Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Week Five Fantasy Football: How To Survive (and Thrive) During The Bye Weeks

So we've finished the first quarter of the season. How's your team? Thriving? Or barely surviving?

Do not despair! Even if you're 0-4, you can still make the playoffs at this point.  The trap that many winning fantasy football teams fall into, especially during bye weeks, is being complacent and stop making moves.

You must constantly look for an edge; a player that could possibly still have that breakout year.  Let's first talk general strategy during your bye weeks.

  • Even if you badly need the roster space, DO NOT toss any good player out onto the waiver wire that you may want later.  
  • Watch for someone else in your league to do that.  If they drop a LaGarette Blount or a Julio Jones, pounce on them.  
  • Don't focus just on one week at a time: look at all four bye weeks as a whole to figure out when your team is at its weakest.  If roster space is scarce, look to make one move that may help you over a couple weeks 
    • Example: In weeks five and six, you have a wide receiver gone both weeks and need to pick up a waiver wire receiver to cover it. Pick up a guy that doesn't have his bye week until after week six.
    • I know that's basic stuff, but it's surprising how tunnel-visioned people get at this time. 
  • Do not be afraid to dump that under-performing player at this time.  If he's taking up a spot on your bench (Reggie Bush), and you're not starting him at all, drop him to open up a spot.
  • This is also a time to consider a trade. Talent gets spread out during the bye weeks, and people are more aware of their weaknesses during this time.  Know what you need and what you have to spare, and go find someone that matches that in your league.  Frankly, if you're in a public league, you only have a few weeks left before people stop paying attention to their teams.  Be bold now.
Players To Grab (slim pickings this week):
  • Jacoby Jones - Houston wide receiver expected to really perform now that stud Andre Johnson is out for a while. 
  • Victor Cruz - the New York Giants receiver has had two good weeks in a row, and Eli has to throw to someone. Grab him as a spot replacement during the bye weeks, but if you can afford to keep him do it. This could be a sleeper. 
My teams are currently 4-0 and 3-1. I'm having a very good year, in contrast to how I started in both leagues last year (combined 2-6).  For encouragement, know that I did make the playoffs in one league and came very close in the second. 

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