2012

My Fantasy Football Team’s Record is — and — … Now What?

Maurice Jones-Drew, Injured Running Backs

We’re six weeks into the season … Do you know where your team is?While we’re not quite at the halfway mark, we are at a pivotal point in your fantasy football team’s season. With bye weeks upon us and injuries mounting, there’s no place for a misstep. Imagine riding your bike across a swampy ditch, going over a plank that’s just one foot wide. You could have some great momentum going up it, but if you waver midway, you’ll find yourself picking leeches out of your underwear. Trust me – you don’t want that. I’ll never make that mistake a ninth time.

So where does your team fit in the categories below, and what can I tell you to help you make your playoff chase an easier one? Barring ties, double-headers and any obscure scoring systems that give your team something other than one win or one loss (are you a Communist?) – you are one of the following people:

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My Fantasy Football Team‘s record is 6-0

What this means: Your first few draft picks did what they were supposed to do (like Ray Rice, Matt Forte and Brandon Marshall) and maybe a rookie pick has surprised (like Robert Griffin III or Alfred Morris). Seems like you have had a favorable schedule thus far, and you are pretty much a lock for the postseason. Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT start talking trash, as not to jinx your run at the ‘72 Dolphins.

What to do: In a keeper league, you can begin to part with rookies or sophomores on your bench to bolster your squad. You are all about winning this year. NOW! You don’t need much; you just need to not screw things up. Don’t get crazy with some waiver-wire additions that 11 other owners passed on. You are Season 1 of “Heroes” – don’t become Season 2.In a non-keeper league, you’ll have to make sure you handcuff your best players. Remember that during the draft, many handcuffs were taken. But things have changed, and the new top dogs have available backups. Also, other owners possibly dropped top backups of other players. Some players to think about picking up, include: Toby Gerhart and Robert Meachem.

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My Fantasy Football Team‘s record is 5-1

What this means: You have one loss, no biggie. It’s like when Tom Hanks starred in “Joe Versus Volcano.” You are playoff bound, but you aren’t un-improvable. You have been able to stave off injuries to your best players and your back-of-the-pack waiver-wire pickups have succeeded (Joe Flacco, Rashard Mendenhall and Kyle Rudolph). Your stars might not have seen their bye weeks yet, but you have had enough chances at waivers to make up depth to push through it successfully.

What to do: Check your Points Scored and Points Against. Have you scored more points than most teams? Or are you playing teams on their down weeks, resulting in a low “points against”? Look ahead to the final weeks of the NFL regular season to trade for some players from these teams for your playoff run.Tip: You can afford to look ahead and take advantage of bye weeks. Watch the waiver wire on Wednesdays and Thursdays for players other teams HAVE to drop in order to pick up a TE, K or DST because theirs is on a bye.

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My Fantasy Football Team‘s record is 4-2

Matt Ryan - Fantasy Football Team's Record

Matt Ryan rocketed up the rankings from preseason to midseason, making his owners happy they passed on a top QB in the first couple rounds.

What this means: You’re better than average. You are currently among the playoff contenders, but you are barely above water. Your top players are valuable, but inconsistent (Maurice Jones-Drew, Larry Fitzgerald and Marques Colston). You very possibly might have the most points scored in the league, but you faced a couple teams during their best week. You are the bad beat guy at the poker table that loses with a full house to a straight flush.

What to do: You’re on the back end of the waiver wire list still, so the best way to improve your team is through trade. Consider a 2-for-1 trade — two decent players at a position you have depth in to a lesser team that has been ravaged by injuries. Like try trading C.J. Spiller (top 20-ranked RB) and Antonio Gates (top-five TE) for Jamaal Charles (top-five RB). Both sides win in that deal. (And check to see which player he’s going to cut to even out his roster – since you could probably get him to throw that player in too.)

Tip: Assess your players’ bye weeks, and if you think you can get away without a backup QB (after this coming week, Matt Ryan’s fantasy owners can cut their backup QB without issue – he has only missed two games in the past five seasons), then grab a longshot or two.

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My Fantasy Football Team‘s record is 3-3

What this means: You’re the “Even Stevens” of fantasy football. You get the leading role in “The Transformers” franchise, yet you are penalized with the name Shia Labeouf. Your depth is not very deep and bye weeks prevent your team from putting together a win streak. What you do in the next few weeks determines your season.

What to do: If your studs are past their bye weeks, relax. The ride should get a little less bumpy. But if you are at .500 and your big boys are coming up on off weeks, you could find yourself on the back end of the standings quickly. Remember though, if you trade with other teams that are .500, a bad move could cost you twice as hard since it hurts you and helps them. Look for help from the 6-0/5-1 guys that have depth.

Tip: Look ahead for great matchups in two weeks, and then pick up players on waivers that could be great starts in two weeks.

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My Fantasy Football Team‘s record is 2-4

What this means: You’re a dropped touchdown pass away from feeling MUCH better about your fantasy life. Your depth is questionable and not many of your late picks really came through (Roy Helu, Justin Blackmon and Greg Little).

What to do: It’s time to be aggressive in trades. Try to trade with teams that are 3-3, which could benefit your team and move you past them in one foul swoop. You can also, look for help from the 6-0/5-1 guys that have depth. And try to make sure the guys you pick up in trade are past their bye weeks. You can trade your superstar to the 6-0/5-1 teams for two good players (especially if they are also reading this column).

Look at the owners of players that were originally drafted as fantasy backups, like Griffin, Mikel LeShoure and Mike Williams. They should have depth at those positions, allowing you to pick up starter-types for your team.

Tip: Look at your fantasy schedule in the upcoming weeks, and try to trade for players that could hurt you. Maybe you can even trade them a player that is on a bye week the week you face them. Life works perfectly like that, I swear!

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My Fantasy Football Team‘s record is 1-5

What this means: You are in rough shape and you need a miracle. Maybe you are a big college football fan and you drafted way too many rookies (Andrew Luck, David Wilson, Ronnie Hillman and Coby Fleener). You got lucky with one of the six deep sleepers you picked (Danny Amendola), but you drafted an All-Fantasy team from 2008 with your first few picks (Steven Jackson, Chris Johnson and Steve Smith).

What to do: First, check your upcoming fantasy schedule to see if your next few opponents are any good. Then, it might be time to throw up a prayer, and trade your best player to a 4-2 or 3-3 team for a group of decent players. (Choose an owner that you like, since you just might be gift-wrapping the Super Bowl championship for him/her.) Consider trading for a group of players that lost their luster, but still have great potential, like Jay Cutler, Doug Martin and Stephen Hill.

Tip: Trade away superstar players (Demarco Murray and Hakeem Nicks) that are injured for a couple more weeks for OK healthy players. You need to win NOW, not just in three weeks.

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My Fantasy Football Team‘s record is 0-6

What this means: You drafted Chris Johnson, Peyton Hillis and Greg Jennings. You fired your team trainer in Week 3. Matt Millen drafts better teams than you do. You eat paint chips. You once bought magic beans. You drafted players from your favorite team – the Browns, Colts or Rams. The good news – you probably aren’t reading this article because you’ve already given up on your team. The bad news – you can’t even get excited about a fantasy hockey league this season.

You get to be the innocent bystander of jokes to another guy in your league, as they somehow accidentally lose to your team. The rest of the league will make fun of him because he’s the only guy to lose to you.

What to do: Your season is all but over. The best you can do now is play spoiler. But meanwhile, you can change your team name weekly, based on the owner you are facing each week, to stuff like:

  • Eric Likes Boys
  • Remember the 18-1 Pats?
  • Joey Kissed a Dude Once
  • Who Hasn’t Made Out with Brett’s Sister?
  • Corey Wears Jorts
  • Danny’s Mom Kisses Funny

Since they’ll have to see that name in the standings and on the scoreboard all week, it will help you get over your loser season. (But be prepared to get in a knife fight when you drop that last one.)

Tip: Trade for the best young backups in the league – and then throw $50 your commissioner’s way to convert this league into a keeper league.

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