There are only a few weeks left of the regular fantasy football season. Many leagues play until week 13 then have the playoffs weeks 14-17 of the NFL schedule. Here are some pro tips from a pro choice dude that has been playing fantasy for over 10 years. I’ve also won the whole damn thing a few times and am on the podium more often than not (7-3 current record). So listen up if you want to win your fantasy football championship.
First things first, you gots to make the playoffs to even have a shot at the gold. Different leagues have different rules but you still need a ticket to the dance. Let’s start with improving your roster. Trades are the best way to drastically change your lineup. Look around your league, who has surplus talent at what positions? What is your weak point? Make a deal. Points on your bench will drive you mad and make you second guess your coaching skills. Stop pulling your hair out deciding between which QB (or WR, RB, TE) to play. Pick your favs, trade the others away and increase the value of your starters.
Often there is a trade deadline just before the playoffs to make sure a losing squad doesn’t make a shady deal to help a friend. My advice is to make that shady deal NOW while you still can. And if there is no deadline then great, you are free to collude with your buds all you want. If you are new to cheating, this is how collusion works. You are team A and you have a solid group. Your friend is team B and his crew stinks. Team B trades all his good players to team A and then if A wins the championship, the two friends will split the winnings in secret. Betraying your friends’ trust for money, doesn’t that sound fun!
Okay, you make the playoffs, what now? Time to step your game up. Trades are off the table so we move to the waiver wire. This is the only source of new blood and the pool should be smaller now that the non-playoff bound owners have mentally checked out. This makes watching the games and staying informed very important. You need to know which star is hurt and who is taking over. My team just lost WR Julian Edelman for the year. My division rival Joe already grabbed Danny Amendola, his likely replacement. In one move, I lost a key weapon and Joe gained a high volume target who will start the rest of the way out. These are the moves champs make.
Anticipate. Save a few bench spots for long shots. Maybe get the backup to one of your opponents’ players and hope they get benched or hurt. Remember that week 17, the championship game for fantasy, is often a game where NFL coaches sit star players if their team already has their playoff situation wrapped up. Like maybe have a back up plan for QB’s Cam Newton, Andy Dalton or Tom Brady for that last game. Staying on top of these small details will help push the odds in your favor.
Last but not least, pray. I like to make a sacrifice to any number of Pagan deities but you can pick whatever god you are most comfortable with. And just like managing a team, you want to be proactive with your offerings. Don’t waste time trying to make up for bad luck or games lost, instead focus on future contests. Don’t be stingy here. It’s better safe than sorry. Just ask Odysseus (Ulysses for my Latin speaking friends) about the perils of offending the gods.
So make trades, stay active on the waiver wire, take a chance on some sleepers and don’t piss off the spirits. If you follow all theses steps then the trophy and bragging rights will soon be yours. Now, don’t say I never gave you nothing.