With the 2018 fantasy football season quickly approaching, commissioners across the country are in the planning stages of their fantasy football drafts. Many of these leagues conduct live drafts and will be looking for the best fantasy football draft board on the market.
Although some leagues use software or apps to manage their fantasy drafts, offline draft boards are a must for leagues conducting live draft parties. And even if you are using the software provided by your fantasy host to enter draft picks, having a real, tangible fantasy football draft board at your party really enhances the live draft experience.
The goal of this review is to provide you with all of the information necessary to purchase a draft kit that best suits the needs and budget of your league. As you'll see in this review, fantasy draft kits are extremely affordable.
But who has the best draft kit for the most reasonable price? That's what I set out to discover.
Draft Board Comparison Tables
The best draft board for your league will depend on the type of league that you run. I've reviewed the top draft boards that will work for both serpentine or auction-based drafts. We'll even break-down a draft board that can be re-used across multiple drafts and even multiple fantasy seasons.
The best fantasy draft boards for standard, snake-style drafts
Here is a quick summary of the top fantasy football boards for standard, serpentine-based drafts. You can click on any product links to check a board's current price or click the Read Review link to jump to my product-specific review.
(3.5 of 4 stars)
(3 of 4 stars)
The best reusable fantasy draft board
If you run multiple fantasy leagues (or even are a part of a single, long-running fantasy league) and are looking to save a few bucks, a reusable fantasy board will be your salvation.
Draft Party has an awesome reusable board that is well worth the investment and could save you some serious cash in the long run. I review this board in detail below.
The best draft kit for an auction league
Auction drafts are unique in that their draft format is based on openly bidding on players, rather than assigning specific draft positions as you would in a serpentine draft. As such, auction draft kits have some features that make them more suitable for action drafts.
Choosing the Best Draft Board for your League
Choosing the best fantasy football draft board that is ideal for your league isn't as easy as it sounds. There are several factors to consider when searching for the perfect board:
Knowing the answer to all of these questions will make it much easier to find the optimal kit for your league. It will also enable you to save a few bucks as you can zero-in on the cheapest board that fits your criteria.
In this next few sections, we'll discuss how to find the best board available based on the answers to these questions.
The draft board features you must consider
To simplify this review, I chose to focus solely on fantasy draft boards that support at least 12 teams and at least 15 rounds. That is the standard setting for most fantasy leagues, so it is the bare minimum requirement for inclusion in this draft board review.
Considering fantasy football boards with a common set of minimal features makes it easier to compare boards justly.
Size matters for a fantasy football draft board
I hate that I have to be the one to break it to you fellas, but size matters. Think about it. A fantasy football draft board is the centerpiece of a draft party. As such, it only makes sense to buy the largest board that will fit into your drafting space (assuming it meets all your other criteria).
In this review, I only considered boards that are at least four feet wide and three feet high. Boards this size should be adequate for viewing in a standard living room where the owners are within 10-12 feet of the board.
Thicker fantasy football draft boards are easier to work with
Draft board thickness varies wildly from merchant to merchant. Some print their draft boards on thick, glossy stock paper. Others seem to print their boards on think tissue paper that is susceptible to wrinkling and tearing.
Thicker boards are also much easier to work with when hanging them on a wall or trying to affix the player labels. They are also more durable and will last longer if stored away.
Want to spice-up your fantasy football drafts a bit? Save your completed football draft board after every live draft. Then, break it out at the draft the following year and relentlessly ridicule those owners who blew it the previous year!
Labels come in different shapes, sizes, and formats
Most player label packages for standard scoring leagues come with the six fantasy football positions (color-coded by position):
Beyond the standard positions and color-coding, player label formats will frequently vary from merchant to merchant.
For example, labels can come in different dimensions, the size of the text can vary, some labels show pictures of the players while others don't, and labels may or may not contain the bye week of each respective player.
Pay special attention to whether labels show bye week. This is a feature demanded by some owners as they use it during the draft to help guide their picks. If you purchase labels without bye weeks, you may have a mutiny on your hands at your live draft.
Draft kits are called kits for a reason
Some merchants bundle a few extra items with their boards and market them as fantasy draft kits. The idea is that you purchase a kit that has a fantasy football draft board, player sticker labels, and everything else that you need to conduct your draft.
Products branded as draft kits typically include double-sided tape to stick your board to the wall, blank labels on which to write players that aren't found on a sticker, and a black marker for writing the player names.
Some merchants will even throw in free merchandise to earn your business. There is at least one such merchant in this review.
Where can I buy a fantasy football draft board?
I spent considerable time researching where to buy the best fantasy football draft kits. Although you can theoretical purchase draft boards at brick and mortar stores, I believe the best place to purchase a draft kit is online.
Some store sell draft boards, but fantasy football draft kits in stores become outdated too quickly. Buy one of these kits and you're likely to be writing lots of player labels yourself.
Reviewing the Best Draft Boards of 2018
In evaluating which fantasy boards to review, I only considered boards that I would purchase for my own fantasy leagues. Each has its pros and cons and no board is perfect for every league.
Let's jump right into it and first talk about what I consider to be the best fantasy football draft party kit on the market.
Fantasy Jocks is a well-respected merchant in the fantasy sports space. They sell championship belts, fantasy football rings, and league trophies in addition to their extensive NFL fantasy draft board line of products.
They are such a popular fantasy merchant that I reviewed Fantasy Jocks in detail in this article.
This particular kit from Fantasy Jocks includes their Custodian draft board. Custodian fantasy football boards can support leagues of various sizes: 10 teams, 12 teams, or 16 teams.
Fantasy Jocks gets the details right
But what makes the Custodian such a great NFL fantasy draft board kit is the attention to detail.
This board is printed on thick, 80lb high gloss paper. Player stickers list bye weeks and are updated regularly. So you'll be certain to get labels with correct player information.
Also, every rookie drafted in the 2017 NFL draft is included.
Every Custodian Kit purchased from Fantasy Jocks comes with the following accessories:
This fantasy board is priced slightly higher than the average draft board on the market. But considering the quality of the product, awesome merchant reputation, and peace of mind in knowing that your draft will go off without a hitch, it's well worth it.
What I like..
Not so much..
This draft board from UPI Marketing is the official fantasy football draft board of the NFL. While that sounds great on paper, unfortunately it doesn't mean it comes with any unique or special features.
However, judging by the customer comments this is a very popular board among fantasy owners. Many customers rave about this draft board and it appears they have more than a few repeat customers.
The Largest Draft Board in this Review
One distinguishing feature of this board is that it is quite large, coming in at 45.5" x 68.25". That makes it almost a full 10" taller and wider than the next biggest draft board, easily make it the largest board in this review. If you are having your draft is a large room, then you definitely want to consider this board as size shouldn't be a problem.
With the gargantuan size of this board (and the fact that it's licensed by the NFL), you can expect to pay a premium price as it's the most expensive standard board in this review. However, it does provide enough space for 16 teams and 20 rounds, which should be enough for almost all standard leagues as well as some dynasty leagues.
What I like..
Not so much..
This fantasy fantasy draft board entry from MyDraftDay is similar to the board offered by Fantasy Jocks in many ways. For instance, the stickers are exactly the same size, it supports twelve teams and up to twenty-four rounds, and they also advertise that their board is printed on heavy stock paper.
Although it isn't the largest board in this review, it is still quite large at 5ft x 3ft. That's good enough for 2nd place in this review and make it a giant draft board compared to most other products on the market.
Fewer player labels than Fantasy Jocks
However, one drawback of this board is that the player labels provided by MyDraftDay aren't the greatest. This kit only provides 400 players compared to Fantasy Jocks' 450 players. This means that if you're in a league that drafts deep or part of a dynasty league that picks lots of rookies, you may end up writing a bunch of rookie labels if you opt for this board.
If the standard 400 player labels would be sufficient for your league, then this might be the perfect NFL fantasy football draft board for your league party. It is slightly cheaper than the premium Fantasy Jocks kit, so if price is an important factor then this board might be a wise choice.
You won't get that free koozie with this board, but the few extra bucks you save can be put toward an actual six pack.
What I like..
Not so much..
If the name of this board left you initially scratching your head, one look at the board design should quickly clear things up. With the Backside Beauty fantasy football draft board kit, FantasyFootballDraftBoard.net combines sex appeal with quality (and even a bit of innovation).
I admit I was originally skeptical of this board because of its premium price. But when you break down the board features, you can see why it's priced higher than the other bland, thinner, cheaper NFL fantasy football draft board options.
Thick board paper prevents creasing
In addition to the enticing graphics, this board is printed on thick paper to prevent wrinkling or tearing. Even better, they ship it to you in a hard tube to ensure it arrives without a single crease. It's only fitting, as it would be a sacrilege to damage this beauty.
As I mentioned, this board isn't on the cheap end of the spectrum. But when you factor the quality of the board, the care taken to get it to you in pristine condition, the smart label design, and the incredibly hot design, it'd be hard to argue that this board isn't worth considering.
Revealing this board at your draft will instantly make you the hero of the party. The only problem is, no one will want to cover up this backside beauty with stupid player stickers.
What I like..
Not so much..
Save Cash with a Reusable Fantasy Draft Board
If you've run any fantasy sports league for multiple years, you know that draft party expenses can quickly add up. The great thing about some fantasy league prizes is that you can purchase them once and pass them from owner to owner each year. However, when it comes to draft boards, you've historically had to buy a new board for every draft party each and every year.
And if you're in multiple leagues, the costs for draft boards can quickly add-up.
Luckily, there is one solution to the money drain that is yearly NFL fantasy draft boards: reusable draft kits. Although they aren't necessarily the perfect solution in every situation, they do end up being a big-time money saver if you operate multiple fantasy leagues each season.
How can a fantasy football draft board be reusable?
The way that vendors create reusable boards is by harnessing the power of magnetism!
Instead of using stickers and paper which tend to stick together once and stay that way forever, magnets can be easily added and removed from a magnetized board as needed. This means after your draft is over you can simply peel off your team and player magnets and reuse them at your next fantasy draft!
But is a reusable draft kit truly reusable? What about new players each year?
In a reusable draft kit, the player magnets, team magnets, and board itself are completely reusable. But as you might have guessed, the reusable aspect of these kits starts to get fuzzy when you realize new rookie magnets have to be created each year.
So even though all of the items of these drafting kits are technically reusable, there is an added expense each year if you decide to purchase new player magnets for the upcoming season. At last check, it costs about $28 each year to buy new player magnets.
Do I have to re-purchase player magnets each year?
Not necessarily. The best reusable fantasy draft board I review below is dry-erasable which means you can write player names directly on the board itself then erase them when you're done with your draft.
Writing player names on the board manually is not an ideal solution, but it would absolutely work if you want to save a few bucks.
Can I really save money purchasing a reusable fantasy football draft kit?
At the time I'm publishing this article, the average cost of the single-year, paper-based fantasy football draft boards in this review is around $24. This means if you only conduct one draft a year, you'd come out ahead just purchasing a one-year, disposable draft board every year.
That is because the initial cost of the reusable board is considerably higher (around $65 as you'll see below).
However, if you conduct more than one fantasy draft each year, a reusable fantasy football draft board starts to make a lot of financial sense. Hosting multiple leagues, you can purchase one set of new player magnets each year and reuse them for all of your drafts for that and subsequent seasons (as opposed to purchasing multiple, disposable boards).
How long would it take to start saving money with a reusable draft kit?
The time it takes you to recoup your initial board purchase and start saving money with a reusable kit depends on how many leagues you run concurrently. Here are some basic guidelines:
Yearly fantasy football board cost savings
The graph below better illustrates how you can save money with a reusable fantasy football draft board. It shows the cumulative cost of draft boards over several NFL seasons. The blue line represents the cost of a reusable draft board if you decide to purchase new magnetic player labels each year. The other lines represent costs when purchasing a new [disposable] draft board (average cost $24) for people in one, two, or three fantasy leagues.
As you can see, reusable kits provide no costs savings when they are used for a single league. But for commissioners who run multiple leagues, it only takes 2-3 years to start saving considerable cash with a reusable board.
The money you save using a reusable fantasy draft board can be funneled right back into your league. It's never a bad thing to have more money for league prizes, cash for the champion, or a bigger budget for draft parties.
Reusable draft boards are a sexier option for leagues with big budgets
Also, keep in mind that some leagues purchase reusable draft kits simply because they look cooler and are simpler to use. If you make a mistake with a draft pick on this board, you simply move the player magnet. If you've ever tried to do this on a paper-based board, you know it's essentially impossible.
If a reusable fantasy football draft kit would help you save some money over the long-term. Or if you think it's just an awesome concept for a product, check out the following review for what I consider to be the best reusable board on the market.
The Best Reusable Fantasy Football Draft Board
If you run multiple leagues and are looking to save a few bucks on your fantasy draft expenses, a reusable, magnetic draft board is a wise investment. Instead of buying multiple fantasy football draft kits to be used, then immediately thrown away, you can reuse your board and player magnets for every draft you conduct across multiple seasons.
This reusable board from Draft Party is a monster, measuring 60" x 38". That's a full foot larger than any of the disposable draft boards in this review. So in addition to being completely reusable, it's an ideal board for large draft rooms.
The magnetic player stickers in this kit are comparable to the larger stickers in disposable kits, 3 7/8" x 1 3/8" to be exact. Much like disposable kits, the player magnets in this kit are color-coded by position.
Draft Party also provides four position wall strips which allow you to organize your player magnets by position for easy identification during the draft.
This reusable board can be used for any fantasy sport
Another great feature of this kit is that the board can be used for multiple fantasy sports. If you want to conduct a fantasy baseball draft using the board, simply purchase the baseball player magnetic kit and you're on your way.
If you decide to forego the sticker upgrade packages each year, you can opt to write your player names directly onto the board each year with an erasable marker. Although this might be annoying for some owners, it is one way to reuse the board without any yearly expenses.
This portable drafting board is shipped in a telescopic tube
Draft Party ships this reusable board in a hard, telescopic tube. This means it is portable drafting board and can be moved between draft parties safely and without damaging the board.
What I like..
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The Perfect Kit for your Auction-based Draft
Auction leagues are becoming more and more popular. Some draft board merchants have already start to adapt and create kits that are specifically tailored to auction-style drafts. MyDraftDay is one of those merchants.
When it comes to draft format, an auction-style draft is different from a serpentine draft in that there is no specific order in which pics are made. The highest bidder can acquire any player at any time in the draft.
If you look closely at My Draft Day's auction draft kit, the first thing you'll notice is that the draft board itself is identical to their standard draft board reviewed earlier. Where this kit differs from their standard draft offering is in the format of the player stickers.
The challenge comes in creating player labels that make it easier to track how much a team spent on a player and how much money they have left after the selection.
How MyDraftDay adjusts stickers for auction
MyDraftDay accomplished this by designing player labels that provide room to manually enter both price and remaining owner budget. This is super-convenient as everyone can see each player's value and their owner's remaining cash as soon as they are added to the board.
It's still a bummer that their stickers don't contain each player's bye week, but space is at a premium on these labels. If you have an auction league and are struggling to find a fantasy football auction draft kit, this product should fit the bill.
What I like..
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My Pick for the Best Fantasy Football Draft Board for 2018
When it comes to a standard fantasy football draft board for a serpentine draft, there are several must-haves:
- Heavy construction (no thin copy paper)
- Extensive player labels (minimal manual writing of player names)
- Bye weeks on player labels
- Merchant reputation (consistency you can count on each and every year)
Considering all of these factors, my pick for the best fantasy football draft board is the Custodian kit from Fantasy Jocks. While it maybe be slightly more expensive than the other standard draft kits in this review, those few extra dollars make all the difference.
When I order from Fantasy Jocks, I know I will consistently get a quality board, plenty of player labels, all the materials I need to conduct my draft. Most importantly, I'm buying the peace of mind that my draft will go off without a hitch. This is the best fantasy football draft board of 2017.