Fantasy Football Cheat Sheets
Fantasy Football Draft Lists
Fantasy football cheat sheets help team owners at their annual fantasy drafts. The fantasy cheat sheet is a draft list of fantasy football players, ranked according to the players’ projected numbers and relative value.
Cheat sheets come in two forms. Most fantasy football magazines come with multiple cheat sheets, and usually offer at least two cheat sheets: one for a draft and one for an auction. Cheat sheets will list the top couple of hundred players, regardless of position. These sheets might also break down the positions by player.
The second kind of cheat sheet is the personal, handmade cheat sheet. Many serious players prefer to make their own draft lists, after reading numerous magazines, sifting through countless websites and adding their own hunches from many seasons playing fantasy sports and watching games.
These cheat sheets usually are broken down by position, and might even be broken down by tiers of quality. Personal cheat sheets tend to be highly personalized, and their owners keep their contents a secret at their local draft site. Some players bring them in a folder or hide them with a cover page; I’ve seen others keep their cheat sheets in a briefcase. Others are more cavalier, letting other players take a look at their lists as the draft pool shrinks.
Cheat Sheet Types
Also, there are many kinds of fantasy leagues, with all kinds of exotic scoring systems. One cheat sheet doesn’t fit every league, because leagues give different points for things like touchdowns, yards gained and receptions.
Football Babble has provided a series of cheat sheets for all the major types of fantasy leagues out there: touchdown/basic, performance, receptions and auctions. Feel free to print these out and use them draft day.
Basic Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet – This is for a league which gives points only for scoring touchdowns. Basic scoring is how fantasy football was played in the old days, and continues to be how a few old-timers play the game.
In our basic cheat sheet, you get 6 points for a rushing or receiving touchdown, 4 points for a passing touchdown and 1 point off for an interception.
Performance Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet – The performance league not only gives point for touchdowns, but it gives points for the yardage gained by a particular player. That way, if your star runner rips a 60 yard play and gets caught at the 1 yard line, you still get some credit if the fullback wolfs the touchdown while your guy’s catching a breath on the sideline.
The performance league is what most leagues are using these days. This takes some of the luck factor out of the game, since touchdowns are often just a matter of who gets to run the ball the final few yards.
Not only do players get points for touchdowns, but often get points for yards rushed, received and passed. In the case of our cheat sheet, runners and receivers get points at a clip of 1 point per 10 yards and passers gets 1 point for every 25 yards passed.
Receptions Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet - The points-for-receptions league is fast becoming a major sub-type of the performance league. In a "receptions" league, it is standard to see a player receive a point every time that player has a receptions.
The idea of the receptions league is to achieve a little more parity between the wide receivers and tight end positions and the running back position, which usually dominates fantasy football league.
Receivers in these leagues tend to rack up huge single games, making it viable to draft receivers very high in the draft. In fact, I’ve played in a league with 1 running back, 2 wide receivers and 2 flex positions (either RB or WR), where teams can field a 1 RB-4 WR lineup. Teams which regular fielded 1 RBs and 4 WRs actually won two of the last four seasons. Check out our receptions cheat sheet to see how one of these drafts might go.
Auction League Cheat Sheet - Auction leagues are an entirely different kind of animal in the fantasy football world. A draft is about grabbing the guy you want when it’s your turn. Fantasy football auctions are more about resource allocation.
Sure, everyone wants Adrian Peterson on their team. But how much are you willing to spend to get him? In an auction league, you have to be willing to spend a little more than anyone else in the league.
As you imagine, the first part of a draft auction can get really crazy. One or two teams can’t help themselves and end up spending their whole salary cap on a handful of players. One injury and the whole season goes up in smoke.
But if you allocating your resources correctly in an auction league, you can grab a few stars, fill out you line-up with solid contributors and still have the money to collect all the sleepers you want. To do that, though, you need to set a spending limit on your players and follow it, no matter how the early part of the auction goes. Our auction league cheatsheet will help you set up the team budget you need.
Individual Defensive Players – IDP leagues don’t have team defenses, but instead start a team of individual defensive players. IDP players tend to come from three different categories: defensive linemen, linebackers and defensive backs.
The IDP league tries to balance fantasy football rosters more between offense and defense, where most fantasy leagues heavily weight the emphasis towards the offensive side of the ball. Many leagues have three IDPs in a starting lineup, and these players receives points for tackles, sacks, interceptions and other defensive stats.
I’ve seen other leagues with up to 7 or more individual defensive players, or matching the number of players on offense. In these leagues, defense can be fully as important as offense in fantasy football. I’ve played in a couple of IDP leagues over the years and (believe me), it changes the way you watch NFL football. You’ll find yourself pulling for Bob Sanders to make one more tackle.