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Fantasy Football Draft Cheat Sheet – Mock Draft tips, best streaming defenses, sleepers and more

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Your fantasy draft is coming. Are you going to prep like a champ or choke like a chump? Dominate draft day with the Washington Post’s Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet, a one-click resource for player rankings, top targets, expert advice and much more. Check back often as we’ll be adding our choicest analysis each week.

Fantasy Football 2015

2015 Fantasy Draft Home | Top 200 PlayersMock Draft Analysis

The Perfect Draft | Beginner’s Guide10 Fantasy Commandments

Top 10 Rookies | Do Not Draft …Mock Draft Tool

No. 1 Pick Should Be … | 5 Riskiest Draft Picks | Fast Starters

6 Super ValuesBest Defense To Own Each Week

Positional Rankings: Top 30 QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | Ks | D/STs


Positional Rankings: QBs Updated 8/26

1. Aaron Rodgers, Packers
2. Andrew Luck, Colts
3. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
4. Peyton Manning, Broncos
5. Russell Wilson, Seahawks
6. Drew Brees, Saints
7. Matt Ryan, Falcons
8. Tony Romo, Cowboys
9. Cam Newton, Panthers
10. Eli Manning, Giants
11. Matthew Stafford, Lions
12. Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins
13. Philip Rivers, Chargers
14. Tom Brady, Patriots
15. Colin Kaepernick, 49ers
16. Sam Bradford, Eagles
17. Teddy Bridgewater, Vikings
18. Carson Palmer, Cardinals
19. Joe Flacco, Ravens
20. Jay Cutler, Bears
21. Andy Dalton, Bengals
22. Alex Smith, Chiefs
23. Robert Griffin III, Redskins
24. Jameis Winston, Buccaneers
25. Marcus Mariota, Titans
26. Derek Carr, Raiders
27. Nick Foles, Rams
28. Blake Bortles, Jaguars
29. Geno Smith, Jets
30. Josh McCown, Browns

Positional Rankings: RBs Updated 8/26

1. Le’Veon Bell, Steelers
2. Adrian Peterson, Vikings
3. Jamaal Charles, Chiefs
4. Eddie Lacy, Packers
5. Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks
6. Matt Forte, Bears
7. DeMarco Murray, Eagles
8. C.J. Anderson, Broncos
9. LeSean McCoy, Bills
10. Jeremy Hill, Bengals
11. Frank Gore, Colts
12. Justin Forsett, Ravens
13. Alfred Morris, Redskins
14. Mark Ingram, Saints
15. Lamar Miller, Dolphins
16. Melvin Gordon, Chargers
17. Jonathan Stewart, Panthers
18. Carlos Hyde, 49ers
19. Latavius Murray, Raiders
20. C.J. Spiller, Saints
21. Joseph Randle, Cowboys
22. Andre Ellington, Cardinals
23. T.J. Yeldon, Jaguars
24. Todd Gurley, Rams
25. LeGarrette Blount, Patriots
26. Tevin Coleman, Falcons
27. Doug Martin, Buccaneers
28. Chris Ivory, Jets
29. Ameer Abdullah, Lions
30. Rashad Jennings, Giants

Positional Rankings: WRs Updated 8/26

1. Dez Bryant, Cowboys
2. Antonio Brown, Steelers
3. Demaryius Thomas, Broncos
4. Julio Jones, Falcons
5. Calvin Johnson, Lions
6. Odell Beckham Jr., Giants
7. A.J. Green, Bengals
8. Randall Cobb, Packers
9. Alshon Jeffery, Bears
10. Mike Evans, Buccaneers
11. DeAndre Hopkins, Texans
12. T.Y. Hilton, Colts
13. Emmanuel Sanders, Broncos
14. Brandin Cooks, Saints
15. Jordan Matthews, Eagles
16. Andre Johnson, Colts
17. Brandon Marshall, Jets
18. DeSean Jackson, Redskins
19. Keenan Allen, Charger
20. Julian Edelman, Patriots
21. Amari Cooper, Raiders
22. Jeremy Maclin, Chiefs
23. Sammy Watkins, Bills
24. Golden Tate, Lions
25. Vincent Jackson, Buccaneers
26. Allen Robinson, Jaguars
27. Davante Adams, Packers
28. Martavis Bryant, Steelers
29. Eric Decker, Jets
30. Roddy White, Falcons

Positional Rankings: TEs Updated 8/26

1. Rob Gronkowski, Patriots
2. Jimmy Graham, Seahawks
3. Travis Kelce, Chiefs
4. Greg Olsen, Panthers
5. Martellus Bennett, Bears
6. Jason Witten, Cowboys
7. Zach Ertz, Eagles
8. Jordan Cameron, Dolphins
9. Julius Thomas, Jaguars
10. Delanie Walker, Titans
11. Tyler Eifert, Bengals
12. Dwayne Allen, Colts
13. Antonio Gates, Chargers
14. Kyle Rudolph, Vikings
15. Josh Hill, Saints
16. Owen Daniels, Broncos
17. Larry Donnell, Giants
18. Coby Fleener, Colts
19. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Buccaneers
20. Heath Miller, Steelers
21. Jordan Reed, Redskins
22. Vernon Davis, 49ers
23. Charles Clay, Bills
24. Ladarius Green, Chargers
25. Rob Housler, Browns
26. Eric Ebron, Lions
27. Mychal Rivera, Raiders
28. Richard Rodgers, Packers
29. Maxx Williams, Ravens
30. Jared Cook, Rams

Positional Rankings: Ks Updated 8/26

1. Adam Vinatieri, Colts
2. Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots
3. Steven Hauschka, Seahawks
4. Mason Crosby, Packers
5. Justin Tucker, Ravens
6. Cody Parkey, Eagles
7. Connor Barth, Broncos
8. Dan Bailey, Cowboys
9. Matt Bryant, Falcons
10. Matt Prater, Lions
11. Blair Walsh, Vikings
12. Dan Carpenter, Bills
13. Phil Dawson, 49ers
14. Caleb Sturgis, Dolphins
15. Nick Novak, Chargers
16. Chandler Catanzaro, Cardinals
17. Robbie Gould, Bears
18. Greg Zuerlein, Rams
19. Randy Bullock, Texans
20. Josh Brown, Giants

Positional Rankings: D/STs Updated 8/26

1. Seattle Seahawks
2. St. Louis Rams
3. Houston Texans
4. Buffalo Bills
5. Denver Broncos
6. Carolina Panthers
7. New England Patriots
8. Arizona Cardinals
9. Baltimore Ravens
10. Miami Dolphins
11. New York Jets
12. Green Bay Packers
13. Cincinnati Bengals
14. Kansas City Chiefs
15. Philadelphia Eagles
16. San Francisco 49ers
17. Detroit Lions
18. Cleveland Browns
19. Pittsburgh Steelers
20. Minnesota Vikings

The Best Defense To Own Each Week

If you want to stream defenses instead of sticking with, say, the Seahawks each week, here’s your top target.

Week 1: New York Jets vs. Cleveland Browns
Week 2: Tennessee Titans vs. Cleveland Browns
Week 3: Oakland Raiders vs. Cleveland Browns
Week 4: San Diego Chargers vs. Cleveland Browns
Week 5: Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans
Week 6: Washington Redskins vs. New York Jets
Week 7: Atlanta Falcons vs. Tennessee Titans
Week 8: Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans
Week 9: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns
Week 10: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns
Week 11: New York Jets vs. Houston Texans
Week 12: New Orleans Saints vs. Houston Texans
Week 13: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns
Week 14: San Francisco 49ers vs. Cleveland Browns
Week 15: Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Jets
Week 16: Dallas Cowboys vs. Buffalo Bills

Top 10 Rookies

1. Melvin Gordon, RB, Chargers
2. T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jaguars
3. Amari Cooper, WR, Raiders
4. Tevin Coleman, RB, Falcons
5. Todd Gurley, RB, Rams
6. Ameer Abdullah, RB, Lions
7. Nelson Agholor, WR, Eagles
8. Breshad Perriman, WR, Ravens
9. Duke Johnson, RB, Browns
10. Kevin White, WR, Bears

10 players you will regret drafting

Colin Kaepernick, QB, 49ers
Dwayne Bowe, WR, Browns
Robert Griffin III, QB, Redskins
Percy Harvin, WR, Bills
Chris Ivory, RB, Jets
Ryan Mathews, RB, Eagles
Bishop Sankey, RB, Titans
Cecil Shorts, WR, Texans
Trent Richardson, RB, Raiders
Mike Wallace, WR, Vikings

No. 1 pick debate

Gene Wang has a clear-cut No. 1 pick in mind come fantasy draft day, but there are a few other good candidates. Here’s the short list if you’ve got the top pick:

1. Jamaal Charles, RB, Chiefs – Charles is featured in both the ground game and the passing attack. Touches are not a problem, and more touches equal more chances for fantasy points.

2. Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings – If you can get by the off-field incidents, Peterson will provide fantasy points as the Vikings’ top offensive threat.

3. Eddie Lacy, RB, Packers – The undisputed lead back in the NFL’s most-dangerous offense. Safe and sound.

4. Le’Veon Bell, RB, Steelers – If you can endure his two-game suspension to start the season, he’ll reward owners the rest of the year.

5. Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots – The drop from Gronk to the next-best TE is huge. And you’re guaranteed to win this position battle each week. It’s an outside-the-box pick, but it’s not crazy.

[Beginner’s guide to the first three rounds]

Your draft’s best buys and worst investments

Neil Greenberg offers his advice on three valuable picks at QB, RB and WR who can be plucked late in drafts but produce some big points this season. Likewise, he warns against players going early who seem likely to be big-time busts.

Quarterback: Best buys
Philip Rivers, Chargers
Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins
Colin Kaepernick, 49ers
(Read why)

Quarterback: Busts
Peyton Manning, Broncos
Tom Brady, Patriots
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
(Read why)

Running back: Best buys
Roy Helu, Jr., Raiders
Danny Woodhead, Chargers
Chris Ivory, Jets
(Read why)

Running back: Busts
DeMarco Murray, Eagles
Frank Gore, Colts
Jonathan Stewart, Panthers
(Read why)

Wide receiver: Best buys
Anquan Boldin, 49ers
Eric Decker, Jets
Brian Quick, Rams
(Read why)

Wide receiver: Busts
Pierre Garcon, Redskins
Sammy Watkins, Bills
Jarvis Landry, Dolphins
(Read why)

Four fast-starters

Greenberg writes that these four players are primed for strong early-season performances. Get more detail here.

1. Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons
2. LeSean McCoy, RB, Bills
3. Victor Cruz, WR, Giants
4. Zach Ertz, TE, Eagles

The perfect draft
What does it look like if a league drafted in a way that every pick was optimized for maximum value? A little bit like this. Click here for more detailed analysis and explanation from Neil Greenberg.

Mock draft analysis
In late July, the Post Sports crew picked apart their own fantasy football draft to better gauge what players might be over/undervalued and offer post-draft analysis on the top trends. (Departmental bragging rights may also have been a motivating factor … )

Here are the top takeaways from the draft, prefaced by a look at each owner’s strategy and confidence level.

Draft takeaways
Get in-depth analysis on each point, and each owner’s roster, here.

1. Any cheat sheet is better than nothing. If you don’t prep, you will get destroyed. Particularly if you’re a fantasy first-timer.

2. Le’Veon Bell, despite missing two games, is valued much more highly than reigning rushing champ DeMarco Murray.

3. Dallas may have a great offensive line, but people aren’t yet sold on Joseph Randle, Murray’s likely replacement with the Cowboys. He was taken with the first pick of the sixth round.

4. Don’t reach for players on your favorite team. Someone will, inevitably, and you will benefit if you stay disciplined.

5. Outside of the true top-tier running backs, RBs aren’t as valuable as they used to be. The upper-level wide receivers were consistently going ahead of the non-elite backs.

6. The wide receiver pool is deep. Don’t stress if you don’t land two starters in the early rounds, you can probably find one later.

7. The Browns are a fantasy wasteland. There is little reason to pick a Browns receiver unless you absolutely have to.

8. There’s Gronk and then everyone else at tight end. Even Jimmy Graham’s value is diminished after his trade to Seattle.