Since we only draft once a year, I figured it would be useful to take a quick refresher on how to use the ESPN Fantasy Draft application.
This is the full screen view. Let’s take a quick tour.
At the top left of the screen is the Timer. It shows how much time is remaining for a pick to be made. If the timer reaches zero and the manager has not selected a pick, the system will auto-draft a player on that manager’s behalf.
As Davin can testify, you do not want the system to autodraft for you.
Beside the timer and running across the length of the screen is the Draft Pick Ticker. This shows you exactly which picks are coming up, with your teams picks highlighted in yellow. Pretty straightforward.
Below the Timer and Ticker is the Selected Player Window. This is where you will draft a player, and as you can see on the far right of this window is a DRAFT PLAYER button. When it is your turn to pick, this button changes from grey to red.
Below the Draft Player button is a little drop down menu where you can choose which slot you want to put your drafted player into. Some players have already been given dual eligibility, so you can actually draft them into a specific position.
Below this window is your main work area, the Player Info Window. This is where you see all of the remaining players available to be picked, which can be searched and sorted by a variety of factors – overall rank, position, team, any of the specific scoring categories we use, etc. And in fact, you can use several sets of data to rank the players. At the top right of this window, you will see a drop down where you can toggle between 2017’s stats and ESPNs projected stats for 2018.
Beside this window is the Pick History window (which simply shows you in decending order which players have been picked) with the Player Queue below it. The Player Queue is where you can select, in order, which players you are targeting. This is an extremely useful tool on draft day, as those 90 seconds go by fast and it’s really easy to forget who you want to use your picks on. You can add players to this window in two ways: first, you can click and drag players from the Player Info window, or second, you can right-click on a selected player and click “Add to Queue”. The draft application opens 60 minutes before the draft actually begins, so you have lots of time to get your draft lists prepped and into the queue.
To the right of the player queue is the Draft Results window. It defaults to your team, but you can view who everyone else has drafted as well. This shows you at a glance what your roster looks like and which positions you should be targetings. At the bottom of the window is the Roster Tally, which shows you how many players with each primary position you have drafted – and remember, there is a maximum number of players at each position you can draft – 7 for LW/C/RW, 8 for D, 3 for G. Also note, while you can draft players that are injured, you cannot put them directly onto Injured Reserve; you’ll have to wait until the draft is complete before assigning them to an IR slot.
Finally, below the Player Info screen is the Chat window, where it gets pretty lively, even with a bunch of us all in the same room.
Take some time this week to do a couple of mock drafts to get yourself acquainted with the system again.
I haven’t touched on the Mobile App at all, but you can draft through it as well. It’s very simple and easy to use, but I definitely prefer the online application.