As most of you know, I’ve been lucky enough to have been on Comcast New England Cable CN8’s show Sports Pulse for the past few Thursdays (and even Hawaiian shirt Fridays!!) talking about fantasy football. Once again I’d like to share some of the stuff we talked about during last week’s show for those that could not see it live.
As a reminder, in general, we talk about the following:
Guys to Pick up – This is a chance to hilight some of the players from Glenn’s “Waiver Wire” article.
Guys to Start/Bench – This is a chance to hilight some of the players from Ron’s “Start/Bench List” article.
We also discuss the top players at each position based on the weekly projections.
This week I brought up some “Late Season Reminders”, which is really the basis of this article here. So without further ado…
Know Your League Deadlines
First off, make sure you are aware of your league’s rules. In particular the league trading deadling, and perhaps more importantly, the deadline for free agency. Ten weeks are in the books and with the playoffs likely three or four weeks away, there’s a good chance that your league is shutting down free agency withing the next couple of weeks. Don’t get caught without knowing, find out when it is right now and start planning ahead.
Like me, you are probably in more than one league (though I’m sure there aren’t many out there that have a part of ten different teams/leagues). You should already have a central place that stores all of your team rosters. Wherever that place is, make a note right now next to each roster when the free agency deadline is for every one of your teams. Believe me, there is nothing worse than not being prepared, especially when you are talking about a playoff berth or a championship trophy being at stake.
Since many have asked incredulously how I can possibly keep track of everything, here’s how I get it done: I have all 10 of my teams in one text file that looks something like this:
Atlantic Whale Shark League
Weekly waivers run at midnight wednesday, 2 selections per week max
Free Agency ends with the NFL week 13 kickoff
QB: Jake Plummer (Den), Tom Brady (NE), Kurt Warner (NYG)
RB: Edgerrin James (Ind), Domanick Davis (Hou), Jerome Bettis (Pit), Mewelde Moore (Min)
WR: Chad Johnson (Cin), Darrell Jackson (Sea), Keenan McCardell (SD), Brandon Lloyd (SF), Derek Armstrong (Hou)
TE: Jeremy Shockey (NYG)
K: Ryan Longwell (GB), Steve Christie (NYG)
D: Detroit (Det)
I make sure it all fits on one piece of paper so I can print it out at the beginning and end of every week so I can have a copy with me at all times. Any time I make a roster move I update the file. In addition, on Tuesday morning, I go thru and make sure all players that will be on a bye the following week are bolded so I can clearly see who I will be missing in the coming week. And finally, as best as I can, I try to keep the order within the positions as close to how I have them ranked as possible. About 15 minutes of work on a Tuesday morning and a couple minutes on a Friday night/Saturday morning updating any roster moves. Simple.
Backup Your Studs
This really should go without saying but you would be surprised at how few owners make an effort to do this. At this point in the season, you know who your top two or three players are – BUY SOME INSURANCE FOR THESE GUYS!!! If you have LaDainian Tomlinson, you need to go out and get Jesse Chatman. Got Jamal Lewis, find Chester Taylor. If you have Priest Holmes, go get Derrick Blaylock. Edgerrin James? Domanick Rhodes. Duante Culpepper your guy? Get Gus Frerotte. Trust me, you will be doing yourself a huge service by doing this now (if you already haven’t).
By the same token, you should know who on your roster is never going to crack your starting lineup. If you’ve been carrying 6 WRs and you can only start 3 per week, I think it’s safe to go ahead and drop that sixth guy you have in your depth chart. That’s how you can create some room for these backups.
Depth at ALL Postions
Along with backing up your studs, you should make sure that you backup ALL positions. No matter who your kicker or tight end is, you should not be riding without a backup. Even if you have Tony Gonzalez, go out and get a second TE just in case.
Another position that is important to get as many as possible of is quarterbacks. Personally speaking, I don’t like to have less than three starting quarterbacks on my fantasy roster. Granted, sometimes this is not possible, but it is a goal of mine from draft day throughout the season to see that this can happen. If this isn’t possible for you, then go out and get the backup for one of the starters that you already have.
For instance, one of my teams has Brett Favre and Jake Delhomme, just couldn’t get my hands on a third starting QB. I’m looking at tapping Doug Pederson for my squad before free agency comes to a close. Of all the positions, quarterbacks get hurt the most often so this is a position that you don’t want to be getting an automatic zero in down the stretch.
So there they are, really some common sense reminders so please go out there and do what you have to do. There is too much at stake in the last few weeks of the season not to be prepared.