How’s Your Record? A Guide to Approaching the Playoffs

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.



Filed under General Rambling

4 responses to “How’s Your Record? A Guide to Approaching the Playoffs

  1. Dron/ Dirt MeGurt

    After reading this newest article a couple things went through my mind. First was “yes” I’m the #1 seed and I am stacked with players. Second thought was how can I improve with what I got. Your advice for those who are 9-3 include to go out and use the waiver wire to find the big name sleepers. I missed out on Westbrook this morning, so that wont work for me. AP, who I own, scares me a bit having been taken out of the previous game, so I want to get someone to back up in his failure in week 13 games (in case). The back up RB I have now is LaGarrette Blount. Blount hasn’t been all that great the last couple weeks. Would it be wise to give him up for one of the following WW players: Toby Gerhart, Mike Goodson, or Anthony Dixon.
    Gerhart would be great and a smart move if Peterson were to get hurt/injured week 13.
    If I want to be a bit more risky I’d take Dixon, assuming Westbrook will be splitting time with him. He did score 10 point week 12 with 14 carries including the TD.
    Lastly Goodson. He seems to be doing really well even with Stewart next to him.
    Your input, please.

    • I’d go with gerhart as the backup.

      I think that Dixon has success mostly because of the defense he was playing against. He will probably split with Westbrook, but only see limited time. He could get some redzone looks, but Westbrook will do all the heavy lifting.
      Goodson is splitting as well.

      Think of it this way… if you get Gerhart and AP plays, so what? you are going to start AP. If AP doesnt play, then you have his backup who will get the vast majority of carries.
      On the other hand if you get Goodson or Dixon and AP does not play, you are stuck with a RB who has potential, but also risks splitting carries. Also, Minnesota has the easiest matchup in the league going up against the Bills who give up 167 per game on the ground.

  2. Kevin

    I assume that the backup advise doesn’t really apply for a back like Peyton Hillis. What should I plan for should the world end and Peyton Hillis gets hurt right before the playoffs?

    I assume that grabbing Derrick Ward would be a smart move to own Arian Foster’s Handcuff.

    • You better hope you arent jinxing yourself. If a player like that does get hurt, then yeah, I think its worth grabbing their backup and rolling with them. What I do this time of year, is get familiar with the matchups that are going to take place in your playoff weeks. My leagues have playoffs in weeks 16 and 17. Get to know what team has the best chances in those 2 games and try to find waiver players that could perform well there.

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