Navigating Through the Fantasy Football Playoffs

Ethel Gonzales

1. Continue to Play the Waiver Wire

Unlike the regular season, the action of the waiver wire in fantasy does not stop after Week 13. You need to keep plugging away during the playoffs to give your team the best possible chance of winning the upcoming match-up. While most of the time the stars off of waivers are long gone due to their emergence earlier in the season, there are still some difference makers that are sitting on the wire that have a good chance to break out given the opportunity share. Look for players that are filling in for injured stars such as back up running backs or hot shot rookies that have been for some reason been eased along as the season has gone on but the coaches are ready to take the training wheels off as the NFL regular season is reaching its climax. Never rest because it could cost you a victory in the fantasy football playoffs and it is win or go home. In 2015, my friend picked up David Johnson of the Arizona Cardinals the Wednesday before Week 15 in the season. For most leagues including ours, this week is the semifinals to decide who gets to play in the fantasy league championship. Only 4 teams remain at this point so every mistake or success is magnified. Going back to Johnson, the Arizona running back ended up scoring well over 40 points to give my friend victory from the jaws of defeat as he was projected to lose by more than 30 before David Johnson’s game. It is a reminder that the waiver wire always continues long after the regular season concludes.

2. Look at the Match-ups

Setting lineups is usually a seamless activity, but it can be head scratching a couple of weeks and that includes weeks in the fantasy football playoffs. Sometimes, you might have two players that are neck in neck between each other in skill. That is when you have to do a little research like for a project in business. The research in this case is to look at the opponents that those players are facing for the week. The fantasy site has rankings for how those opponents have fared against those players’ positions such as running backs and wide receivers. After determining the match-up to see if it is a strong, middling, or weak opponent, you can then make an educated guess to see which one you are starting over the other. Usually, the right move pans out but sometimes it does not go your way and you could have a situation where benching the wrong player could cost you a victory like in my case when I was playing for the fantasy championship in 2016. That leads me into my final key topic of how to navigate through these playoffs.

3. Luck

At the end of the day, sometimes (in fact all of the time) you need good luck to go your way to win a fantasy championship. The old adage “it is better to be lucky than good” really applies to a win or go home situation like the playoffs. Your team could be strong for the whole season, making all of the right moves but then a bad week happens and suddenly your dream team is eliminated. That’s the cold truth about fantasy football. Sometimes, you just need some luck to break your way so that you can win that elusive title. The underlying point of this final key aspect is to just have fun, you cannot control how well your team performs on a given Sunday. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t but be prepared for either scenario so that you can maximize your experience of playing in the playoffs.

The playoffs are a fun and exciting time to be in. Sometimes, playing in the playoffs is like navigating through a storm that is hard to come out of. Hopefully these tips will give you a better shot at winning a fantasy title as that is what we are all seeking for when playing fantasy football.

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