Below we will discuss how to use the Draft Cheat Sheet Creator to find the sweet spots and undervalued players in your draft.
Read the guide in full and try a couple of the examples on your own and you'll be on your way to a Fantasy Football Championship.
Before we get started, sign up for a membership and customize your cheat sheet based on your league's settings. Then print it out so you can use it as a reference as you read this guide.
2022 Fantasy Football Draft Cheat Sheet Guide
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The Columns and Their Meaning
Proj. Points - these are the player's projected points for this NFL season based on our wisdom of the crowd projections and your Fantasy league's custom scoring system.
ADP (Average Draft Position) - this is the estimated round the player will be available. We base this on current (live) draft data courtesy of Sleeper (redraft PPR). Of course, the flow of every draft is different so usually, ADP is really only useful for planning as well as during the beginning stages and later stages of the draft.
Value - the number of projected points a player is expected to produce (plus or minus), versus the league average based on your point system and the number of player slots.
For example, let's say your league has 12 teams and each team has 3 WR slots. If Davante Adams is projected for 231.6 half-PPR points and the average of the top 36 wide receivers is 191.5, this gives Adams a value of 40, which means he is projected to score 40 more points than your league's top 36 WRs average.
SOS - this is the projected strength of schedule based on that player's position. 1 being the easiest and 32 being the hardest.
Preparing Your Draft Cheat Sheet for the Draft
Step 2 - Preparation is the key to success - Now I want you to highlight or mark (consistency is key here) all the sleepers and late-round options you would like to target. Notice the ADP column. Keep this in mind because it will help you make decisions on how long you can hold off before drafting in certain situations. You'll also use this information throughout the draft process measured against a player's value which we discuss next.
Step 3 - Mid to Late Round (understanding value and how to quickly identify it during a live draft) - Our value system is based on your league settings and is averaged based on the number of slots in your Fantasy league for each position. It helps you identify drop-offs in projected production for each position. This drop-off is known as position scarcity. Let's now discuss leveraging value and determining a position's scarcity during the draft.
Notice the columns at the top of the draft worksheet named "Value" and "NP-Value".
"Value" is the number of projected points a player is expected to produce (plus or minus), versus the league average based on your point system and the number of player slots for said position.
"Next Value" is tricky because it's based on the estimated average draft position (ADP). The number is calculated with the same aforementioned formula (plus ADP) however, you can use it to identify the drop-off between the player value you're looking at now and the next available player in that position. However, because of your league's scoring system and ADP, the next value will be higher than the current value.
People using generic rankings found online will suffer because they don't have a tool, like you do now, to identify value.
Step 4 - (ties right into step 3) - Go down the sheet and identify where the value drop-off exists. You want to be sure to target the guys before the drop-off takes place. You can also use ADP to determine which guys may drop in the draft but have a high-value rating.
Also take note of the SOS column, the lower the number, the softer the schedule. I recommend picking players with a soft SOS when the projected points are similar as well as ADP.
Use "NP-ADP" to see when the next player in the position is typically being drafted, if the difference between ADP and NP-ADP is great then you may be able to wait until your next pick to draft a player with similar value.
Of course, the flow of every draft is different so usually, ADP and NP-ADP are really only useful for planning as well as during the beginning stages and later stages of the draft.
Step 5 (early round help) - It's all about value and NP-value. This deals with position scarcity. Position scarcity means, for example, the drop-off in points between the top five RB and the lower ten is much greater than the point drop-off between the top five QB and the lower 10.
You must identify where this scarcity exists so you know how to draft. This is most useful with your first two or three picks.
In order to identify the major point drop-offs for each position, mark them on your sheet so you know where they exist. This helps you know what players you want to target in the early rounds and in what order.
You can sort the projected points column if you want, but the sheet is meant to be used at draft time sorted on predicted available round (ADP).
But position scarcity doesn't stop here. Look at all the players in each position and measure the point differences so you'll understand how to draft based on your player's projected points. Try it in mock drafts and you'll understand the value of the cheat sheet if you don't already.
Value also helps you quickly spot players with a higher ADP (later rounds) that have a value equal to players (in that same position) being drafted too early. These are the guys you want to target because they will come later in the draft, allowing you to pick higher-value players earlier in the draft.
Identify Your Drafting Areas
If you sort the sheet by ADP it is likely that your draft will closely follow the list from top to bottom. If you know your position in the draft you can shade the side of the sheet around the areas where you'll be drafting and pre-plan (plot) your draft. Just count down the ADP column to find your draft position.
This analytical approach is fast and easy to do during the draft, so long as you set your sheet up as referenced above. I suggest you practice this once or twice in some online mock drafts to perfect this method, just like momma always told ya "practice makes perfect"!
Position Runs - If a run is being made on QB don't just jump on the bandwagon if you're at the end of the run. Analyze the data and realize that the point value between player A, whom you can draft now, versus player B who you can draft later, might not be but a hand full of points different. This is identified in the value column of the draft worksheet.
Defense - Defense is important but even the stud teams will typically net you only a handful of Fantasy points in any given week. Predicting which defense will hit the turnover lottery is damn near impossible. I've always had success simply drafting a defense and playing them based on matchups. If you get lucky you might hit a stud defense that you can ride out a couple of games in a row! By the third week of the season, we usually spot the new rising defense and will let you know via our waiver wire articles.
Kicker - Use your last pick on a kicker.
Condensed Version and Quick Tips
- Identify sleepers you want to target in the draft
- Highlight players in each position who have a higher value than the guys being drafted before them
- Identify the major point drop-offs for each position
- Run a couple of mock drafts
- Join the draft early and find out what pick you got if it is not announced before draft day! You can then prep your draft sheet for where you'll be drafting.
- Cross players out after they have been drafted. You have time for this because you're not fumbling between countless pages of data between picks. Analyze the dynamics (how fast positions are going, trends) of your draft and be thinking about how this will affect your next pick.
All in all not only are you now more organized and prepared for the draft, but you're also confident in your approach. Your team's overall point value at the end of the draft will be much higher than everyone else who drafted with a generic draft sheet and rankings. No one will be as prepared and stacked as you!
Good luck - we are confident these suggestions will ensure your dominate your league!
Check out the rest of our 2022 Fantasy Football Team Previews!