My, oh my, Fantasy Football sure has gotten fancy! Gone are the legal pads and magazines, and here come the iPads and laptops. Welcome to my list of the Best Fantasy Football Draft iPad Apps!
You have to know, however, that this list is for “draft apps” only. This does not list the many in-season management apps or the Fantasy Football player news apps. Just drafts.
[I wrote an update on the 2014 Best Fantasy Football Draft iPad Apps — Mock Draft in late August!]
I’m also going to limit this review to apps that can be used for any league service. In other words, the apps for CBSSports.com, ESPN and Yahoo! are all good, I’m sure, but they are all set up to run with the league’s setup.
It almost goes without saying that you should use these draft apps if you are on those services. Although, if you’re at a live draft with the rest of your buddies, there’s something to be said for using an unaffiliated draft app, just to keep people guessing.
The Fantasy Football ’12 HD for Yahoo/ESPN app ($4.99) is obviously more of a draft app than it is a cheat sheet app. And it uses RotoWire player news. How lazy is your commissioner that they can’t input the draft results as you go?
Also, before we get too far, I want you to know that the only one I’ve purchased and used was the NFL Fantasy Cheat Sheet 2012 app. I think you might find (spoiler alert) that it’s the best one.
This article is more of an assemblage of reviews and educated guesses as to the best apps to purchase.
8 Best Fantasy Football Draft iPad Apps
I want to point out a great site called SportsGeekery.com, who has done some reviews of some of the bigger apps already. They posted a great iPad Draft App comparison chart you should check out, which should also help you make a decision. I used their links for some of these apps, which might get them a kickback or something. I’m all for it!
Remember that many of these apps are available for both the iPad and the iPhone, and some work on both if you pay just once.
Top Free Fantasy Football Draft iPad Apps (or close to free)
Some people refuse to pay for Fantasy advice and some people refuse to pay for an app. This app works for those people.
The description mentions league and scoring customizations, but the reviews at the bottom indicate that has been disabled, and only default settings work. Even so, I like the look of the app, and it seems less cluttered. For someone that knows what they want and what they’re doing, this doesn’t look like a bad, free option.
Special: It even has a Player Recommendation Engine that takes into account your draft position, scoring rules, bye weeks and relative value of players at different positions.
The interface won’t be winning any beauty contests anytime soon. But it can use custom rankings and custom scoring rules that most of the major Fantasy Football league services use.
Special: It also uses a “Value Based Drafting Engine,” and you can mark keepers before the draft. For just 99 cents, it seems like a good app to roll the dice on if you don’t want to spend $5 on one of these other apps.
Top Paid Fantasy Football Draft iPad Apps
Even though these are paid apps, you still have to love the less-than-$5 price tags. They’re basically cheaper than most Fantasy Football magazines.
For those relatively new to the Fantasy world (as in, you’ve only started playing over the past decade), you may not realize that a couple of the creators of RotoWire, Jeff Erickson and Peter Schoenke, were the first to start an online Fantasy Sports news service back in the ‘90s. It was called RotoNews.com – and it was awesome! They sold it, yada yada yada, they’re back and it’s called RotoWire.com now. My point – these guys are two of the smartest people in the industry – and have been for a loooong time.
Here’s a nice how-to so you can maximize your app-titude. After you set your league’s scoring and roster options (and after you’ve clicked update for the latest draft data and depth charts), the standard RotoWire rankings are displayed according to your scoring system. You are able to adjust the rankings the way you like, by moving players up or down. The folks at SportsGeekery.com liked this app the best out of the three main ones (RotoWire, RotoWorld and NFL.com).
Each time a player gets picked, you tag him either as your team member or someone else’s team member.
Special: You can put players on a Watch List, which I normally do by putting a barely visible dot next to their name on a cheat sheet, just as a reminder that you want to keep a roster slot open for this fella. Their Watch List makes life much easier it seems.
Commissioners might enjoy this app the most, considering they can input picks on all teams, rather than just their own. For a regular owner, seems like that option is a little much.
You can set up your scoring system and league setup, although it doesn’t appear to have as many options as some of the other apps. You also won’t be able to adjust the rankings to your own personal preference. This app appears to fall short, compared to some of the others. It’s pretty, though! Here’s another great how-to by the guys at SportsGeekery.com.
Special: This app gives you the ability to add picks to several different teams.
NFL Fantasy Cheat Sheet 2012, $4.99
Choose your league settings and decide if you want to use “Draft By Team,” to enter everyone’s picks in, or just “My Team/Other,” which will track your picks specifically. The rankings are based on your league’s setup matched with NFL.com’s projections.
Sidenote: I worked with Michael Fabiano, one of the top Fantasy brains at NFL.com, for several years at CBSSports.com. If your cheat sheets are set up with projections he had a hand in, you’re doing good. He has been writing about Fantasy Football online since 2001.
The guys at SportsGeekery.com point out that they are unable to find a way to email the results of your draft to yourself. If you are just drafting for your team, it’s not that big of a deal. But if you are playing commissioner, this could be a sore spot.
I enjoyed using this for my live draft, and I think it’s the best app of the bunch. Also, if you have keepers in your league, you are able to go in beforehand and “Assign” players to their respective teams.
Special: You can sort the rankings by Average Draft Position, Average Auction Value or Value Based Drafting. You can also set your personal rankings here. Keepers can be set on this app and you can check Strength of Schedule, too.
Fantasy Football Draft GM, $2.99
This app gets its analysis and projections from Pro Football Focus, and it pulls league info from MyFantasyLeague.com. It supports most leagues, except for auctions. The customer reviews seem to be mostly positive, too.
Special: This app allows you to mock draft against its advanced AI, which lets you try out several different strategies.
This is interesting because it works as your draft board would. DO NOT PUT STICKERS ON YOUR iPAD! What I mean is, you’d pass the iPad around to each owner allowing them to make their picks on it. Apparently, it can also stream draft data to a computer wirelessly. Unfortunately, this is only for yearly non-keeper leagues that don’t use IDP or auctions.
Special: Seems a little pricey, but hey, it has retina graphics! (One cool thing is that it says you can show the live draft on any number of TVs or projector screens. I like that!)
If you’re using any of the best Fantasy Football draft iPad apps, you’re a pretty progressive player. And you’re probably already aware of how Twitter can really help you as a Fantasy owner. We tracked down the Top Fantasy Football Twitter Accounts You Should Follow!
David Gonos spent 5 years as a CBSSports.com Senior Fantasy Writer and three more years writing with SI.com. Over the past 17 years, his work has been published on NFL.com, MLB.com, FanDuel, FoxSports.com and USA Today. Since 2001, he has been tracking down the Top 50-plus Free Fantasy Football Draft Tools online. You can contact David Gonos here.