Draft Wizard FAQ
What is the Draft Wizard?
The Draft Wizard is a suite of tools that make it dead simple to prepare for and nail your fantasy football drafts. Its modern and easy-to-use interface will make paper cheat sheets and overly complicated draft software a thing of the past. It’s about time, right?
The Wizard lets you import rankings from any website or spreadsheet, create consensus rankings from any combination of experts, and customize the cheat sheets with easy drag-and-drop and one-click tiering. You’ll then be able to practice drafting through our Mock Draft Simulator and instantly analyze your performance with our Draft Analyzer. Finally, you can use your cheat sheets live during your drafts with our Draft Assistant. We sync with CBS so taken players are automatically crossed off your cheat sheet. Yep, stress-free drafting!
Where do I find the app?
Open your CBSSports.com league, click on "Draft Central" in the menu, then select "Draft Tools"
Then click the "Wizard" icon in the app bar (the 3rd in the example below)
How can it help me win my league?
We all know how important the draft is in fantasy football; getting out of the gate with a strong team sets you up for success within the season. The formula for winning your draft is no secret too. You need to have an accurate cheat sheet, accurate pick predictions for your opponents, and accurate decision-making during the draft (despite the pressure of “the clock”). The Wizard helps with all three of these needs…
FantasyPros has tracked the accuracy
of the top fantasy experts since 2009. We’ve learned that some experts consistently outperform others and that “consensus rankings” tend to be very accurate. In fact, our FantasyPros ECR™ was the most accurate overall rankings last season. You can try some consensus variations like combining the most accurate experts only, or combining the sites you personally trust. In all cases, we also recognize that you may be able to enhance the rankings (and beat the experts!), so we allow you to easily edit the cheat sheets to perfect them.
Although you may have a good idea of the players you want to target during the draft, knowing when to draft these players is very difficult. Our Simulator helps guide you by predicting what your opponents will do. And we don’t just assume everyone will be drafting based on ADP
. Instead, we leverage hundreds of expert cheat sheets and ADP sources to match the variety of drafters you’re likely to face. We then use these rankings, in conjunction with in-draft pick logic based on team needs and position scarcity, to accurately predict which player each team will select.
No matter how much you prepare for your draft, sometimes the pressure of the clock will cause you to take players you regret the minute you click on “draft him.” The stress level is exacerbated when you’re fumbling through paper cheat sheets or dealing with complicated draft software. Our Wizard simplifies everything. We narrow down your choices (based on your cheat sheets, your team needs, and predicted opponent picks), and give you a simple comparison of the players based on draft value or our consensus expert advice. Also, since our Draft Assistant looks and acts exactly like our Draft Simulator, you’ll be completely familiar with the interface during your draft.
Which league formats are supported?
- We support Standard and PPR (Point Per Reception) scoring.
- We do not support custom scoring formats at this time.
- We support Snake drafts (teams pick in draft order and then reverse the order in alternating rounds).
- We support Linear drafts (teams pick in the same order in each round).
- We support drafts with a Custom order (picks have been traded, added, etc).
- We do not support Auction drafts at this time.
- We support Redraft leagues where all eligible players (QB, RB, WR, TE, K, DST) are available to be drafted.
- We support Keeper leagues.
- We do not support IDP leagues.
Does it work on an iPad?
Yes, all the features of the Draft Wizard will work on an iPad and other touch screen devices.
How do I contact support?
If we’re missing something here in the FAQ, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
-- we’ll do our best to respond to you in a timely manner.
CHEAT SHEET CREATOR
What is the Cheat Sheet Creator?
The Cheat Sheet Creator is the easiest way to create a cheat sheet for your draft. You can instantly import any rankings from the web or from a spreadsheet on your computer. You can also combine multiple expert cheat sheets into one consensus cheat sheet. You’ll be able to customize the rankings through a simple drag-and-drop interface, create player tiers with a click of a button, and import and edit player notes. You can export these rankings to Excel or use them in our Draft Simulator and Draft Assistant. All the customization work you do on your cheat sheet will be leveraged in these integrated draft tools.
What is FantasyPros ECR™?
ECR™ stands for "Expert Consensus Ranking
" and represents the collective opinion of all the experts tracked by FantasyPros. We generate a single consensus cheat sheet by calculating how many “Rank Points” each player receives based on his ranked position on each expert’s cheat sheet. Each ranked position is worth certain number of Rank Points – the better the rank, the higher the Rank Points. We add these Rank Points up for each player across all experts to determine the player’s consensus rank. We don’t use an “average rank” because we believe this approach is flawed. Using an average requires that you assign an arbitrary rank for unranked players, which skews the results.
How do I edit the player rankings?
Simply click on “Edit Rankings” from the Cheat Sheet Creator. You’ll see a screen that allows you to drag-and-drop players to move them into new rank slots. Once you’re satisfied with your new rankings, simply save your cheat sheet to store the new rankings.
How do I keep Position and Overall ranks in synch?
We use synching logic that automatically keeps your Overall rankings (mixed positions) in synch with your Positional Rankings. We’ll take your most recently saved rankings as our guide to keep things logical between rankings. So, there’s no need to duplicate your drag-and-drop between the rankings. Just decide which set of rankings you want to edit and the other set will be revised automatically to reflect your changes.
What are Tiers and how do I create them?
Tiers are a great way to organize your cheat sheet into groups of players of similar value. If you have a tier with five players, you’re essentially saying that you don’t have a strong preference between the five players in the group. During your draft, if all your players are still available in the tier, you may opt to hold off on drafting one of them since you’re likely to still have one or more of the players available on your next turn. To create Tiers, simply click on “Edit Rankings” from the Cheat Sheet Creator. When you mouse over rankings, you’ll see a link appear between rows called “create a tier” – simply click on this link to create a tier. You’ll also be able to drag-and-drop the tier or delete it once it’s created.
What are Targets and how do I set them?
Targets are a convenient way to highlight your favorite players. Whether they’re your super secret sleepers, top value picks, or the studs you just can’t live without, we make it easy to keep track of them in your cheat sheets and during your drafts. To target a player, simply click on “Target” next to the player’s name in the Cheat Sheet Creator. The box will turn yellow and that player will be noted as targeted on all your saved cheat sheets. You can easily remove the Target label by clicking on it again. During your mock drafts and real drafts, your targeted players will be highlighted in yellow on your cheat sheets. You can easily turn the highlighting on or off through the checkbox option at the top of your cheat sheet.
How do I add and edit Notes?
You can import player notes from our expert database through the drop down option in the Cheat Sheet Creator. You can write your own notes or edit the expert notes by clicking on “Edit Rankings” and then placing your curser into the note field that you want to add or edit. You’ll be able to view your player notes during simulations and drafts by hovering your curser over the player’s name in your cheat sheet or player’s photo in the player queue.
What is the Draft Simulator?
The Draft Simulator is an efficient way to practice for your draft. It’s similar to doing a live mock draft except that you’re drafting against our computer algorithm (which uses a random selection of expert cheat sheets and ADP sources). We suggest that you try both live and simulated mock drafts, but there are a few key benefits to using our Draft Simulator…
Live mocks are great but it’s often frustrating trying to get into the mock draft you want, and even more frustrating waiting for everyone to make their picks (a live mock can take over an hour to complete). Our Simulator can let you complete hundreds of mock drafts in very little time. If you want to test out different drafting strategies or just quickly see the type of team you’ll likely end up with based on your cheat sheet, our Simulator is a great option. Speaking of options, you’ll be able to take your time with each and every pick (and even revert picks if you want…wouldn’t that be nice in real drafts!), or auto-draft the rest of the way.
Have you ever been in a mock draft where some bozo takes a kicker in the first round just to be funny? It happens more than you would think. Also, many of the computerized auto-picks run off of a straight ADP with no regards to team needs or position scarcity. If many of the opponent picks are not that realistic, you’re not going to get an accurate picture of how your real draft will unfold. And, isn’t this the whole point of doing mock drafts in the first place? Our simulator takes things a little more seriously. It uses real cheat sheets from a random selection of experts and ADP sources from all the major draft sites. You can even decide to mock against the Joes (ADP), the Pros (Experts), or a mix of both. Our opponent pick algorithm uses logic that mirrors how most drafters make their decisions during their drafts. We factor in player rankings, team needs, and position scarcity to determine the most likely selection.
This is key. If you plan on using our Draft Assistant during your real draft, you’ll be happy to know that the Draft Simulator and Draft Assistant share the same interface and features. So you’ll know exactly how to use the tool during your draft. The last thing we want is to create any additional stress!
Who are my opponents?
FantasyPros has the largest database of expert rankings
data on the web. We randomly select these cheat sheets as your opponents in the draft. You can even decide to draft against only ADP sources or only Experts. It’s important to note that we don’t simply grab the top available player on the opponent’s cheat sheet (if you see a team drafting 4 quarterbacks, please contact us!). Instead, we use a pick algorithm that factors in player rankings, team needs, and position scarcity. We do this to create realistic draft results.
How do you suggest players to consider?
We leverage your personal cheat sheet, team needs and position scarcity to queue up players you might want to consider drafting. However, we also offer more options in an easy drop-down to queue up players based off of your Overall rankings, the top available players at each position, or any one specific position. We encourage you to test out these different ways to quickly queue up players. Also keep in mind that you can always queue an individual player by clicking on him in your cheat sheet.
What is Expert Voting?
The default view in the player queue shows Expert Voting on the players in the queue. It tells you, all other things being equal, whom the experts would take among the players in the queue. We use each expert’s Overall Rankings to determine their vote. The player with the highest percentage of votes is highlighted in green. Please keep in mind that expert voting is only one way to help you decide (click on the drop down to see your other options). The expert voting does not bake in your team needs, position scarcity, or your own personal opinion about each player’s value.
What are Draft Values (VORP and VONA)?
Value-based drafting is a popular approach for achieving an optimal draft. Essentially, the strategy tries to maximize the value of your team vs. your opponents’ teams. Instead of just drafting “the best available player” in each round (based on total projected fantasy points), the value-based approach suggests that you grab the player that offers the most incremental value in relation to the likely rosters of your opponents. The scarcer a position is, the more likely you’ll have an advantage over your opponents by grabbing a strong player at that position. VORP and VONA are two variations of value-based drafting and are summarized below. A great overview of VORP and VONA can also be found at Advanced NFL Stats
VORP was made popular by the statistical nuts that analyze MLB players. VORP measures player values by looking at each player’s contribution when compared to a readily available “replacement player” that the team could pick up. For fantasy football, we’ve modified this concept a bit by looking at each player’s value over a readily available player on the waiver wire from the same position. We predict the number of players at each position that will be drafted by your league (based on # of teams, roster requirements, and our pick prediction algorithm), and then we take each player’s projected fantasy points and compare it to the player you could easily replace him with on the waiver wire. The difference in fantasy points between the players is the VORP. For simplicity, we assume a VORP of zero for any player that has negative value (since you can easily drop him for the player on the wavier wire).
The strategy of “dynamic” value-based drafting bakes in a forecast of the number of players at each position that will be taken between your current pick and your next pick. It assigns values to your current options by assessing how much better those options are compared to what will be available to you at your next pick. An extreme example is when a player will still be available to you in the following round. That means his VONA (value over next available) is zero because a player with the same value (in this case, the very same player) will be an option for you with your next pick. Theoretically, VONA is a great strategy to use. Practically speaking, it’s very difficult to do on your own in a draft. This is because you need to predict whom your opponents will take between your picks, and calculate the incremental fantasy points you’ll achieve for each option available... all in less than 60 seconds. The good news is that our algorithm does all this predicting and math for you. Please note that the number of picks between rounds impacts VONA. If you’re drafting in the 12th spot of a 12-team league, your VONA for all players will naturally be zero on the first of your two back-to-back picks.
How do you project fantasy points?
Value-based drafting relies on accurate fantasy point projections. You may be wondering how we derive these fantasy points when the cheat sheets are based on rankings, not projections. We have a proprietary algorithm that converts rankings into projections. We built this algorithm after realizing that many computer-based projection systems scored poorly in our accuracy studies. The bottom line is that human experts tended to outperform the computers because they were more in tune with last minute player news and could more easily tweak their rankings based on this information. So we thought, why not take player rankings and use them to generate fantasy point projections? Our algorithm uses 5 years of historical performance, consensus projections, recent trends, and consistency data by position to assign fantasy points for every ranked slot within each position. Our methodology produces Expected Values for each rank spot. These are then used to assign fantasy points for every player in our cheat sheets.
What is the Draft Analyzer?
The Draft Analyzer provides an instant analysis of your mock and real drafts. It gives you a quick idea of how your team stacks up and breaks down your strengths and weaknesses by position. You will also receive a summary of your value picks, draft steals & reaches.
What kinds of draft can I analyze?
The Draft Analyzer works with:
- Your real CBS drafts.
- Your mock drafts at CBSSports.com.
- Mock drafts from the app's Draft Simulator.
- Cheat sheets from the app's Cheat Sheet Editor
What is the Draft Score based on?
We score the draft based on total value over replacement player (VORP). Essentially, how much more value does your roster have over the players that are readily available on the waivers after your draft. The Draft Score is the sum total of fantasy points over the replacement team on the waivers. We provide two perspectives on the Draft Scores:
We project fantasy points for each player based on your cheat sheet. If you think Peyton Manning is going to outperform Jay Cutler, we make sure Peyton has more predicted fantasy points. We then analyze every team’s draft results based on your personal rankings (the cheat sheet you used during the draft).
We analyze your draft based on each of the expert cheat sheets we have in our database. We then tell you the consensus opinion of how your team stacks up, based on average the Draft Scores from all the experts.
What is the Draft Assistant?
The Draft Assistant helps you optimize your picks during your draft with the least amount of stress. Its easy-to-use features include:
The app connects with your actual drafts on CBS, so taken players are automatically crossed off your cheat sheet. It's "hands-free" tracking at its best!
Not only are your cheat sheets integrated into the drafting tool, but they become "smart" during your draft. For example, if you created Tiers with our Editor, we'll track how many players you have left in each tier and provide a color coded summary above each set of rankings. When you start to run out of players in a tier it will turn red. We also let you highlight targeted players so that they show up with a yellow highlight in your cheat sheets. We're also working on a number of smart alerts for potential bye week issues, injuries, etc.
The last thing you want during your draft is to be fumbling with an overly complicated tool. We've done everything possible to make using our Draft Assistant a breeze to use. Not only will you be familiar with the interface by the time of your draft (the default view is the exact same as our Draft Simulator, which you've likely done many mock simulations with), but you can also select a streamlined view that can be placed in a corner of your screen so that you're not having to toggle back and forth between windows.
How do I keep track of taken players?
Our Draft Assistant automatically tracks taken players for you, so there's nothing for you to do except connect to your draft and select "Auto-Sync every 30 seconds" or click on the Refresh button when you want to force an update (recommended approach).
How do I leverage Tiers and Targets?
We encourage you to tier your cheat sheet and mark your favorite players as targets in our Cheat Sheet Creator. By doing so, you'll enable some cool features in the Draft Simulator and Draft Assistant. Tiers will show up in your rankings and will be summarized with color-coded alerts to let you know when you're running out of players within the tiers. Targeted players will show up with a yellow highlight so you can spot them easily. You can turn these highlights on or off during your draft through a simple checkbox.
What is the Pick Predictor?
Ever wonder if you could wait one more round before grabbing a guy you really want? This is, after all, how you maximize value during a draft. Up until now, the only way to predict this was by assuming the player would be drafted near his ADP (Average Draft Position). With the Pick Predictor, we take this logic to the next level by telling you the odds that the player will be taken before your next pick. These odds are determined by running simulations with all the cheat sheets in our database (including ADP from multiple sources) to see what percentage of times the player gets snatched up before your next turn. It takes into account all the players that have already been taken, the roster needs of the opponents, and how many picks are left before your next turn. We even color code the %'s so it's easy to quickly get an idea of how risky it is to pass on the player this round.
What is the Roster Watch?
Sometimes it's helpful to see what roster gaps each team has, and how "scarce" certain positions are becoming. Our Roster Watch tab displays this information in a simple intuitive chart. You can quickly check out the teams drafting near you to see what gaps they may fill on their next pick. You can also see a summary that shows the total number of players at each position that have been drafted vs. how many starting slots there are in the league. This helps you monitor position scarcity at any point during the draft.
What is the Draft Board?
This is a standard view of the draft that plots each team across the top and each round down the side of the table. It provides one of the easiest ways to monitor each team's picks, the positions each team has taken, and which teams are scheduled to pick before. If you don't like to flip around to multiple views during the draft, this is one of the simplest and most straightforward ways to view a summary of how the draft is progressing.
Can I use the Draft Assistant for mock drafts?
No, the app doesn't have a way to connect to mock drafts hosted by CBS. But Keep in mind you can use the app's Draft Simulator feature. The interface is almost identical to the Draft Assistant.
Can I use the Draft Assistant for offline drafts?
No, the app requires an online draft in order to sync.