How To Improve Your Fantasy Football Team

Michael WhooleySenior Writer ISeptember 7, 2009

DENVER - AUGUST 30:  Wide reciever Eddie Royal #19 of the Denver Broncos makes a reception and eludes Trumaine McBride #26 the Chicago Bears during preseason NFL action at INVESCO Field at Mile High on August 30, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Bears defeated the Broncos 27-17.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

So you just wrapped up your fantasy football draft this past weekend and you are thinking to yourself that you did a hell of a job. Every pick that you made reeks of intelligence; your team is so good that you really can’t see a way to improve. You have everything that you want and a bag of chips!

Well, we are here to be the needle that pops all of your self-intoxicated balloons! Not every pick of yours was the best! There are ways to improve your team! In fact, you really don’t have everything that you could have.

Draft day is great and it is the biggest day of the year besides the two privileged individuals that get to fight for the championship in your league. It is easy to think of this day as a, “Did it, time to let it ride” type of day.

However, that is exactly what a handful of your opponents are also thinking and it’s the biggest mistake that you could ever make. There is a reason that every year teams that are solid keep looking for a bigger and better piece to fit the puzzle.

They want to win and I am sure you do, too. So put down the remote, splash water on your face, and ask the wife/husband to fix dinner for the night. This article is meant for the ones trying to improve their fantasy squad in 2009.

This is a no-nonsense article that is meant to take you off your high-horse, maybe offer in some laughs but for the most part, this is meant to ground you and make you realize that the draft is simply just the first step in getting to the glory land.

To get you to the point to where you are holding your trophy way up high, or padding your wallet; whatever it is that you win at the end of the year, you can’t go wrong by taking the 10 minutes to read this article!

There are FIVE steps to do after the draft to prepare for the first week of your season. Let’s get started! It’s time for fantasy football REHAB!


1. Give Your Team an Honest Assessment

Ok ladies and gentlemen, you just drafted your team and you think that you did no wrong. In fact you already have written your team into the league championship. Well, you want the Bruno Boys reaction to this?...WRONG!!!

Many teams do this and many teams fail because of this. This is the time to look at your team and really give it a good once, twice or even thrice over! What positions are you really stacked at? What positions are you weak at? Everyone makes mistakes, even us Bruno Boys, we are human as well!

The draft can throw many curve balls and sometimes you get overly excited about a certain player that you want to draft but then find out it just wasn’t what you should have done.

Jot down your team, create a spreadsheet, whatever your technique is, definitely have your whole team available in front of you with your thoughts and opinions. What positions do you really need to improve at?

What positions are you the strongest at comparative to the league? Find your weaknesses and if you have overflowing strengths, plan on using the strengths to acquire players at positions that you are weak at!


2. Double Check and Make Sure that You Have No Bye-Week Problems

We realize that not everyone takes their fantasy football drafts as serious as the die-hards do and that is fine, but one thing that we all do without a second thought is make sure that when we are drafting we don’t create bye-week complications for our roster. Some of you reading this article probably do the same thing; others of you do not!

So check your roster! Does your starting QB and backup QB both have the same bye-week? Check all of your positions!

Some of you will find out that you really do have a problem and if you don’t correct it you will almost assuredly stink it up a week or two! This is the time to fix such problems. Package your QB2 for someone else’s QB2 in a multi-player deal. It is much easier to do it now before the season starts and people are wise to you.

A roster that can bend is one that normally will not break!


3. Hit the Waiver Wire

If your league draft has been over for a few weeks, or even just a few days, odds are the player rankings have shifted and sometimes maybe even to the point to where a player(s) value has skyrocketed or plummeted based on injuries or less than spectacular play.

For example, due to Brand Marshall being a piece of work in Denver, his teammate Eddie Royal has seen an increase in value at the wide out position.

Take advantage! There are always injuries in the NFL, preseason included, so a blow to a Matt Cassel should be notated and analyzed.  Who prospers, who falters? There is always some type of ramification to what happens.

For example, Cassel’s injury opens the way for Tyler Thigpen to accrue more stats, while at the same time it could have at least a little negative affect on skill players Dwayne Bowe and Larry Johnson. Whatever it is, browse the waiver wires!

Perhaps who you drafted as your fifth WR or your fourth RB is not as good as someone in free agency. Or perhaps that third D/ST or second kicker is taking up a spot on your roster that could be better utilized by picking up a good sleeper? Whatever it is, odds are there is at least a little tweaking that you can do to make your roster stronger.

And many teams rest after the draft until the season starts. So take advantage of this and scoop up everyone that you feel is an upgrade over what you have and make that strong team of yours even stronger! This years version of DeAngelo Williams or Thomas Jones could very well be hanging out there ripe for the plucking!


4. Start Up Trade Talks With Other Teams

I am not talking about just targeting a team or two and trying to rip them off for your players. I am talking about something that takes a bit more time but could pay off more dividends than you could have ever imagined! Mingle with all of the owners! Don’t approach them about your trade wants, as they could probably smell you coming from a mile away!

Rather, ask them what they thought about their draft. What are their strengths, their weaknesses? Some owners will be more open than others about their true feelings. That is fine. This is the time to take some mental notes and when they are not around, jot the notes down on a piece of paper so you don’t forget them!

Perhaps someone did so well at WR but they do not have a solid RB3 option. You are sitting four or five deep with quality RB’s. Maybe you can package your WR2 with your RB4 and grab one of their WR1 options?

You never know unless you start feeling them out and getting a better understanding of how they like their team! You can analyze everyone’s teams all day long, but until you talk to them you never know their true personal aspect of their team! There have been many times that all of our staff has concocted many deals where we had no idea that something could be done!

Avenues that had been written off as we figured a team would not want to part with a certain player. You should always talk and mingle with your competition. At the very least you get some good ole’ football talk in and everyone wins. But at the same time, if done right, you can set yourself up for possible deals down the road.


5. Keep Up With Injuries, Promotions and Demotions

Injuries happen all the time and with that comes heartache on many fantasy football rosters. To lessen the blow, keep up with your players so you know who is ailing and what you can do to make sure that it affects your lineup to a much lesser degree than it would have originally. This also can play into promotions.

As we talked about earlier, injuries affect many aspects of the game, primarily their teammates. So when a star wide receiver goes down be there looking at who will be replacing him as a starting WR. And also know that the team’s quarterback is usually negatively affected as well.

When we talk about promotions we mean players that are on the rise, such as James Davis of the Cleveland Browns He has played so well lately that the Browns’ had their doubts about keeping Jamal Lewis on the final roster. The ranking of Lewis is on the decline while the ranking of Davis is rapidly rising.

If Davis is on your waiver wire, grab him! This could add much needed depth to your RB position, or it could just solidify an already huge strength on your team making it even more plausible to trade one for help elsewhere! Think of it as gold mining!

There is plenty of time wasted grabbing crappy rocks, but eventually you will find that one nugget that can bring you fortunes!