Tips For Fantasy Football Playoffs And Looking Ahead To 2022

Wow, did that go by quickly! I mean, we just started the fantasy football season and now it’s almost over, so what do we do now? Well, that answer depends on who you are in your fantasy football leagues. Are you:

– A top seed with a first-round bye in the playoffs?
– A team eliminated from the playoffs?
– A team that snuck into the playoffs?
– Playing in a dynasty league?
– Playing in a keeper league?
– Playing in a points-only league through Week 17 or 18?

The list could go on and on. There is no one way to play fantasy football, and variety is the spice of life. Therefore, what do you do now with only a few weeks left? You prepare, watch the waiver wire, look at matchups in the weeks ahead, tinker with your bench and start making lists for 2022.

You prepare for the playoffs by rereading your league’s rules. How do tiebreakers work in the playoffs? One year I was shocked to learn my league’s playoff games were two weeks long. Make sure you know your rules. Do not assume anything.

The waiver wire never stops and neither should your diligence in working it. Never assume the waiver wire is bare, especially with some teams in your league doing what they must to earn a playoff berth. Continue to make claims on Tuesdays, then check the wire again on Wednesdays to see if someone surprisingly needed to drop a player who could be of use to you in the weeks ahead.

Sometimes handcuffs are dropped late in the year because people need to maximize points. Quick example: After Kareem Hunt returned from a calf injury in Week 12, many people dropped D’Ernest Johnson. I would’ve advised scooping up Johnson, because what if Hunt or Nick Chubb got hurt the next week? Play the what-if game!

Look, we live and die (at least I do) this time of year with the never-sit-your-studs line of thinking, but if you have been streaming quarterbacks, tight ends, defenses or kickers, look ahead to Weeks 16 and 17 and get those players on your roster today. It may be too late tomorrow.

Follow the trends as well. Year-to-date numbers are great, but this time of year the last-three-to-four-week trends are more important. A player may have been great in Weeks 1-5 and helped you get off to a fast start, but if they have been terrible of late, do the year-to-date numbers matter at all? Hint … they do not.

Finally, start making lists. Those who fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Do not forget about the IR guys — the J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, Cam Akers and Irv Smiths of the world. Out of sight, out of mind, right? They could be a keeper next year or trade bait in a dynasty league.

Well, I think that is it. Good luck in the playoffs.

Oh, and league commissioners, start thinking about rules for 2022 and any changes you may need/want to make, like eliminating kickers and/or defenses and adding more flex spots or making your league a two-quarterback league. Change is fun, ask Glenn Clark.

Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox

Issue 272 December 2021 / January 2022

Ken Zalis

See all posts by Ken Zalis. Follow Ken Zalis on Twitter at @fansfantasy