With the MLB season coming up and opening day on April 7, we’re all now frantically getting ready for our remaining fantasy baseball drafts, while closely monitoring the news for any trades or spring training injuries.
In previous articles in this “Win Your Fantasy Baseball Keeper League” series, we covered ‘Keeper Decisions’ and ‘Keeper Draft Prep and Strategy’. For this one, we’ll cover the key things to do for creating your own “Draft Prep Sheet” or “Cheat Sheet”. There are many great options for Draft Software out there, and some have great features for draft prep and a draft assistant to show player suggestions during the draft. Many people prefer to create their own Prep sheet in Excel or Google Sheets though, and there are several things to include when building that.
5 Easy Steps to Create Your Own Fantasy Baseball Draft Prep Sheet
1. Start building your sheet with Projected Stats
- Grab projected stats from an available source:
- EASY version: use the Consensus Projections at FantasyPros.com
- CUSTOM stats: a combination of the FanGraphs.com Projections (and pick your favorite projections source), and their Auction Calculator (and select the settings that apply for your individual league). These two data sets would need to be merged together later in your spreadsheet using a VLOOKUP, which will give you the projected stats, and a customized dollar value, which you can sort by also for rankings. Alternatively, if you have a Rotowire.com subscription, their custom ranks feature with Excel export are also easy to use
- Click the Export Data or Export button to download the CSV file, then open the file in Excel (or Google sheets if you prefer). If using FanGraphs.com, Save the file as an XLSX document
- Repeat the step for Pitchers and import the downloaded file into the same Excel document and save
2. Add filters by position
- Select the “Position” column and then “Data” -> “Filter”. This will apply a Filter that you can select later by selecting the dropdown and then typing “3B” or another position in the “Search” box for positional ranks
- Note that the positions listed might not fully match the player availabilities in your league depending on it’s settings, but you can edit the value for individual players if you see that they aren’t correct
3. Conditional formatting for key categories
- When doing your draft and using your Spreadsheet as a reference (in addition to the draft room site, for online drafts), you’re going to want to quickly glance at the sheet and look for specific information. For example, which OFs are coming up soon in the rankings that can steal 15 bases that I should add to my queue
- By color coding certain columns in your spreadsheet, this will make things easier to look for information. To do this, select the column you want to color code (i.e. HR, SB, Ks) and then click “Conditional Formatting” on the “Home” tab in the top menu, then “Color Scales” and pick the one with Green on the top and Red on the bottom, or Blue then Red
4. “Notes” column
- With so much information out there to capture, having it in a single “Notes” column in your spreadsheet beside the player’s name is helpful. Insert a new column, label it “Notes” and make it a bit wide to capture information
- Then whenever you hear about an injury, want to make note of a sleeper or breakout player, or decide on guys to “Target”, the Notes cell can be used to capture all of that. Keep the spreadsheet open on your phone and computer to quickly add the Note whenever you hear or see it, before you forget
5. Column for each league and make a note of keepers
- For keeper leagues, adding a column for the league is helpful for making notes like “Kept” or their 2022 salary or contract, and this column can be filtered also to show players with blank values that are available in the draft
There is much more that can be added to the draft prep sheet, but we’ll close things off there for now. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @maxdoutdfs for anything related to this or my other articles.
Sean Chard is a 20+ year Fantasy Baseball veteran, as the Commissioner and league member for numerous Fantasy Baseball keeper leagues. He will be sharing information and strategies here for winning your Home Keeper league. For more great Fantasy Baseball analysis, follow him on Twitter @maxdoutdfs.