager.

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