Your Checklist For a Successful Fantasy Football Draft Day

Jeff SockContributor IIAugust 22, 2010

Peyton Manning and Eli Manning at the 2005 Fantasy Football Training Camp held at the South Street Seaport on July 18, 2005 in New York City (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
Jemal Countess/Getty Images

I thought I would just share my fantasy season rituals for everyone so that you can be better prepared come draft day.  Hopefully this helps you become a better fantasy football player.

  1. Buy your Fantasy Football Magazine in July or Early August

              I typically buy my magazine early.  Let's face it; they will be all outdated anyway once the training camp battles and preseason shuffling for injuries occur.

I like to buy one that has some quality strategy articles dispersed through it.  I highly recommend the Fantasy Football Pro Forecast by the guys at  They have great articles and the past 2 years it comes with August and Regular Season Flash Updates for free. 

You can even set up your text messaging phone (phone rates apply) to receive player and injury updates for free throughout the season.  That's top notch value in my book.

     2.     Follow up on up to date player news during the preseason.

               I highly recommend you make at least a one time daily read in your offseason preparation.  Their player updates come from sources throughout the country. 

It's the most extensive player news site that is free that I have found on the web.  I also recommend checking out  They provide you with the NFL's official news and all preseason boxscores are available there for you to track.

     3.     Look at valuable websites for  up to date rankings and draft strategies and analysis.

              Websites I recommend here include:,,, and of course all the major sports media outlet websites.

     4.     Get your favorite beverages, snacks and food for draft day consumption.

              I know many sites advocate that you don't drink and draft.  That would probably be the majority feeling here at chinstrap ninjas as well.  However draft day is to be a fun day.  There is nothing wrong with having a few beers and having a good time. 

For many it is one of the main events during the year you get some quality time away from the spouse and kids and have some good friendship bonding time.  You should enjoy it. 

So go ahead and drink and draft.  Have fun.  Just make sure you are totally sober for the drive home.  Drinking and driving, now that's a big no-no and is not cool on any level.

     5.     Print a cheatsheet from your favorite website to take to your draft.

              A cheatsheet is the drafter's best friend.  We provide you with our staff cheatsheet as was derived from our soon to be finished mock draft.  That cheatsheet should help in leagues with 10 or 12 teams. 

If you have a larger league than that, then I recommend you check out all of our other rankings

We will also be adding auction values after next weekend to the cheatsheet based on an auction draft some of our staff will be participating in on Sunday, Aug. 29.  Keep checking for that update next week to the cheatsheet.

     6.     Print a copy of the NFL Schedule to take to your draft.

              You should also take a copy of the NFL schedule along to the draft.  Sometimes it comes in handy for bye week selections or helping pick your defense in the late rounds.

     7.     Bring a clipboard to your draft.

               This idea might sound dumb, but some drafting venues do not provide tables to work at.  You need to be prepared if all you have to work with is a chair to sit on.

     8.     Bring two pens to the draft.

              I don't recommend pencil because the leads break too often and they smear easy when you try to erase them.  But you say you can't erase pen.  Never fear, I cover that with my next item on the list. 

I recommend you take 2 pens and test them both prior to the draft to make sure they write.  I take a spare just in case one runs out of ink.

     9.     Bring a whiteout one line strip device with you to your draft.

              Your local office supply store will have these handy plastic hand held devices that produce an instantly white out strip over anything.  There is no drying or gooey mess. 

You can pick up a 2 pack of these for probably $3.99.  That will last you for many drafts in the future.

     10.   Bring a highlighter to your draft.

               This makes crossing off players that have been drafted during your draft on your cheatsheet easy. 

At a glance you know what players still remain to be drafted.  Just be sure to test your highlighter before leaving to the draft to be sure it is not dried out.

     11.    Create a spreadsheet for tracking each team's selections throughout the draft.

               I know most people don't track the entire draft.  They want to just let that up to somebody else and solely track your team.  Problem with that is you miss out on seeing what positions upcoming draftees may be targeting. 

In drafts where I did not track every one's progress, I have fared poorly.  In drafts where I have taken the time to track the entire draft, I have done extremely well.  I highly recommend everyone makes this a new draft day ritual.

     12.    Bring your fantasy football magazine to the draft.

                You ask why do this?  I already have my cheatsheet and NFL Schedule from my favorite website.  You take it to give to the person that comes to the draft with no cheatsheets or magazines in hand. 

You know every league has one.  Hand him your magazine and tell him happy drafting.  You can count on him making those magazine sleepers picks that died in training camp and preseason either through poor play or injury. 

Chances are if he didn't take the time to get a cheatsheet or magazine, he probably hasn't followed any preseason updates either. 

Well there you have it.  Everything I do to prepare for the fantasy season from July through draft day. 

Remember there are 2 ultimate goals here.  We want to have fun playing fantasy football and win league championships. 

Ahh, who am I kidding?  We just want to win league championships.  Hopefully this checklist makes you better prepared to do just that. 

Have fun and Happy Drafting.


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