Matt Hicks

Staff Writer, SEC and Fantasy Football

Alright, it’s Week 5 and your losing record is really starting to get scary. You’re looking at that 1-3 or 0-4 record and panicking. In keeper and dynasty leagues you’re seriously considering selling off assets for long-term assets or draft picks. In re-draft leagues, you’re considering making some risky moves just to shake things up. I’m here to tell you to calm down, take a deep breath and realize that most fantasy leagues have 12 or 13 weeks, which means you still have 75% of your season ahead of you. Follow these 5 steps to figure out if your team still has a shot (chances are you do).

  1. Look at your Strength of Schedule

Just because you haven’t won a game yet, doesn’t mean you have a bad team. Fantasy football is all about match-ups. Take a look at the four teams you’ve played already. If they have a combined 12-16 (or 3-4 each) it’s probably just bad luck for you. Now, if your opponents only have a combined 3 wins…that’s very much you. Other than wins, a great way to gauge strength of schedule is to compare your “points for” to the other teams in the league. If you’re towards the middle/top of this, you’ll be okay.

  1. Who’s on Your Roster?

Remember during the draft when you decided you’d stash those players that wouldn’t  pay off right away? If you drafted a player like Andrew Luck, who still hasn’t returned from injury or players dealing with suspensions like Doug Martin or Willie Snead, remember why. It’s time for those early losses to pay off. DON’T panic and sell off those assets. Remember the courage that August you had.

  1. Check Margins of Victory

If you’re consistently losing games by 25+ then chances are your team is what I like to call “hot garbage”. What’s more likely is that you’re losing close games (15 points or less) and that you’ve been competitive with your opponents. If you haven’t gotten blown out yet, then you still have a good shot at making the playoff. Consider making small adjustments, like a very intentional trade to upgrade a starter using bench players. Otherwise, stay the course and hope for some more luck moving forward.

  1. Don’t Panic over Disappointing Players

There’s a lot of players who can be considered “disappointing” after four weeks including: Amari Cooper, Jay Ajayi, Melvin Gordon, Cam Newton, Terrell Pryor, and OBJ. These players are all too valuable to sell low on, so you need to not panic and keep them in your line-up if you don’t have a clearly better option. I know it hurts to put Ajayi back in your line-up after he combined for 5 points the last two weeks but you need to remember he was a 2nd round draft pick for a reason. Note that players you drafted in the mid-rounds don’t deserve the same leniency (sorry Crowell you’re riding the pine pony for the foreseeable future).

  1. Panic over Injured Players

Injuries are debilitating to fantasy rosters because you’re losing an asset without the ability to get anything back in return. If you did a good job of drafting bench players you may be able to survive an injury, however, once you lose more than 2 or 3 key starters to injury it may be time to panic. Example of key players injured so far include: David Johnson, Dalvin Cook, Greg Olsen, or Allen Robinson.

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