Most fantasy football leagues play regular season fake football until the end of week 13. After that, the fantasy playoffs begin and usually end before week 17.
So with three weeks under the belt, what exactly should fantasy owners of undefeated teams do? Or those below .500?
NFL teams generally analyze results at the quarter points of the season (four games, eight games, 12 games, 16 games) and fantasy owners should do the same. Three games in is almost exactly 25 percent of the fantasy football regular season for most fantasy owners.
What should you know about your team right now, and what changes — if any — should you make going forward?
Everything is going swimmingly. For the most part, 3-0 teams are just four to five wins away from guaranteeing a playoff spot (as long as your league grants six playoff teams).
There may still be work to be done.
Compare your total points through three weeks with the rest of the league. At or near the top? Well done. Keep making smart roster choices and stick to your gameplan, it appears to be working well.
If you have gotten lucky with some low-scoring wins, however, there is no safety. The law of averages say that those will become losses at some point down the line.
Get in front of any flaws with your team by identifying soft spots in the roster. Find a desperate owner and pull off a trade to upgrade a starting position.
Ahead of the curve, 2-1 is not a bad place to be. In order to stay in front of the pack, however, vigilance is necessary.
Drastic changes do not need to be made, unless you own a low scoring 2-1 team. In that case, seek trades to upgrade starting positions. Look first to the teams below you in the standings.
Scour the waiver wire to bolster depth on your bench. The strength of a lot of fantasy teams down the stretch of the season is the ability to have quality depth to either (A) use in case of injury or (B) trade to other owners because of injury.
2-1 is where The Hazean’s team in the blogger league stands after three weeks. Luckily, I also have one of the highest-scoring teams. Hope it keeps up!
The fantasy season is both a marathon and a sprint.
A below .500 start after three weeks is not a death knell. On the positive side, you avoided the goose egg, which is a much harder hole from which to dig.
On the negative side, there is a ton of work to be done. Unless, of course, you have a high-scoring team which drew a couple of bad match-ups in the first three weeks. In that case, Lady Luck may not be on your side.
Same as above to improve this team, but more diligence. Aggressively approach trading partners, make the decision to sell quality depth for starting roster improvements and actively churn the waiver wire by cutting dead weight on a weekly basis. This is the sprint portion of the fantasy season.
The marathon part? There still are eight weeks to go in the fantasy regular season. Plenty of time to turn this ship around.
Take everything I said above and multiply it exponentially.
If you play in keeper and/or dynasty leagues, now might be a good time to start sizing up some longer-term potential type players. Target these guys off other owners’ benches in exchange for some of your better performing veterans.
Do not give up just yet though. Fantasy football can turn very quickly. Just keep an eye on a few prospects you might like for next year if things continue to go sour.
In redraft leagues, desperate times call for desperate measures. Hopefully you have made good use of the No. 1 waiver wire priority that comes with finishing last every week.
Throw everyone on the trading block. Make big deals. Take gigantic risks. Exploit any owner you can. Keep talking in their ears until you can get in with a sweet deal.
Most importantly, try to make this happen by this weekend!