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Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: The Dynamic Draft War Room

By Jared Smola | Updated on Thu, 27 Jun 2024 . 9:56 AM EDT

What makes a winning fantasy football cheat sheet?

You’ve landed on this page for a reason.

We’re guessing it’s because you’re searching for a fantasy football cheat sheet to help in your upcoming draft.

Good on you – we’ve got a series of generic cheat sheets on our fantasy football rankings pages… If that’s all you’re looking for.

But you need more!... 

“The man who can win with a static cheat sheet is indeed great. For he is at a true disadvantage” 

- Aristotle, probably

The purpose of your cheat sheet should be to give you true player values. Obvious enough, right?

But what most cheat sheets actually do is simply give you a group of static – and then eventually stale – player rankings.

Our research shows that nearly every winning fantasy team drafts players based on 17 value indicators – some of which change throughout your draft. 

We’re talking about things like positional scarcity, your team needs, opponents needs, and breakout potential.

Miss on a couple of these indicators, and you’ll put yourself at a deep disadvantage.  

  

The 17 crucial value indicators in any fantasy football draft 

1. League scoring – The most important variable

Your league’s scoring and starting lineup rules go a long way in determining player value. TE-premium, superflex, PPR or half-point PPR. Those are just a few of the scoring rules to consider. Obviously a static fantasy football cheat sheet won’t take your exact scoring into account when ranking players. 

2. Positional value – QB vs. RB vs. WR vs. TE vs. IDPs?

Every positional value is different. That’s why RBs typically go off the board long before the top QB is taken. But where – exactly – you should value the top QB vs. WRs and RBs is something you need to know. The Draft War Room considers the projection ranges across positions the whole way, and recommends when to target that WR, RB, QB or TE.

TIP

We lay out a plan of when to target each position in our 2024 Fantasy Football Draft Guide.

3. 3D Projections – Balancing ceiling, floor, and consensus

Our player projections have won numerous accuracy awards. But drafting an elite team takes more than just baseline projections. That’s why we give you “3D Projections.” The three “dimensions” start with our baseline projections. That’s the foundation. Next, we factor in ceiling (upside) and floor (downside) for every player. Finally, we include consensus projections from other fantasy sites – because there’s value in the wisdom of the crowds. The end result is a comprehensive look at every player’s complete fantasy profile.

4. Setting the baseline – calculating the real value of a player vs. his peers

A player’s raw fantasy production does not ultimately determine his fantasy value. Otherwise, the start of drafts would be filled with QBs – since they typically score the most points. A player’s true fantasy value comes from how his production compares to others at the same position. To maximize value at each pick, you need to compare every player to his peers throughout your draft. For example, compare a QB who averages 26 points per game to a QB who averages 24 points (a difference of 2 points). Now do the same for a WR who averages 16 points per game vs. a WR who averages 12 points (a difference of 4 points). The lower-scoring WR is actually more valuable than the higher-scoring QB.

5. Real-time team needs – When to fill each position

What position you should target in any given round also depends on what you’ve already drafted. Should you grab your starting QB before getting your fourth RB? Based on your needs – and how your draft is unfolding – the Draft War Room will tell you when it’s time to fill that QB hole. Or keep waiting.

6. Opponent team needs – What they need affects your strategy

You might know your own team needs at every turn. But what about the other teams in your league? Their needs will affect which players are likely to make it back to you. We don’t have to tell you how daunting it is to keep track of other teams’ needs while tracking everything else in your draft. The Draft War Room does it for you.

7. Changing positional scarcity – The player pool changes with every pick

Positional scarcity goes a long way in determining true player value. As players leave the board, that scarcity changes the value of the remaining players – in real time. This truth becomes obvious when there’s a “run” on a certain position. But it also happens one pick at a time. If you’re not paying attention, you’ll be the guy making a panic pick when your turn comes up.

8. Injury risk – Don’t waste draft capital on unnecessary risks

Want to know the percentage chance each player has of suffering an injury this season? This number comes from our exclusive Injury Guide: the largest, most comprehensive database of player injuries anywhere. NFL teams have paid for access to it, so why would you try drafting without it? 

9. Breakout potential – One player can literally win you a championship  

Nothing makes your season like a player dramatically outperforming his draft position. Our ceiling projections -- as well as likelihood of hitting that ceiling -- give you a sense of who’s most likely to break out as you draft.

10. Correlated ADP – Specific to your league format

Every draft room lists average draft position (ADP) these days. Only your Draft War Room, however, includes ADP specific to your league format.

11. Bye week conflicts – Make sure your starting lineup doesn’t collapse 

You’ll not only see each player’s bye week. You’ll get alerted as you draft if an available player’s bye conflicts with someone you already drafted at that position. That solves a big lineup-setting problem before you’ve even begun setting your lineup.

12. Flex options – WRs vs. RBs vs. TEs

Beyond the specific position requirements, you probably need to start a flex player every week. Should you target a WR? A RB? Getting that position right will be key to your season. So you’ll definitely want the flex spot(s) factored into who you pick.

13. Bench depth – You need productive backups 

No matter how carefully you draft, you’re probably not getting through the season with everyone healthy. And even if you do, a strong bench will produce high-value trade chips. Your Draft War Room calculates how deep your bench should go at each position based on your league setup.

14. Trust factor – formulate the perfect bench

Should you draft a second QB before your third TE?  How about a third TE before a fifth RB? Our proprietary Trust Factor assigns a value to each player based on how reliable we project them to be this coming season. The lower the Trust Factor, the more you should prioritize adding depth at that position. It’s the smartest way to optimize your bench… and it’s built into the Draft War Room.

15. Personalized projection adjustments – You have ultimate control

Like a player more – or less – than we do? No problem. You can easily adjust his projection up or down to change his position in your Draft War Room. And don’t worry. It’ll save automatically.

16. Positional tiers – See where value clearly drops off

Sometimes the gap between two players at the same position is small. But sometimes there’s a big drop-off in projections between players. You need to see that in the middle of your draft. And you need to see it at a quick glance. The Draft War Room shows you which tier every player falls in.

17. Strength of schedule – Add a guy with a cream puff schedule 

Would you rather have your RB going up against a weaker defense or a stronger one? Easy choice. And that’s why the Draft War Room lists projected strength of schedule for every player. Calculated by position, of course.

To take full advantage of these 17 value indicators, you need a cheat sheet that updates in real time.

   

Fantasy football cheat sheets can tell you where players rank …

... but the Draft War Room will give you true player value

Let’s take a deeper look at determining dynamic player values vs. static rankings.

Most drafts are a mix of RBs, WRs – and probably a couple QBs and a TE or two – in the first couple rounds.

Here’s why:

What everyone seems to know instinctively is that position scarcity – and not player point projections – are what drive player value.

That’s why you’re far more likely to draft the No. 5 RB over the No. 1 QB in a standard league.

But position scarcity is just one of the 17 indicators. 

How do you track all 17?… In real time?!

Plus access a whole bunch of other info vital to your draft?

  

The Draft War Room

Hundreds of real-time calculations deliver you the most valuable players

live image of our fantasy football cheat sheet

The Draft War Room considers myriad inputs and combines advanced functionality to give you a clear path at every turn.

Players automatically get removed from your fantasy football cheat sheet as they’re drafted.

What remains: 

Top 5 draft recommendations -- plus a wealth of other useful info.

Live-Draft Sync

Start by using the Live-Draft Sync to connect your league.

When you sync the Draft War Room with your fantasy football league, it will automatically load:

  1. Your league’s scoring
  2. Your draft order and other team names
  3. Every team’s pick, live throughout your draft
  4. Your league’s roster throughout the regular season

That last factor will be vital to staying ahead of your league mates all year long.

But first:

How does the Draft War Room help you assess player values?

3D Values

You know how important “value” is to your drafting.

Now you get the best representation of player value available in a draft tool.

3D Values take into account 5 of the crucial 17 indicators:

  1. The pool of available players at each position and the expected dropoff in fantasy production by your next pick
  2. Your remaining team needs based on the roster spots you’ve already filled
  3. Average draft position (ADP) of remaining players
  4. A player’s ceiling upside (and likelihood of hitting that ceiling)
  5. Analytically proven positional strategies
zoomed in live image of our fantasy football cheat sheet

The end result for you is the 3D Value score. 

It's a unique player score determined by a proprietary algorithm we've created and tested.

Doing these calculations manually would take you hours. And you'd have to do it again at every turn.

The Draft War Room does it in less than a second. Every time a player is drafted.

How 3D Values Are Crucial For Your Draft

   

The Draft War Room adapts to your league format

Fantasy football cheat sheets can’t cover every league’s rules.

You know that there are all different types of fantasy football leagues.

From minor scoring variations to completely different formats.

Whatever your format, the proper setup will have your Draft War Room ready to dominate.

What type of fantasy football league do you play in?

Redraft

This covers most regular-season fantasy football leagues. And the Live-Draft Sync will take care of the work for you.

Dynasty/Keeper

Your Draft War Room will automatically adjust strategy for the number of players you keep year to year.

Keep 3-7 players?

We’re talking “keeper” league. The long term matters but not quite as much as it does in a full dynasty league.
So the Draft War Room won’t look as far ahead with player projections – but it will look beyond the coming season.

Keep 8+ players?

Now you’re in dynasty territory. The Dynasty Draft War Room includes not only projections for the coming year, but also 3-year, 5-year and 10-year extrapolations.

So you’ll get recommendations to build a long-term juggernaut at startup.

And then you can set a rookies-only board for each ensuing year’s rookie draft!

Auction

Auction drafts differ quite a bit from the other formats listed here.

But your Auction Draft War Room will offer the same benefits.

As players leave the board and you build out your roster, the Auction Draft War Room will update player values based on your total budget, selected strategy, and who’s still available.

That gives you a much clearer view of the true values of the remaining players.

IDP

Does your league include defensive players? Your Draft War Room will be ready to handle them just the same as the offensive guys.

Wondering when you should start drafting IDPs?

The Draft War Room calculations will consider all the factors mentioned above, weigh defensive and offensive players together, and give you the right answer for your specific draft.

  

Wait – it does more?! ...

Yeah. After all, it’s not just a cheat sheet.  

The Draft War Room is designed to give you an easy, league-crushing draft experience.

You don’t need to keep track of everything as you make your picks.

But here are a few extras we’ve built in to help you:

Mock Draft tool image

Mock Draft Trainer

Want to make sure you know how everything works before your draft goes live?

Practice as many times as you want with the Mock Draft Trainer.

And you can do an entire mock draft in just a few minutes. 

It’ll use your exact league settings and ADP specific to your format to give you a true draft experience.  

The Draft War Room algorithm will even change up the player picks each time you draft. So you’ll be ready no matter what comes at you on draft day.

ADP countdown on our fantasy football cheat sheet

ADP countdown

You already know that the Draft War Room counts ADP in its calculations. And every draft room shows you ADP at this point.

Your Draft War Room gives you a deeper advantage.

Hover over a player’s ADP, and you’ll see exactly how many picks away from that ADP your draft currently is.

Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet Icons

Quick-check icons

Who’s injured? Or a sleeper? Or a potential breakout?

Icons next to player names on this fantasy football cheat sheet give you a quick-glance reminder of those important details.

Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet - Players

Player pages

Want to check Shark Bites for the latest news on a player before you draft him?

Just click on that player in your Draft War Room, and his full player page will open in a separate tab.

Get the info you need without losing sight of your draft.

Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet - Flags

Flag players and leave notes

Want to keep a certain player in mind as you draft?

The Draft War Room lets you flag that player (in advance of your draft) so you don’t lose track of him.

And you can even add a note for yourself, so you can remember why you flagged him.

draft log on our fantasy football cheat sheet

Draft log and grid view

You don’t need to track all the picks.

But you can easily check on the full draft whenever you want.

The grid view shows you every player who has been drafted and lets you see how each team in your league is building.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions 

How do you use a fantasy cheat sheet?

Fantasy cheat sheets are used as a guide during a fantasy draft. Cheat sheets can contain relevant information like overall ranks, positional ranks, projections, tiers, etc. 

Many fantasy managers are used to having a paper guide as a reference during their draft, but static cheat sheets rapidly become outdated. The Draft War Room is a dynamic fantasy football cheat sheet that uses live-syncing and positional scarcity to update player ranks after each pick.  

You can learn more about the Draft War Room from this short video

How do you cheat, or can you cheat in fantasy football?

Collusion and commissioner abuse are two main ways to cheat in fantasy football. Commissioners have a lot of power over other fantasy managers, such as:

  • forcing add/drops
  • changing scoring or roster settings
  • or generally just being able to change settings to benefit themselves

The league chat logs all commissioner actions, so pay attention and look out for any funny business. 

It is much harder to spot collusion because it is typically conducted behind closed doors. Collusion in fantasy football is two (or more) managers working together to gain an advantage over other managers in the league. Fantasy football is not a team sport; we are all trying to beat each other. 

Here are some tips or “cheats” to use in your Yahoo Fantasy Football or ESPN Fantasy Football leagues. 

What are the tiers in fantasy football?

In fantasy football, tiers group positional players with a similar value. Fantasy football rankings are linear, and tiers are an excellent way to look for a drop-off in value. Usually, players within the same tier are nearly interchangeable. 

What is the bye week cheat sheet in fantasy football?

Fantasy managers can prepare for NFL bye weeks with an NFL Bye Week Cheat Sheet. The cheat sheet shows which teams are on a bye each week and highlights the relevant fantasy players. It is a handy tool to gain insight at a glance and make quick roster decisions.

Who should I pick first in fantasy football 2024?

Whom you should pick first in fantasy football 2024 really comes down to your league's scoring rules and set-up. In most standard fantasy leagues, CeeDee Lamb or Christian McCaffrety should be the first pick. In 2-QB and superflex leagues, the first pick should be either Jalen Hurts or Josh Allen.

 

What we've learned since 1999

Those free fantasy football cheat sheets from the internet won’t give you an advantage

We’ve been doing this fantasy football website gig for 25 seasons.

And, yes, this is how we feed our families (please don’t hate us) – so we’re hoping to turn you into a Draft Sharks Insider »

But we’re only asking for your partnership if what we’ve learned makes sense to you. 

So here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Static fantasy football cheat sheets are a “technology” that belong to the 1990s. 
  • To be a consistent winner, you need to track (at least) 17 draft value indicators in real time.
  • The only way you can track them in real time is to live-sync your league. And let software keep track of your draft.
  • Following the same player rankings as everyone else has zero advantage.

If you’ve read this far, please take a couple more minutes to check out this video.

You’ll actually see the Draft War Room in action. And how you can get an Insider Membership to Draft Sharks!

Simple, Powerful Draft War Room In Action

 

Jared Smola Author Image
Jared Smola, Lead Analyst
Jared has been with Draft Sharks since 2007. He’s now Lead Analyst, heading up the preseason and weekly projections that fuel your Draft War Room and My Team tools. He currently ranks 1st among 133 analysts in draft rankings accuracy.
Other rankings are stale  before the 2nd round.

Draft using the best dynamic tool in the industry. Our fantasy player valuations (3D Values) change during your draft in response to...

  1. Exact league settings - direct sync
  2. Opponent and Team Needs
  3. Positional scarcity & available players
  4. Ceiling, injury risk, ADP, and more!

You need a dynamic cheat sheet that easily live-syncs with your draft board and adapts throughout your draft using 17 crucial indicators.

Get your Draft War Room Today
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