A linear draft is a draft type in which the draft order will repeat every round. The owner who picks first in the first round will pick first in every single round.
The draft order is decided by the league commissioner, and that can be done randomly or based on the win-loss records of the previous season. With ordering based on records, the team with the worst record receives the number one overall draft pick.
Linear Draft Compared to Other Variations of Fantasy Drafts
Linear drafts are the least used of the three main types of fantasy drafts. Both snake drafts and auction drafts are chosen and played more often. The primary reason for this is that linear drafts give certain teams a clear advantage.
Linear drafts are considered to be unfair. In a linear draft, having a higher draft pick gives a distinct advantage over teams with lower picks. Not only do you have a higher pick in round one, but in every round following as well.
However, a linear draft does have some benefits, namely how it can be used to balance a league. A linear draft allows teams that were bad the previous season to improve by giving them the early picks in the draft. In keeper leagues, the implementation of a linear draft with the order decided by win-loss record could level the playing field for teams that did poorly the previous year.