How can you get in and win your playoffs!

Based on a few emails from our loyal readers I wanted to take a minute to focus on the impending playoffs for fantasy owners and provide some insight into things that you want to look out and prepare for as an owner. Whether your are 8-0 and looking set for the playoffs or hovering around the .500 mark and trying to figure out how to get those few extra wins that mean the playoffs.

Here are some thoughts depending on where you currently sit in your league:

If you are undefeated or dominating your league in general you need to start planning for the playoffs now. It rings true almost every year that the team who dominates the regular season loses in their playoffs due to teams who are doing well and lock up their playoff position early rest their key players as to avoid injury risk. Right now standings are pretty even so the only players that come off as early concerns in this area are teams who own Chris Johnson or Lendale White seeing as the Titans have a 4 game lead and without a major breakdown should clinch their playoff spot earlier than most. Also Cardinals players could creep onto that list in the next week or two if they get hot since no one else in the NFC West seems eager to win games this year.

If you are in the middle of your league you probably fall in line with 80% of fantasy owners who are either in a playoff spot right now or within a game of it. If you have solid players then I would not worry too much and trust in your studs to get you into the playoffs and then take over. More times than not it seem that the team that wins it all is the team who finishes the regular season somewhere between 3rd and 6th. The key to you making it into the playoffs is to manage your waiver wire and look for key trade opportunities with players who have underperformed. Hatty mentioned some of these players in his trade target video last week (Peyton Manning was a great example who had a good week this past week) so go and take a look. The big thing here is to work the wire as there is undoubtedly going to be some injuries over the next 2-3 weeks that allow for that 3rd tier RB or WR to make a name for himself. He could be the difference maker in your fantasy football super bowl.

If you are a bottom feeder this season then not all is lost. In most competitive leagues right now the difference in first and last place (assuming you didn't let someone in your league who thought football was the soccer version) is probably around 3-4 games. With 4 or 5 weeks left you cannot win the regular season so quit focusing on the guy at the top. Focus in on that last playoff spot because chances are you are only a game to three games out of it. Find your weak spots and get aggressive with trading and waiver wire pickups. There have no doubt been some disappointments on your team and you need to shake things up. Take that high profile player who has laid an egg for you this year and try to move him for players like Donnie Avery. If you have one stud player try to trade him to a team and get 2-3 serviceable players to give your team some consistency. If your whole team hinges on LT but you are 1-7 then it is time to move Lt and get a good RB and WR in the deal to help your team have a chance. You have to work your waiver wire even if it means a revolving door of players week to week based on match ups.

The key point here is that no matte where you are in your league it is still any one's game but now is the time to make something happen. Please feel free to email any of our staff with recommendations, trade offers, lineup changes and team analysis if you want to. We are here to help and get your team into the playoffs but more importantly help you win that title!

Author: JD Dowell
Email: jdncsu350@hattywaiverwireguru.com