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Importance of Winning Early and How to Do It

I’m sure I’ve written this very same article a number of times, but it never gets old and it never loses its importance. Winning games early is such a massive advantage, which is why you need to think strategically and execute on this thinking now rather than waiting to see how things pan out.

Some haters are going to think or reply to this article by saying, “of course winning is always important you idiot.” Yes, you Jabronis, we want to win every game. But there are different ways to manage your roster early on to maximize your chances.

First and foremost, I will state the obvious that a win is a win is a win. A win in Week 1 or 2 holds the same value as a win in Week 10 for fantasy purposes. Yet when Week 10 comes around, we are stressing to make special moves to get that must-needed win to get into the playoffs, when we should be equally stressing now!

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers won two writing awards and received 12 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. A big congrats to our very own Byron Lindeque (Golf) and Jordan McAbee (NASCAR) for both winning Writer Of The Year awards! Be sure to follow RotoBaller's analysis and advice all year long, and win more. Win More With RotoBaller!


Why Winning Early Is So Important

Allows You To Hold On To Flyers

We win early so that we can hold onto valuable players for later in the season. Teams with losing records can’t afford to see if starting RBs get hurt paving the way for backups. Or if a rookie or second-year receiver increases their respective snap share and can ultimately make it to your Flex spot. Losing teams need players that can help them ASAP whereas teams that win early can hold a bench full of lotto tickets.

Saves Your FAB

Win early so you can save your FAB or Waiver Priority. This, of course, will depend on the situation but if you have a bunch of wins early or by the middle of the season and see a clear path to the playoffs, you can lay off the big-spending until later in the season or the playoffs. Additionally, if you refer to my previous point you hopefully have a bench full of lotto tickets already. If you’ve selected these lotto tickets wisely, by choosing guys that will get boom opportunities with an injury, you may get your league winner without even having to waiver.

Trade with Leverage

Win early to trade with leverage. Trade guys that are performing now to losing teams for guys that are minorly injured or have huge potential. There are tons of fringe players that can fill a spot on a weak team but shouldn’t even be in the starting lineup of a winning team. Trade these guys after having an early winning record to start loading your bazooka with boom potential for late season and playoffs.


How to Win Early

I hate when people give motivational speeches without actionable strategy to implement change. So, here is how you play early to win early. You play like it’s the playoffs!

Stash an Extra DEF

Keep an extra DEF on your bench:  Look ahead one or two weeks and make sure you have a killer DEF on the bench in advance of waivers. Not only do you put yourself in a better position to win, but you block another team from capitalizing on that DEF the following week.

Use FAB early

Use your FAB early to win now! Go for players that are performing now and even overpay to ensure they are on your roster. If you hit, you have these players for more weeks! Remember you are going to be able to save later in the season when you are coasting to the playoffs. Cheap use of FAB mentioned in the last point is to spend a low on a second DEF.

Trade or Release Injured and Unripe Players

Check your team and bench for injured players or rookies that will take some time to move up the depth chart and exchange these players for guys performing now. Again, these are all custom situations that need to make sense for your team, so I’ll point out the obvious scenarios. If you have an injured player with big brand name recognition, trade him for a slight discount to get a player performing now.

Sample players to banish:

Curtis Samuel, Michael Gallup, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Odell Beckham Jr., Deshaun Watson, Tre’Quan Smith, Michael Thomas.

Overall, I would just say to imagine that you are in the playoffs, with the exception of spending absolutely all of your FAB. I believe wholeheartedly that getting early victories puts you in an amazing position to prepare your team for the playoffs rather than waiting until it’s too late.

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