It’s Week 13. Meaning that in most leagues we are just 3 Sundays away from playoffs. It’s the season of cursing at your television provider for not having NFL Network and praying like hell that FOX blacks out your home-team so you can watch a decision maker instead. For fantasy owners, these next few weeks define your personality. Let’s take a look at how to approach the playoffs with your record.
12-0: You have clinched the playoffs. Hell, you probably clinched 3 weeks ago. You were the hands-down stud of the draft and made all right moves on the waiver wire (yeah, you own Peyton Hillis.) NFL teams would coast to the finish, save their strength to guarantee a good playoff run. But you will show no mercy. Buckle down, keep a heavy eye on your matchups and don’t change a damn thing. The only thing better than winning your league is doing it undefeated. Go for that 17-0. Then brag like it’s your job.
11-1, 10-2, or 9-3: You’re likely in 1st place, maybe in the 2 or 3 spot in very competitive leagues, but you have no doubt solidified a playoff spot. The hopes of going undefeated have come and gone, but you are still a shoe-in for the Championship game. Get yourself an edge of cockiness by using these next two weeks to show that you didn’t just get lucky, you know what the hell you’re talking about. Figure out your best lineups for week 16 and 17. Know exactly who you are going to play. Then, throw out all of your other players. Drop them and pick up sleepers, big time sleepers. Go grab Seyi, pick up Dreessen, gamble on Hagan. Comb through the injuries and depth charts and find yourself some gems. Watch them come up big on Sunday. And go into Week 16 and 17 with the confidence that you are a fantasy god. If you are in the hunt for the #1 seed, and your only losses are the ones when you are the second highest scoring team in your league, go ahead and keep up what you’re doing.
8-4, 7-5: You’re on the cusp. You’re likely tied with about 4 other teams and fighting for that playoff spot. If you are lucky enough to have clinched, then you are aiming for a higher seed. Time to focus. Check out the matchups for week 16 and 17 and know who you are going to go with. Next, look at your Week 13-15 matchups. If you see a regular starter with a tough game in week 14, go on Waivers and find a better upside. You’re over .500, but you’ve still got some losses, meaning its time to take a risk if you have to. And you probably have to.
6-6, 5-7: Face it; you’ve had a tough year. You’ve been wrecked by injuries, your draft was a bust, but keep your chin up. Have pride that you are still hanging in there. Statistically, you are likely still in the hunt for a wild-card spot. With a little luck you could manage to win out and have the teams above you lose a few. Gambling might be a good option. You’re roster probably includes some impressive players, but an under-producing QB, or questionable Flex/back-up players. Check waivers and find matchups. Ask questions. By replacing your weak spots with upside players, you still stand a chance.
5-7, 4-8: Maybe you’re a trooper. You’re holding on. Your “Points Scored” ranks among the highest, certainly higher than many in the playoffs, but your “Points Against” is about 250 higher than the next guy. Its time to pull out all the stops. You are out of the race, sure you’ll make the consolation ‘playoffs’ but really, 5th isn’t much better than 8th. Take a deep breath, and tell yourself that you will win it next year. Also… there is such a thing as Mock Drafts for a reason. Get used to those.
3-9 or lower: You’re that guy. You promised your friends that you would totally stick around in the league this year. But no. You aren’t even reading this. Because you have no reason to research for your team. Because you gave up in Week 5.