As we approach the vaunted mid-season stretch for Fantasy Football purposes many owners are no doubt finding themselves in a bit of a quandary. Do I drop anchor and continue to fight the good fight or do I abandon jump ship and begin looking towards next season? Well, have no fear my fellow fantasy football pirates for regardless of the path you have chosen (or are about to choose), the navigational beacon guiding you towards fantasy success is still very much in play. However, it will be paramount to select your next steps wisely, as your current and/or future success will hinge upon it.
For many of you, Week 6 begins the bridge towards the mid-way point of your fantasy season. Therefore, whether you are trailing your league-mates for that coveted final playoff spot or if you are sitting comfortably, it will be of the utmost importance to fade your ego and let your internal compass be your guide. This article will canvass both redraft and dynasty tips in an effort to help you keep the ship sailing. It is my hope to impart to you a base of information that will keep your competitive fires burning regardless of your situation.
This season has certainly been a turbulent one when it comes to consistent production across the board for our high investment performers. In the event you have taken one on the chin during the 1st half of the fantasy season there are a few things to consider before you decide to simply lose all hope for a resurgence of success.
- Make sure to read through your By-Laws. The reason you ask? It’s simple. If you are sporting a sub .500 record or worse it will be important to know just how many teams advance to the post season. At that point, keep your eyes peeled on the teams just above you and analyze their strengths and weakness. It would also be advisable to check their upcoming schedules too see if you face them (again?) and begin preparing for those particular matchups now.
- Take inventory of your own team. Certainly many of you are in leagues where roster limits may make it difficult to maneuver with the utmost effectiveness. Therefore, if you have players holding up your active roster who are Out, Suspended, on IR, etc. dump them now and begin adding production assets to your squad via the Waiver Wire or trade them to a team (obviously not a team you are in direct competition with for that last playoff spot) who may be flush with assets allowing them to sit on said player(s), while taking immediate production players in return.
- Remain a vigilante of vigilance on your Waiver Wire. Read as many articles as you can to find that hidden redraft gem and pounce. If you’re trailing in the playoff race, then it is up to you to make sure you always are submitting a Waiver Wire claim. Remain accountable.
- Stream your Kickers and Defenses from here on out unless you have a premium asset already rostered. DO NOT carry more than 1 of each position. Those are critical roster spots for you to load up on skill position players. Should you have more than a single solid K or D/ST rostered…make a trade with them included. Redraft leagues are ideal for these types of trades.
- The last step is a simple one. Cover your bye-weeks now. You can no longer afford to accept another lose. You must become not only a trade assassin, but an opportunist. The Waiver Wire will only help you so much. Strategically position yourself to have the most competitive team possible when your opponents are at their weakest. Other teams may be able to swallow a loss during an upcoming bye-week, but you are no longer afforded that luxury.
- For those of you sitting firmly in the driver’s seat of your redraft league I have one piece of advice. Never rest on your laurels. If you’ve traversed the first half of the season on luck and very little depth and the dirty injury bug has yet to bite you then beware. The time is now to begin the insulation process. Remaining active on your Waiver Wire may be of little help at this stage so, if you find yourself needing a few extra players for production insulation then consider selling off your bigger names for a cadre of talent. Check you upcoming bye-weeks and ensure you are protected. Every “W” counts and the sooner you get to that magic number of wins, all but ensuring your post season inclusion, the better. Keep your foot on the pedal and maintain your beast mode.
Tackle these simple steps and you can still arrive safely in the post season harbor. No retreat, no surrender. In redraft fantasy football, it’s only over when you’ve completely given up. This is the luxury of redraft.
Keep that pirate mentality…it’s time to pillage!
The Dynasty Dilemma
The savvy Dynasty owner has likely entered this season with their plans already laid out. Therefore, if you approached this season with the strategy to “go young” and all but accept defeat then so be it and good on ya. This section will likely offer you no service. However, if you are like many undisciplined degenerate Dynasty owners (such as myself) and your ego begins whispering in your ear that this just won’t do then you have a choice to make. You can either begin selling your future assets (draft picks) and/or trading your big ticket players to begin your resurgence or, you can accept defeat and slip slowly into the abyss of Dynasty darkness…at least for this season.
The purpose of Dynasty is to not only strive for the “victory now”, but to maintain a highly competitive team for seasons to come. Therefore, should you be lacking in the win column up to this point and you want to return to a “win now” mode, then the next steps you take could have a devastating impact on your future if they are not approached with much care and thoughtful strategy.
Note: Many of the aforementioned steps above will apply for Dynasty owners as well so read back through them. Although, because you are playing Dynasty Football you have a few more resources at your disposal. Namely, future draft picks.
- Begin your assault on owners who are either devoid of draft picks for the upcoming season(s) and begin offering up your premium future draft picks immediately for proper valued production assets all in an effort to help you ignite a return to winning. You might also attack those teams who are insulated with production assets and offer them up future picks in order to accomplish two things. First, you are systematically dismantling their production depth for the stretch run by enticing them with the prospects of a loaded 2017 class. Just be sure you are acquiring the proper value for your pick(s). Secondly, you are targeting players to not only help you get through your bye-weeks, but also increasing your production depth, since the idea is to not move players but simply picks.
- It’s an oldie, but a goodie. Take a read of my Trade Master article for how to effectively maneuver the dynasty trade process.
- When offering up your premium picks get them to toss back a 3rd or 4th round pick. It literally means nothing to them at that moment, but it at least gives you ammo for future trades and/or the opportunity to have something to play with during future drafts.
- Know the value of your picks. If you are offering them up the potential for a Top 3 pick in the 2017 draft then be sure to mention that upon making the offer. Never assume anything when making an offer, always offer context. Do a bit of study on the 2017 class and be prepared to counter with industry substance and not simply your own opinion. Another golden rule in offering a trade…reach for the stars and land on the moon. Never offer what you think they will accept. Offer what you want. Remember, it’s a negotiation.
- If you are scrambling to build a playoff team for the now and sitting on a few premium players, just not enough to carry you…then move them for a cornucopia of production player(s) and pick(s). Do NOT make a straight up trade. It completely defeats your purpose under these particular circumstances.
- For those of you Dynasty pirates who have sailed through the first half of the season unscathed I say this…Always Be Building. We are only as good as our last win and the fantasy gods play no favorites. Remain accountable, vigilant and ensure you have a competitive team each and every week. If you have little to no production depth you are tempting fate. Find your production insulation before the trade deadline approaches so you are not without when you need it the most (playoffs).
In closing, I will say only this…“Life is like a game of chess. To win you have to make a move. Knowing which move to make comes with IN-SIGHT and knowledge, and by learning the lessons that are acculated along the way. We become each and every piece within the game called life!”