By Frank Bonincontri
So you have a few favorite cheat sheets from people you follow on social media. Most likely from some major media outlets and a few experts. Which one is the best? Who’s sheet is the most accurate?
Well the answer is not definitive. They are all relatively the “best” because, well, let’s face it, nobody is ranking Sam Darnold number one overall and Antonio Brown as a tier 5 player.
If you are like me, your own opinions on players tend to align with the experts to a degree, however, some do not. Remember when the Packers Jeff Janis was your top breakout receiver? Not so much. Oh, wait a minute, you did accurately predict Todd Gurley to bounce back after being left for dead in 2106 right?
What I am saying is, why aren’t you making your own sheet?
The foundations are simple. Whatever your style, football philosophy and player predictors, apply it to your own sheet and create one to use on your draft day. What I like to do is take an excel sheet and enter my players from top to bottom, then separate into tiers. In each tier, I step back and say, who would be a 1, then a 2 and so on, then also factor in opportunity, potential and trend.
The player entry is very time consuming but remember your dedicated and this is what sets you apart from your league mates! Fire up your favorite fantasy podcast and knock it out. (Hint) There are a few sites that you can copy/paste complete player name databse listings from.
Once I have my players listed, I begin one position grouping at a time. Enter your tier one and insert your players from best to worst in your opinion. Use your own strategy as to how and why they belong in each spot. I like to have 4-5 tier categories. Typically tier one would be for your studs, tier 2 will be for your starters and fringe one players. Tier 3 is comprised of your 2’s and 3’s including sleepers. Tier 4-5 are your best of the rest, deep sleepers and possible dynasty gems
Once your board is set. (That’s NFL GM talk for your sheet) You can now go through and highlight specific players.
Feel free to use your own strategy but I like to set my board with three highlights. A Want, a Take, and a Sleeper. I highlight three players per upper tiers, and sometimes multiple players into the 3rd or 4th tiers.
My “want” is simply a player that if everything went perfect on draft day, I would select him no matter what. He is the best of that tier in my opinion.
My “take” is simply my next choice if my “want” has been selected. As I get into the lower tiers, I may have 2-4 players highlighted in order of potential or opportunity.
Finally, my Sleeper picks. We all love the sleeper picks don’t we? However you classify a sleeper pick is entirely up to you. I tend to lean on the side of hidden opportunity that hopefully others in your league have not caught onto yet. Otherwise, definitely potential and the supporting cast around that specific player.
Once you have completed your sheet, you can take it your draft in full confidence that you will be selecting the correct players as YOU see fit. If things get sideways, you can always stay true to your board and take the player that falls to you according to your tiers and highlighted players. Creating my own cheat sheet helps me stay focused and not get caught up in the moment whether it is by the league talking hype on certain players, recent preseason game hype or our favorite draft day derailer of choice, alcohol.
Give it a try and see how it works. Feel free to DM me on twitter @TheFFLWire if you have any questions or post up with your thoughts. Thanks for reading and good luck this season!