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Early Season Roster Savvy

Whether you have a winning or losing record, it is imperative that you follow a roster strategy rather than simply winging it on the wire over every highly-touted player. In-season roster management is paramount to winning titles. That’s right, it is even more important than the draft.

So, check out the following tactics to stay afloat if you got off to a bad start or to build your team for a ‘ship if you’re fast out of the gate.

One very important caveat before jumping in; the severity of your record should be directly correlated to the severity upon which you implement the following strategies. Meaning, that an 0-3 or 3-0 record should have you in full throttle. Carry on….

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Winning Records (2-1 or 3-0)

I often mention that winning early is so important. If you read my last article, I discussed how you should draft to win early by avoiding suspended and injured players and selecting players and teams with great early season schedules. The reason being; winning early affords you with such an advantage in bench and waiver management. Here are the strategies that you should implement if you are one of the lucky teams with an early winning record:

  • Save your FAAB for later in the season. There will always be a need for it whether it is streaming DST for the playoffs, an injury or a huge opportunity. You have been afforded the opportunity to have the most FAAB when those situations arise later in the season.
  • Hold/Add/Trade for valuable players on that are injured, suspended, holding out or underperforming (Le'Veon Bell, Julian Edelman, Mark Ingram, Aaron Jones, Alshon Jeffery, David Johnson, Russell Wilson, etc.). A losing team needs to win ASAP, but you can (Cliché Alert) wait for your eggs to hatch.
  • Hold/Add/Trade for players that you see emerging come later in the season. Whether it’s rookies or players getting more snaps each and every week.
  • Hold/Add/Trade for a bunch of RBs knowing that someone could pop given volatility at the position. I always tout my #allbenchRB strategy because RB depth charts change and have the most impact. Get ahead of the waiver wire and stack your bench with RBs, if you have a winning record.
  • Trade with teams that have losing records. Here is where you will have the most leverage to trade away current performers for higher value players that are underperforming for whatever reason. A great example would be trying to trade a lesser RB for Le'Veon Bell, if the Bell holder has a losing record.


Losing Records (0-3 or 1-2)

Now if you aren’t as fortunate and have a losing record, you need to shift your strategy in reverse. You need to behave as if you are currently in the playoffs, especially if you are winless. Hopefully you’ve read this article and started implementing some of these tactics by Week 4.

You see there is one very simple fact that many ignore no matter how much fantasy football they play; if you don’t make the playoffs, your chances of winning are 0%. It won’t matter how much FAAB you have left or how good LeVeon Bell is come Week 10. At 0-6, the only relevance Lev will have for you is as a hip hop artist on Instagram.

If you are 0-3 or fall to 0-4 next week, it’s time to start making moves before you are completely out of the running. Here are the strategies that can rescue you from the quicksand:

  • Aim to win each and every week like it’s the championship.
  • Add/Trade for players that are predicted to perform this week. Who cares about next week or beyond?
  • Drop/Trade players that are not currently performing i.e. suspended, injured or not breaking out.
  • Trade with winning teams that can afford to hold said players.
  • Some examples of players to trade away:

If you are sitting with a bad record, it’s time to trade away your stars that are injured, suspended or underperforming. And if there are strong waiver wire pick-ups, you best be bidding aggressively. As for the winning teams, enjoy the privileges that have been bestowed upon you and don’t fux it up!


Thanks as always, Brett Mitchell - @BrettMitchellFB on Twitter

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