A league almanac is a list of past champions in a league, as well as the history of point totals and other key statistics from those past seasons. This can be a vital source of information for anyone participating in the league!
Keeping a good record of the past winners in your league can be a great way to rub your win into your friends' faces, but it can also help you determine draft orders or appoint league commissioners. A history of point totals or individual player statistics can help you make draft decisions for the coming year or give you an idea of which players may be sharks or fish.
You can either keep a league almanac via a book, or with the website your league is run by. Yahoo, for one, keeps something resembling a league almanac. The website allows you to look back at previous seasons of a league. Among the things you can view, team roster, transactions, draft order and pick selections are some of the more useful ones. The website also allows you to see player performance, though that information is also easily found on websites that show player statistics.
A league almanac can be very useful to you, especially if you are new to that league! Take note of which players have a history of performing exceptionally well in the league, and know that a matchup against them will need more careful planning than a matchup against a worse opponent. You can also note which opponents like to choose the same players each year so that you have even more information to go into the draft with. The more information in the almanac, the better for you!
Another way to utilize the almanac is to realize what spots in the draft order go on to have the most success. Though there is not a definite connection between drafting spots and team success, but there is certainly an influence. If you have a higher draft spot in the first round, you will likely take the best players in the league, giving your team an advantage. So keep in mind the success of teams with early drafting spots.