Fantasy Football: Preparing for the Playoffs

Fantasy football league champions are usually determined through a playoff system. Typically this involves an elimination tournament played by teams with the best regular season records. Although formats and rules may vary between each league, the basic concept still remains in place.

As the regular season progresses, you will notice that certain teams are already playoff bound. As the end of a season nears, most other available spots will be accounted for as well. Hopefully one of these coveted positions will belong to you this fantasy football season.

If that does happen, there are certain ways to start getting ready for the playoffs. Even if regular season games are left to play, there are some aspects to consider which can give you an edge. Below you will find some of the most common playoff preparation techniques used in fantasy football.

Know Playoff Start Date
Chances are your league playoffs start a few weeks before the NFL regular season ends. Some fantasy football rookies may not realize this and are left unprepared as the playoffs begin. If you are unsure, this information can usually be found in the settings portion of the online team page.

The purpose of holding playoffs this early is to increase odds that every player on each fantasy roster will see regular action. Once an NFL team clinches a postseason spot, coaches might give players extra rest. At fantasy playoff time you will certainly want full contributions from everyone.

Recognize Transaction Deadlines
Aside from knowing the playoff start date, you should also be aware that most leagues have transaction deadline dates. This mostly applies to team trading, but some leagues also implement a deadline for waiver wire moves. It is very important to know if these regulations are in place in your league and if so what the cutoff dates are.

Trades and waiver moves are very important preparation tools for fantasy football playoffs. Because of this, a team owner missing the deadline can be left frustrated and embarrassed over the situation. Failure to act promptly could even devastate the season for a team owner that needed to replace inactive players.

Prepare Bench Spots Wisely
It is best to closely evaluate your entire roster as playoff time approaches. There may be certain spots that could turn problematic if unattended to. For example, maybe you are currently using roster space on seriously hurt or suspended players.

Having a healthy and dependable set of reserves is very important since you can lose starters at any time. It is especially crucial to back up the positions that you know are vulnerable. A lack of bench help could leave no production from certain roster spots and ultimately cost you a shot at the league championship.

Follow League Owner Activity
Paying close attention to everyone else in the league can also help bring you playoff success. One reason for doing this is analyzing potential opponents and understanding their tendencies. This can give you a strategic advantage over another owner in the playoffs.

Another important aspect of this is evaluating teams with poor records that will likely miss the league playoffs. The owner of such a team might become apathetic and start making careless roster moves. You can capitalize on this by finding such an owner and waiting to see if they drop any players with value.