Your winning fantasy football season boils down to four basic principles. take over a starting job, especially if you followed the aforementioned unorthodox draft strategy. This goes for other positions as well; you never know when a player like Nick Foles is set to break out. INJURIES AND UNDERPERFORMANCE It’s almost a guarantee that your team will have to deal with players being injured or just not performing up to expectations. To deal with these problems, stay proactive at improving your team’s bench, even if your starting lineup is intact. It’s always good to be in position to simply promote a backup the moment a starter goes down with injury. Scrambling to add a player from the waiver wire at the last minute is something to avoid if possible. For players who aren’t performing well, give them three or four weeks to turn things around while actively improving my bench. Every player struggles once in a while, but if those struggles extend to three or four games in a row, it’s probably time to move to a different plan. CONCLUSION The goal for every fantasy football season is to get the team into the playoffs. There is no strategy that can guarantee a league championship, but these strategies can consistently help you make it to the final four. Once there, you at least have a shot at the championship. CHRISTIAN PETERSEN/GETTY IMAGES A lot of people see fantasy football as something of a crapshoot. So many people who play the game end up frustrated at their team suffering injuries, playing below expectations, or simply losing by the narrowest of margins. It’s true that the odds are always against any one team winning a 10 or 12-team league. However, there are ways to elevate your team’s chances of winning what can seem like a random game. THE DRAFT A winning draft strategy is focused not on drafting players who are poised to succeed, but instead on avoiding players who are set to fail. First, avoid drafting players who are at an advanced age, as these players are at risk of suffering a sudden decline or injury. This might mean passing on players like Peyton Manning, but you can draft Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees and expect similar production. Second, avoid players who are either unproven or coming off a breakout season. Stick with players who have proven their high level of performance over a span of time. wasn’t a fluke. Finally, I would avoid injury-prone players. Players who are injured often have a tendency to keep getting injured. If you’re feeling adventurous you can try an unorthodox draft strategy that has shown to work: Pass on running backs early, instead filling your team’s positions at quarterback, wide receiver, and tight end. Conventional wisdom says you should draft two running backs early, but you can get top tier players at every other position if you wait. There should still be running backs available in the middle rounds you can give you decent production. The biggest key to this strategy working is to be very active on the waiver wire. THE WAIVER WIRE A lot of the time, people frustrated with fantasy football lose because they just aren’t active enough at adding players to their team throughout the season. Every year, a large handful of starting running backs end up either getting injured or losing their job due to poor performance. This means staying on top of the NFL news wire. This leads to some great opportunities for an active fantasy football player. Be very aggressive at making waiver claims for any running back set to ROB TRINGALI/GETTY IMAGES FANTASY FANTASY FOUR-TUNE By David Williams Peyton Manning might be a tempting pick but odds are, a younger QB is a safer bet. While conventional strategy dictates the drafting of a stud RB like Sean McCoy early, it’s not always necessary.
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