This is not an item to be heavily relied upon during your draft, but it is an item to consider during the season.
For player ranking purposes I tend to use the projected favorability of one players schedule versus another [special focus on fantasy playoff time] as a tiebreaker if I cannot decide who to rank ahead of the other, and little more.
However, once the season gets underway and some questions are answered over the first several weeks the difficulty of each player’s future schedule begins to look a little clearer.
This is the time to begin to analyze the future value of the players on your roster and other’s [once again, with an eye toward fantasy playoff time].
The best example I can offer is my acquisition of LaDanian Tomlinson last year from an anxious owner, who started off the season 1-4 and was in danger of falling out of playoff contention, after three consecutive unproductive weeks [bye week, @ BAL, vs. PIT].
With many favorable matchups on the horizon it was clear to me that LT’s value could not possibly get any lower [sold Roy Williams and Tiki Barber for him] and that if I was going to buy on him I needed to do so immediately.
Not surprisingly, I went on to win my league’s championship.
For those that are in as competitive of leagues as some of those that often swim these waters such a deal may not have been attainable, the LT owners knew better.
However, for those that are in less competitive leagues [be it a work league, $$$ league, family league, etc.] eyeing a buy low period for a first round talent can prove to be a very formidable venture.
I am already eyeing Frank Gore around week 6 [
Ok, so you’re in the thick of the playoff race at mid-season and you’ve got your eye on the championship.
Just getting there is an accomplishment in itself, but does anybody ever remember [or care] who came in second?
Once the bye weeks are wrapping up and you no longer have to worry about filling your lineup each week, around week eight/nine, it is time to set your eye on some favorable matchups to exploit come fantasy playoff time.
Last season my prime target was Marc Bulger.
At this same juncture, Bulger happened to go into a bit of a funk – from week 9 to week 11 [our league’s trading deadline] Bulger accounted for 1 TD and 3 turnover’s; it was time to buy low.
I was able to unload Chester Taylor [a gem I was able to find as an RB2 at the end of the 4th round], who was due to break down any day at that point, for Bulger and some insurance at WR in the PPR machine, Mike Furrey – who just so happened to be playing a Bears defense week 16 that sat their entire secondary after clinching home field the week before, stat line 10/107/1.
The examples I have cited above all lead to one central ideal that I run my fantasy teams by; constantly re-assessing and evaluating your league’s environment – each player’s future schedule plays a big role in this assessment.
Some additional items to consider include: which owners are getting anxious? which owners have an excess of injured players? what players are over-producing? what players are under-producing? what’s the future outlook for my team given their future schedule? and so many more.
You may not win your league’s championship by managing your team in such a manner, but you are offering your team the greatest opportunity to win; and that’s all you can do.
I, admittedly, got rather lucky in both of the transactions I mentioned above – no way did I expect Bulger and Furrey to blow up as much as they did in the championship week – but I felt they gave my team the best chance to win.
By keeping an eye on the schedule and making moves in your league accordingly you may be hoisting up your leagues trophy, much like I did last year.
Hope you enjoyed the read and I encourage feedback [positive and/or negative]; I always enjoy a little competitive banter.