With week 10 of the Fantasy Football season looming large on the horizon, it’s time to start thinking about the future. The Playoffs are just a few weeks away in most leagues (generally weeks 14-16), so to get a jump on your less forward thinking opponents, you should start preparing in earnest, NOW (if you haven’t already). With that in mind, let’s take a look at steps you can take to shore up your roster for the post season.
1. Start looking at schedules.
Check out your players’ match ups in weeks 14-16. Obviously guys like Todd Gurley and Pat Mahomes are essentially match up proof starts, but the bulk of your team isn’t going to be made up of fantasy studs. So schedule matters. Let’s go through some of the players at each position who have positive match ups during the playoffs:
Philip Rivers (Cin/KC/Bal)
Ben Roethlisberger (Oak/NE/NO)
Joe Flacco/Lamar Jackson (KC/TB/LAC)
Case Keenum (SF/Cle/Oak)
Cam Newton (Cle/NO/Atl)
Dak Prescott (Phi/Ind/TB)
Drew Brees (TB/Car/Pit)
Russell Wilson (Min/SF/KC)
Derek Carr (Pit/Cin/Den)
Joe Mixon (LAC/Oak/Cle)
Chris Carson (Min/SF/KC)
Melvin Gordon (Cin/KC/Bal)
Kerryon Johnson (Ari/Buf/Min)
Sony Michel (Mia/Pit/Buf)
Phillip Lindsay (SF/Cle/Oak)
David Johnson (Det/Atl/LAR)
Christian McCaffrey (Cle/No/Atl)
Dalvin Cook (Sea/Mia/Det)
Michael Thomas (TB/Car/Pit)
Amari Cooper (Phi/Ind/TB)
Davante Adams (Atl/Chi/NYJ)
DeAndre Hopkins (Ind/NYJ/Phi)
Antonio Brown (Oak/NE/NO)
Emmanuel Sanders (SF/Cle/Oak)
Devin Funchess (Cle/NO/Atl)
Keenan Allen (Cin/KC/Bal)
John Brown (KC/TB/LAC)
I’m not even going to bother, because outside of Ertz, Kelce and maybe Kittle, Tight Ends are just random at this point lol. Just slap whatever you got in there and hope for the best.
If your league still has kickers, then may god have mercy on your soul. I’m not going to touch them.
2. Work the wire.
Now, a lot of the players on that list aren’t going to be available, but there are some moves you can make to shore yourself up for the post season. If you’re streaming Qbs (or have a guy with a particularly tough playoff schedule), then take a look and see if Keenum, Dak or Flacco are available. They are all owned in 30% or less of leagues, so there’s a solid chance they are out there. If you’re the gambling type, a Lamar Jackson stash could pay big dividends if Flacco is benched late in the season.
Running Backs are a little more tricky where the waiver wire is concerned. There is such positional scarcity, that pretty much any back with a chance of sniffing the ball more than 5 times a game is likely owned. But, there are options worth looking at. Gio Bernard is only owned in around 25% of leagues, and could have some production in the playoffs, as well as being a good handcuff for Mixon. Same goes for Mike Davis in Seattle, who’s owned in about 35% of leagues. Denver’s Royce Freeman is owned in about 55% of leagues, but in the off-chance he’s out there, he’s certainly worth snagging as well. Also, I know Philly doesn’t have a particularly easy playoff schedule, but Josh Adams is worth a stash as he looks to be in for a heavier workload moving forward (plus Sproles re-aggravated his hammy injury yesterday, so once less mouth to feed).
Receivers are a bit easier to deal with, but the pickings are still going to be somewhat slim on the waiver wire.
Dez Bryant is probably worth a stash, having just singed with the Saints (could be in for some red zone work in that offense) (Dez just went down in practice, and may have ruptured his achilles, so never mind). Gallup and Hurns could also see an increase in production in Dallas, with defenses focusing on Cooper. They’re both owned in less than 10% of leagues. Keke Coutee is owned in about 20% of leagues, but could be in for some solid work with Houston’s playoff schedule, plus he has the second highest separation average in the NFL (the distance he gets from defenders), and operates as Watson’s primary safety valve out of the slot when healthy. Lastly, if Marquez Valdes-Scantling is still somehow available in your league, grab him NOW. Same goes for Courtland Sutton and DJ Moore, though to a somewhat lesser extent… and the Williams brothers (Tyrell and Mike) in LA are worth a look as boom or bust options if available as well.
3. Make a deal.
If your trade deadline still hasn’t passed (many are set for this weekend or shortly there after), then there’s still time to try and make some deals. If you have a player or two on your squad that has a negative playoff schedule, then maybe try and swing a trade for some players on the list above. Obviously guys like Mixon, Gordon and CMC are going to be tough to get, but Carson, Kerryon, DJ and Dalvin Cook could likely be had at a decent price. Do you have AP or Aaron Jones? See if you can swap them for Carson or Kerryon. Do you have Marlon Mack or Nick Chubb? See if you can trade for Dalvin Cook or Sony Michel. Maybe throw in a spare WR2 to sweeten the deal. Don’t sell the farm, but if you can make a swap for a player on this list for a guy with a similar value, then do so.
Also don’t be afraid to go after secondary options on the teams listed. Guys like Juju, Royce Freeman, Tre’Quan Smith, Courtland Sutton, MVS etc. Again, don’t over spend, but do try and collect players with positive match ups in weeks 14-16 if you can.
Of course, if your team has a losing record, then you need to be concentrating on winning now, rather than worrying about the future. In which case, see if you can swing some deals with better teams to give up your players with good playoff match ups, in exchange for upgrades that will help you actually get into the playoffs. After all, you can’t win if you don’t get in.
4. Grab a cuff.
Carrying a hand-cuff early in the season is a mistake. It limits your bench space, and hurts your ability to improve your team through the waiver wire. Now, is the time to start grabbing your cuffs. If you have Todd Gurley, snag Malcom Brown. Got Joe Mixon, sign Gio Bernard. Have Chris Carson, go get Mike Davis (if he’s available). David Johnson > Chase Edmonds. McCaffrey > CJ Anderson. Kareem Hunt > Spencer Ware etc. Concentrate on guys who have a sure fire backup who will take over the feature back role, and stay away from teams that will turn to a committee in the event of an injury. If you grab them now, then you wont have to battle it out on the waiver wire for them if the unfortunate were to happen.
In short, get your team prepared for the playoffs now. If you wait until week 13, it’ll be too late.
That will do it for this week’s WCG Fantasy Football Forum! I hope it was helpful, and as always, post any lineup or trade questions in the comments. This is your place to talk Fantasy Football. Jeff should be back next week, as I’m sure most of you will be pleased to hear, so things will get back to normal. Anyway, good luck this week, and Bear Down everyone!
WhiskeyRanger is a freelance graphic artist/content creator, an avid Bears fan, and apparently speaks in the 3rd person now. You can follow him on Twitter @WhiskeyRanger29 and you can check out Bears and football related film study/video essays on his Youtube Channel.
Is your team ready for the playoffs?
This poll is closed
Heck yeah! I’m stocked up on Steelers and Saints!
Sort of. I don’t have terrible match ups, but it could be better.
Heck no! When I look at my playoff match ups, I just see a sea of red. The horror...