A fantasy football draft board can make or break your live fantasy draft. In this review of the best fantasy football draft boards of 2018, I'll provide you the information necessary to buy a draft kit that suits the needs and budget of your league.
Whether you're shopping for standard draft boards for a serpentine draft, reusable draft boards that can be utilized over and over, auction-based draft kits, or a custom draft board tailor-made for your league, I've got you covered.
So who has the best live draft board for your specific league or leagues? Keep reading to find out.
Comparing Fantasy Football Draft Boards by Category
In the next few sections, I compare draft boards based on the various classifications of fantasy football draft boards. You can read more about draft board categories below, but these comparison tables will give you a quick summary of the best boards that I review in detail below.
Comparison of standard, serpentine draft boards
Here is a quick summary of the best standard draft boards for serpentine-style 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.
Comparing reusable fantasy football draft boards
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. A reusable draft board can drastically reduce the amount of money you have to pay each year to host your draft parties.
This year I review a few different reusable boards, each with their unique design approach.
Dry-erase board with magnetic player labels
Vinyl board makes stickers easy to remove
Draft grid printed on dry-erase board, no labels
The leading draft kit for auction-based fantasy drafts
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 auction drafts.
Unfortunately, there aren't many draft kits made strictly for auction leagues. However, this board and label package from My Draft Party is a smart design and supports several league configurations.
Custom fantasy football draft board is a game changer
Why buy the same board as everyone else when you can design a custom draft board just for your league? And I don't mean just specifying number of teams and rounds, I mean customizing every aspect of the board.
This innovative product from Bruno's Draft Boards is something I thought I'd never see. You actually design your own board in real-time, using the Draft Board Genie, and can preview your final board design before you buy.
Check it out for yourself or read on to see a board I designed for my own league in just a few minutes.
How to Find the Ideal Fantasy Draft Board for Your League
Selecting the best fantasy draft board kit 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, I'll reveal how to find the best board available based on the answers to these questions.
The 4 fantasy football draft board classifications of 2018
In 2018 there are four different types of draft boards to consider. Before you start comparison shopping, you first need to determine the kind of draft board that will meet your goals.
- Standard Draft Boards - For leagues with a standard serpentine draft, these are the most common solution.
- Reusable Draft Boards - If you're a member of more than one league, reusable draft kits can save you big money.
- Auction Draft Kits - Looking for a draft board created specifically for auction leagues? Auction kits are the answer.
- Customized Draft Boards - Build a truly one-of-a-kind draft board with custom teams, rounds, colors, league logos, and more.
Standard, basic fantasy football draft boards for serpentine drafts
For the vast majority of fantasy football leagues, you'll be looking for a draft board that supports a serpentine draft style. These draft boards are very basic and are almost always thrown away at the end of the draft.
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!
Standard draft boards are great if you're looking for a quick solution or a draft board on a budget. I review the best standard fantasy football draft boards below.
How to save big money 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 buy them once and pass them from owner to owner each year. However, when it comes to offline draft boards, you've historically had to buy a new board for every draft party, year after 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.
Ways manufacturers make fantasy football draft boards reusable
Fantasy football draft board merchants make their boards reusable through several different manufacturing methods. It's quite impressive to see the different techniques they utilize to create a draft board that can be recycled year after year.
Here are some of the most common techniques used to make reusable draft boards:
- Use a metal draft board and turn the player stickers into magnets.
- Instead of using a paper draft board, use a dry-erase board.
- Use a nylon draft board instead of paper, making the stickers easier to remove
- Laminate a standard draft board, making the player labels easy to remove without damaging the board
How you save money with a reusable 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. But also consider these are not cheap fantasy football draft boards. They are quality, high-end draft kit boards.
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 buying multiple, disposable boards).
How long it takes to start saving money with a reusable board
The time it takes you to start saving money with a reusable draft board kit depends primarily on if you plan on purchasing new player labels or magnets each year for your reusable board.
If you don't plan on purchasing new player labels or magnets each year, you can start saving money after just a couple drafts using a reusable board. After all, it's just a one-time investment. This is typically the case for dry-erase draft boards where you plan on writing the player names manually on the board.
If you plan on purchasing new player labels or magnets each year, then the time it takes to start saving money will depend on the number of drafts you conduct each year. In this specific scenario, here are some guidelines:
- If you run only one fantasy league, you will not save money with a reusable draft kit
- If you run two fantasy leagues, you will start saving money around the third year.
- If you run three fantasy leagues, you will start saving money in the second year.
- For four or more fantasy leagues, you will save money with a reusable board almost immediately.
Every year, I see more and more reusable draft boards being introduced to the market. I review the best reusable fantasy football boards in detail below.
Features to consider when comparing draft boards
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 configuration for most fantasy leagues, so it is the bare minimum requirement for inclusion in this draft board review.
If you need a quick fantasy football and NFL news refresher before your fantasy draft, look into buying a fantasy football magazine. They provide a great way to cram before your draft and even gain an advantage over your fellow fantasy owners.
Considering fantasy football boards with a standard set of minimal features makes it easier to compare boards justly. Now that we have defined a minimally-viable board let's look at other draft board features that you should consider when comparing kits.
1. 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.
2. 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 thin 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.
3. 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 particular attention to whether labels include bye weeks. Some owners utilize bye weeks to help them choose between players with comparable potential. If you buy stickers without bye weeks, you may have a owner mutiny on your hands at your live draft.
4. 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 buy 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 almost always include double-sided tape to stick your board to the wall, blank labels to record obscure players, and a black marker for writing these players' names.
Some merchants will even throw in free merchandise to earn your business. For instance, Fantasy Jocks includes one free koozie (for the Commissioner) with their Custodian Draft Kit or a koozie for your entire league with their Manager Draft Kit (currently on sale).
Reviewing the Best Standard Draft Boards of 2018
There are many standard fantasy football draft boards on the market. When considering which fantasy boards to consider in this category, I only considered boards that I would buy for my own leagues.
Every board reviewed below has favorable user reviews (you can click the various links below to check for yourself). Let's jump right in to evaluate what I considered to be the best fantasy football draft board of 2017.
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.
Fantasy Jocks prints this board on thick, 80-lb high gloss paper. Player stickers list bye weeks and are regularly updated. So you'll be sure to get labels with correct player information.
Also, they include every rookie drafted in the 2018 NFL draft.
Every Custodian Kit purchased from Fantasy Jocks comes with the following accessories:
This fantasy board is priced slightly higher than the average offline draft board on the market. But considering the quality of the product, impressive 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, 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. Reading through the comments, it also appears that this board has several 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, earning it the title of biggest fantasy football board in this review. If you plan to have your draft in a large room, then you want to consider this extra large board as size shouldn't be a problem.
With the gargantuan size of this board (and the fact that the NFL licenses it), 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 football draft board entry from MyDraftDay is similar to the board offered by Fantasy Jocks in many ways. For instance, the stickers are 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 jumbo 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 offers 400 player stickers compared to Fantasy Jocks' 450 player labels. 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 the price is an essential 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..
Reusable Fantasy Football Draft Board Reviews
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 several boards and immediately throwing them away after the draft, you can reuse the board and player magnets for every draft you conduct across numerous leagues and even multiple fantasy 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, buy the baseball player magnetic kit.
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. In that sense, this kit is as close as you can come to a fantasy football draft whiteboard.
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 a portable drafting board and can be moved between offline draft parties safely and without damaging the board.
What I like..
Not so much..
The Fantasy Bros are a relatively new player in the fantasy draft board arena. They came strong out of the gate with a draft board that can be reused each year.
Instead of going with a magnetic board like Draft Party, these guys created a draft board out of high-quality nylon. Nylon is an incredibly slippery plastic which means you can quickly remove your stickers and re-use the board in another draft!
Just need the player stickers this year? No sweat, order the stickers for a much cheaper price!
The one drawback I see with this kit is that the player labels are color-coded by team. Although it's a unique design decision, it creates a problem in that you can't quickly scan the board to see what positions are being targeted most.
Maybe that's not a big deal to many people, but I think color-coded positions would have been a better decision. Still, it's a very cool draft board.
What I like
Not so much..
Zieglerworld took a bare-bones approach to make a reusable draft board. They decided to eliminate the nuisance of player labels completely!
Yep, this reusable fantasy board is merely a draft board grid printed on a flexible, dry-erasable surface. Zieglerworld provides the dry-erase marker with this product, but you'll be the one writing player names.
The one significant benefit of this board is that you'll honestly never have to spend money on a draft board again! Of course, if you want to color-code your players by position, you'll need some multi-colored dry-erase markers.
Sure, your league owners may be a bit miffed that they have to do the work themselves. So maybe make the last-placed team write the names instead? Problem solved.
What I like
Not so much..
The Perfect Draft Board Kit for Your Auction-Based Draft
Auction leagues are becoming more and more popular. Some draft board merchants have already started to adapt and create kits that are specifically explicitly 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 fantasy football 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 write both player 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 to buy, this product should fit the bill.
What I like..
Not so much..
Build Your Own Custom Fantasy Draft Board
Have you ever purchased a fantasy football draft board knowing full-well that it wasn't quite what you needed? But you went ahead and bought the board because no one seems to sell exactly what you need?
Enter the custom fantasy football draft board.
Custom draft boards let you pick and choose the features you want in a board. Every aspect of a board that you can imagine can be customized. League name, logo, colors, team names, and more can be used to create a truly one-of-a-kind board.
And the best part? I know a place where you can design and preview your draft board in real time! Sounds too good to be true? Read on.
Use the Draft Board Genie to customize a draft board
This section of my draft board review won't be much of a comparison. Why? Because I only know one company that sells truly customizable draft boards: Bruno's Draft Boards.
Bruno's went beyond letting you pick custom features to developing software that let's you build a custom board in real-time. They make this possible through an application called the Draft Board Genie.
Through the Genie, you can customize the following features of your draft board kit:
Here is a custom board I designed for my league in about 5 minutes. It is the perfect sized board for my league, no bigger or smaller with no wasted space. It also has my league name printed, all team names printed, my league logo, and colors of choice.
Pretty cool for a draft board that's priced comparable a standard board with no customization features!
Here is a video explaining the basics of how to use the Genie.
In addition to designing a custom draft board, you can also save your draft board design so that you don't have to re-design your board when the next fantasy season rolls around. The Design Genie is a truly unique approach to creating fantasy football draft boards.
Fantasy Football Draft Board FAQs
I've compiled answers to the most common questions about fantasy football draft boards. If you have a question that isn't answered here, put it in the comments below and I'll try to add it here.
Where can I buy fantasy football draft boards?
I spent considerable time researching where to buy the best fantasy football draft kits. Although you can theoretically purchase draft boards at brick and mortar stores, I believe the best place to buy a draft kit is online.
Some stores sell fantasy football draft boards, but fantasy draft kits in stores become outdated too quickly. If you buy one of these kits, you're likely to be writing lots of player labels yourself.