Cheat Sheet

Fantasy Football Definition of Cheat Sheets

A cheat sheet is list of fantasy football player rankings used by a fantasy owner during a fantasy football draft. Cheat sheets can take one of two different forms: either an overall player rankings cheat sheet or a series of positional cheat sheets. Each type of cheat sheet allows a player to employ a different kind of draft strategy, and each type has advantages all its own.

Overall Cheat Sheet

The overall cheat sheet list all fantasy football players, regardless of position, by their overall value. If you want to draft according to the "best player available" strategy, using one cheat sheet that has every single player ranked according to value lets you draft accordingly. Simply mark off players on your comprehensive cheat sheet when they are drafted, then draft the highest remaining player on your cheat sheet when your turn in the draft comes.

Using one cheat sheet has the added advantage of efficiency, so you don't spend hours turning through page after page of notes. If you have five cheat sheets to mark through and are also writing down rosters and draft picks as you go, you might have trouble keeping up with other aspects of your fantasy football draft - specifically bye weeks. So having one cheat sheet to mark players off and a scratch sheet of paper to write down your roster and keep track of bye weeks is a convenient way of drafting.

Cheat Sheets By Position

Positional cheat sheets are a more common way of ranking players, which gives fantasy football team owners the chance to know which positions have the most value at any time during the draft. Owners who tend to value one position over another prefer to have their cheat sheets and other player rankings divided up into positions. There are other advantages.

For instance, if you have a separate cheat sheet for quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, field goal kickers and team defenses, you are likely to mark players off of these player lists as you go. You might start to notice that, on your running backs cheat sheet, there is one player high up the list that is remaining on the board, while ten RBs ranked under him are gone off the board. You'll know this should be your next draft pick, because a highly valued runner is still on the board. While you can do this with a combined or overall cheat sheet, it's more likely you miss this fact.

This kind of cheat sheet has an unintended advantage. You can cover up your important cheat sheets with your less important cheat sheet (such as the kickers page), so other owners in your league can't know where you have players ranked. That might sound paranoid, but there are one or two owners who never prepare for a draft in any league, and these guys will be fishing for information or help come the second half of the draft.

Player Rankings on Cheat Sheets

Some cheat sheets are better than others. Every list of player rankings is going to be slightly different and, inevitably, one or two of the top ranked players on any list are either going to have a bad year or a season-ending injury. So where you get your cheat sheet from and how you draft players off of it are important.

Many casual fantasy football players tear a cheat sheet out of a fantasy football magazine. While I have seen owners grab a magazine on the way to the draft and draft the league champion team from that list, you have to remember that fantasy magazines are dated several months and some of those players are certain to have injuries by the time you draft.

Other fantasy football owners go online and get printable fantasy football cheat sheets. If the person getting online fantasy football cheat sheets are careful, they can get up-to-date player rankings and know they won't be drafting injured or waived players. It also helps to print off a bye week schedule and a current depth chart for all the NFL teams.

There are many diehard fantasy football players who would never think of using a cheat sheet someone else created. These fantasy owners create their own player rankings lists for each position, based on who they think will have the best fantasy football season. These player lists often have players ranked much higher or lower than you would think, especially with sleeper picks in the second half of the draft. These players also tend to be the most dedicated fantasy football fans, so if you see a player listed on their cheat sheet you've never heard of, you can depend they've gotten inside information (off the Internet) on this one player.

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