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Schwamm Sez: The FF Season (2)

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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


The FF Season (1):  Managing Trades and Waivers


Let's take a look at managing your roster...






Almost as soon as I’ve stepped out of a draft, I like to lay out the whole season, and mock up my starting weekly rosters right up front.  I want to have a tool to show me where all the research I’ve done (matchups, bye weeks, etc.) indicate potential holes in my roster. 


If you ran your draft the way you wanted, you shouldn’t have anything in the way of real problems, like all your top RBs with the same bye week or the like, but it can show you when your RB1 has a bye on the same week that your RB2 faces his perennial kryptonite.  I want to know where I will NEED to make moves, and when guys become invaluable or expendable.


If you’ve thought about following my advice on drafting only 1 TE, K and DST, here are a couple additional thoughts that affect your roster management. 


First, depending on how early you draft, there might be situations where you might not even want to draft a K and/or DST at all.  It has to be allowable according to your league rules and roster limits, of course, but the earlier your draft is scheduled before the end of preseason week 3, the more you may need depth at RB and WR (specifically with handcuffs for your most critical players).  I’m always comfortable waiting until just before regular season kickoff to decide where the fat is on my roster, and trim it in favor of a K and DST at the eleventh hour.  Not everyone is, though.


I am a firm believer in the notion that K and DST can be successfully managed week to week, just grabbing best matchups off the waiver wire.  All you need is to end up middle-of-the-pack in scoring at those positions.  The drop off just isn’t substantial enough to sweat it otherwise.  Problem is, playing the waiver wire requires you to be a little bit a river boat gambler, and requires significantly more work in-season than just having reliable options at the positions.


Second, if you take a slightly more conservative approach, and you are deliberate in how you draft your TE, K, and DST (1 each), one strategy is to pay very close attention to your TE’s bye week as you draft, and to make sure you space out the byes for the other 2 positions.  This will allow you to use only one bubble player as waiver wire fodder to navigate all 3 byes (or 4, if you throw QB into the same mix). 


I’ll offer two divergent theories on how to space out the byes:  group them in consecutive and early weeks to allow you to get through the byes quickly (and maybe grab the low-lying fruit as other teams need to make waiver moves to cover their later byes)… or space them out as far as possible (2 or even 3 weeks apart) to allow you opportunity to be more proactive.


What do I mean by being proactive?  I’ve found that most fantasy owners are very predictable.  Most will wait until they are setting up their lineups in any given week to realize that they have a hole to fill.  This gives you an ability to chart out your opponents’ holes, make your moves a week or two early, and avoid getting into a battle for the same waiver players.


And one last thing… try not to get too cute or too active with add/drops or trades.  I see people jettisoning valuable pawns all the time, and while I’m always grateful for the gifts, I’m often left shaking my head.  Likewise, don’t get too attached to any players you have on your roster.  Everyone is expendable if it helps to improve your team. 


Unless you absolutely NEED to make a move, or unless there is someone you feel you need to grab before someone else, I strongly recommend a calculated approach.  Before I make most moves, I typically plug each potential acquisition into that season long layout I described in my opening paragraph, just to see how much value they might or might not add.  Being proactive usually affords you more time to be deliberate and calculating, too.  It all works together.



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