Okay, so as asked by a couple of people, how were we playing this using spreadsheets before? Well, I'll outline the process here, while trying to find a balance between keeping it short and sweet and still providing enough detail.
1. Use Google Docs!
It's free, and it allows everyone to connect at the same time. Also, as it's in the cloud, it is always up to date. You can look back at past revisions if necessary and is the ideal tool (short of a fully dedicated site) to play fantasy football in this way. Sample: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AiNH-JHpkhe8dFVVX2RiaDNyNUdZTFdieHliaUtUemc&usp=sharing
2. Decide between doing the entire game manually vs using an existing salary cap based fantasy game
Personally, none of our group could be bothered going through the hassle of creating a point scoring system, updating each player's scores manually, keeping track of transfers/team sheets and scoring the entire game manually which is why we went with the second option.
We used the official game (fantasy.premierleague.com). There are drawbacks to this (see below), but it allows you to avoid the hassle of all the admin work.
3. Find a way to keep everyone constantly in touch
This mainly applies to the draft, which can be a very slow process. You will have to find a way to communicate during this time in a way so that the person whose turn it is knows it is their turn. The draft process will be made slower if the players in your league come from different countries and are in different time zones (between the mates/cousins I have been playing with, we span across 4 countries and 8 time-zones!).
I highly recommend using the community post feature on this blog (top right hand corner) to make a thread for your league - This will allow a dedicated area to discuss your league, all players will get email notifications whenever an update is made etc and it generally makes it easier keeping everyone connected. You can also use a facebook group for this although I found that it tended to get lost amongst all other 'facebook noise'
4. Use an online random list generator to set the selection order
This is to set the order of the draft. Just google random list generator and pick any one (http://www.random.org/lists/ is one I have used in the past and works well but any will do).
use the first sheet for the draft. Make a table with the number of rows corresponding to the number of players in your league, and 15 columns (each corresponding to one draft round). Insert the list generated above into column 1, reverse the list order for column 2 and replicate the lists for the rest of the rounds (all odd numbers will be identical, all even numbers will be identical).
5. Set a draft start time and begin!
That's about all there is to it with regards to the draft. Make sure you all agree to the rules beforehand so that there is no confusion and everything is clearly laid out.
6. Collate the draft information
Once the draft is complete, collate the information into a second sheet which will effectively summarize each player's team. This sheet will be referred to prior to any transfers being made to check whether the player being brought in is available.
7. Player trades
Use a third sheet to track player transfers. Any transfer's made are logged here allowing all players to see who transferred who when. A comments section allows for players to write if a transfer is a part of a trade.
The drawbacks (and pretty much the whole reason we decided that a dedicated site for this is something worth making):
Well, that ended up being much longer than I was expecting. I wonder if anyone managed to get all the way through. Meh. If you did and you have any suggestions to improve on the above system, then put it in the comments below!
Link to the sample again: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AiNH-JHpkhe8dFVVX2RiaDNyNUdZTFdieHliaUtUemc&usp=sharing
Seems that you came across the same issues that I assumed you would have in relation to running the game manually.It could work, but it's not as straight forward as it should be. Having 2 players in the same team, making transfers only to find that you are over budget or have too many players from the same team, etc would be irritating to say the least.
I'm going to sit tight and wait for this game to be released. The fact you are experienced with how the game operates when done correctly gives me confidence that you will get it right.
How did the testing go last week? Any major bugs so to speak of?