Utilizing a "cheat sheet" in fantasy spots is a misnomer, as you are not cheating by any means, but preparing yourself as best you can to compete for the best team and the best results week to week. In most cases having the best cheat sheet means that you have done the most research and are thebest prepared, and so the most deserving to win.
Fantasy sports have become insanely popular, but with that popularity has come increasing complexity, necessitating the usage of any device providing a benefit, such as the "cheat sheet". This complexity is definitely on purpose; as those supremely dedicated “owners” try to make it more and more difficult for less experienced participants to defeat them. However along with that complexity comes support in the form of hundreds of web-sites devoted entirely to supporting the fantasy owner who does not have an inexhaustible supply of energy and time to commit to scouring sports columns nation-wide. In fact, even the most devout owners now utilize web site support from sites like Pro Sports Daily and MLB Trade Rumors which provide you all the information you could possibly want quickly, gathered from every source under the sun in a convenient format for you.
Okay, but what are cheat sheets? Quite simply, these are player rankings performed by such web-sites as Pro-fantasy football.com. Often they are voted on by the participating team owners, often hundreds of sources. In some cases they are selected by a panel of “experts” who conduct extensive projections of what numbers a player will put up. The factors include their support (a quarterback can’t throw to a receiver who can’t catch, and a slugger can't take the ball out of the yard if he doesn't get a pitch to hit), their statistical trends, and the effects of any lingering injuries, including the relative effects of age (Brett Favre being the exception to this rule).
These projected numbers are weighted based on typical points contributions in standard leagues. Basically the more fantasy points a player will generate for you on average throughout the season, the higher his ranking. The higher the ranking, the further up the sheet this player goes. There are normally individual sheets for each position, though some massive combination sheets reflect all positions and their relative value, telling the owner what player, regardless of position, will score the most points for them. But in fantasy football for example, if the owner already has a high-ranked running back, the combination sheet might point them toward another running back instead of the necessary quarterback or wide receiver. Also these combination sheets are fairly dense, and it’s easy to lose track of a high-ranking player that might still be available. In any case there should only be a few sheets so cross-referencing them on draft day is easy enough.
Many die-hard enthusiasts refer to these as “cheat sheets” because supposedly those that use them didn’t do the hard work of ranking the players themselves, something that many owners take great pride in their ability to do. Nonetheless with various sites putting hundreds of man hours into their research, it would appear to be foolish to avoid at least listening to what they have to say. After all, you don’t HAVE to choose the highest-ranked player available. But given the choice in this convenient format along with the information you have hopefully gathered yourself, the choices of hundreds of players at each position should be considerably lessened to perhaps as few as half a dozen, making your draft efforts much more efficient. Remember as Bill Parcells said, "If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying!"