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Mick Ciallela’s Updated Rankings and 2020 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheets

NFL training camps are underway and fantasy football draft season is in full swing! As such, it is time to update my 2020 rankings and what better way to do it than in a couple of fantasy football cheat sheets you can take with you to your draft?

This season will be unlike any other in recent memory. The lack of preseason games will likely give fantasy managers less insight into how coaches plan on utilizing their players. Luckily for us, we live in an age when information is readily available. The trick is to filter out the prevalent information from the “coach speak” and make smart drafting decisions. Below you will find links to my updated rankings and cheat sheets for both standard fantasy football leagues and PPR leagues. If you have any questions as to your specific league configuration, feel free to comment below or follow me on Twitter.

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The Reasoning Behind My Rankings


Long-standing game theory dictates that you wait on quarterbacks. I do not necessarily subscribe to that theory. Yes, the quarterbacks in the 10-20 range will score you plenty of points. However, we must keep in mind that fantasy football is relative. Your quarterback scoring 16 points is not going to do you much good if your opponents routinely put up 20. I prefer not to pay up for Lamar Jackson or Patrick Mahomes because I think that may leave you vulnerable elsewhere. But I do believe that there is a bit of a tier break after the top six quarterbacks are off the board. I would rather draft a top-six guy in the sixth round than a top-10 signal-caller in the eighth round.

Running Backs

I think you must hit running backs early and often in 2020 fantasy football drafts. That is especially true in standard formats. If you do not have the luxury of securing a top-five draft pick, you will already be behind the 8-ball at the running back position. The good news I think there is a cluster of running backs in that second tier that is virtually interchangeable. Do not get me wrong – I would still prefer to have one of the established studs if given the option. But if you draft later in the first round, you can grab two of the top 12 or 13 backs with your first two draft picks, which could mitigate some of the damage.
There also seems to be a cluster of discounted vets available in the fourth and fifth rounds. Leonard Fournette, David Johnson, Melvin Gordon, Mark Ingram, Le’Veon Bell, and James Conner have all put together RB1 seasons and should get the bulk of the work in their respective backfields. They all come with their warts, of course, which is why they are not going earlier. I think relying too heavily on this group could cause some angst among fantasy managers. Still, there is plenty of value here, and I would not eliminate this faction from my personal draft board. Later in the draft, you can grab your handcuffs or speculate on committees. But I would try to secure three or four running backs before making those types of picks.

Wide Receivers

Over the years, Zero RB has been a hot-button issue in the fantasy community. I have chimed in once or twice myself. This year, I think Zero WR is a viable strategy. The wide receiver position is absolutely loaded. 25 wideouts cracked the 1,000-plus yard mark in 2019. Not included in that group are Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill, Calvin Ridley, Terry McLaurin, and DK Metcalf, to name a few. If you feel the need to grab a wide receiver early, I cannot blame you. After all, as I mentioned with quarterbacks, fantasy football scoring is relative. If your WR1 puts up 70 yards per game, but your opponents roll out 2019 Michael Thomas every week, you could be in trouble. However, I think it is way easier to find value in the middle rounds at wide receiver than it is at running back.
That is especially true regarding the 2020 rookie class of receivers. I have said this before, and I will repeat it here. Each year, there are at least a couple of wide receivers who put up high-end fantasy numbers. Last season, five rookies put up WR3 numbers or better in 12-team leagues. Leading the way was A.J. Brown, who finished as the overall WR10 in standard formats. This year’s draft class of wide receivers was arguably the best in NFL history. Yet not even one of them is being drafted as a top-40 wideout. I cautioned earlier against investing too heavily in the group of veteran running backs I mentioned. You will hear no such warning regarding these rookie receivers. I am all in. Give me as many as possible from rounds 9-13.

Tight Ends

When it comes to 2020 draft strategy, tight end reminds me very much of quarterback. There are two standout performers, but you will likely have to use a second-round pick to acquire one of them. That feels like a less than ideal use of draft capital. But waiting too long on a tight end means you miss out on a relatively safe top-five option. Other tight ends will put up good numbers in given weeks and against certain opponents. But, just like with quarterback, I see a tier break. To me, the security of having a top tight end is usually worth the draft pick. I find myself gravitating towards Mark Andrews, Zach Ertz, and Darren Waller more often than not, depending on the relative cost.

My feelings regarding quarterbacks and tight ends tie into my Zero WR draft strategy. In the end, it is all about relative cost. For example, I would much rather draft Waller and Marvin Jones than draft Stefon Diggs and Tyler Higbee. I believe that Higbee will be a bust personally, but it is not even about that. It is about securing a player who you can plug in every week knowing they will provide quality production. If you are in a league where you are starting multiple tight ends, then, by all means, grab a couple from that next tier. But in standard formats, I want to try to make sure I get one of the top five if possible.


I am not on the “ban kickers” bandwagon, though that seems to be a popular trend these days. I do believe some skill goes into selecting kickers. But I digress. The simple answer for drafting a kicker in fantasy football is to follow the offenses. My top four kickers for 2020 are Harrison Butker, Wil Lutz, Justin Tucker, and Robbie Gould. They are attached to four of the five highest-scoring offenses from a year ago. I think sometimes we try to make things harder than they need to be. It is not rocket science. Take kickers on teams who score a lot of points and win a lot of ballgames. Just do not take a kicker before the last round if you can help it.

Defense/Special Teams

I am also not on the “ban D/ST” bandwagon, though I do think scoring for D/ST is flukier than any other position, kickers included. Instead of reducing rosters by removing kickers and defenses, how about, we add a few more Flex spots instead? Don’t we want our teams to score more fantasy points? And have I mentioned how deep the wide receiver pool is? The 2021 draft class of receivers is probably just as good as the 2020 class. Let us institute these changes before it is too late. I might have to start a petition or something. OK, back to defenses. I prefer to stream them if possible. Despite the offensive revolution in recent years, there are still some offenses we can pick on in fantasy. Again, if you are drafting a D/ST unit before the last two or three rounds, you are doing it wrong.

My 2020 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheets

The cheat sheets linked below are in a nice printable PDF format. I tried to go deep enough to help the vast majority of league sizes, but not make you sort through a bunch of names almost no one will be drafting.

You’ll notice that within each position the players alternate between a bold font and a regular font. This means you’ve entered a new tier. I’ve also included the bye week for each player. I don’t suggest putting too much emphasis on bye weeks, but if you load up on too many players with the same bye week, it can force you into some tough roster decisions that can be a fly in the ointment.

Enough talk! It’s time to draft! Here are my fantasy football Cheat Sheets for 2020.

Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet for Standard Leagues

Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet for PPR Leagues

Like Mick’s Fantasy Football Cheat Sheets? Then you’re gonna love the rest of our 2020 Preseason Fantasy Football content!

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  1. Sarah says

    Your bye weeks are a bit mixed up on the cheat sheets, just FYI

    1. Mick Ciallela says

      Hi Sarah,

      Thanks for the heads up! We should be able to get this fixed shortly. Sorry for the confusion.

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