I have wanted to write an NFL fantasy article for a couple of weeks now but had no interesting or new ideas cross my mind until an idea popped into my head that I believe can be valid to every fantasy player out there. I have been playing fantasy football for about four years now. I am currently involved in two leagues and am actually the two-time reigning champ in one league. As you can see, success is quite common to me, and I was more than happy to remind my league rivals that I was the player to beat every year. Fantasy sports are my addiction. I believed that I am well informed with the majority of sports and was quite positive that my knowledge of fantasy football was the one and only reason guiding me to fantasy success in successive years.
However, recently I encountered something for the first time ever in my fantasy sports experience. I found myself to be on the receiving end of a few what some would call ‘dirty’ tricks. This was new to me as usually, I am the one being dubious against my opponents, doing whatever it takes to win. So yes, this article is about how to play dirty!
Ed note: The advice below does not represent the Cafe’s viewpoint on fantasy football. In fact, most prominent members of the Cafe have expressed their disagreement with all of the following tactics.
You may be aware that Tony Romo, quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, recently broke his collarbone. Now I know that I am a few weeks behind in writing this article, but take yourself back a few weeks ago when this incident occurred.
Tony Romo was my starting fantasy quarterback, so naturally I was upset when he went down injured. Nevertheless, I was confident that I would be able to find an adequate replacement on the waiver list that would make do until Romo either returned from injury, or that I would be able to make a trade to acquire another elite quarterback.
Naturally, I logged onto my account and went straight to the free agency list of quarterbacks and placed my waiver claim on a few quarterbacks that I believed to be sufficient replacements.
When the waiver claims were sorted later that night, I naturally assumed to find either Ryan Fitzpatrick, Matthew Stafford or Jon Kitna sitting in my lineup. But wait! My league opponents had decided to place a waiver claim on these three players despite them having no need whatsoever to add a quarterback to their roster.
I was upset, I was infuriated. Believe it or not someone had decided to add Stafford to their lineup despite already having two ‘good’ quarterbacks on their team. So instantaneously I thought to myself, who honestly needs three quarterbacks in their lineup when you can only start one quarterback a week? But it came to my attention that this was not the point of the acquisition on what I believed to be ‘my’ quarterbacks, players I believed had the right and justification to attain. The justification for my opponents to pick up the quarterbacks was to stop me from having them. After having a long talk to a few of my mates I was persuaded that this tactic of my opponents was brilliant. While I was upset at the time, if I had have been in their situation and had a free roster spot I would have done the exact same thing. So the moral to this short story is to be cutthroat and make your opponents suffer. While injuries are brutal and can completely destroy fantasy teams, you shouldn’t feel sorry for your opponents. The injury has increased your chances of winning so let your opponents suffer. Give them no chance whatsoever to resurrect their team and attempt to take what could be your playoff spot.
The following is a favorite tactic of mine, but due to the fact that I have exercised it so many times my opponents are well aware of my crooked plan and it no longer remains effective. Nevertheless, I will tell it to you anyway.
I was struggling to fill a full lineup due to a number of my players suffering the dreaded bye week all at once. My philosophy is to never leave spots on your lineup empty. I want to win every week, so by playing a full team I am giving myself the best opportunity to do this.
Anyway, I had a player in my lineup I was extremely hesitant to drop due to the potential for him to break out in the following few weeks. However, he was really the only player I could drop if I wanted to play a full line-up. What I did was drop this player, but then immediately after added and dropped about 10 players until my original player could no longer be seen on the short-term transaction list. Sneaky right?
Obviously, any wise player would only have to click on the link that would allow them to view a list of more than the 10 or so ‘recent’ transactions, so yes, there is a big floor in this tactic. Nonetheless, just in case your rivals are lazy or plain ignorant they may not notice that the player you hesitantly dropped is available on the waiver market, giving you a chance to pick him up a couple of days later behind the backs of your opponents.
A few years ago you may remember a player by the name of Adrian Peterson who was a running back for the Bears, not the Vikings.
Well, since both players were listed as “A. Peterson (RB)”, one team tried to package him in a trade hoping that the team receiving the trade proposal would not realize that the A. Peterson was in fact the, um, not so good Adrian Peterson from Chicago, not the stud from Minnesota. Nice try at the time, buddy.
Almost every fantasy manager has witnessed this tactic at least once in their career. One of my most important rules: always remove all your trade proposals before all games begin.
How many times have we seen a trade pending during the weekend of games involving a player that had just broken his arm, received a severe concussion, etc? I must admit this early: I had a trade proposal on my table I was 50/50 on before the weekend commenced, but once the round had started and my quarterback Jay Cutler received a concussion, I accepted the trade straight away (mwah ha ha).
Dirty tactic, or is it the owner’s fault for leaving the trade proposal sitting there while games were being played?
I have never actually witnessed this, but is it possible to trade picks with another player without the consent of the commissioner and league members before the draft commences?
For example, would it be possible for you to sign in under your mate’s team (and he signs in as you), draft the team you want and then trade your entire team after the draft?
Two teams could trade players for one week to avoid donuts from players being on a bye and thus giving them a better chance of winning their matchup.
Once the week was complete, the two players would then be traded back the exact the same players who had been originally traded the week before. Yes, believe it or not, I have witnessed this.
Who knows how that second trade was not vetoed!
Everyone knows the rules about vetoing right? Or at least, knows when to veto and when not to veto.
Well, let me clarify this once more if you were unaware.
Personally, I believe a trade should only be vetoed if it is grossly unfair. For instance, I would veto the trading of Chris Johnson for Adam Vinatieri. No explanation needed.
However, I would (try) not veto the trade of say Chris Johnson for Rashard Mendenhall and Adam Vinatieri (don’t ask me why I included a kicker here).
Well, I have come across teams constantly vetoing trades singularly based on the fact that ‘the trade doesn’t make their team better.’
Of course when teams trade you may be hesitant to accept them. The point of a trade is to make your team better, right? The owners should understand that they don’t have a right to veto the trade because it makes ones team stronger and thus a bigger threat to your team.
While I believe this is to be a ‘dog’ tactic, at the end of the day, no one is going to know whether you vetoed a trade or not, so why not slip the sneaky veto in and deny you did it if asked upon. Anything to help your chances of winning, right?
Is it dog to forfeit a game in order to let a weaker team make the playoffs? For example, you are sitting at 12-0 and a lock to finish on top of the ladder. It’s Week 13 and you are up against a team (who you don’t rate at all) who is desperate for a win to make the playoffs. Do you play a full squad and squash their playoff hopes? Or do you forfeit the game by putting all your studs on the bench to ensure this team makes the playoffs and another team (who you would rather avoid in the postseason) misses out?
I guess we can all decide in a week’s time (if this is tactic does occur in your league) whether it’s in the spirit of the game (hopefully you’re not the one missing a playoff spot because of this tactic).
In conclusion, only recently did it become to my attention that playing dirty is the way to go, and was simply a matter of fact in fantasy sports. You have to do what it takes to win!
Fantasy football is cutthroat, bragging rights are on the line! Do what it takes to win because I promise you, they would do the same to you!
obsessed with fantasy sports ;)
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