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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Fantasy Football Championship

Championship week is almost here, folks!  For most leagues, week 16 is the matchup that decides 1st place... and if you are reading this chances are you are in your league semi-finals this week.  Either that, or you are a fantasy junkie like me.  Either way, God bless ya.

I just wanted to underscore a bit of strategy that I wrote about in this space a couple of weeks ago because it is becoming more and more important as the time left in the season continues to compress.

At this point in week 15 your league has probably had waiver claims go through or at least the first round of FAAB bids.  Consequently, you have a pretty good idea of what your starting lineup will look like this week and who will be on your bench.

So, take a look at those bench slots and let's put them to good use.  There are only three main reasons why those slots are filled with the guys that they are:
  1. You might be able to use them in week 16 because they have a good matchup.
  2. You are blocking your competition from filling a hole on their team against you, either this week or with a look ahead toward week 16.
  3. Keeper (or dynasty) league considerations.

That's it, folks.  Assuming there are no keeper league considerations, if a guy isn't starting for you this week and they don't have any real chance to play for you next week then you can better use that slot. 

So, here's what I want you to do:  First, find the dead wood on your roster.  Those are guys that are not going to start for you in week 15 or week 16 and have no impact on keepers for next year.  They may have had promise early in the year, maybe they've got tough matchups, maybe they're banged up... whatever.  I want you to examine your likely starting lineup for this week and also for next week.  The players that aren't included in either lineup need to be replaced.  Go to the wire and find guys that have a chance to start for you next week and grab them.  If you can't do that, look at your likely competition next week and determine which free agents are most likely to help them against you.  Use your bench spots to snag those guys before your competition does.

Simple as that.  Every slot on your roster should be doing something for you at all times.  Early in the year maybe you gamble on an injured guy that got cut...  For example, I am now profiting from a waiver claim on Aaron Hernandez way back around week 4 or 5.  You may also be insuring yourself against injury like handcuffing Bernard Pierce to Ray Rice.  And, you may be looking toward next year in a keeper league.

Whatever it is, have a plan for every roster spot and adjust that plan as the season moves along.  People do all sorts of unexplained things with their fantasy rosters and they wonder why they don't have enough options later in the year or in the playoffs.  I still see way too many people carrying two kickers.  It just makes me crazy...  Why? For what purpose?!

Your strategy for your bench slots in week 15 should feel very different than in week 5. 

Best of luck in those playoffs, folks!  And, while you are here click on the email sign-up on the upper-left-hand side (where it says: "Be a Brainiac").  That, or to make it simpler you can just click here:  Sign Up and Get More!

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