Rule #1 – Drafting players is only half of the battle, the real war is fought via trades and waiver wire. So you drafted a great team, or so you think. All of your fellow owners in your company’s fantasy league are salivating uncontrollably over your roster, coveting multiple players on your newly drafted team as if they were covered in gold and then dipped in chocolate, you feel confident that this year will be different than last years tumultuous season and you appear primed for a Fantasy Football Super bowl run; “what do you do, what do you do?” (Keanu Reeves voice).
If you’re like most owners you are now looking at your roster and bouncing a few trade ideas around in your head while maintaining your best poker face, watching the other owners sweat while being in a position of fantasy football power. To trade or not to trade; well that depends, is your team good enough to make it the entire fantasy season without a single addition to it? Not likely, so now the question goes from “should I trade” to “who should I trade and what trade will improve my roster or the depth on my bench?”
In about 1 percent of all Fantasy Football cases the answer may be nothing, you managed to successfully draft a team that borders on perfection and while drafting your flawless team you factored in unforeseeable injuries, suspensions, coaching decisions that would affect said roster, etc, etc, etc; basically football’s equivalent to Nostradamus. Possible? Sure, however if this is the case, some people in Las Vegas with some unhealthy addictions could sure use some of this luck or foresight.
The other 99 percent of Fantasy Football managers around the world will need to improve their roster through trade, working the waiver wire religiously, or just simply having some good old-fashioned luck. Every year there are break out candidates that go unnoticed well beyond your leagues draft and are sitting in free agency like an uncut yellow diamond discovered by someone’s foot at the bottom of a riverbed.
Rule # 2 – Sell High, Buy Low. In the world of Fantasy Football Greed is good. However that advice comes with a disclaimer that should be written in bold lettering and circled at least twice. Approach that mantra with caution, as that requires understanding who a sell high or buy low candidate may be. After Week 3, the candidates in the sell high category would be the likes of Jamaal Charles, Christian Ponder, and Joe Flacco; players that had monster fantasy weeks but your not too sure how the rest of their seasons will fare. Jamaal Charles spent the better part of the last year rehabbing his ACL tear and up until his blazing 91 yard touchdown run last week many, including Jamaal Charles himself, did not trust that reconstructed knee either. For the fantasy owners that sold high on Jamaal Charles stock this season and jettisoned the Kansas Chiefs stand out running back prior to week 3 did so prematurely and at a huge discount; the result, Jamaal Charles broke out to the tune of 233 rushing yards and added another 55 yards receiving…ouch. Knowing when to channel your inner Gordon Gecko can make or break your fantasy football season.
Rule # 3 – Trust Your Gut! Fantasy Experts Make Mistakes, Just Like the Rest of Us. There are so called ‘fantasy experts’ at every turn that you will make while surfing the net looking for some advice on that particular weeks roster. There are weekly columns that preach who to start and who to sit like your Sunday sermon; there are also columns that have weekly position rankings to let owners know who is facing an easy match up or who should be on your bench because that player is facing a top defense, etc, etc. Do not be a “rankings slave” or take every experts advice like they were written in scripture; experts get it wrong, a lot of the time. Sure the rankings that you see on sites like ESPN.com, NFL.com, and CBSSPORTSLINE.com, have very useful statistics and analysis but at the end of the day there is just too much randomness to make a calculated decision; we are talking FANTASY Football right? Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith and go with your instincts. Espn.com’s own Matthew Berry and the other experts can be right, but it is foolish to think that they are always right. The rankings and advice should be received as a guidebook and not the ‘good book’. There are simply too many factors in the world of Fantasy Football to have any sort of useable consensus from all of the different Fantasy Football sites and analysts out there. It is the last second tinkering and second-guessing that can cost you the week.