Written By George Haraktsis
So it's everyone’s favorite time of the year. Fantasy football playoffs. And if you didn’t get to the playoffs, I’m sorry. You’ll get them next year I promise. But for those still in the hunt here a few tips and tricks that will help you win that coveted and elusive Fantasy Football championship.
1. You know that old saying The Best Offense is a good Defense?
Well that even applies to fantasy football. While the waiver wire’s main purpose is to acquire players, it can also be used to keep them away from your opponent as well! Your opponent has a hurt Jordan Reed and needs a TE? Grab Vernon Davis from the waiver and make sure your opponent has to grab a barfy TE like Ben Watson. Their Defense is playing the patriots? How about you grab the number one defense on the wire and force your opponent to settle for a lesser choice. This is why you should always save some FAAB for the playoffs. If your team has a decent budget to work with for the last few weeks you can guarantee that you steal that player away from your foe. Don’t just view the waiver as a way to make your own team better, it can also be used to make your opponent’s team worse.
2. Plan ahead.
Your team could be number one in its division, lead the league in points and have the best overall record, but if they have a poor playoff schedule it all means nothing. By this point you have a pretty good understanding of what teams have great defenses and which ones have duds. Try to acquire defenses who have great playoff schedules. And if you don’t have a great defense look to pick up a defense with a great schedule. Like the Ravens who play the Browns in Week 15, or Like the Saints who play a McCownless Jets in week 15. These defenses could mean the difference between a championship and a second place finish.
3. It’s Cuffing Season!
For those of you who don’t know what a handcuff is let me quickly explain. The handcuff is the direct backup to a team’s starting running back. If the starter goes down, this guy jumps in and takes over the workload. So why am I bringing up handcuffs? Because handcuffs win championships. Need some proof? 33.6 % of Championship winning teams in 2015 had Tim Hightower on their roster. 21.4% had Charcandrick West. Both of these guys? Handcuffs. While these two may not be the most talented backs in the league, the one thing they had in common was opportunity. Which trumps talent every day of the week. If you have a guy like Le’Veon Bell (James Conner) or Todd Gurley (Malcolm Brown) on your team, guys who are both integral parts of their teams offense, I’m assuming they’re a huge part of the reason why you’re in the playoffs in the first place. Guys like this need to be handcuffed. Their teams rely on them for huge offensive output every week and I’m sure your team does too.
4. Don’t outsmart yourself.
A lot of owners get to the playoffs on the back of their studs. They carry them there and are their most consistent options all year, but all of a sudden a little uncertainty creeps in and they start second guessing themselves. While you may say hey Julio had a bad week and Kendall Wright has been looking good. STOP RIGHT THERE. Always play your studs period. If they are a true stud they are matchup proof and the reason why you got there. Stick to what you know.
5. Cut Em Mick!
Everyone has that guy on their team that they hold onto for a little too long. He’s your guy, he was your value pick. He was the guy you picked up on waivers and told everyone he was going to be a stud. But it’s week 14 and he’s still just sitting on your bench just taking up space and not contributing. CUT HIM. If you don’t see him contributing in the upcoming weeks drop the dude. Drop your Legarette Blounts and your Travis Benjamins. Get rid of your Jordan Reeds and your Devontae Bookers. These guys are only taking up more space. Use those roster spots for possible contributions, not dud space eaters.
6. Stay in the Flames.
So you’re sitting here saying there’s no way I can keep playing Kenyan Drake. He wasn’t drafted high enough its all a shame. Alvin Kamara won’t keep this up he’s just a rookie, I can’t possibly keep playing him, he isn’t even the starter! WRONG. Every year unsuspecting players have breakout years and keep performing. Eventually some actually translate into capable and reliable starters. These guys are what make fantasy football fun and exciting! Don’t get caught up with the fact that these guys don’t have the big names. Play the guys who are performing and you’ll always win.
7. Right place, right time.
Before we talked about cutting players who are a waste of space. That’s not always the case though. Sometimes you have to cut a player who doesn’t hold as much value on your team, but would make a huge addition on your opponents. So if you have a player that fits that criteria wait until Saturday to cut them. This will put the player on waivers and make it impossible for your opponent to play him against you.
8. Don’t always swing for the fences.
The biggest part of fantasy football is knowing and being honest with yourself about your team. If you snuck into the playoffs as the final seed and are facing the number one seed, chances are you need big weeks from most of your players to take down numero uno. If you’re that number one seed and have a strong core of consistent contributors maybe play it safe with some high floor guys. Know when to hit for singles and when to swing for the fences because it could be the difference between a win and a loss.
9. HAVE FUN!
It’s the Fantasy playoffs baby! The time you’ve been waiting for all year. Park your ass on the couch, throw on some red-zone, talk some shit to your boys and have a few beers. Whether or not you win or lose make sure you’re stuffing your face with food and having a good time. You deserve it. You only get 4 weeks of this every year. Don’t let it go to waste.