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Introducing "The DC Times Draft Challenge" | The DC Times

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Introducing “The DC Times Draft Challenge”

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Jonathan Bales

A few weeks ago, I mentioned I have been playing a unique stock market-inspired draft game called Play the Draft.  Hosted by ESPN’s Mel Kiper, you can see a list of all of the site’s analysts here.  Here are the rules:

The Play the Draft® game (FRX-Football) is simple to play. (Don’t let the “stock market” lingo make you think the game is more difficult than it actually is.)


Add the most undervalued stocks to your team/fund, using the $12 million “rookie salary cap” with which all teams/funds begin play. Check your team/fund often, as stock prices are adjusted daily as NFL Draft analysts update their mock drafts based on new information. You can change the draft stocks in your team/fund at any time until 2 hours before the start of the NFL Draft at 7pm EST on April 26, 2012. Then, while watching the NFL Draft, see where the athletes in your team/fund are selected and compare your team/fund value to those of your friends.


Every athlete competing for selection in the first 3 rounds of the NFL Draft has a “stock” that you can buy for your team/fund. You either own the stock or you don’t…no owning fractional shares or multiple shares of the same stock, and no “short sales” that allow your team/fund to profit if the athlete’s stock falls in value.


There is a pre-determined “value” for each pick in the NFL Draft, which represents the estimated NFL rookie salary for the athlete chosen with that pick. For 2012, the estimated rookie salary for the #1 pick is $3.8 million (in the game, all values are in 000s, so the stock value is shown as $3,800). The 5th pick is $3.0 million, the 10th pick, $2.25 million, and so on until the projected last pick of the 3rd round, which is in the ballpark of $550,000. (View the official cap values for the 2012 Draft Season.)


FRX-Football is played through the first three rounds of the Draft (April 26-27, 2012). The minimum price for any athlete stock is $425 (representing a rookie salary of $425,000, or the estimated average of the rookie salaries of 4th to 7th round draft picks and rookie free agents). If an athlete in your portfolio is not selected in rounds 1-3 (including any supplemental picks added at the end of round 3), the liquidation value for those stocks will be $425.


Find the draft stocks of the athletes you know and check out their current price. The “FRX Index” value will help you quickly translate the current price to the corresponding draft selection. For example, a 12.5 FRX Index means that the current price, $2,025, is halfway between the cap values for the 12th pick, $2,050, and the 13th pick, $2,000. If you believe the draft stock for the athlete is undervalued because you expect him to be drafted by the team holding the 5th pick, then pick up the stock for your team/fund. You can see how your favorite athletes are currently valued relative to where you think they will ultimately be drafted by using the FRX value finder.

Well, I was able to create a league specifically for DC Times visitors.  You can play for free, challenging me and all other fans of this site.  Build up your portfolio and prove you know the draft better than me.  Whoever has the most valuable rookie portfolio by the start of the 2012 NFL Draft will receive a copy of “America’s Team.”

So head over to the DC Times draft league, choose the rookies you think are undervalued, and prove you know your stuff.

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