Understanding fantasy football rankings and cheat sheets

      July 19, 2013 @ 13:05:09 PDT

I have a bone to pick with an archaic, overrated, and misunderstood fantasy football tradition: Using cheat sheets that combine players regardless of position is borderline useless! They are no better than an average draft position (ADP) tool, and in some cases are even worse.

It is virtually impossible to accurately weigh positions against each other, and owners relying solely on a rankings list with combined positions need to wake up. Heck, I rarely rely strictly on my own personal positional rankings and never use a mixed ranking cheat sheet.

This may seem counterintuitive since KFFL.com produces mixed cheat sheets. They are merely a guideline and should not be taking too seriously. You will set yourself up for disaster if you draft strictly by a cheat sheet, and it is even more likely if you do so using a mixed sheet. Translating players of one position versus another is unwise.

Fantasy football drafts are unpredictable and can change at the drop of a hat with a positional run, an unexpected rising or falling of a commodity, and by scoring systems. I play in a couple of leagues in which their scoring systems are so friendly to tight ends that at least five come off the board before the end of Round 2!

Use positional cheat sheets, like those provided by KFFL, and have a plan as to how you want to draft in a positional sense. As KFFL's Tim Heaney accurately noted (preach on, brother man!), don't overvalue quarterbacks ... especially this year.

While the NFL has transformed into a pass-first league, running backs are more important early in fantasy football drafts this year than any season I can remember in the last five or so. Wide receivers are top-heavy and offer considerable value in the middle rounds. Tight ends are evolving into a fantasy staple for production, yet the pool is very deep.

I cannot stress how important it is to be flexible with your draft plans. You must be able to react accordingly in a calm, strategic manner during the draft. Know your positional depth. Understand where you can take chances and cut corners. If you are unsure leading up to your draft, ask me. That's what I'm here for. Follow me on Twitter (@Cory_Bonini) and fire questions my way.

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Also see:Fantasy Football Draft Guide

About Cory J. Bonini

Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.

Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.

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