With nearly a third of the season in the books, many fantasy owners are feeling the pressure of falling behind in the standings. Are you one of them? Here are some tips to help you catch up to the rest of the pack.
Remember: Context is Everything
It isn’t always easy to tell where your strengths and weaknesses lie with a quick glance at your roster. You may have a handful of players with high averages or double-digit home run totals, but if they did the bulk of their damage before you acquired them, that isn’t going to be reflected in your team’s results. Using the tools available on each of the major fantasy platforms, you can view the accumulated stats for your team (and every other one), as well as each individual player’s production while rostered. Figure out where your team isn’t getting it done, and prioritize improving in those areas. You can also look at where your rivals are vulnerable and use this information as leverage. Perhaps you match up well with another team on a potential swap. Maybe multiple contenders have the same need and can be played off one another in trade negotiations. You might even be able to anticipate a rival’s waiver or trade targets and beat them to the punch.
Comb the Waiver Wire
The early breakouts (think guys like Michael Conforto or Luis Severino) are long gone, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t still quality to be had on the wire. You’ll just need to work a bit harder to find it. Use splits to discover players who are producing now but might be buried in the rankings due to slow starts. Naturally, a player who’s freely available probably has some sort of shortcoming, but pairing him with another guy or playing matchups can help you extract maximum value. Don’t be afraid to leave a few slots at the back of your roster solely for streaming players on hot streaks or with favorable matchups.
When All Else Fails, Gamble
Incremental upgrades may not be enough to overcome the hole you’ve dug for yourself. If you’re buried in the standings, it might be time for some drastic measures. Are there underperforming stars you can buy at a discount? Do it. Grab anyone you can who’s currently playing well, even if it’s obvious that they can’t keep producing at that level. The further behind you are, the more risk you should be taking on. You’re going to need a lot to go right over the next few months to get back into the race. The earlier you place your bets, the sooner you’ll be able to start climbing through the ranks.
Kyle Bishop is a lead MLB columnist at RotoBaller.com. His articles are your secret weapon for winning fantasy leagues.