5 Tips on How to Win Your 2011 Fantasy Football Championship

Ben ArnoldContributor INovember 10, 2011

ARLINGTON, TX - FEBRUARY 06:  Head coach Mike McCarthy of the Green Bay Packers holds up the VInce Lombardi trophy after the Packers won 31-25 against the Pittsburgh Steelers during Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium on February 6, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The time has come in your Fantasy Football leagues where the playoff pictures are being set.  Teams are pulling ahead and players are coming off injuries and bye weeks.  The time is now to start preparing for the Fantasy Playoffs which typically run Weeks 14 - 16.  

Tip # 1 : Check The Playoff Match-ups

Far to often managers forget to check their players fantasy match-ups during these pivotal weeks.  One would feel much more comfortable playing a WR against New England's Secondary than one against The New York Jets Darrelle Revis.  Adjust accordingly and try to make trades that will help you in this weeks where it matters the most.

Tip # 2 : Don't be afraid to sell a Star Player

To often teams latch onto one particular player and refuse to sell him regardless of their needs.  For instance, if you have Calvin Johnson, Dwayne Bowe, Miles Austin and Julio Jones, yet your Running Backs consist of waiver wire fodder, it may be in your best interest to sell Calvin Johnson to secure a RB that will help you produce points.  You need to have a well rounded lineup that consists of good players in each of the lineup spots.  Don't be afraid to sell a star to get 2 or 3 quality players back that can help you win.

Tip # 3 : Pay Attention to your lineup Sunday morning to mid-afternoon

Players can be scratched from games very close to kick-off.  You don't want to be the person starting Adrian Peterson on Sunday at 1 when he was scratched due to a ankle injury at 12:30.  If you want to win, pay attention and check the news on your lineups right until kickoff begins.  Nothing hurts more than getting a goose-egg for your RB slot.

Tip # 4 : Defense Wins Championships

The old adage still rings true today.  Defense Wins Championships.  Don't be stuck playing one defense every week if they are consistently not getting it done for you.  Also, if you have a decent defense but they are going against say, The Green Bay Packers Offense during your semi-final week, I'd be looking to get a defense that has a softer match-up.  Look for defenses that are playing teams such as the Arizona Cardinals or the Indianapolis Colts.  10 - 15 points from your defense can make the difference between 3rd place and holding your league trophy up.

Tip # 5 : Trust your gut

You have molded your team thus far and if your in the big dance, you are doing something right.  A lot of teams have a lot of depth on their benches and they have to worry about which star to put in.  Trust your gut, it is what got you here in the first place.  It helps to get advice from other fantasy experts but when it comes down to 12:45pm and your lineup needs to be in, the only one able to click Submit is you.  Go with your instincts and roll the dice.