Today’s theme is all about tips, hacks, time savers and sneaky little things to consider as you look to put together your best fantasy season. Here are some quick-hitting, helpful ideas as we kick off the new year.
Expert tips to dominate the 2022 fantasy season
Being organized is critical, especially if you’re in multiple leagues. Use your online or phone calendar. Set reminders. It’s easy to be a little overwhelmed if you have multiple waiver runs to process, but the more organized you are, the more manageable it will all seem.
Appreciate leagues that are parallel in structure. If a sharp manager made an interesting pickup in one league, see if that fresh player is available for you to grab in other leagues of similar scope.
The bottom of your roster is for churning. For as much as we think we know now, so much NFL intel is about to be released unto the world in the next few weeks. What teams do generally means more than what teams tell us. Fantasy football is a game largely dominated by usage and opportunity, and we have to react once actual results are presented to us. The waiver wire is an auto-fertilizing lawn; we mow down to the root every week, but the grass grows back. Keep grinding.
If you’re going to start anyone in the Thursday game, make sure they’re in a static roster slot (RB, WR, TE, say), not a flex spot. This affords you maximum flexibility later. The same type of idea comes into play for Sunday and Monday; put later players into a flex spot, so you can have more choices if you need to make a game-time audible.
Every league is different, but in most of my leagues, it makes sense to have little to no loyalty with team defenses. I am a streamer at the position — or at least, a short-term renter. Whenever possible, link up to a favored team. The point spread is your guide here; the team with a more favorable line from Vegas is more likely to play with leverage in the second half, and that’s where the gold is. (Everything in this paragraph also relates to kicker strategy.)
Trading season effectively starts in Week 6, when the bye weeks kick in. That’s also when the standings start to have personality. And that’s a good time to determine if your goals can shift to longer-term (because you have leverage, from a good record) or shorter-term (because you’re in the bottom half of the league and need to bring urgency to your upcoming matchups).
Don’t sweat the scores of your games early on Sunday. Let things breathe. Appreciate the day, and try to relax. If you’re bouncing around trying to see everything, you’ll probably just stress yourself out.
Audit the players dropped in your league every week, and be especially mindful here once bye weeks kick in and your opponents start cutting players they really don’t want to.
At the draft and early in the season, I play for the big inning, the highest possible upside. With that, I generally don’t get understudy or backup backs for my primary starting backs; I don’t view Alexander Mattison, say, as mandatory insurance for Dalvin Cook. I’ll take the backups tied to the runners on my opponents' rosters.
But midway through the year, this shifts, when my winning scenarios become more clear. Insurance season starts for me at some point in late October, and often you can acquire these players for nothing, as they’ve been dropped by your competitors.
Even if you don’t think you have enough resources for a pickup, it never hurts to put in a minimum bid. You never know if this will be the week most of your opponents coincidentally check out, or don’t have time to do their homework. A large part of your success in this game is merely showing up, doing the reps.