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With the 2013 fantasy football season quickly approaching, commissioners across the country are busy planning their fantasy football drafts. Many of these leagues conduct live drafts and will be looking for the best fantasy football draft boards on the market. The goal of this review is to provide all the information necessary to purchase a draft kit which best suits the needs & budget of your league.
I have reviewed 8 popular draft board merchants which can be found online. Merchants are reviewed and graded using 1-5 stars based on the following criteria:
Please note that these ratings are relative, so just because a merchant gets 3 stars doesn't mean they do something poorly; it simply means that I believe another merchant does it better. Reviews are in alphabetical order based on merchant name. This review is limited to merchants that sell physical draft boards; online & software-based draft kits are not included. I am not affiliated with any of the merchants in this review.
If you wish to compare merchants you can do so by viewing the product comparison infographic below. It features full merchant ratings, a feature availability grid, and the bottom-line pricing & features for a standard draft board (/w labels) which supports at least 12 teams and 15 rounds. And it only makes sense that the infographic is styled as a fantasy football draft board.
Here we go...
BossDraftKits.com is in its first year of offering no-frills football draft boards with a clean, modern design.
Boss Draft Kits sells 4 draft kit packages supporting the following configurations:
With their Middle Manager draft board kit, you'll also receive a free draft clock, commissioner hat, and a Boss Draft Kit koosie for every team in your league. Their Executive package features everything that comes with the Middle Manager package, plus a championship and horse's ass trophy.
One of the things I like about their boards is the modern feel. The shape of their stickers is definitely unique and though the text appears very small it looks very sleek. I also think their kits are very smartly packaged.
No customization options are available through Boss Draft Kits. With the price of their boards being what they are, I'd really like to see them throw in a customization option or two. This may throw off the nice, aesthetic appeal of their boards, but I feel like there needs to be some extra offerings for the price.
All of the shipped draft boards from Boss Draft Kits come with a marker and tape.
BossDraftKits.com is designed very well. It's tough to make a website which is almost entirely black and white look good, but it does. Just like their boards, the design and options are very straight-forward.
For a basic draft board kit without any extras, Boss Draft Kits has the highest-priced board in this review. If you're looking to splurge a bit and want to pamper your owners, their Middle Manager package may gain you some brownie points. For those owners who are looking for a 1-stop shop for both a draft kit and some year-end trophies, you actually get a nice deal with their Executive kit.
As their logo hints, these are draft kits most suitable for leagues with deep pockets who are looking for a little style in their draft. Although their prices are high, you'll get more bang for your buck as their packages get more expensive. This is their first year selling draft boards so I expect big things in the coming years from Boss Draft Kits.
This year BrunosDraftKits.com is celebrating it's 10th year in business selling both fantasy football and fantasy baseball draft boards.
Bruno's Draft Kits excels in both their breadth of products and attention to detail. They offer a total of 6 different draft board kits to fit the needs of just about any draft configuration. Boards are organized into two product categories:
Bruno's standard paper-based boards are printed on 30lb paper which is about average thickness among merchants in this review. However, all of Bruno's kits (except small) can be upgraded to a Banner Board for an additional $20. Banner Boards are made of vinyl material which is much stronger and can be used in conjunction with their tension stand to create a free-standing board. These reusable tension draft board stands are a unique item in the industry.
If you don't upgrade to the banner board package, you can still create a free-standing draft board by purchasing a cardboard stand. Their cardboard stands are reusable and will accommodate most 12 to 14-team draft configurations.
In addition to offering both auction & IDP labels, Bruno's offers position-based labels (for leagues which draft by position, not available for small kits), deep player pool labels (with 50% more players), coach labels, punter labels, and more. All player labels are printed in enhanced high contrast format and on double tall label sheets (another unique item, which means less sheets to shuffle through when looking for a player). Player labels are updated throughout the preseason so you are guaranteed to receive the most current player labels available.
For those commissioners who completely drop the ball, Bruno's offers a downloadable draft kit which contains the files necessary to print your own draft board and player labels. If your commissioner is an idiot, or something goes awry with the shipping for another draft kit, this option can save your draft as well as your reputation.
Finally, Bruno's offers the only reusable board in this review, a laminated board which can be used year after year for your fantasy drafts. Removable labels can be purchased each year for $35. This is a great option in the following cases:
Bruno's simply has every draft board product you can imagine (and probably a couple that you can't). They've got the most complete product scope in this review
Draft board customization is another area where Bruno's excels. They offer a customizable fantasy football draft kit for $43 which includes the following features:
Bruno's Draft Kits includes a free Smacktalkers Koozie with all orders or $28 or more, which means you'll get one with every draft kit purchase. All non-banner kits come with free draft order cards (for drawing draft positioning) and poster mounts.
They also reward repeat customers by discounting boards by $3 for 2nd-time buyers and by $5 for all subsequent board purchases. When purchasing multiple kits you also receive a discount between $2 and $5 per board, depending on the board type. And if you're a repeat customer you get both the multiple kit and repeat customer discounts.
When ordering their high-end reusable draft kit, custom team labels are provided for no additional fee.
I must admit that I spent quite a bit of time on Bruno's site trying to understand all of their product offerings and what qualifies as an add-on. Because of Bruno's wide range of product offerings and upgrades, it is understandable that the information on their website can be a bit overwhelming.
Products on the site are divided into off-the-shelf and customizable categories, but the website also mentions economy, premium, and ultimate categorizations. This is a bit confusing at first as I thought these were all different kits.
Some portions of the site also list economy draft boards starting at $29, while others say this option starts at $30. I found myself spending awhile trying to figure out if these were 2 different products or if they had different features.
I think Bruno's site would benefit greatly from a feature grid of some sort to help customers understand their product line. A modern, well organized website and a simplification of their product categorization naming conventions would go a long way toward cementing their position as the industry leader.
When it comes to price, Bruno's is definitely at the higher-end of the market. But even at the high-end of the market, their standard 12-team, 15 round draft board comes-in at $29 which is only $4 more than the average $25 board in this review.
Bruno's Draft Kits' attention to detail and customization options make their small price increase a non-factor. When divided among 12 teams, even an upgrade to their Commissioner's Dream kit would mean an increase of less than $1 for each of your fantasy owners.
If you're looking for a high-end board and are willing to pay a small fee for extra quality and customizable options, then Bruno's is definitely the choice for your league.
CommishKit.com has been churning out football draft boards since 2002 and has a very loyal customer base as illustrated through their website imagery.
Commish Kit has a wide variety of boards from which to choose. Their paper draft boards support the following draft configurations:
In addition to standard paper draft boards that you tape to a wall, Commish Kit also offers corrugated draft boards which are free-standing and much-more stable. These are available for leagues with 12 or fewer teams and 30 or fewer rounds.
Commish Kit also sells a variety of other draft-related goodies including a draft clock, T-shirts, women's apparel, draft sheets for recording picks, label-only kits, and draft cards for determining positioning. They also sell a [vertical or horizontal] bye week sticker which can be placed next to your board for easy reference.
The one major strike against Commish Kit product line is that they don't currently offer auction labels. Also, compared to other merchants their paper draft boards are the thinnest in this review (20lb or copy-paper thickness). However, all paper boards are shipped in a tube which is a plus.
Commish Kit boards provide a place to write your league name and team name, but beyond that there are no options for customizing your board.
Each Commish Kit draft board comes with a free sharpie pen and double-sided tape to stick the board to a wall or surface (for non-corrugated boards). They also hold a contest for the best league draft pictures where customers can win a free draft board, t-shirts, or an awesome fantasy league trophy.
They also provide the following freebies to any and all website visitors:
What Commish Kit lacks in the customization category they make up for with their website eye candy. Eddie definitely understands his target market as the site is adorned with beautiful women modeling Commish Kit's extensive product line. You can vote on the hottest babe and each year the winner receives a nice $500 cash prize.
Commish Kit's customer base is encouraged to send in pictures from their draft and these are proudly displayed on the site. As mentioned before the best league picture submissions are rewarded with some great prizes. They also provide entertaining instructional videos if you still can't quite figure out how a draft board works, or more likely if you want to get a closer look at the models.
Although there is lots of eye-candy on the website, the design is a bit out-of-date and some of the product listings (& especially the shipping details) are difficult to digest with the random formatting and colors. If they could implement a cleaner design while maintaining the community feel this site would be tough to match.
With a standard 12 team, 15 round paper draft board coming in at $25 plus shipping, Commish Kit boards are right about average compared to other merchants in this review. Their corrugated boards are about $10 extra, but that is still in-line with other products of the same quality.
If you're looking for an enjoyable shopping experience and a merchant with years of experience, you can't go wrong with Commish Kit. Unfortunately none of the hot models from their website are included with any of their draft kits, but we can always hold out hope for next year.
DraftKit.com has 19 years of experience selling fantasy draft boards and supports multiple fantasy sports including football, baseball, basketball,& hockey.
Draft Kit has a extensive line of football draft board products that are high quality and durable. Their standard draft boards are printed on 60 paper which is 3 times thicker than the thinnest board in this review. Their football boards come in 3 varieties:
In addition to fantasy draft boards, Draft Kit also sells fantasy trophies, mini-helmets, football/baseball awards, a re-usable draft board stand, a unique playoff draft kit, and IDP/Auction labels. They will allow you to swap standard labels for auction labels (if you're purchasing a regular board) for an extra $1.00.
It's hard to find a product that Draft Kit doesn't offer. If there had to be one it would be that they don't offer a reusable draft board, but that's getting really picky. They've got just about every base covered.
Every regular and jumbo board from Draft Kit comes with a free board personalization kit. This kit allows you to print league, team, & bye-week information onto adhesive labels which you can apply to your board. This is a great feature because many leagues are still finalizing their teams right up to draft time. The ability to print your own custom labels means you can wait until the last minute to customize your board if necessary.
Printable templates for your personalization kit are available through their website and the kit itself includes:
Astonishingly, Draft Kit offers free draft kits to military personnel serving overseas; all you have to do is pay for the shipping. In 2012 they sent 196 free draft kits to personnel serving abroad. Whoa! Through their website they also offer a free random draft order generator which you can use to randomize your draft order and automatically email the results to all league owners.
Every draft kit purchase includes access to a library of draft-related forms including player checklists, draft order cards, roster forms, NFL schedules, and more. Returning customers also receive discounted rates at Draft Kit and as mentioned before, personalization kits are free with the order of a regular or jumbo draft board.
Draft Kit's website design is very dated but easy to navigate and the information is laid-out well. Since this is a mom & pop operation I'm guessing that they also designed the site themselves. A site re-design wouldn't require much and I think a more modern design would go a long way toward further legitimizing their already impressive product offering.
The price for a standard 12 team, 15 round draft board is $20 at Draft Kit which is on the lower-end of the price spectrum for football boards. The fact that their customization kit comes free is a nice bonus and really separates them from the crowd.
Draft Kit's variety of products combined with their free personalization kit is unmatched in the industry. When you combine their product offering with their philanthropic efforts and commitment to personnel serving overseas, it'd be hard to say that there is another merchant who deserves your business more.
FantasySportsTrophies.com is celebrating it's 10th year in business selling both fantasy football and fantasy baseball draft boards.
As the name suggests, Fantasy Sports Trophies focuses primarily on their line of trophies. However, they sell an assortment of other items including draft boards for the following configurations:
All of their draft boards are printed on paper and wall mounted, no free-standing or re-usable boards. They also offer a downloadable draft kit for commissioners who drop the ball for roughly the same price as an Expressed Shipped kit, but the player labels can only be printed in white.
One of the unique services that Fantasy Sports Trophies offers is a Fantasy Sports Judge league mediation package. If your league needs an independent party to assist in settling disputes, you can purchase advice for an entire season or on a per-dispute basis.
As you might suspect, their line of fantasy sports trophies is actually quite impressive and affordable. Trophy prices range from $5.00 all the way to $399 for their brushed-bronze Fantasy Rosell perennial trophy, so there's a trophy for every budget.
It's obvious that trophies are their bread and butter, but I'd like to see these guys create a draft kit which combines a trophy with their draft boards for a discounted rate. I think this would be a natural way to introduce draft boards to their existing trophy customers base.
Draft boards sold through Fantasy Sports Trophies can be customized with your league name, logo (or photo), and a message for no additional cost. The message is printed on the bottom of your draft board and your league logo/photo is added as a watermark right in the middle. Bye weeks are also printed on each draft board.
Fantasy Sports Trophies offers a few freebies including free shipping for active service & reserve military if you're at an APO or FPO address. Each draft kit comes with a thick marker pen and double-side tape.
If you purchase a trophy, you are also eligible for one free mediation by the Fantasy Sports Judge. Finally, they offer contests in which you can win a free fantasy trophy and up to $1500 cash by following them on social media.
Fantasy Sports Trophies' website definitely leaves a lot to be desired. Navigating around their product line isn't too difficult, but there are quite a few typos throughout the site which give it an unprofessional feel. With such a good trophy line I think they'd definitely profit from a website redesign.
At $27.99 plus shipping for a standard 12-team draft board Fantasy Sports Trophies is on the higher end of the price spectrum. However, when you consider that all of their customization options are free, they turn out to be a decent deal.
Fantasy Sports Trophies has one of the more highest-priced kits for a standard wall-hangable board. However, if you're looking for some unique customization options and your league is willing to throw in a few extra bucks then Fantasy Sports Trophies is definitely worth a look.
FJFantasy.com is in its 12th year of selling nothing but high-quality, free-standing fantasy draft boards.
FJ Fantasy offers draft boards for football, baseball, basketball, & hockey. Their football boards come in three sizes:
In addition to selling draft boards, FJ Fantasy sells an auction kit which allows you to convert your standard board into one which supports the auction draft format. You can also purchase IDP labels, bye week stickers to affix to your board, and draft logs to record your selections.
To customize your draft board, FJ Fantasy sells league and team name labels. Simply provide your league information at checkout and you'll receive the customized labels with your board. Customizing your board with these features will set you back $5. Not a bad deal.
All of the potential extras went into the quality of these boards, and you can't scoff at that. Holding a contest or two on their website to promote participation would be a good idea though.
FJ Fantasy smartly left the web design to the pros as their site is very clean and their product line descriptions are easy to follow. It's got a professional feel but also creates a community feel with things like user-submitted draft pictures. It looks like the only thing they may be missing is a social media presence.
At $25 for their standard board they're right around the average price. The big difference is that you're getting a corrugated, free-standing board for a paper-board price.
If you're looking for a free-standing, corrugated board your search is over. If you're looking for a paper-based board, today is your lucky day because you're going to get a thick, top-quality board for a paper board price. FJ Fantasy wins the bang-for-your-buck award hands down in this review.
MyDraftDay.com has been in the draft board business for 7 years and sells a nice variety of fantasy football draft-related products.
All draft boards offered by My Draft Day are wall-mounted, printed on 24lb stock paper, and support of up 24 rounds. They come in 3 varieties:
In addition to football draft boards they also sell t-shirts, a line of fantasy trophies, and auction/IDP label kits. My Draft Day's boards are one of the thinnest in this review, but they provide the option to ship your draft board in a tube to avoid creasing (however, you'll be charged for a shipping upgrade).
While My Draft Day's line of boards is very basic, they've got most draft configurations covered. The fact that they offer both auction and IDP kits means that most league owners needing a basic draft kit will probably find what they need here.
I'd like to see My Draft Day upgrade to a thicker board in the future. The other common feature they don't offer in their draft kits is a bye week reference of some sort.
My Draft Day's draft board products are very straight-forward and basic with no customization options available. They provide space to write your league name, commissioner name, and draft date but nothing else.
Like their product offerings, My Draft Day's website is very basic and uniform, but it is also much more modern than the other merchants covered in this review. The site is very usable, well-organized, and the content is conversational and easy to read.
Unlike other sites in this genre, there are no pages with an endless amount of text and each product detail clearly explains what is included in that kit. Of course, having a smaller product line means that you have less information to convey to the user, but My Draft Day should still be commended for their site design.
While My Draft Day doesn't provide many extras or freebies with their kits, they do offer an early-bird discount to repeat customers. They offer discounted prices on their "draft kits" which combine a football draft board with one of several fantasy football-themed T-shirts. You can also substitute auction labels for standard labels for no extra fee.
My Draft Day's pricing for a standard 12 team, 15 round draft board is on the high-end at $26.00 plus shipping. For that price I'd really like to see a customization option or two. Providing a thicker board would also help to justify their price.
My Draft Day isn't fancy but they offer a nice range of products that should accommodate most basic leagues which don't care about bells & whistles or board customizations. They've also got one of the nicer websites compared to other merchants being reviewed.
My Draft Day is one of the newer players in the draft board market, so I expect their draft board products to continue expanding. Adding a free-standing board and some basic customization options to their lineup would put them on par with some of the bigger players in this market.
In 2013 SaveTheDraft.com is celebrating it's 6th year of crafting a solid, affordable football draft board.
Save The Draft focuses all of their attention on producing a single, quality board with a few key features. This board has the following specs:
To ensure your player labels are correct on draft day, Save the Draft provides a Delta Sheet which contains all player label changes since you purchased your kit. Simply print the delta sheet onto the blank labels which you'll receive with your kit and you're sure to be completely up-to-date. Their labels also include player bye weeks printed in large font for easy viewing.
In addition to draft boards, Save The Draft sells commissioner apparel, player label-only kits, and auction draft software. It should be noted that their board is the largest and one of the thickest boards in this review. They do not offer auction labels.
Save the Draft focuses all their attention on producing a single, quality board without all the bells & whistles. No customizations are available.
Save the Draft has some of the coolest giveaways in this review. Last year they gave a free iPad to the winner of their Salary Cap Fantasy Football League which is organize via their social media presence. They even rewarded one of their customers with a free fantasy football draft board for life when he won their March Madness Bracket contest. That's right, for life!
I really like the minimalist approach to SaveTheDraft.com. It's hard to get excited about buying a draft board but just about every page on this site has a funny antedote which makes you chuckle. It's obvious that they like to keep things simple and it makes for a very cool and easy-to-digest site.
Save the Draft is so simple and up-front that they don't even subtract a penny off of their price to make it look cheaper. At $25.00 with free shipping they've got the least expensive football board in this review. When you consider that their board is 6ft x 4ft board printed on 80lb stock (the largest board on the thickest paper in this review), you can definitely see that it pays to focus on one thing and do it well.
These guys aren't fancy, but what they offer is a large, quality board at the best price. If you've got a common draft configuration and are looking for basic, durable board then Save the Draft may be your answer.
I hope this fantasy football draft board review provided you with all of the information necessary to select a buy a great football draft kit. If you sell draft kits and you'd like to be added to this review, please feel free to contact me. Also, if there is any aspect of draft boards which wasn't covered, but you'd like to see addressed, let me know that too in the comments below.
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Tags: fantasy football draft boards, fantasy football draft kits