NFL Fantasy Football Cheat Sheets, Draft Strategy Tips

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NFL Fantasy Football Cheat Sheets, Draft Strategy Tips
KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 02: Running back Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs down field in a game against the Oakland Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium on January 2, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Tim Umphrey/Getty Images)

Daft day is back again, and it’s time to get ready by landing a cheat sheet or two to help you keep track of the notable players on the most important time of year. A strong draft can easily make the difference between winning and losing a league. While you still need to keep your team updated throughout the season with waiver wire additions and key start or bench decisions, drafting well, can save you from a lot of sad Sundays.

Below I have a quick write up for a few different league styles with our various cheat sheets attached like our top 200 players, tier, auction and by position cheat sheets for you to download. Good luck at your draft and here’s hoping you dominate.

Standard Redraft Cheat Sheets: Overall | Tier | Top 200 | Auction Values

Arian Foster Goes Down

It’s a bummer that Arian Foster went down with what looks to be another grade one (easiest to come back from) hamstring injury in the third preseason game. While I have confidence, Foster will be on the field week one against the Colts, it’s a hard decision to draft him number one overall. My best advice in this situation is that Foster is still the top running back to draft, but if you really like Adrian Peterson or another running back like Jamaal Charles, then by all means draft them.

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 02: Arian Foster #23 of the Houston Texans celebrates after he scored a 3-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on December 2, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

It’s hard to take the number one pick in the draft, and you feel like your rolling the dice on if that player will be around for your squad. That said, Foster should put this hamstring issue behind him at some point in September, and once he’s ready to go, he’s going to be the best fantasy producer in your league.

Foster will slip in many drafts because of this news, and I would suggest those fantasy owners sitting around the fourth pick, should jump up and down inside themselves if they acquire Foster, because they are essentially getting the top running back in fantasy, and he will likely play week one after all.

Foster Tweets Today About Status – View

Chris Johnson Still In Holdout

Another running back that is proving to be a problem is Chris Johnson as he is entrenched in a holdout who will likely last into the season. Johnson is grossly underpaid and needs a new deal, but the Titans seem reluctant to make him one of the top five highest-paid players in the game.

INDIANAPOLIS - JANUARY 02: Chris Johnson #28 of the Tennessee Titans runs for a touchdown during NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 2, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

I would take Johnson no later than the late first round to early second round on draft day. It’s hard to find a talent like Johnson in that area of the draft, and it all likeliness, Johnson should be back by October at the latest. Again, it helps to draft your teams as late as possible in the summer, that way you have better information when making these tough decisions.


Because you’re in more of a league that complements the big plays, receivers like Mike Wallace, Vincent Jackson, DeSean Jackson and Greg Jennings are a little more valuable. These players don’t need to rack up receptions to make them possible WR-1 players and give you better results as you won’t get a point per reception.

Running backs that don’t catch the football much like Rashard Mendenhall also hold better value as they are more of the old-style bell cow running backs that will get the football 25 times a game and will grind out the running yards.

PPR Cheat Sheets: Overall | Tier | Top 200 | Auction Values

Ray Rice First Overall Pick?

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 19: Running back Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half of a preseason game at M&T Bank Stadium on August 19, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens won 31-13. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

It may be hard to believe, but Ray Rice is likely to land as the first overall pick in many PPR leagues in the coming week as Arian Foster is now a health concern. If you’re ready our recent PPR first round mock draft results, I talked about the possibility of Rice begin the top pick if something should happen to Foster.

In that mock draft, Rice went as the second overall pick, and wouldn’t you know it, just after posting the article Foster went down with another hamstring injury. Rice’s ADP is right with Adrian Peterson in recent mock drafts done on Fantasy Football Calculator, and I would recommend you go with Rice in this scoring style, if you’re looking to pass on Foster.

Rice will be the teams’ goal line back and has all the tools to be a super star running back in fantasy football leagues. With the added point production for receptions, Rice should be an absolute beast this season.


It’s important that you target running backs and receivers that amass a large number of receptions for their position. While I found that you can get away with having maybe one running back and one receiver with low reception totals, and still win a championship, you need to have other receivers that can threaten for 100 catches and a couple running backs that can rack up 50 receptions, to go with those deficient players.

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 25: LeSean McCoy #25 of the Philadelphia Eagles in action against the Cleveland Browns during their pre season game on August 25, 2011 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Point is, you don’t want to go after too many big play type receivers and traditional bell cow running backs in this league style because you will be playing at a disadvantage. It’s not out of the question to target a receiver like Andre Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald in the middle of the first round, but I would target running backs like LeSean McCoy before you make that decision.

IDP Cheat Sheet Overall | Tiers | Top 100

D.J. Williams Down

One key IDP linebacker that went down in the third preseason games was Broncos D.J. Williams as he dislocated his elbow as is likely to be out for the first month of the regular season. Williams was a top ten type linebacker a year ago and was likely to be a great LB-2 this season, even with a switch to the weak-side as the Broncos new defensive scheme tends to funnel plays to their side of the field.

This is a big blow to the Broncos, but you can get Williams cheap in the later rounds of your draft, if you choose to do so, and when he comes back, he can be an instant starter on your team. I wouldn’t be surprised if he takes longer to recover, but Williams has a track record of being a gamer, so it will be interesting to see where he lands.

CHICAGO - NOVEMBER 14: Jared Allen #69 of the Minnesota Vikings rushes past Brandon Manumaleuna #86 of the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on November 14, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Vikings 27-13. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)


While linebackers tend to be the top producers in the league, it’s advisable that you target a top defensive linemen like Trent Cole or Justin Tuck as your first IDP player off the board. defensive line is the hardest of the three positions to find consistency, as these players tend to rely more on big plays to score points in your league, and that can be sporadic.

Just look at the top defensive linemen from drafts in 2010, as Jared Allen was horrible in the first half of the season, but he did turn things around in the second half and posted his usual double digit sack season. My buddy Matt De Lima had Allen last year and was so frustrated with him he almost cut him off his team, but of course Matt is way to smart to do that and was rewarded with a great end of the year.

Even experienced IDP players like Matt can have frustration with even the best of defensive linemen, but in the end, these players tend to give you the numbers you need.

More 2011 Fantasy Football Draft Tips

Rankings / Outlooks | Projected Stats | ADP Values |Cheat Sheets | Mock Drafts

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