Opening weekend of the NFL is just days away, which means fantasy football draft season is in full swing. Perfect timing for Fantasy Football Draft Central '08 for the iPhone to come along. Great idea - an iPhone app to replace the piles of magazines and stacks of printed-out cheat sheets and injury reports that every owner is forced to haul into his draft.
Unfortunately, Fantasy Football Draft Central fails to deliver.
The app consists of two sections: players and teams. The "teams" section allows you to keep track of a draft while it is in progress by assigning players to specific teams. This functionality is essentially worthless; I can't fathom a situation in which it would be easier for someone to go through the multiple searches and clicks necessary to assign a player to a team than it would be to simply enter the picks into a spreadsheet on a laptop, or for that matter write them down on a piece of paper.
The "players" section lists every player in the NFL by position, rank, name and availability (whether or not the player has been drafted already). After having sorted by any of these criteria, the user can click on an individual player's name to see that player's statistics.
The player rankings are accurate enough. Some players have asterixes or plus signs next to their names. Why? I'm not sure - the app doesn't say. I've had the app for a day so it's unclear whether there are periodic updates to account for injuries, team changes, etc.
The biggest beef I have with the app is the individual player pages. You would think that the page for Brian Westbrook, or that of any other running back, would feature rushing statistics prominently. You thought wrong. Every player's page lists passing stats first, then rushing stats, then receiving stats. You'll be glad to know that Brian Westbrook had zero passing attempts for zero passing yards in 2007.
Every single player has "N/A" under the "fumbles" category. Now, no one really looks at fumbles anyway when drafting, so why even include the fumbles stat, especially if you're going to provide inaccurate information?
Another problem is the "fantasy points" stat on the player information pages. As any fantasy football player knows, there are dozens of different scoring systems. Which system is this app using?
As an aside, use of the term "place kicker" in this app indicates to me that the developer is probably not a football fan himself. I don't think the term "place kicker" has been used since the invention of the forward pass.
The only reason I could ever see someone using this app is if they were going into a draft completely unprepared, without access to a computer, magazine or cheat sheet, and needed a basic player list to keep themselves from being completely embarassed. Otherwise there's really no point - the draft management software is unusable, there's no stat projections, and there's no indication as to what scoring system is being used. Avoid.