Fantasy football is fun, but it’s more fun when you win. But getting to the top of your league’s leaderboard isn’t easy. You’ll need a little bit of luck, a little bit of skill, and a whole lot of commitment to make a run to the top of the standings and then blaze your way through the playoffs. You may also need a little bit of help — and that’s why we’re here
Below, we’ll lay out of a few of the things that you’ll need to do to beat the competition and reach the pinnacle of your fantasy football league. The championship is yours for the taking — so go get it!
Prepare for your draft
When you use a fantasy football app to draft your team, it’s easy to quickly sort and choose the top-ranked football players. You may not feel like you need much in the way of prep before you draft your team. But if you want to really dominate this year, you do need to prepare. You need a smart and cohesive fantasy football draft strategy.
Get a head start by reading up on fantasy football news. Strike injured players from your draft lists, and reorder the default rankings before the draft starts. Use a unified strategy — don’t go into the draft with two competing draft strategies, or you’ll end up with a split-personality team that underwhelms on Sundays.
Play that waiver wire
A lot of fantasy football players rely on the players they draft and barely look at the waiver wire or free agent options. Others will pick up free agents from time to time to patch holes, but won’t often turn to the waiver wire.
If you want to have a big advantage in fantasy football, you need to make use of the waiver rules. That means knowing when to use waiver claims. It also means knowing what day and time players clear waivers, so you can snap them up the very moment that they become free agents — no waiver claim needed.
Always show up
Every fantasy football team owners has left points on the table by forgetting to set a lineup. It happens to the best of us — but if you want to be the very best of us, then it can’t happen to you. Set alarms and reminders, adjust your lineup throughout the week (so that, if you forget, the lineup is at least current as of mid-week), and make a commitment to always set your lineup ahead of games.
The simple act of consistently fielding your best possible lineup will win you a lot of games. As the season wears on, others will trip up and lose games needlessly because they were forgetful. If you don’t, you’ll gain a serious edge without having to do anything harder than tapping your smartphone screen a few times. Not bad, right?
Make trades to strengthen weaknesses
Trades are a big part of fantasy football, but plenty of owners are too nervous to make them. It can be tough to evaluate players properly, and we’re all a little afraid of trading players right before they break out.
You shouldn’t make trades just to make trades, but you do need to be active in trade discussions and pounce on good opportunities when they arise. The best players are not going to be free agents — they’re going to be on other people’s teams. Identify weak points on your team and look to fix those weak points by trading with owners who have players to spare in those same areas.
Know when to dump a struggling player
Fantasy isn’t about what players did for you yesterday or last year — it’s always about this week. So don’t wait too long for former superstars to regain form or for potential breakout players to actually break out. If you’re not seeing results, you need to cut your losses and put those players on your bench — or even drop them entirely.