It happens to the best of us. Sometimes teams don’t work out. You draft Darren McFadden higher than you should have — grumble grumble. You put the hopes of your fantasy team on a sleeper like Matt Cassel, who hasn’t panned out yet.
Maybe your team is putting up mad amounts of points, but you just happen to be playing the highest scoring team every week. Lady Luck must hate you. If that’s the case, maybe you don’t need to do anything with your team in order for them to rock the rest of the season.
But some of you out there, you’re 0-5 or maybe 1-4, and it’s time to get tough. You’re a little far from the playoff picture, but all is not lost. You just need to reshape your team.
Last week, we discussed what to do if you were 1-3 or 2-2 in your league in the Week 5 Fourth & 1 debate, a fantasy football roundtable that I’ve been participating in every week. Last week’s debate was hosted by Fantasy Pros 911.
In addition to the excellent tips there on how to rebuild your roster and not panic too much, The Hazean gave some fantabulous advice on where to turn if you were 0-3. Most of that still applies.
Sadly, 0-5 or 1-4 is an even bigger beast. You need to make something happen, and it needs to happen fast.
So how do you save your fantasy hopes?
1. Drop any sleeper pick that hasn’t broken out yet.
I don’t care if he went to high school with you, married you or otherwise impressed you in the preseason. If the points aren’t on the board, you need to get them off your team.
You don’t have the time to wait around anymore. If he’s that great, you can fight for him on the waiver wire when he breaks out.
2. Shop your best player and take the best offer you get.
Yes, Chris Johnson is amazing. He could go off in any game, but if he isn’t enough to carry your team, he’s no use to you. I’ve seen many a team struggle through the season with a stud at running back or quarterback and refusing to trade even if it would allow them to have a more balanced team.
Take one stud and turn him into two lesser studs. If you get another owner to buy high on your studs while you buy low on a few of his that are performing nicely, you instantly get a better squad.
3. Replace your flukes with more responsible choices
Hines Ward isn’t flashy, but he gets yardage. DeSean Jackson could just as easily get you zero as he could 27. You need reliable starters from this point, so don’t be afraid to let your more daring team members serve you as trade bait.
If you start three wide receivers, you just want your WR3 to be a lock for 8-10 points every week. That’s all you need to stay consistent. If you can get a WR2 who puts up 10-15, that’ll serve to replace the Jeremy Maclin, Miles Austin or DeSean Jackson who was winning and losing battles for you on a weekly basis.
It’s always good to get the guys who you know will get carries (Jamal Lewis) or catches (Muhsin Muhammed) involved, even if they aren’t going to win you a game. Hopefully, you have enough strength at each position that putting up an average amount of points each week from here on out will get you a win…as long as you’re lucky.
Trust me, at this point, all you can hope for is lucky.
4. Practice voodoo.
Maybe you can curse your way into a championship?
Okay, not likely, but you might be able to will a bad game onto your opponent’s studs each week. Just stare at his or her players anytime they are in the game and root for a fumble or two. If you get really close to the TV, it will probably work better, and you’ll be so fun at all the pregame parties.
5. Work the waiver wire like you mean it.
I publish a waiver wire post every week. There’s always a player or two who jumps in value for two to three weeks or for the rest of the season. You need to have them all on your team. Always get better. Always work harder than the next guy.
You must own the waiver wire. You have the next two weeks to find players who haven’t been claimed yet and watch for the ones who break out. Maybe, just maybe, a stud like the 2007 incarnation of Ryan Grant will emerge from the pack to save your playoff hopes.
If not, there’s always the Sunday afternoon matinee, right?