The 2022 fantasy football season is upon us, and as we’ve done for … yikes, 22 years! … Fantasy Football Draft Buddy is ready to help you prepare for your fantasy football drafts. That is a lot of fantasy football keywords.
If you are new to Draft Buddy, then let me give you an overview of what it does. Draft Buddy creates custom cheat sheets for your fantasy football league from your league scoring and rules. And, it helps track your draft. As draft picks are input into Draft Buddy, then it marks those players off the cheat sheets and updates rosters.
Draft Buddy is in Microsoft Excel, and requires a full desktop version of Excel to operate. Unfortunately the mobile versions of Excel, Google Sheets, and other spreadsheet programs are not compatible with all of the features in Draft Buddy. However, Microsoft Office (Excel) is available for a low monthly subscription that you can cancel anytime.
Custom Fantasy Football Cheat Sheets
There are not a lot of options you need to input or adjust to create custom cheat sheets for your fantasy football league. The rules, scoring, and action tabs are a good start, and then you can explore the other tabs.
1. rules Tab
Start with the rules tab and input the number of teams, number of rounds of your draft, and the starters and backups for each position.
If your league is a superflex, where you can start an additional QB, but also has other RB/WR/TE flex positions, then input 2 QB starters for the superflex position. In most leagues teams want the superflex to be a QB, and draft accordingly pushing QB values up. Draft Buddy might as well rank the players as if it is a 2-QB league. Then use the O-Flex setting for the remaining flex spots.
What if your league doesn’t have a set number of backup spots? That’s okay, input the backups as you expect most teams to draft. Using decimals for backups allows more flexibility. Expect half the teams in your league to draft three backup RB and three backup WR, versus two RB and four WR? Set the backups at 2.5 RB, 3.5 WR.
If your league is a keeper league, then use the keeper settings. A keepers tab will appear after Draft Buddy generates the cheat sheets. Auction league? Adjust those settings, and Draft Buddy calculates auction values and preps for an auction draft.
2. scoring Tab
Over on the scoring tab, the default settings work for most leagues, but feel free to adjust any of the cells highlighted in yellow as necessary. Do not change cells that are not highlighted, such as the distance scoring ranges.
There are some popular preset scoring options available using the drop-down at the top of the scoring tab.
5. action Tab
This is where the magic happens. Maybe I should call this the magic tab. Once you are happy with your rules and scoring settings, click Compile Cheatsheets. Draft Buddy resets all of the tabs throughout and generates new cheat sheets for your fantasy football league.
As mentioned above, if your leagues is a keeper league, then a keepers tab appears. If your draft is an auction, then the draft report tab goes away, and an auction report tab appears. Plus the cheat sheets show dollar values in addition to projected fantasy points for each player.
Any time changes are made to rules, scoring, projections, anything on the options tab, etc., then Compile Cheatsheets is necessary to update the cheat sheets in Draft Buddy.
There may be times you want to generate cheat sheets after you’ve input keepers or draft picks. In these cases make sure to change the two reset options on the action tab. If they are both set to “yes”, and Compile Cheatsheets is run, Draft Buddy resets completely.
The action tab is also important to update projections. Projections from FF Today are updated weekly, usually on Thursdays, until the start of the NFL season.
Track Your Fantasy Football Draft
Many people still love the old paper and pen approach to tracking their fantasy football draft. Me, I figure if the cheat sheets are already digital, and I can update multiple reports simultaneously to help decision-making, why mess around with paper?
After Draft Buddy creates your cheat sheets, it is ready to track your draft. Review the draft report tab (or auction report tab) to make sure the proper teams and rounds, and draft order, are set. Then start tracking by selecting a player. There are a few ways:
- On the draft report tab, for the current pick, select the position and select the player. A drop-down appears when you select each cell for position or player, or you can type them in.
- On any of the cheat sheets or position tabs in Draft Buddy, click on a player’s name, and click Draft Player. Buddy adds that player to the draft report tab for the current pick.
- Optionally, sync your league if your draft is on MyFantasyLeague.com, Sleeper, Fantrax, or FFPC. See the 6. sync tab for details. This is the best way if possible.
As picks are input the cheat sheets update by marking off players. The rosters tab also updates. Don’t forget to click the “+” sign above your team on the rosters tab to show some hidden columns.
AMA (Ask Me Anything)
There are a lot of options in Draft Buddy, so if you are unsure of anything, ask away. You don’t need to be an Excel expert, but if you have Excel-related questions, ask those too. Even fantasy football questions, I’m happy to chat about keeper choices or draft strategy, even a trade here or there. Although I’m not a big trader and usually say pass. Ha ha.
This tool wasn’t originally built with the idea it would help thousands of fantasy players over two plus decades. It was originally built for me, to help manage and stay organized in my 10-12 fantasy leagues. It is amazing all of the connections made through Draft Buddy over the years.
Cheers to another year on our way to many more fantasy championships!