Fantasy football season is right around the corner, if not already started. If your fantasy football league holds a live draft, then perhaps you’ll also want to use this new Draft Pro 14 ($1.99) app to bring your fantasy draft to a whole new level.
Ditch the whiteboard and sticky notes, because Draft Pro 14 also includes Chromecast support. Now you can view your league’s picks on a television or projector.
The inner workings
Draft Pro 14 is a pretty standard fantasy draft manager app. The league commissioner (or draft chair) set up the league’s rules and regulations, including points and player rosters.
The setup process was a little time consuming, which added to some anticipation. Using the default scoring rules and three teams, I completed the setup in about 5 minutes. Obviously, league managers will want to do all of the setup well before the draft — you can save your draft — in order to save time.
I thought this was pretty redundant, but Draft Pro 14 uses this information to calculate the player rankings for your particular league’s scoring rules.
Thus, your league’s player rankings might differ from another league’s player rankings.
During the draft, you can view each player’s stats and information to help make more accurate picks.
I’m not sure where the statistical data comes from — probably CBSSports.com — so I can’t vouch for its accuracy. However, there were several roster players listed as injured.
I used a quick Google search confirmed their sideline status to “verify” the app’s stats accuracy.
Stylistically, one of my little annoyances is the fact that the app doesn’t feature a landscape view. I can appreciate the reasoning by enabling portrait only — display more information — but I’d also like to be able to rotate my screen and see statistical information laid out in two columns on the screen. That’s an especially nice feature for larger screen tablets.
The draft process
Selecting each team’s players is fairly straight forward. Simply click on the player in the list, click Draft Player, and confirm your selection.
Draft Pro 14 adds the player to your roster and tracks empty and full spaces. Draft Pro 14 flashes a warning when you’ve filled your team’s position allotment.
One element I don’t like is that there’s only one person with complete control of the draft board. If you’re not the team manager holding the Android device, then it’s very difficult to follow the draft progress. You can see the draft board with the player picks (if you’re using Chromecast), but you can’t see player position rankings. Since rankings are individualized based on your league, you can’t simply follow a generic pattern.
I’m not sure about the development difficulty level, but I’d like to multi-user support that allows one master control and other “slaves.” That way everyone could see the player selection board, including the player rankings.
Of course, this issue only arises if you care about player rankings in your draft picks. In my experience, most “hard core” leagues and players perfectly calculate their selections.
The ability to cast the selection board to your television via Chromecast adds a fun element to this app. As each team selects its players, the rosters appear on the screen. The app also shows the team who’s “on-the-clock.” That makes following the selection a little easier.
Activating Chromecast casting isn’t natural. I was a little confused since Draft Pro 14 is missing the cast icon on the home screen. Instead, you need to “activate” Chromecast through the settings menu.
That’s confusing, but not really a big issue.
Incidentally, I suppose that each team could disable Chromecast to track the flow of the draft. This method would require you to have the same league settings, but most of those flow the same way from year to year.
Overall, if you’re a fantasy football gamer, especially a league commissioner, you’ll probably like this application. I think it’s easy enough to manage your league’s draft, and the Chromecast compatibility adds a fun dynamic to the mundane task of draft selection.
I’m giving Draft Pro 14 a solid 4 of 5 stars.
Update: I forgot to mention that Draft Pro 14 features the ability to send your league picks to everyone by email or other sharing. I like the email method, since it gives you the roster list. Using the roster, your league commissioner can manually assign players to each team rather quickly.