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Schwamm Sez: The FF Season (1)

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For reference, previous Shwamm Sez posts can be found here:


Intro:  Schwamm's Rules to Draft by

Draft Day Strategy (2):  A Deeper Look at QB vs. RB


For those of you nearing saturation on these posts... I think I've only got a couple more in me, unless anyone has questions on strategy, and for some reason thinks I'm qualified enough to answer.


For this post, I intend to focus on using the waiver wire and executing trades.


First, I'd suggest that no matter how well you believe you've drafted, or no matter how badly you think you missed, things can change quickly, and your work is far from over.



My biggest recommendation here is be reasonable.  I can't tell you how many times I've received offers for trades that just made ZERO sense for me.  Will I give up my top RB and top WR for Jason Snelling and a bag of chips?  Why waste time like that?  It is one thing if it is intended as a joke, but more often than not, opponents get frustrated if I choose to just ignore their offer altogether.


My suggestion is that you investigate rosters.  Find teams that have players you covet, but are weak where you are strong, and offer a trade that makes them feel like they are getting better because of it too. 


People will argue that you never make any opponent better, but then you should just eliminate trades from your league.  The only reason someone would accept a ridiculously lopsided trade in your favor is if they are your mom, not paying attention, or just plain dumb.


One of the things I've done is offer 2 starting caliber RBs for an upgrade at the position.  My opponent had the top guy, but nothing else.  I had 4 starting quality guys, all in the top 15, so I showed him that the 2 guys I was offering would score more per week than any combo he could start.  We both improved our teams, and I did so significantly.


In another league, I had both of my top RBs go on IR mid season.  I was able to snag a couple good WRs off the waiver wire so that I had 6 who were all starter quality.  I packaged 3 WRs to a team who had nothing of worth at WR for a top tier RB, a backup quality WR, and a DST to help me cover an upcoming bye week.  Again we both improved, and I was able to address a big need.



As far as I've been concerned, this can be every bit as important, if not more so, than the fantasy draft.  An NFL season is long, and injuries happen and players get benched.  Holes show up in nearly every fantasy team roster.  Knowing how to maintain your roster is critical to having a successful season.  Make absolutely sure you fully understand your league's waiver wire rules before the season starts.  It can cost you if you don't.


Several posts ago, I discussed the importance of researching players, and I suggested that I usually tried to be very familiar with the top 300+.  If you figure that a 12 team league will typically draft 180 players, you might now understand that the surplus knowledge will give you a good head start on monitoring the waiver wire.


A little tip:  Try not to chase the guys who pop off for one week.  More often than not, they will disappear back into the woodwork without ever helping your team, and just take up space on your roster.  Or at least try to see the difference between a one week wonder and the start of something big.  Instead, try to look for guys who might be experiencing a change in opportunity (The backup who has shown skills and had the guy in front of him go down, for example, or the guy who has been in his OC's doghouse, but the team just fired the OC).



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Addendum: while I encourage you to be reasonable when crafting trade offers, please understand that it is only important that the offers "appear" equitable. By that, I mean since you've done your research and may know more about the guys on other teams than the team owners do, it is by no means unfair to take advantage of that knowledge.

One season in particular (about 15 years ago, I think) jumps to mind, where I was in a league where I'd drafted 2 QBs almost consecutively in middle rounds. Both ended up doing better than expected, and I'd been able to navigate the first 9 weeks of the season by playing matchups. Once I'd gotten through their bye weeks, I knew that the slightly better one wrapped up with a much tougher strength of schedule, had a history of fading late in seasons, and most of his remaining games were outside in cold weather cities. I was able to get a king's ransom for him, my other guy was clearly the better QB down the stretch, and the trade helped me seal a championship.

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