Fantasy Season Advice
By Doug Harrelson
At the time of writing this, we are only hours away from the beginning of Bills @ Rams and the start to the NFL season. Months and months of trading and drafting to arrive at this point. The stances you have taken all offseason on players that you think have the potential to put you over the top this year. The whole dynasty offseason has been in preparation for this 17 week grind of sit/start decisions, waiver claims and mid season trading. Is this the year your squad gets to that next step? Maybe this season is not likely to be successful but could set you up for future success down the road. Week 1 marks the beginning of that championship journey that you hope to be on. Here’s some takeaways I have from my years in playing dynasty football.
The first bit of advice I want to offer, do not overreact to Week 1 results. Aaron Rodgers looked awful and the Packers got smoked by the Jameis Winston lead Saints in Week 1 last year. Aaron Rodgers won the MVP and had the Packers as a 1 seed in the NFC while Winston and the Saints missed the playoffs. A single week sample size can sometimes cause a dramatic over correction. Too many times a dynasty team will lose Week 1 and then begin selling pieces off and go into a dramatic rebuild when they just needed to ride the wave a bit. Don’t let a rocky start cause you to lose focus of the goal at the end of the season. Take a hard look at your roster and see if you have the depth and/or upside pieces to recover if some of your starters get injured or begin underperforming.
So I told you not to overreact, well I now need you to make sure you do react. There are some things that are important to notice in Week 1. What is the backfield split for this team? What is the target share for the WR2? What are the snap counts for IDPs? Who is lining up where in the formation? This is the most recent and only real up to date data we have on these players and teams. You need to take an honest look at your team and start to decide who might not be able to help you this season and see if you have the starting lineup and depth to compete this year. Sometimes that means making the move on to next season early. Especially if there are multiple injuries to your starting lineup or to the same position group.
Most of this advice applies to contenders but just because you are rebuilding doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be super active during the season. All of my leagues do a reverse MAX PF or PP system that awards draft position by least possible points or least maximum points for, because of this I always try and set a good lineup even on teams where I am actively blowing it up. It helps the league maintain integrity plus it’s always fun to cost someone a first round bye or knock them out of the playoffs altogether. I also stay extremely active on the waiver claims. I typically will then try and flip the player to the other managers that bid on that player. It’s an easy way to pick up a bunch of lottery tickets for your rebuild since most of those waiver pickups will not be on your roster the following season.
If you are contending though, this is the time to strike. Make that trade for an aging RB, losing your late 2nd. Too many championships are lost because you don’t have the depth when you get to the playoffs. Don’t trade for these guys when you need them, trade for them now. Especially if you can find that one manager that is overreacting to Week 1. Use his fire sale as a way to stock up on some depth for when things get rough in your fantasy playoffs. Next year, another supply of draft picks down the road will appear. Championships don’t just come every year. Don’t be afraid to lose those picks, be afraid to miss out on championships.
Above all, enjoy this time of year. We spend months every single year doing the roster management phase to try and show that the team we can put together in our dynasty leagues is better than every other member of our league. The players you invested in all offseason are now finally gonna score us some fantasy points. This fantastic game of dynasty fantasy football we play all comes down to these couple of months.
Enjoy the season and Good Luck!