Fantasy Football Heats Up as the Playoffs Near

Aaron Morton

With three quarters of the  NFL season having been completed, fantasy football nears the playoffs for approximately 60 million participants. However, in classic 2020 fashion, the season has not been normal. COVID-19 has caused several games throughout the year to be either postponed or rescheduled. Additionally, a large amount of injuries, especially to key players such as Christian McCaffery, Dak Prescott, and Saquon Barkley, have left many fantasy teams in shambles. However, many players have played unexpectedly well, helping many owners out. Examples would be rookies James Robinson, Justin Jefferson, and Justin Herbert. Now is the time to prepare for the postseason.

With the fantasy playoffs quickly approaching, typically occurring during weeks 14-16, what’s left for fantasy owners to do? Most trade deadlines have passed; however, there are still ways you can improve your chances of winning. The way you approach the next few weeks should be based on how your team has done so far. If your team is comfortably in the playoffs it may be time to look for beneficial matchups during the playoffs. Certain players on teams such as the Packers, Bears and Rams have favorable matchups against inferior defenses. Other players have harder matchups such as the players on the Raiders and Vikings. As ridiculous as it may seem, consider whether your kicker or skill position players may be playing in poor weather conditions in the North or play in perfect weather or a dome. Finally consider picking up a backup off the waiver wire in case your starter gets injured or placed on the COVID list.

If your team is on the fence between making and not making the playoffs there are a few things you should do. First of all, you should play to make the playoffs and worry about the playoffs once you’re in, rather than counting your chickens before they hatch. To set the best lineup possible in the upcoming weeks, you should look at who both your starters and bench players are playing, to decide who might have a soft matchup and perform better. Also, Remember never to bench your stars and keep an eye on the waiver wire for any backups who get the starting job due to an injury. Monitor for teams that out of desperation to win that week drop viable players. Teams may want to scour the waiver wire for a defense playing a weak team (such as the Jets or Bengals).

If your team is a basement dweller, maintain the integrity of your league by starting a respectable starting lineup. In other words don’t start the player out for the year or on the COVID list. 

After the playoffs, it’s time to collect your winnings, whether it be cash, a trophy, or as Jacob Shur ‘22 says, most importantly, “bragging rights.” However, winning isn’t the only thing that’s important about fantasy football, Ms. Zavorskas said “it’s another way [to] stay connected” with her college roommates. Ultimately, fantasy football is about having fun watching a sport you enjoy with your friends.