You turn your television off in utter frustration. Another underperformance. Who was it this time? It doesn’t matter. This always happens. You’ll be back next year.
If you didn’t have Darren Waller, Josh Allen, Justin Herbert, Ryan Tannehill, or Derek Henry among others, you may have left the 2020 Fantasy Playoffs early. Week 16 of the 2020 NFL Season soon approaches, and many of us fantasy managers are likely setting our sights on the 2021 draft and rebuilding for next year.
What are the best ways to bring your squad from last to first? What are the best ways to make incremental improvements if you were a 2020 playoff team? Who you should draft in standard leagues? Here are two easy tips to help you rebuild your team.
1. Diversify: Invest in Players on Different Teams/Divisions
One of the most important aspects of succeeding in dynasty leagues revolves around picking up players from a variety of teams in your positions of need. If a prominent player on a team gets hurt, having the “handcuff” or skilled backup to that player could result in a win on that given week or it could give you leverage in trades. You never know when a young or talented player could be given an opportunity and could prove themself — be ready by picking up players in different divisions and teams so you are ready to take advantage of matchups and injuries.
J.D. McKissic, RB (WAS)
In Week 5, I picked up J.D. McKissic in one of my dynasty leagues (12 team, 1 FLEX spot). I recently lost Nick Chubb to an MCL Sprain, Saquon Barkley to an ACL tear, and Courtland Sutton to an ACL/MCL tear. I was short at both the RB and FLEX position, and took a chance on McKissic who was seeing work on a rising Washington team. I couldn’t have known that McKissic would blossom into a PPR FLEX monster, but I took the chance and equity in a team that there was opportunities on. It is better to pick up and stash players who are seeing volume in the passing game in PPR leagues.
2. The Formula for Winning: Volume
Sustaining wins in fantasy really comes down to having a variety of options on your bench. The team that has many FLEX-type players with volume is going to generally outplay the team that is top heavy in a lot of circumstances. Fantasy football is a tough game, because injuries and matchups are sometimes unpredictable. You have to be ready with players that will consistently receive volume.
Myles Gaskin / Salvon Ahmed, RBs (MIA)
In Week 3, I picked up Myles Gaskin in one of my standard leagues (14 team, 1 FLEX spot). Gaskin was getting volume in the Dolphins offense and I had Chris Godwin, Deebo Samuel, and Miles Sanders banged up. Gaskin had the potential to give me solid FLEX production. On some weeks, Gaskin gave me RB2 production which helped my team make it to the Semi-Finals this year and go 10–3. Without Gaskin, my team would have been sunk for a few weeks because of injuries (I lost Marlon Mack and Sony Michell, too). Later in the year, when Gaskin was out for a few weeks, I picked up Salvon Ahmed who helped to tie me over until Gaskin was healthy again. Picking up players that have the potential to receive volume is always key. I recommend stashing players immediately and dropping them when it is clear they will not receive volume.
It Comes Down to Luck
When I say it comes down to Luck, for many people, it very well could’ve come down to Andrew Luck for a few years in fantasy. Was he healthy? Was he in a favorable matchup? Did he have a strong offensive line? Not soon enough. For all you know, just like Andrew Luck, a player could retire at any moment (unless you have Frank Gore) and you have to be ready to snag future talent on your bench! But, ultimately, it all comes down to luck. These strategies may work for you, and they may not. You have to decide who you are going to start with the game on the line, and you have to realize that sometimes you and I will be wrong. Start who the statistics support and who has the hot hand/best matchup. But most importantly, live to learn with those results.