Friday, August 14, 2009

Customize your cheatsheets

The Counselor is IN:

I love it when I enter a draft or auction room and most of the individuals are flipping through their recently purchased fantasy magazines. This is a tell that these fantasy owners have not done their due diligence in research ahead of time. They are using cheatsheets which are months old without the latest information. I start to salivate about my chances in these leagues.

There are Fantasy Football leagues with a variety of scoring options out there. I am in a league that is Touchdown heavy which only gives points for scoring and a few rare bonus points for yards. I used to be in a league that gave huge bonuses for Tight Ends to increase their value. Most cheatsheets are geared for standard leagues. If your league, like many leagues, is not a regular scoring league, then you will need to customize your cheatsheets. In both of these leagues, I had to change my cheatsheets to match the rules.

Even in a regular league with the norm scoring rules, I think owners should take the time to make their own list and individualize their cheatsheets. It is not difficult but is time consuming.

When you are starting out, here are a few tips to customizing your lists.

1) Get multiple cheatsheet lists to compare. There is nothing wrong with buying your favorite fantasy football mag but do not let it be your only source. Some of the mags will give you free updates online which can be helpful. You will have the FSC Cheatsheets available for free. There are plenty of other websites out there where you can get free cheatsheets. Sports Jabber, The Bleacher Report and Yardbarker have posters who give out their lists. There are sites that have customizable cheatsheets like FF Toolbox to help with leagues with non-standard scoring rules. Do not rule out the pay sites because they can bring a ton of information and research with their lists for reasonable low amount of money such as my favorite Pigskin Addiction, which is well worth the money if you are in a league that has sizable prize money.

2) Compare and contrast each list. You will see that every list has a different take on how they think each player will perform.

3) Make your own list. I usually use a spreadsheet to create my lists which allow you to move players around fairly easily. You can combine the various lists and add your own twists, bias, and gut feelings. It is your list. If you think Peterson will have a terrible year then move him far down your list (I am not advising it but ...).

4) Remember the off weeks. It is important to add bye weeks to your list. Every draft there is at least one person that drafts two QBs off the same week. They are not watching their off weeks. Having these listed on your cheatsheets is a great way to stay on top of the bye weeks.

The Counselor is OUT:

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