NFL teams are starting to think about next year. For some, next year means January and the playoffs. For others, next year means next season, again. That forward thinking will change how teams play and who they play over the next few weeks, which happens to be right in the fantasy playoffs.
That means you should be thinking about it as well.
Injuries at this stage of the season can be devastating. The waiver wire is thin. The trade deadline is long since past. What was a minor three- or four-week injury is now a season-ender. Depth is tested, like it or not, and the skill part of fantasy football really comes out.
The same is true in the NFL, where we see teams thinking long-term. How can they get players healthy in time or get them healthy just in time? Can the lingering injuries be helped by rest and if so, how much does it hurt the team? Can a team get that all-important bye week to heal up, or will it be forced to play Wild Card weekend, putting another game of pounding on sore and weary bodies?
You not only have to have answers for your team, you have to know how the real teams are answering it for the players you have and those they'll line up against.
Now more than ever, information and context is everything, so let's look around the league...