In season long formats its extremely important to be preparing for your playoff rosters, matchups and options as early as possible. Lets take note of some winning strategies that Marksmen look to apply leading into the playoff season:
By Week 8, the unofficial midway point of the fantasy football season, most teams have generally shown their true colors and are able to be counted on or against from a fantasy perspective. Where savvy GM’s make keen moves is to target players from/against these teams in weeks 14,15,16 which are commonly viewed as default fantasy football playoff weeks. A keen GM judges the likely hood that they will make playoffs based off an astute draft and now pivots towards opportunity down the stretch. At this point trading and waiver adds need to be geared towards the strength of schedule perceived in those playoff weeks where you have a chance at a trophy, some money and ultimate bragging rights in your league circle.
Short term loss, Long term gain
Have you lost 3+ matchups in your fantasy football season to date? Of course you have… its 2020, COVID-19 is running rampant and your “sound decisions” are long forgetting in a whirlwind of a year for your team and respective fantasy leagues. When staring at a <40% projected win percentage on the week due to bye’s, injury, or luck of the draw a GM can assume that a loss is coming more often than not. At this point, weighing the long term gain against a short term sacrifice can often be beneficial to later half of your season. For example, in week 7 of the season Marksmen @87_Carey traded away Derrick Henry, Tyler Locket (who was coming off a 200 yard 3TD game) and Ronald Jones for Dalvin Cook and Aaron Jones, both of which were staring at current and nearby concerns. This proved to add two top-5 RB options on while only sacrificing 1 top-5 RB for the remainder of the season. While accepting that a trade like this could lose him the week @87_Carey strengthened his standing leading into playoffs as a contender in the league which this deal took place.
Assessing the needs of your fellow GM’s
This tactic is typically understated and often lacking when you look at incoming trade offers from league mates. When looking to find a valid trade partner around the midpoint of a season its easy to find targets if your looking in the right direction. Finding teams who’ve been stung by injury, had a game postponed due to COVID-19 or generally struggling from a bye-week blunder all present opportunity to offer general trade suggestions which fill 1 or more roster spots for that GM on the given week. Aim your sights at a deal which addresses 2 different needs of another GM while gaining handsomely at 1 position of your own. Often this scenario seems “simple” when a trade goes through but keep in mind that the hardest working GM’s are typically making more of these winning offers per season that a significant portion of the league. You can likely think back through multiple deals this season where a front runner gained momentum by acquiring a now “top talent” by prudent vision.
As the playoffs near, its usually a good idea to add an extra defense which, format dependent, compliments yours well. Take SEA this year who has shown a brutally poor record to date in 2020. They appear in a significant % of articles and recommendations as it pertains to the easy end to the season that their schedule creates. A solid option for most GM’s is to target against teams with some of the leagues worst offenses. The jets typically come to mind but in this category. If your ahead of the mark, you’ve already looked to add SEA, ARI, SF and NO as an option for your week 14-16 matchups.