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Click Here to Buy the Draft Buddy
Instructions
Follow the numbered tabs (1, 2, 3 etc.) in Draft Buddy to get started.




Download and Installation

Download one of the available files depending on your version of Microsoft Excel. Each of the download files are unzipped and work equally on Windows and Mac computers. The DB is not compatible with Mac Office 2008.

  1. Click the appropriate download link and choose "Save" (or right-click Save As.., Save Target As.. or Download Linked File As..), to download the file to your computer.

  2. If desired, move the file to the folder of your choice on your computer.

  3. Start Excel on your computer. From Excel, select Office Button > Open or File > Open (older Excel) and browse to the folder where you saved the DB. Select and open.

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Enabling Macros

The Draft Buddy requires that macros be enabled to work properly.

Excel 2007 to 2011


Excel 2007: Note the different menu and toolbars
(called the ribbon) from prior versions

After opening the Draft Buddy, you should notice a message, "Security Warning: Some active content may be disabled" with an Options button after that. This is located below the menu and toolbars, and above the spreadsheet content.

Click Options and select "Enable this content" for each of the sections Macro and Data Connection. Click OK.

If you do not see the Security Warning message, follow these steps:

  1. In Excel, choose Office Button > Excel Options.

  2. Select Trust Center from the menu, then Trust Center Settings, and choose, "Show the Message Bar in all applications when content has been blocked." Click OK.

  3. Close the Draft Buddy, then re-open it.

You should now see the Security Warning message, so you can click Options and enable macros and data connections.

Older Versions of Excel (pre-2007)


Excel 2002: Versions prior to Excel 2007 look like this

When you open the Draft Buddy, you should be prompted by Excel to enable macros. Macros must be enabled for the DB to work properly. If you are not prompted to enable macros, then it likely means your Excel macro security setting is set at high, which automatically disables macros. Perform the following steps:

  1. In Excel, choose Tools > Macro > Security.

  2. Adjust your security level to medium.

  3. Close the Draft Buddy, then re-open it.

  4. You should now be prompted to enable macros. Select Enable.

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Getting Started

Overview

There are two main functions of the Draft Buddy. The first creates custom player rankings (cheatsheets) based on your fantasy football league rules, league scoring, current year player projections and prior year player statistics.

The second main function of the program is the draft tracker, keeping track of your fantasy draft or auction as it occurs by marking players drafted off the cheatsheets and updating various schedules with the draft results.

This first part is sometimes referred to as the Cheatsheet Compiler and the second part is sometimes referred to as Draft Buddy. The reason for this is because each were separate files in prior years, but starting in 2011, both are combined into a single file called, Draft Buddy.

Generally, your first steps will be to create custom cheatsheets for your league. Once these cheatsheets are prepared, then you will be ready to use the features to track your draft.

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Creating Custom Cheatsheets

This section outlines the steps to create custom cheatsheets for your fantasy football league. Follow the first tabs in order, numbered 1 to 5 and as described below, to complete the steps to create your custom cheatsheets.

Note that, in general, cells highlighted yellow throughout the DB are intended to be changed by the user.

  1. Open the Draft Buddy and click to the "1. rules" tab. Input league settings in the League Rules / Settings box. Review the section 1. rules Tab, League Rules / Settings for a detailed description of each option setting.

  2. Click to the "2. scoring" tab. Input the scoring for each of the positions used by your league.

    • If beneficial, choose one of the pre-set scoring options using the drop-down at the top of the scoring tab, and click the Get Scoring button to import that scoring. You will need an active Internet connection to import scoring with this feature.

    • For scoring categories or positions not used, set the cells under the heading FF Pts to 0 (zero), but keep the cells under the heading Per Unit set to a number greater than zero to avoid errors.

    • Only change cells highlighted yellow, so the range of points in the points against table, for example, can be changed. The range of yards in the distance scoring tables should not be changed.

    • For distance scoring, fill in the basic scoring (i.e. 6) plus bonus points (i.e. 3) in the distance scoring tables, or zero for basic scoring (0) plus the full amount basic + bonus (9) in the distance scoring tables, but not both (6 + 9).

    • For the points against and yards against tables, fill in the entire table even if the table includes more rows than you need for your league. Fill in the additional rows as, for example, 99 to 99 for 0 FF Pts (for points against) or 999 to 999 for 0 FF Pts (for yards against).

  3. Click to the "3. owners" tab. Input the owner and team names for all of the teams in your league.

    • If you do not know the draft order for your league at this time, you can reset the draft order later on using this tab.

  4. Click to the "4. options" tab. Some of the options on this tab are more advanced features of the DB, and in most leagues the default settings will work the best. See the section 4. options Tab, Advanced Options for a detailed description of each option setting.

    • If your league uses an auction draft, use the available drop-down to set the option for Overall rankings method to "Compiler Auction Recommended". For non-auctions, the default setting is "Compiler Draft Pick Recommended".

  5. Click to the "5. action" tab. After completing the above steps setting the options for your league, click the Compile Cheatsheets button to see the impact of your changes on the cheatsheets.

    • After the Compile Cheatsheets process finishes, the Compiler redirects you to the offense tab. This shows the cheatsheet for offense position players and team defense.

    • The defensive position players cheatsheet, if applicable for your league, is on the idp (Individual Defensive Players) tab. The overall rankings cheatsheet is on the overall tab.

    • Print your cheatsheets by going to each of your cheatsheet tabs and using Office Button > Print (Excel 2007 to Excel 2011) or File > Print (older versions of Excel).

    • If you are happy with your DB generated cheatsheets, then you can proceed to the steps to track your draft. If you change any of your league settings, scoring, options or projections, then you must click Compile Cheatsheets again to see the impact of those changes on your cheatsheets.

Tip: Even if you plan to use the Draft Buddy at your live draft, remember to take a hardcopy of your cheatsheets as a backup, to avoid frustration if anything happens to your laptop, battery, etc. that unexpectedly prevents you from using the DB.

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Tracking Your Draft or Auction

This section outlines the steps to prepare for and track your draft or auction.

Note that, in general, cells highlighted yellow throughout the DB are intended to be changed by the user.

  1. Review the draft report or auction report, summary and rosters tabs. These should indicate the proper number of teams and draft picks based on the league settings input to create your custom cheatsheets.

    • If the draft report or auction report does not show the correct team or owner names, or the teams in the correct order, try clicking Compile Cheatsheets again to reset the draft or nomination order.

    • If you changed the team or owner names, or the draft or nomination order on the 3. owners tab, and those changes are not reflected on the draft report or auction report tab, then try changing the Draft Order option at the top of the tab, and then switching it back to the correct setting. For example, if you have a Serpentine draft order, change the Draft Order option from Serpentine to Straight, wait for the DB to update, and then switch it back to Serpentine.

  2. If applicable, a keepers tab should appear to input pre-draft keepers for each team in your league. For each kept player, click in the first yellow cell for a team and select the appropriate position using the drop-down. Then click the next yellow cell and select the player using the drop-down.

    • For keeper leagues where a kept player costs a draft pick, a third yellow cell should appear to select the draft pick being forfeit by the team to keep the player. Select the appropriate draft pick using the drop-down.

    • For auction/contract leagues, a third yellow cell should appear to input the cap value of the kept player.


    Use the Draft Player button, or CTRL-X
    to draft and CTRL-Z to undo.
  3. You are ready to start your draft or auction. To draft or nominate players, you can do either of the following:

    • Go to any of the summary, offense, idp, overall, adp or depth tabs. Click on the player name for the current draft pick or current turn in the auction, and click the "Draft Player" or "Nominate Player" button. If you make a mistake, click the "Undo Pick" button.

      There are shortcuts for these buttons. Use CTRL-x to draft or nominate a player, and CTRL-z to undo (option-command-x and option-command-z for Mac users).

    • Go to the draft report or auction report tab. Next to the current draft pick or current turn in the auction, select the appropriate position under the Pos heading, and then the player name under Player.

    • For auction leagues, on the auction report tab select the team that won the player at auction, and the winning bid amount. If the team that won the auction is the same as initially nominated the player, then you do not have to select the team.

As each player is input on the draft report or auction report tab, the other tabs in the DB will update.

Tip: Make sure to spend sufficient practice time tracking a draft in the DB prior to your league draft to get used to its functionality rather than figuring it out on the fly.

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Description of Each Tab

1. rulesThis tab is for inputting the basic rules for your league, including the number of teams in the league, whether it is a keeper league, auction or draft style draft and number of starters and backups at each position.
2. scoringThis tab is for inputting the scoring rules for all positions in your league. The format for most scoring categories is to input X fantasy points per Y stats, for example 1 fantasy point per 10 rushing yards. This tab also includes options for distance scoring touchdowns and field goals, points against and yards against for team defense.
2a. custom scoringThis tab is an extension of the scoring tab. If you elect to import data into the custom fields, found to the far right of each position tab, then you can use the custom scoring options to either add that data to the fantasy point calculations, or do a straight ranking of players based on the data in the custom fields.
3. ownersThis tab is for inputting the team and owner names for all of the teams in your fantasy league. You can also indicate which is your team, and reset the draft order if necessary.
4. optionsThis tab includes advanced options, including display options and some options to control how players are ranked for the overall rankings cheatsheet. Each option is described in detail in the section Advanced Options (4. options Tab).
5. actionThis tab includes the buttons necessary to check for a projection update, update projections, and Compile Cheatsheets.
summaryThis tab provides a snap shot of the current rankings and draft or auction progress. It includes a recap of the last draft pick and what team is up next, a recap showing the number of players each team drafted, a salary cap summary for auction leagues, the top rated players available and the user's current roster.
keepersThis tab is for inputting the players kept by each team prior to the draft or auction. This tab will hide for non-keeper leagues.
offense and idpThese tabs are the positional cheatsheets for each of the offensive players and individual defensive players (IDP). The idp tab will hide for non-IDP leagues.
overallThis tab is the overall rankings cheatsheet.
auction report or draft reportThese tabs track the draft or auction, in order, as players are selected or won at auction. Only one of these tabs will appear depending on the type of draft your league uses, and the other will remain hidden.
rostersThis tab shows the roster for each team in your league, sorted by position, and updates as the draft progresses. It includes the position, player name, NFL team, bye week, projected fantasy points and winning bid amount, if applicable. To unhide all of these columns click the "+"sign above each team name.
adpThis tab shows the Average Draft Position (ADP) data for each player, sorted by ADP from lowest to highest. This data is included on the positional cheatsheets for non-auction leagues, and this tab is updated to show players as they are drafted.
depth and idp depthThese tabs provide a one-page depth chart of the top fantasy players at each position for all NFL teams. The idp depth tab is hidden for non-IDP leagues, and these tabs are updated to show players as they are drafted.
playerThis tab is a player comparison tool allowing you to select any two players and compare their past results, projections, notes, custom fields, ranking and ADP data.
position tabs (QB, RB, WR, TE, K, DEF, DL, LB, DB)These tabs include all of the detail about all players in the DB, including their characteristics (height, weight, experience), current year projections, past stats, blank sections for more projections, custom fields and player notes.
TD DistanceThis tab is historic data about the length of touchdowns scored
offense-notes, idp-notes, overall-notesThese tabs are the extended cheatsheets, showing the same information as the offense, idp and overall tabs (positional cheatsheets), but also data from the custom fields and player notes.

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League Rules / Settings (1. rules Tab)

Number of teams in league The total number of fantasy teams in your fantasy league, including your team.
Number of draft or auction roundsIn re-draft leagues, the number of draft rounds, or rounds to complete an auction, should be the same as the next setting, Maximum roster size. In keeper leagues, this may be less than the roster size in cases where every team is required to keep a minimum fixed number of players.
Maximum roster size (active players)Do not include IR (injured reserve) spots in this setting.
Max keepers per teamIf your league is a keeper league, then this option must be set with a number greater than zero for DB to show the keepers tab after hitting Compile Cheatsheets.
Keepers cost a draft pickIf your league requires you to forfeit a draft pick for each player you keep from the prior year, set this option to yes.
Auction draft?If your league draft is an auction style draft, set this option to yes.
Salary cap per teamThis is the salary cap for all teams per the league rules, prior to any keepers, dead cap or other adjustments to any individual team's salary cap.
Minimum player bidThis is the smallest amount bidders can open the bidding on a player.
Minimum bid incrementThis is the smallest amount bidders can raise the current player bid.
Starters per team - QB, RB, WR, TE, K, DEF, DL, LB, DBFor each of these options, indicate the number of starters required by your league at each position. If your league does not use a particular position, then set the number of starters to zero.
Backups per team - QB, RB, WR, TE, K, DEF, DL, LB, DBFor each of these options, indicate the number of backups required by your league at each position. If your league does not use a particular position, then set the number of backups to zero.

If your league does not require a set number of backups at a position, then input the number of backups you expect an average team in your league to draft at each position. You can use decimals instead of whole numbers, if appropriate*, but the total backups for all positions should equal the total backup players per team in your league.

* For example, if you expect half the teams in your league to draft 2 backup RB, and 3 backup WR, while the other half drafts 3 backup RB, and 2 backup WR, then you can input 2.5 backup RB, and 2.5 backup WR.
O-FlexUse the O-Flex (offensive flex) position if your league allows teams to start a player or players from two or more optional positions. The optional O-Flex positions are QB, RB, WR, TE and K.

Input the number of O-Flex players in the starting lineup. Do not input any backup players under the O-Flex position.
D-FlexUse the D-Flex (defensive flex) position if your league allows teams to start a player or players from two or more optional positions. The optional D-Flex positions are DL, LB and DB.

Input the number of D-Flex players in the starting lineup. Do not input any backup players under the D-Flex position.
Positions included in offensive/defensive FlexCheck the positions that are included in each of the O-Flex and D-Flex positions, if applicable.
Exclude position from overall rankingsCheck the positions you prefer to exclude from your overall rankings cheatsheet. This may be desirable because certain positions can become overvalued in the overall rankings, such as K and DEF, regardless of other option settings.
Combine WR and TE?If your league combines the WR and TE position into a single WR position, set this option to yes.

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Advanced Options (4. options Tab)

TieringTiering is a method of identifying groups of similarly ranked players on your positional cheatsheets. Check this option to enable tiering, and the DB will insert a red dotted line at the end of each tier.

The initial tier groups are determined by the Set tiers every X points... option. For leagues with low fantasy point scoring, you will want to set a relatively low number to identify the tiers. For leagues with high fantasy point scoring, you will want to set a relatively high number to identify the tiers. In general, 20 points is a good estimate for standard performance scoring fantasy leagues.

After the initial tiers are set, tiers can be easily adjusted directly on the cheatsheets found on the offense or idp tabs by changing the numbers for each player under the Tier heading.
Primary CheatsheetsThe DB provides two sets of cheatsheets, a Regular (no notes) version and an expanded With Notes version that includes data from the Custom Fields and Player Notes found to the far right of each position tab.

The Regular (no notes) version is on the offense, idp and overall tabs. The With Notes version is on the offense-notes, idp-notes and overall-notes tabs.

Whichever version you choose as your primary cheatsheets, the alternate version is still available, but moved to the far right of the tabs list.
Overall Rankings / Custom BaselinesThese options give the user additional control over how players are ranked on the overall rankings cheatsheet. The first option, Overall rankings method, is a global setting that includes pre-defined methods to value each position in your league.

In general, the method Compiler Draft Pick Recommended provides the best result for non-auction leagues, and Compiler Auction Recommended provides the best result for auction leagues. See the section Overall Rankings / Custom Baselines for more information on each available method.

The option Baseline adjust factor gives the user the ability to increase or decrease the value of individual positions relative to other positions.

Inputting a factor greater than 1.0 will increase the value of a position, and inputting a factor between 0 and 1.0 will decrease the value of a position. There is an upper and lower limit, depending on your league settings, where this option will no longer make an impact on the overall rankings.

The Current baseline rank may not properly account for flex players until after hitting Compile Cheatsheets. Any changes made to this section will not be reflected in the overall rankings until after hitting Compile Cheatsheets.
Average Projections / Allocation KeysThe option Default allocation key is a global setting to define what current year projections or past stats are used to calculate the projected fantasy points for all players, from which the cheatsheets are generated.

The section showing the defined allocation keys includes the name of the key and percentage applied to each current projection or past stats section. Changing these options allows the user to define their own allocation key (or keys), creating a unique weighted average if desired. The sum of percentages should equal 100%.

The user can override the Default allocation key on a per player basis on the position tabs. To find this, go to a position tab and click the first "+" sign at the top of the tab to unhide columns showing the allocation key applied to each player. Inputting a different number from the default key under the heading Non-Default % Key will result in a new weighted average for that player.

See the section Importing Projections for more information on averaging projections and allocation keys.
Import ProjectionsThe option allows the user to simply label projections that they imported into the DB. Importing projections requires a separate optional add-on to the DB, called Projection Pal. See the section Importing Projections for more information on Projection Pal and how to include additional sets of projections in the DB.
MyFantastyLeague.com (MFL) IntegrationThis is the setting for our MFL Integration feature, which allows you to input keepers, for keeper and dynasty leagues, and import and refresh draft results, for all pick style draft leagues, if MyFantasyLeague.com runs your fantasy football league. Please review the available video tutorials (keepers, draft results) for more information on how to use this feature.

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Multiple Leagues

To work with multiple leagues in the Draft Buddy, save a copy of the DB with a new filename for each of your leagues. Use Office Button > Save As.. > Macro-Enabled Workbook (.xlsm) for newer versions of Excel, or File > Save As.. (.xls) for pre-2007 versions of Excel.

You will have one file for each of your fantasy leagues. The best way to keep organized and know which league each file relates to is to make the filename unique to your league. For example, for a league named Dirty Dozen, save the DB as dirty_dozen_compiler_2011.xlsm.

  • Note with a different DB file for each league, you will need to run Update Projections for each file to keep all of them up to date. However, consider only creating a new file, and performing the update, as needed as you prepare for each of your fantasy league drafts or auctions.

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Overall Rankings / Custom Baselines

The Draft Buddy offers choices of overall ranking method, which sets the comparison point (often called the "baseline") for each position from which the DB calculates how valuable each player at that position is.

Using the Last starter drafted method as an example, if you have a 12 team league and start 1 QB, 2 RB and 3 WR, the DB will set the baseline at the 12th ranked QB (12 teams * 1 starter), the 24th ranked RB (12 teams * 2 starters) and the 36th ranked WR (12 teams * 3 starters). The 12th ranked QB is the comparison point because he is the theoretical last starter drafted at QB.

After determining the comparison point, the DB calculates the value points for each QB as their projected FF Pts minus the FF Pts of the 12th ranked QB. Similar calculations are done for RB using the 24th ranked RB as the comparison, for WR using the 36th ranked WR, and the rest of the positions. Value points are what drive the overall rankings cheatsheet. Using the last starter method, all starters will have positive value points and all backups will have negative value points. The last starter method is the most commonly used, but not the only one that can be used. Some people like to use median or last player drafted, knowing they aren't just drafting starters and they will be altering their lineup from week to week.

Following up our 12 team example above, here is the comparison point for a roster of 3 QB (1 starter + 2 backup), 4 RB (2 starters + 2 backup) and 5 WR (3 starters + 2 backup) for each of the traditional methods:

Last Starter: 12th QB; 24th RB; 36th WR

Median Drafted: 18th QB (12 teams * 3 drafted / 2); 24th RB (12 teams * 4 drafted / 2); 30th WR (12 teams * 5 drafted / 2)

Last Drafted: 36th QB (12 teams * 3 drafted); 48th RB (12 teams * 4 drafted); 60th WR (12 teams * 5 drafted)

Beyond these traditional methods, some people even like to change the comparison point from these rigid settings and adjust each position up or down in value. For example, giving more weight to RB and less to K is a common one. That is what the section Overall Rankings / Custom Baselines on the 4. options tab in the DB allows you to do. For each position, input a baseline adjust factor of less than 1.0 to decrease the value of the position or input a factor greater than 1.0 to increase the value of the position.

Once you understand these methods and the ability to input factors to adjust the value of positions, the other pre-set overall ranking methods are explained more easily. The Compiler Draft Pick Recommended, Stud RB and QBBC methods each start with Median Drafted as the base method, but then adjust the importance of certain positions up and down to more properly reflect how they should be drafted in the overall rankings than the traditional methods provide. The adjustments are:

Compiler Draft Pick Recommended: QB = 0.85, RB = 1.15, WR = 0.92, TE = 0.7, K = 0.2, DEF = 0.4, DL = 0.5, LB = 0.6, DB = 0.45

Stud RB method: RB adjustment = 1.5

QBBC method: QB adjustment = 0.65

The effect of the above adjustments, using the Stud RB adjustment of 1.5 for the RB position as an example, provides a comparison point of 150% of the original median drafted method. The RB comparison point would now be 36th ranked RB (24th Median Drafted * 1.5).

Compiler Auction Recommended method attempts to spread the dollar values more evenly across the draftable player pool, so instead of using Median Drafted as a base, it instead using 75% of the Last Drafted method as a base, and then applies the adjustments shown below.

Compiler Auction Recommended: QB = 0.85, RB = 1.15, WR = 0.92, TE = 0.7, K = 0.2, DEF = 0.4, DL = 0.5, LB = 0.6, DB = 0.45

One other thing to note for creating your overall rankings is an option on the inputs tab to exclude certain positions from the overall rankings. This is the second row of checkboxes under the section to input number of starters and backups by position. You can exclude any or all of K, DEF, DL, LB and DB. Sometimes it is difficult to adjust these positions low enough in the overall rankings so if you know you will not draft them until very late, it might be better to just remove them from the overall rankings completely.

Generally, the Compiler Draft Pick Recommended tends to provide the best result for most leagues with a pick style draft, while Compiler Auction Recommended provides the best result for most leagues with an auction style draft. If you want to go with a traditional method, Median Drafted is a good one to start with. It tends to emphasize building a strong, deeper team with quality backups at key positions, which is better in the long run than the results from using the Last Starter method, the most common method people use.

The default settings for the DB include checks to exclude the K and DEF positions from the overall rankings. The reason is because those positions should usually be drafted later in the draft rather than using a premium draft pick. That is why in the Compiler Draft Pick Recommended method they are adjusted so low for those positions.

Compiler Draft Pick Recommended may not be as suitable for leagues that must start 2 QB. For start 2 QB leagues, try Median Drafted as a base method, test the resulting overall rankings, and then include adjustments as appropriate across all positions to tailor the overall rankings to your league.

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Importing Projections

Projection Pal

Projection Pal is a tool to help you import projections from alternate sources into the DB to complement the FF Today projections we include by default. Please note you do not need to download and use Projection Pal. This is a completely OPTIONAL add-on for the DB.

To use Projection Pal, download the available file and save it to the same directory as you have your copy of the Draft Buddy, open it in Excel and give it a try.

Read and follow the detailed instructions included on the setup tab of Projection Pal. There are sure to still be instances where projections from the web will not import into the DB very well (if at all). Overall however, Projection Pal should make things much easier.

Projection Pal Tip: If the web query steps in Projection Pal are giving you issues, then try skipping the web query function and instead copy and paste the projections into Projection Pal. Then follow the remaining steps to pull the projections into the DB.

Demo Video

The following video is a demonstration using Projection Pal for the Draft Buddy, Fantasy Baseball version. However, all of the concepts are the same as the Fantasy Football version, so please review the video to learn how to use Projection Pal to import projections into the DB.

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Questions?
Check out the Draft Buddy Message Board or send an email to Mike MacGregor and he will respond ASAP.