Drafting will come to a close by the time Thursday rolls around and then the real fun begins! The draft is only half of the battle of winning a fantasy football championship. Maybe even less. We’ll call it like 34.956% of winning a championship or something like that. By the time you look at your roster in week 13 before the fantasy playoffs, it’s going to look a lot different. 

Your goal coming into the season should be to make the fantasy playoffs. Why not a championship? Because there are a lot of variables in fantasy football and if you make the playoffs with a strong roster, then you can start worrying about the title. In the playoffs, you are hoping that the dominoes fall in your favor. Time and time again I’ve seen some legendary rosters that grab the number one seed go down in the semi-finals over some stuff that was out of their control. So it’s all about putting yourself in position to get there by intelligently managing your roster in season along with hitting some value in the draft. 

Waiver Wire

You want to be active on the waiver wire, but you don’t want to be so active that you burn yourself. Let’s say that you drafted Miles Sanders or Darwin Thompson and they aren’t getting a heavy workload right away. Be patient! Don’t drop a difference maker in September for someone who had a big week but doesn’t have the same potential. Find somebody else to drop like that extra tight end that you drafted. Speaking of, there is no reason to carry an extra tight end after week 2. I understand drafting two tight ends if you drafted a Jordan Reed or Trey Burton in the later rounds as a TE1. I’m also a late tight end drafter, but I’m going to make my decision pretty quickly who I am going to roll with. In 10-12 team leagues you can stream a tight end during your starter’s bye week with relative ease so I’d use that extra roster spot for a RB/WR stash. 

A lot of analysts will tell you that it’s not necessary to carry two quarterbacks on your roster in 10-12 team leagues and you can stream a quarterback during your QB1’s bye week. I draft quarterbacks in the 7th round or later so I tend to carry two quarterbacks and play the match ups. Of course, if you end up with the next Pat Mahomes in the 11th round, you can drop your extra quarterback during the season for a different roster need, but the chances of that happening aren’t that high. This system varies from league to league depending on bench size but playing the match ups at quarterback is very beneficial once we find out who the stronger defenses are. This can change later on in the season depending on your quarterbacks schedule. Sometimes your quarterback can have six straight decent match ups to end the season and carrying two won’t be necessary. You also want to be actively streaming high upside match ups in your D/st slot. A good way to do this is to find teams that have consecutive games against sub-par offenses that way you are not battling for a good match up on the waiver wire each week. It helps at every position to be thinking a week ahead of your opponents. 

Handcuffs And Injuries

Picking up your running back’s handcuff is only necessary when your running back receives the vast majority of the snaps in the backfield. It is a good idea to carry Alex Mattison on your roster if you are a Dalvin Cook owner or Chase Edmonds if you drafted David Johnson. The days of the bell cow back are murkier than ever and it’s also difficult to project who a direct back up to a running back is. In some situations, like the two that I listed above, it is clear, but that can be few and far between. You also don’t have to handcuff at all if you so choose. In fact, I recommend not handcuffing at all and making high upside choices during the later rounds of drafts and on the waiver wire. 

If your league doesn’t provide an IR spot, be careful about what injured players you are letting hang around on your roster, especially in shallow leagues. For example, if Jamison Crowder or Anthony Miller endure a 4-6 week injury, don’t hold onto them in shallow leagues in your bench spots are limited. High upside guys pop up on the waiver wire on a regular basis and if an injured player didn’t cost you a lot of draft capital, don’t hesitate to let go. You are going to face a lot of difficult roster decisions during the season so don’t over-complicate things that don’t need over-complicated. 

Trading

Trading is one of the most enjoyable and also stressful parts of fantasy football. Nobody likes to be the idiot three weeks down the road when a trade result favors the other party. Don’t be afraid of losing a trade. Hindsight is 20/20, all you can do is make what you feel is the best decision at the time. 

I’ve found that the best way to make trades in fantasy football is to start a dialogue with your league mates as opposed to throwing out random trade offers and seeing if another owner will bite. In one sense, you are building favorable relationships with your league mates and perhaps making it easier to get a deal done. If you start a dialogue, you are not insulting your potential trade partners who might see a randomly sent trade offer, shake their head and be weary of your intentions. A good way to approach this dialogue is honesty about what your needs are and expressing to them how your offer or potential offer can benefit both parties. “Hey, I saw _______ went down, that sucks. I see that you have some running back depth and I could use a running back and I’m willing to let go of _______ or ________, do you want to make a deal?” 

A great way to check whether you are getting a good bargain or a fair deal is using Rudy Gamble’s trade analyzer. The trade analyzer is very simple to use and provides analysis based on dollar value to make it simple to understand. I use the trade analyzer all of the time. I don’t just use it because it’s a Razzball tool, I use it because it’s the best trade analyzer in the industry and values are obsessively updated.

If you are a veteran to the fantasy football world, you might not have gotten a lot out of this post, but I hope everyone got something out of it. There are so many different league types and theories out there that certain advice isn’t applicable to all situations. These are just some tidbits that have helped me find success. I’m very excited and energized about this upcoming season and I can’t wait to help you manage your rosters in the comment sections this season. If you’d like you can also follow me on twitter. I answer all fantasy football questions on there. 

71 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
slimbo
slimbo
2 years ago

hey

1 qb dynasty league, i have newton but afraid hes gonna break down this year, should i trade ingram to get matt ryan or kyler murray??

Adam
Adam
2 years ago

Just had my 10 team ESPN standard draft
Qb Rodgers
RB. Kamara,cook,D Williams,ekeler,D Thompson
WR. HIlton !Boyd,Gallup,MVS,Allison,Pettit
TE Kelce
DST Rams and PHIL
K Gould
Thoughts?
Thanks

Adam
Adam
2 years ago

Another draft grade/recap-
12 team, .5PPR
QB- ARodgers
RB- MGordon, DHenry
WR- DAdams, JSmith-Schuster
Flex- KDrake
TE- DNjoku
Def- Chicago
Bench- DJMoore, CSutton, PBarber, RJones, PRivers, KCoutee, Dallas D

Sinkhole Demayo
Sinkhole Demayo
2 years ago
Reply to  Adam

drop the backup D immediately for ogunbowale in case he takes over TB, or some other RB as you need them even if melgor WAS playing, and that isn’t likely anymore.

Fizz
Fizz
2 years ago

MB – would love a post about how league commissioners should be analyzing trades and what factors should be considered to approve/veto.

Sinkhole Demayo
Sinkhole Demayo
2 years ago
Reply to  Fizz

1st, you better be a trusted comish to be doing it yourself, assuming that, if a trade is made that you can find at least BELIEVEABLE that both sides would do it thinking they are helping themselves (this can be at some future time if keeper/dynasty of course) then let it through. occasionally in a keeper/dynasty you might see somebody make a series of trades that destroy the future value of the team (getting rid of just all the valued draft picks etc, for short term valued players only); in spots like that you might want to be sure the owner doing that actually is committed to the league or has been in it a long time; otherwise you might have a situation where the owner’s plan to make a good short term only team falls apart, he quits, now you have an issue even finding an owner for it.

– vetoes is a whole other problem, i’ve seen in a money league where at least 4 owners just personally hated one owner, so they’d show up and veto no matter what trade he tried to do, just from petty personal b.s. we had to change that league to comish only veto (and he’s a trusted by everybody in league friend).

CP
CP
2 years ago

Who would you start week 1 at flex in a .5 ppr?

Marvin Jones Jr @ Ari
Jordan Howard vs Wash
Peyton Barber vs SF
Dion Lewis @ Cle

CP
CP
2 years ago

Week 1 flex in .5 ppr start Marvin Jones jr @ Ari, Jordan Howard vs Wash, Peyton Barder vs SF or Dion Lewis @ cle?

Water boy
Water boy
2 years ago

MB! Woah woah woah just received the worst trade this season , he wanted my Adam thielen & I would get in return Matt Breida.
I texted him if he was for real he said yes & he needs a WR, I said I’m not moving thielen at this time but If I were I would not do brieda I’d maybe do his Carson but that’s a maybe. He said “this trade will benefit you as you will own the SF backfield since you have Coleman “

Counter with my MVS + Dion Lewis for brieda? On the flip I don’t want to deal with an owner like that. Am I unreasonable that I want top talent back in return if I were to deal thielen? Or I would consider a 2 for 1 where I get 2 solid players for thielen.
Actually I think I may stay pat for now if anything maybe very minor bench moves

My Roster:
Qb Russell Wilson

RB1: DJ
RB2: Dalvin cook

WR1: OBJ
WR2: thielen
WR3: Josh Gordon

Flex: David Montgomery

TE: Darren Waller

Bench: AJ green (got at the end of round 6), Tevin Coleman, Dede Westbrook, Darwin Thompson, MVS, pollard, Justin Jackson, Dion Lewis, John brown

I’m actually thinking of dealing my Dion Lewis + John brown to get Christian Kirk. This will clear bench space & I’ll be able to make an add as I’m currently maxed out at RB , if I want to add a RB I’ll have to drop one , plus Kirk isn’t a bad option the Kirk owner is a big bills fan

Thanks man!

Water boy
Water boy
2 years ago
Reply to  MB

Exactly, insulting it’s what it is! Based on my roster if I were to dangle thielen out there which player type should I target? I was thinking Chubb however that guy losing Chubb would but him in a hole plus his WT1 now is diggs I doubt he’d want both diggs & thielen . What about doing 2 for 1 ‘a where I get 2 players here are some scenarios:

1.) I get Aaron Jones + sterling shepherd, I give thielen

2.) I get Duke Johnson + Mike Williams, I give thielen

3.) I get juju , I give thielen. I don’t see this as likely as he just traded Hopkins away

4.) I get brandin Cooks + Derrick Henry, I give thielen

5.) I get Chubb + Tyler Boyd, I give thielen + David Montgomery

6.) I get Chubb + Diggs , I give thielen + David Montgomery

7.) I give Tevin Coleman, I get Curtis Samuel

8.) I give Tevin Coleman, I get mike Williams

Thanks man

Phil B.
2 years ago

Good Stuff! Trading is so tough; I like your approach and that may be the only way to go in most leagues.

Why? Because I think its because its rare to have such a overabundance of talent at one position and be that deficient in another. (The last trade I can remember making was years and years ago, when I drafted Cutler and Rodgers in the same season they were both great, and traded Rodgers for a wideout, iirc). Anymore though, unless you’re in a dynasty or 8 team league, no one has that much surplus to trade. And with RB1s so rare now, no one is trading one of them, even for a WR1, in my experience.

What are some recent trades you can recall, either being involved with or between other teams in your league?

Snacks Zillion
Snacks Zillion
2 years ago

This was a great article, thank you.

Ughyuck
Ughyuck
2 years ago

Hey MB, great tips on using the waiver wire! I recently had my draft this week. Yahoo has me finishing last out of 10 teams and honestly I think I did okay, but not great. Do you think my team has a chance at playoffs this season? .5 PPR League btw.

QB: Kyle Murray
WR: Davante Adams
WR:C Kupp
WR: C Kirk
RB: D Cook
RB: K Johnson
FLEX: C Carson
TE: OJ Howard

Bench:
W Fuller
R Penny
J Winston
M Sanders
D Pettis
L Murray
A Miller

K: W Lutz
D: PITT

Any honest feedback is appreciated – thanks!

Matt
Matt
2 years ago

What are some of these high upside guys in the later rounds you are high on instead of handcuffs? Nice article

For An Armenianless Vacation Come To Akron
For An Armenianless Vacation Come To Akron
2 years ago
Reply to  MB

or hyde first. crockett cut. i’d go breida first, some round here think he’ll eventually give more value than coleman.

pugs slugs
pugs slugs
2 years ago

I need some serious help. I’m still really new with Fantasy Football.

12 Team, ½ PPR, Keep-2 League w/ Snake Draft.
1 QB
2 RB
2 WR
1 TE
2 FLEX
IDP
K
5 Bench

A. I have the #3 pick and the following options as keepers. Jones and Godwin weren’t drafted, so I can slot either in the 8th round. If I keep one, the other has to take the 7th round.

1. DJ
7/8. Aaron Jones
7/8 C. Godwin
9. Cooper Kupp
10. D. Westbrook

Based on players being kept, here are the guys available for Round 1.
DJ (If I drop him)
OBJ
Julio
Bell
D. Cook (possible)

I really could use some advice on which route I should go.

B. Also, the league added a defensive player. Some advice on that and what round is a good target would really help me.

Thanks in advance!!

pugs slugs
pugs slugs
2 years ago
Reply to  pugs slugs

If I were to throw back DJ, what order would you list the available players in for my first pick?

pugs slugs
pugs slugs
2 years ago
Reply to  MB

Last year’s offense was brutal, so anything is better. DJ is a total stud, so I’d think it’d be better to get him and see if he can do what he did a few years back. Thanks!!

pugs slugs
pugs slugs
2 years ago
Reply to  MB

This is what I originally had, but wanted to make sure there wasn’t more value with Godwin or Kupp. Thanks for the quick response!!

pugs slugs
pugs slugs
2 years ago
Reply to  MB

I thought my draft was last tonight, and I got an alert on my phone that the draft was starting on my cell as my wife and I were just starting a late dinner while watching a movie. I quickly moved to the kitchen and was able to log on about 5 minutes before my 2nd round pick. Luckily I kept DJ, so I didn’t have to worry about auto pick drafting up someone I didn’t want. I was going to spend this morning researching and putting together my queue. Instead, I was forced to learn YAHOO!’s format on the go (switched from ESPN).

With all that said, here’s my team. It’s a 12-TM, ½ PPR

QB Watson
RB DJ
RB A. Jones
WR Cooks
WR Boyd
TE McDonald
Flex Kirk
Flex T. Coleman
IDP B. Martinez
D/ST CLE
K Vinatieri

B Sanders
B J. Hill
B D. Thompson III
B M. Boykin
B M. Davis

pugs slugs
pugs slugs
2 years ago
Reply to  MB

Thanks! I agree on WR, but I did the best I could given I have never really followed the NFL and did almost no prep work this year.

Here are some players available on waivers. Anyone you would try to claim over my current guys? We have $150 FAAB. You’ll see that these guys are all from Razzball posts that I should have looked at before the draft.

RBs
J. Jackson
M. Brown
A. Mattison

WR
C. Beasley
D. Moore
J. Washington

TE
Mike Gesicki

IDP
J. Allen
L. Keuchly
A. Donald
M. Garrett

jason batteiger
jason batteiger
2 years ago
Reply to  pugs slugs

yahoo is trash BUT it’s FAR better for predraft ranking for leagues than espn. meanwhile as of right now ALL yahoo has been out for at least 30ish minutes.

toolshed
toolshed
2 years ago

I have the 10th pick out of 10. .5ppr. Chubb and Conner are keepers. Would you take kelce with one of my picks? I never thought of taking a te this early. Thanks

toolshed
toolshed
2 years ago

What rd would you consider zeke in a 10 team .5 ppr format. I pick 10th out of 10 and may need a reach pick for a rb. Thx

Beware the Shit Rope
Beware the Shit Rope
2 years ago
Reply to  toolshed

with the news of the last day or so he’s back to top 5 probably anywhere. he actually just went exactly 5th when i was 6th in a startup league keep 4 just now. i was like oooooo here we go!

Big league choo
Big league choo
2 years ago

12 team non ppr 3 keepers
How’d I do?
QB Ryan, Winston
RB Elliott, Kerryon, Latavius, Darwin, Pollard, Hill
WR Adams, Allen Robinson, Moncrief, Coutee, Tate
TE Kelce

Stupid Sexy Glanders
Stupid Sexy Glanders
2 years ago

tomorrow have a 12 team super flex keep 4 league opening year draft. start 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 2 regular flexes, 1 super flex, 1 DEF, no kicker, 8 BN. 3 IR, no position maxes (except max 3 DEF’s). so i’m going about ranking the 228 players here. some specific stuff:

1. how much should i move up QB’s in a super flex (some QB’s probably more than others, but still a general amount is probably discernible)

2. where does melgor go here, he could still easily be a keeper if 48 players are kept every year.

Stupid Sexy Glanders
Stupid Sexy Glanders
2 years ago

2. addendum: also aj green, he’s another big name that lost short term value but not close to as much long term value.

Stupid Sexy Glanders
Stupid Sexy Glanders
2 years ago

oh dear god espn is SOOOO much worse for doing your own predraft rankings than yahoo or fantrax or probably anywhere else. you can’t scroll up more than the guys on the page you can already see (at least in chrome, maybe i should try explorer here). so when i have to go down in the whatever hundreds to move up ogunballee (sp) and others it’ll take minutes just for one guy. AND you can’t index your player search by positions or anything really, you get their list, and to adjust you have to find each guy one by one (can’t type in name to find it either).

Stupid Sexy Glanders
Stupid Sexy Glanders
2 years ago
Reply to  MB

melgor went in the late 2nd round here, and it took HOURS to predraft rank since espn vs yahoo/fantrax.

how’s this one look.
super flex 12 team PPR keep 4 draft. 20 QB’s in the first 10 rounds (one guy was on auto and got dalton as his QB 1 much later, but that guy has almost certainly the best top 3 WR’s and ertz too). drafted out of the 6 hole and first and probably only time i’ll have kelce anywhere, and since it’s a keep 4 this is actually really good. no RB till 3rd round (which i pretty much never do). no accident i have tons of guys rudy is much higher on (a.wilson, adams, dede, j.brown, c.davis, p-will, aaron jones)

QB wentz (6th QB off board, 4th round), trubisky (18th off board, 10th round), mariota (just missed foles, 26th off board, 14th)

RB (2) AAron jones (3rd), mack (5th), lindsay (6th), ballage (11th), ogunbowale (15), armstead (16)

WR (3): adams (1), dede (7), c.davis (8, i PROBABLY should’ve gone fuller here and could’ve gotten c.davis in the 9th), fuller (9), a.wilson (12), j.brown (13), p.williams (sort of handcuff to a.wilson, if he gets hurt again this guy’s stock’ll rise a lot, could’ve went other BUF guys or enunwa for a long time, or funchess a few rounds ago 19th)

TE: kelce (2), hockenson (didn’t even want a 2nd TE here, BUT hock in the 17th is insane in case he blows up, plus 2 flexes)

2 regular flexes

1 super flex

DEF: BAL (18)

got some bye week issues on WRs (first 4 drafted all have weeks 10/11 byes). only thing maybe i can see wrong is i could’ve gone RB #5 earlier and could’ve had maybe one of dion, gio, gore, samuels, CJA, hyde, ty mont along with ogunbowale but not armstead.

Stupid Sexy Glanders
Stupid Sexy Glanders
2 years ago

that’s BUF j.brown (the freer of slaves). i did think to do one of jaron brown or d.moore with last pick, but p-will’s upside (and all MIA catchers) got better with stills out of town and rudy’s bot bumped them all. it already loved a.wilson before that too.

Beware the Shit Rope
Beware the Shit Rope
2 years ago

post draft and post 1st day of WW’ers (daily FAAB waivers all year, but 3 moves max per week)
2 QB half PPR 12 team dynasty.
QB: mahomes, rodgers, rosen, haskins
RB (2): kamara, ingram, michel, d.harris, ekeler
WR (3): thielen, k.allen, boyd, edelman, j.gordon, crowder, watkins
TE (1): ertz,
2 R/W/T flexes
kicker: DAL kicker
DEF: DAL (gets vs NYG week 1, yeah that’s good)
IDP (4 flexes): b.martinez, j.adams, d.jones (ATL), mosley

i had planned on going backup TE here (dropping crowder), but there are tons of similar options unless i want to handcuff ertz (goeddert): goeddert, fant, herndon, the 3 possibly valuable NE guys (or guys who’ll PROBABLY be on NE shortly): allen/lacosse/watson, the 2 SEA guys, gesicki, doyle, fant, eifert, waller, james, witten etc (tons of them even in deep benches 12 teamer).

but maybe i’d be better off dropping crowder for a 6th RB here: c.thompson, mal brown, gio, hyde (might he be the starter at HOU town now?), gore, gus the bus (who i just dropped), edmonds, one of the GB williamses?

crowder at WR 7# i probably need less than depth at RB or TE

Beware the Shit Rope
Beware the Shit Rope
2 years ago
Reply to  MB

agree on FA RB’s being weak, i just get nervous noticing:

1. michel’s injury history (IF NE didn’t bump d.harris if/when that happened)

2. melgor signs at some point (ekeler still has value, but less)

3. ingram gets injured or it’s a 3 way timeshare with gus the bus and j.hill. j.hill by the way is probably who i would’ve went with my pick 3.10 but he had just gone. j.hill vs d.harris is a decision i thought was quite possible to be coming up by my 3rd pick even back at end of 1st round in the 3 round slow draft.

and 7 WR seems unneeded even if their overall values are worth more. max i can play is 5 (and that assumes injuries or bye weeks to some RB’s). if i had 5 starting RB’s i’d not be at all nervous on this.

Eric
Eric
2 years ago

Hello! Longtime blog stalker, was wondering if you could take a look at the team I drafted in my home league!

Yahoo League 12 team, 0.5 PPR

QB: Jared Goff (92)
WR: Keenan Allen (20)
WR: Cooper Kupp (53)
WR: D.J. Moore (77)
RB: Ezekiel Elliot (5)
RB: Aaron Jones (29)
TE: Evan Engram (68)
W/R/T: Josh Jacobs (44)
Def: Phill (164)
K: Empty
BN: Kyler Murray (101)
BN: Justin Jackson (116)
BN: Anthony Miller (125)
BN: Carlos Hyde (140)
BN: James Washington (149)
BN: David Moore (173)

Thank you, would appreciate some thoughts! I feel like I should try and trade for more WR depth or something. Also, I grabbed Murray just in case Goff fails and I panicked. everybody in this league holds onto 2 QBs like it’s a cold beer on a summer evening so I don’t think it was too bad.

Eric

Mak
Mak
2 years ago

just had my draft tonight. 2 QB league with half PPR and we get extra 1 point for any plays greater than 40 yards. what you think?

QB: carson wentz, josh allen, brady

RB: james conner, devonta freeman, josh jacobs, miles sanders, ballage

WR: tyreek hill, robert woods, sammy watkins, christian kirk, larry fitz

TE: OJ howard

Mak
Mak
2 years ago
Reply to  MB

Cheers! Justin Jackson is on the wire. Should I drop Larry Fitz for him?

Nightpandas
Nightpandas
2 years ago

MB,

Will need to drop someone for a kicker prior to Thursday…thoughts ?

12 team .5 ppr
Carrying two qbs right now but only start 1 : Trubisky and Rivers
Other bench guys I’d consider : Chase Edmonds, Malcolm Brown, Frank Gore

I also have a waiver claim in for Peyton Barber dropping Gore.
Edmonds and Brown are also not handcuffs for me

Nightpandas
Nightpandas
2 years ago

2nd draft 14 team std

Qb Cam
Rb (start 2) Bell, A Jones, Breida, Jones II, Henderson, Hyde
Wr (start 2) Theilen, Godwin, Sutton, A Miller, Parker, Marq Brown, A Wilson
Te Henry
One flex

How do I look?

Thanks

Wheezy
Wheezy
2 years ago

12 team Standard Redraft. Start 3 WR and a Flex

should i trade my Curtis Samuel for Royce Freeman and Anthony Miller.

my WR are Hopkins, Odell, Samuel, Marv Jones, Valdez Scantling, Fitzgerald

my RBs are Michel, Mark Ingram, Tevin Coleman, Ekeler, Damien Harris, Malcolm Brown

Seems like a good deal for me getting that 5th RB, but i absolutely love Samuel this year.

Thoughts?

Thanks in advance!