Welcome to the 2020 fantasy football season. After you complete your draft, it’ll be time to focus on how to manage your roster throughout the season. (If you make it through your draft with excitement and regret, that usually means you did it right.) 2020 is going to be the year of … we don’t know, we can’t know and even if we know we don’t know. You get all that?
We have less access to information this year because of shorter training camps and no preseason games. Players and coaches have less time to prepare. Scouting reports are old. 2020 fantasy football is like being blindfolded in a china shop trying not to break anything. So let’s play!
Here is how to win in 2020:
1. Do not be scared to make trades.
There is no such thing as a bad trade. Remember that! In fact, there is no such thing as a bad offer. The other team can say no or counter. Not every offer has to end in a deal. Block out the noise from the other owners in your league not involved in the trade or the offer. You never know what someone else is willing to do until you ask … so ASK!
2. Speaking of trades …
Trade players when their value is the highest. Let me give you an example. Say you drafted Zach Ertz as your starting tight end, but you also took T.J. Hockenson much later. In Week 1, Ertz catches six passes for 84 yards and two touchdowns, while Hockenson grabs seven passes for 59 yards and a score.
You can only start one tight end in most leagues, and starting a tight end in your flex spot rather than a running back or wide receiver is a risky way to go, so make a trade. Find the owner who drafted the tight end who was a total bust in Week 1 and see what you can get for Ertz or Hockenson. Strike while the iron is hot.
3. The waiver wire is your friend.
There are ways to use the waiver wire and ways not to. Do not make a claim unless you have to make a claim. We all are looking for the diamond in the rough that changes the fantasy football season, but unless you have the top waiver priority, you are never guaranteed to get that player. Consider the following when mulling a waiver claim:
• Think ahead. Do not get stuck with bye week issues.
• Try to avoid claims on kickers and defenses.
• Do not panic claim. After one week, do not turn over half your team.
• Do your research and make sure you are not picking up the fluke of the week.
• Read my fantasy football primer on PressBoxOnline.com on Tuesdays for the top adds of the week.
4. Goal No. 1 is to make the playoffs. Goal No. 2 is constructing your roster for the playoffs.
In the draft or after a trade, there is always someone who says a player’s schedule for the fantasy playoffs looks great. (That team won’t make the playoffs, by the way.) Always prepare for the future but never at the expense of the present. If you start 7-0, sure, start preparing and moving things around. Otherwise, wait until you have secured a playoff spot.
5. Here are my favorite deep sleepers to monitor:
QB: Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock
RB: Chase Edmunds, Darrynton Evans and Boston Scott
WR: Russell Gage, Josh Reynolds and Greg Ward
TE: Dan Arnold, Will Dissly, O.J. Howard and Kahale Warring
Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Philadelphia Eagles
Ken Zalis ranked No. 3 in FantasyPros’ 2019 Fantasy Football Draft Accuracy Rankings.