The Three Kinds of Fantasy Draft Software

So I'm building my own fantasy draft software, called DraftKick. One of my first tasks is researching what else is out there. (Believe it or not, the idea for software that helps you draft is not an original idea.)

After lots of internet seaching, I see three main categories for existing draft software.

Category #1: Traditional Desktop GUIs

These are the first-wave of draft software. Programs that you download and install on a computer. Because these have been around forever, they share three common features:

  1. Feature-rich
  2. Quite expensive
  3. Look like 1990s programs

RotoLab (rotolab.com)

Built by a BaseballHQ user and popular in that crowd. Costs $70 a year? Yowzers.

Fantistics InsiderBaseball DraftAdvisor (fantistics.com)

I think the branding should be either "Fantistics" or "InsiderBaseball," not both. Anyways, it's $60 a year.

RotoWire (rotowire.com)

Included with a RotoWire subscription, so the cost may be a better deal if you already use RotoWire. The cheapest subscription I see is still $72 a year.

Pros:

Cons:

Category #2: Spreadsheets

The second group of options are build on spreadsheets. Lots of people have spent hours and hours building their own custom sheets in Excel or Google Sheets. And a few of those have decided to share their creations with others.

Razzball War Room (razzball.com)

It's calling card feature is projecting future availability based on ADP, a Jeff Zimmerman trick. Included with a Razzball subscription starting at $28.

Big Board (getbigboard.com)

The best feature match with the traditional programs. Prices have been going up and are currently at $30.

Mr. Cheatsheet (mrcheatsheet.com)

The only free option.

Pros:

Cons:

Category #3: Pick Advice + Room Sync

A third category of tools focuses on one killer feature: Connecting with your online draft room and keeping the software in-sync. That's huge, since you typically spend tons of time updating picks in your software.

The downside is that the effort required for that cool feature hasn't left much room for other features. So don't expect much in the way of custom scoring settings.

FantasyPros Draft Assistant (fantasypros.com)

Included in $72 yearly subscription

FantasySP Draft Genius (fantasysp.com)

Included in $90 yearly subscription

Pros:

Cons:

Not Actually Draft Software

I said their were three categories, but there's one more. When you search for "fantasy draft software," many results are actually for software for running a live draft party. They track the picks for the whole room but aren't designed for giving individual advice. These programs include options like FanDraft, ClickyDraft, and PrimeTime Draft.

That's useful, but not what I'm trying to build.

Hi,

I'm Mays. I've been playing fantasy since I was in high school (over two decades ago).

My speciality has always been player valuation—converting player stats into rankings and salary values. VBD? Z-Scores? We go way back. In 2009, I started Last Player Picked, a site that generated fantasy values customized for your league.

These days, I'm building DraftKick and Projectile, a fantasy baseball site with in-season projection visualizations.

You can find me on Twitter at @MaysCopeland or email me at mayscopeland@gmail.com.