We review the fantasy football draft boards so you dont have to

Review Criteria

Parameters. With so many different options out there we have made every attempt to identify a single vein of draft kits that lend to making an apples to apples comparison, and that is anchored basically by one thing: 12 team leagues. If your league happens to be 14 teams or 8 teams, or anything other than a 12 team league - this review of fantasy football draft boards and player label kits may not apply to you. In every comparison, we are comparing each companies standard 12 team kit.


We have isolated what we believe serves the core concept of all fantasy football draft kits: to make your draft night run smoothly.

Draft Board Size: With so many different venues for fantasy football drafts – sports bars, dens, garages, man-caves and the like, among them all one critical element must be fulfilled: the ability to see the draft board from distances. You want someone from the back of the room to know at any given time who’s turn it is, who has been picked, and what his team is shaping up to be. You want the biggest board you can get.

Draft Board Material: While it is true that the fantasy football draft board is ultimately a disposable item for most, the fact is that the material of the board itself must be sturdy enough to endure a fair amount of abuse on draft night. While hardened cardboard is not necessary, the paper stock material needs to be sufficient to not tear easily and survive draft night.

Labels: This is a big one. The fantasy football player labels themselves have to be big enough to see from a distance, have sufficient color differentiation so that your league members can distinguish one position from another, and most importantly they must be populated with relevant information so that everyone knows who they are drafting and why they are drafting them.

This boils down to attention to detail and what actually matters. If you do not know that Tom Brady plays quarterback and you require information on a player label to tell you that, then you probably shouldn't be playing fantasy football. 

However, in terms of what is actually imprinted on the label itself  - what matters aside from the player's name? We think this boils down to one simple thing: the bye week information. Nothing creates more chaos than someone who has drafted a handful of wide receivers with the same bye week. That means that league member starts his year off knowing that he is going to have to execute some sort of trade to fix it, or god forbid know that he is going to lose that week because he has to start a bunch of scrub bench players. Beyond that, everyone drafts backup. Its part of the skill of fantasy football. Had you drafted Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson last year, you would have been out of luck week 7. And the very purpose of drafting backups is to not only protect against injuries, but to fill those bye weeks. It is critical. 

We are continually amazed at how some draft board companies dedicate so much room on their labels imprinting "QB" for Tom Brady or "Carolina Panthers" for Cam Newton - and so little to the bye week information. The bottom line is if you can't see it - you won't see it, and you may be starting your year with bye week holes on your roster that you are going to have to spend the rest of your fantasy football season fixing. No bueno. 

Price: Let's face it - while these fantasy football draft board and player label kits are critical on draft night, after they have done their job, they are disposable. You bring it down, the commissioner enters the roster information, and it is thrown away.  Information-in, information-out, and then they become a thing of the past. Fantasy Football Draft kits are designed for this very purpose: 

For this reason, it is hard to justify spending any more than is necessary. Over the years, our league has succumbed to being sold on kits that cost in excess of $35-$40, only to be disappointed and unable to identify what we paid this premium for at the end of draft night.

If you want to max out the kitty from which to pay the actually winners of your league, then you should be wary of paying to much for a draft kit. In the end, you can either use your hard earned money to pay league winners or inflated prices to draft kit companies who offer no real premium value in their kits. In 22 years, we have never paid for a top dollar draft kit and come away with the satisfaction that it added anything more on draft night. Don't waste your money.

Website/Customer Service: Highly underrated when you consider that having a live fantasy football draft is entirely contingent upon a delivered, intact draft kit in time. Having a kit arrive a day late, or a kit arrive with labels missing, or a kit damaged in transit means draft night is ruined. We have had all three of these things occur at one point or the other over the last 22 years. The ability to pick up the phone and talk to a human being who can service any of these issues is key. 

Beyond that - over the years the websites that sell these draft kits seem to have gotten more and more complicated, with so many choices and add-ons. By the end of the process, we've often not known what we were getting, exactly - and found ourselves surprised at how much we have actually spent after add-ons and shipping.

Of all things, buying a fantasy football draft board and player label kit should not be a complicated process. It might be one of the most simple products in the world.

The Pen: Yes. The coveted pen. The necessity of some sort of writing utensil on draft night is inescapable. And not just any pen will do. The pen itself needs to print thick enough so that any writing on the board is as visible as the player labels themselves. Whether its team names at the top, or write-ins for players for which there is no label. 

Ask yourself: How many fantasy football drafts have you had where a pen was not necessary? And moreover - how many times have you finally corralled everyone in one room, only to find yourself scrambling for some sort of marker to write in any necessary information on the board? If you can say no to these questions, consider yourself lucky. And if you've had to borrow the waitress's ball point pen in a pinch, you already know how ineffective that was to do the job.

Made in USA: What can we say? We're homers when it comes to this.