You're Fantasy Football Draft Day Tools

If you are a Fantasy Football commissioner, you know how important Draft Day is. Make it great with these free tools based on Google Sheets.

What's wrong with the current online tools?

If you've ever done a draft where everyone in the league is in the same room on draft day, you know how much fun it is. But if you use the online tools from ESPN, NFL.com or Yahoo, everyone winds up with their heads in their laptops instead of interacting with each other.

The other problem I have with these sites is there is no big picture view of how the draft is going. One possible solution is to get one of those big draft boards and use sticky notes or markers, but this is 2016 and we can do better.

The Better Way

Last year, our league used Google Sheets to display an overview of the draft, as well as give each owner a custom rankings sheet linked to the main draft board. So changes to the main draft board were automatically reflected in each owner's sheet. A special thanks to Bryan Povlinski from www.spreadsheet-sports.com who created the initial version of the master draft board.

Here's a photo from last year's draft night:

Draft Night

How It Works

The way this works is there is one Master Draft Board sheet that is maintained by the commissioner. The commissioner also copies or creates a separate Google Sheet for each owner, which is linked back to the Master Draft Board sheet. Prior to the draft, owners can update their sheet with their own custom rankings. This diagram shows the relationsip of the Google Sheets documents:

Google Sheets diagram

And here is the general flow of the draft:

  • The commissioner displays the blank Master Draft Board on the big screen.
  • To make a pick, the team owner simply tells the commissioner what their pick is.
  • The commissioner types the pick into master draft board.
  • The pick is automatically updated on every owner's custom draft rankings sheet, showing the picked player as Selected.
  • The next owner on the clock makes the pick, and drafting continues until the end of the draft.

Here is what our completed Master Draft Board looked like at the end of the night.

Completed Master Draft Board

And here is what the owner would see in their custom rankings page.

Completed Master Draft Board

One thing to keep in mind is that not everyone in the league has to use their custom rankings sheet. This system still works if some league members just use paper rankings.

Instructions

For detailed instructions on how to download the Google Sheets files and set them up for your league, click on the Instructions tab.

Wrap Up

Draft Day is one of the best days of the year, and using tools like this should make it an even better event. To me, the main advantages of drafting this way are:

  • Greater interaction between league mates rather than everyone focusing on their laptops
  • It's much easier for each league mate to see who's next on their custom ranking list. There's no need to go to pen and paper to check guys off.
  • There's greater awareness of who everyone is picking and how the draft is proceeding overall.

So that's about it. I hope your next league draft is as great as ours was last year. Good luck!