Draft Software & Draft Logistic TipsRotoWire Fantasy Baseball Draft Software, you should be. It's the best thing since sliced bread. Especially in keeper leagues where you can quickly figure out who's available, who has money left to spend and what the estimated inflation will be for players.
In using the software for a few drafts, here's some tips for even seasoned users.
- List all players
Go to Edit --> Draft/Auction Setup --> Eligibility Options and click on "List Players with no major league players at their position" and "List All Eligible" positions.
This lets you see every player in the player pool. RotoWire makes a projection for about 1,000 players, but even that's not enough in many leagues. It's also helpful to see on the screen all the positions a player qualifies for.
- Utilize the Depth Charts
Go to Depth Charts --> View all
Late in a draft I found this new feature to really help out. Searching for any pitcher with a spot in a rotation? Looking for backups to positions with injury-prone starters (Twins' 3B, Atlanta 3B, etc.)? You can quickly get a view from RotoWire's real-time depth charts. Double click on the player's name and his latest news and stats will appear in the player info box at the top.
- Add Sleepers/Busts
Right click on a player name in the "Main View" window and choose "Sleeper" or "Bust"
I found this useful late in drafts when you get to the endgame and there are a few names you want to remember not to forget to bid an extra dollar on or bring up in the nomination process. Plus, these players stay highlighted when you switch to other "Drafts." You can keep them highlighted (and remember them) for the next league you're in.
- Find a player's ranking quickly
Last name search box --> see player highlighted below
In prior versions of the draft software, I often wanted to quickly see the dollar value and ranking for a player but had to sort by last name or position. If you have the "Main View" window open with a position the player appears in (so make sure for a batter he's in "Hit" for example) and type his name in the Last Name Search box at the top, he'll be highlighted instantly in grey in the "Main View" box. I found this invaluable when a name comes up and you're struggling to figure out what dollar amount to bid.
If you haven't tried the draft software, you're really missing out. It's what all the staff use here at RotoWire, including Jeff Erickson who used it to win 2007 Tout wars and used it in his recent NFBC draft (which was a draft, not auction. It's great in both formats).
Other draft tips [this is a repeat from my fantasy football post last summer, but figure it applies for baseball as well]
If you are not using an online draft room or auction software and want to do a draft via conference call, then try freeconferencecall.com. There's no charge for the conference call itself, everyone has to pay their own long distance, however. If you're doing a weeknight or weekend draft, that's usually not a problem for those with cell phones since most plans have free minutes at night and on weekends. Another way to conference call is through skype. It works great with two caveats: 1) you need everyone in your league to download the software (tough for the tech challenged) and 2) you really need everyone to have headsets or the feedback from external speakers is a killer. But when everyone is set up, the conference call works great and includes a chat room and it's totally free.
And then there's the old standby of online chatrooms. AOL and Yahoo instant message services are the most used. Both are quick and efficient, but there are often delays in posts, which becomes a problem if you are doing an auction. And sometimes someone in your league can't figure out how to download the software or their online connection blocks or doesn't work well with the service.
And lastly if you go the non-online software route to run your draft, using Google Docs is a huge help. You can invite everyone in your league to check out a spreadsheet at the same time that can be updated online in real time. It's a must for an auction league if you have keepers and crazy in-draft trades (it really helped out for our 18-team mixed league, 40-man roster staff baseball league). There's also a chat room within the spreadsheet as well. I bet it's possible to do a full draft via Google Docs.
Hope that helps. Do you have any tips to help the readers here in order to make the most thankless job on the planet (being commissioner) better?