In the first part of the Building Big Board series, I explained the advantages Big Boards have over a regular ranking. After you are caught up, we can begin with step number two.
This is where the actual board is built. Now you can feel like a NFL GM and coach in inserting players into an actual big board. There are different ways you can go about doing so, but the simplest way is to use Microsoft Excel because you can move the cells around with little trouble. To start, your columns should be separated into the number of players drafted per round. So, if your league is composed of 12 owners, then your column should have 12 cells dedicated for round 1, and then you start round 2 with picks 13-24, round 3 with 25-36, etc. Your rows should have the headings of the positions. The most standard one for me is to list them QB, RB, WR, TE, DST, K (for those who still kick it old school lineup requirements). My big board looks a little something like this (click on image to get a clearer view)
After creating this empty big board, it’s time to fill it. There are several ways to do this, for example, you can grab the rankings done by your favorite analyst and start plugging players into your board. Another way is to use the original tier you filled out in step one.
My favorite way to do so requires a little more work, but the end result will be worth it. I will use the tier system that I initially created in step 1, and use it to do a mock draft from the site that will host your fantasy league. Whether it is ESPN, Yahoo, MFL, RSO, etc., any of these sites offer a mock draft function. There is a slight issue with some of these sites, as most, if not all, are based on standard roster (QB, 2RB, 2WR, Flex, TE) and non-PPR. So, if your league has a different setting than the default, it may throw it off a little (There is a way to overcome that a bit, that I will explain later). Even so, the site’s ranking won’t change too dramatically, and you will feel very familiar with the draft room, interface, and functions. Next, complete a mock draft, paying attention at each pick who you were considering, who you didn’t pick but should have, and who you actually think you stole in the mock draft. The overall goal is not to win the mock draft, because you can’t take that with you, but instead to solidify whether player X is who you feel good or bad about on your team at round Z. After the draft is over, you look at the results and begin formulating your big board, making notes which player you’re on the fence about, which player you would draft earlier or later than the rankings, etc.
This should take you some time to complete. Once you fill out the whole board, all the way down to the last pick, you can take a seat, breathe, relax … and do it all over again. This time, you test out your big board on a mock at Fantasy Football Calculator mock draft site. FFC site has the ability to draft PPR, so that is why I recommend it. It can also expand up to a 16 team mock draft. The normal process is that you will tweak your board, because it is rare — if not impossible — to have your perfect board on the first try … or even 10th. The more you tweak it, the closer it will get to your ideal cheat-board.
Your board should tell a story of why you rank a player in certain rounds or why they are placed in such order. It doesn’t take much to understand that I wanted to build a WR-focused team, and snatch value for certain players.
So, go forth and start designing your board! Next step is learning how to actually using your Big Board.