Must-Have Utilities for the Commissioner

by Douglas T Scott

For those of you who already commission FBPro leagues, you probably already have and use most of the things I'm going to mention. But for those of you just starting out, or those of you considering starting your own league, read on to find out the low-down on the countless number of FBPro utilities floating around out there on the internet. Obviously, just because I like a utility, doesn't mean you need it or will even find it useful.   Alternately, there are other utilties you may feel you just can't get by without that I make no mention of.  But this is my list, so...

MUST-HAVES: These are the utilities you just can't run a good league without. The first stuff that comes to mind are several of Lorne Sunby's basic weekly stat utilities: Gameday, Gamestat, Injury, Season, Schedule Printer, and Stand. The purpose of most of these should be obvious from there names: they give you the stated statistics in a nice-printout, either text or HTML for uploading directly to your league's website. For those of you who don't know, Gameday prints out the "Best of the week" in every major statistical category--passing, rushing, etc. That just about covers the absolute must-have utilities, but you are only scratching the surface with those....

STAT ENHANCERS: I like to use Jeff Pfaff's Whodrew and Knockdown. Whodrew will read throught .LOG files and keep track of all the penalties that are committed. Several printout option then show you who has committed penalties, and of what type, and how many. Basically everything you need to know about penalties. Knockdown similarly reads through the .LOG files and keeps track of anyone who knocks down a pass. Totals are kept for the week, season, and career (as in Whodrew) and you can print out the result in text or HTML. Jeff has a number of other utilities as well that give you more statistics than anyone could ever need. Again, think Lorne Sunby in this category--his Records program will keep single game, season, and career records for you league--over 600 in all! This program rocks! By now, you might as well register for Sunby's "All the tools pack", because your also going to want Sub. Awards--get rid of the crappy player of game/week that FBPro generates and use this program to create both offensive AND defensive players of the game and week, as well as an expanded list of year-end awards. Best of all, you can customize it to suit your own tastes. Also, pick up Sundby's Annual, Career, Honours (note the spelling--he's Canadian...), and Teamstat to round out your volumes of statistics. Career shows the career leaders in every statistical category. Honours prints out all your Hall of Fame data, including statistics. Finally, register a copy of E.A. Gelat's Preview. This program will print out the key matchups to the upcoming week's game, the offensive and defensive rankings of the teams, and even a predicted score!

ADDING REALISM: I didn't know what else to call this category, but this is where E.A. Gelat comes into play. First off, any league wanting a salary cap and free agency program should take a good look at his FPSGM program. This thing has it all: contracts, bonuses, free agency, holdouts, franchise/transition tags. Everything the general manager could ever want. Gelat also just came out with a brand-new utility: Reduce. Reduce will (based on the parameters you specify) PERMANENTLY lower the potential ratings of a player who suffers a major injury. Tired of that WR not losing a step after tearing his ACL? Then Reduce is right up you alley.

HELPERS: First and foremost, you simply must get Pfaff's RosterMoveUpdater. Tired of spending hours each week making each team's roster moves? Then don't! Get this program and make them do it themselves. Pfaff also puts out MaskPotentials for those of you who don't want your owners to be able to view potential ratings. There are a number of Training Camp programs out there that let you customize how your league does it's training camp. I personally like TrainingCamp by Mark Alexander. It lets you specify minimum and maximum percentages, maximum differences, and many more things. You can also indicate which positions you want to split out (if any). If you plan to run your league for a number of seasons, then I would highly recommend getting Sundby's Drafty utility so you can maintain the quality of your players over a number of season--the game just doesn't produce good players on it's own. For those of you who thinks the default schedule that comes with FBPro stinks (who doesn't?), then a good bet is Gelat's ScheduleMaker program. I use this to have my 12-team league play a full 16-game schedule rather than just 12. But you can use it to just about whatever you'd like. Got a college league and want an 11-game schedule? No problem. Want to play 20 games? Or just 8? No problem. If you are using a 28 or 30 team league, you can even schedule byes. If you run a custom team league, you may want to get MyCity by Sunby so you can accurately reproduce the weather patterns of your league's cities. His Expand utility can help you add teams to your league without losing the league stats and records--or just use it to just reallign the teams in your league. If your league uses custom plays, but have some rules governing what is or isn't allowed, consider registering Rich Wall's Playcheck. It can make the job of checking plays MUCH easier. Finally, for owners who want to analyze their (and others') teams, Logstats by Wyllys is the utility for you.

Well, that by no means is a complete list. There are dozens of other utilities out there--most of them excellent. This list is just my personal favorites and ones that I find most useful. To acquire any of these utilities, follow the links below.  If you decide to use any of them--please register, it's a small fee, and it's the right thing to do!:

Lorne Sundby's Utilities
E.A. Gelat's Greatest FBPro Page
Jeff Pfaff's Utilites
Richard Wall's Utilities
Mark Alexander's Page