We’ve reached the point in the season where every move you make becomes crucial to your playoff outlook. It’s now Week 11, so hopefully you find yourself still in the playoff hunt with 4-5 weeks left depending on your league’s structure. I’ve found myself being very strategic with my roster spots lately and wanted to share some advice for fantasy footballers who are also gearing up for their playoff push.

Keep in mind the trade deadline is likely approaching in your league, so take advantage while you can.

1. Examine your players’ fantasy playoff matchups thoroughly.

The rest of your league might not be paying attention yet, but making note of difficult matchups in your league’s playoffs could allow you to make the trade that saves your season. Whether you decide to sell guys like Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers is up to you, but it’s worth noting their value may never be higher when you take a look at their difficult fantasy matchups to end the year. Here are some guys that shouldn’t be too difficult to acquire, that are worth targeting when you consider their favorable matchups down the stretch:

Jameis Winston, Philip Rivers, Tyrod Taylor

Running back:
Lamar Miller, Doug Martin, Jeremy Hill & Giovani Bernard, Spencer Ware, Todd Gurley

Wide Receiver:
Tyrell Williams & Travis Benjamin, Kelvin Benjamin, Golden Tate, Dez Bryant

2. Don’t go to the grave with an elite QB on your bench.

The reality is this: you probably know the quarterback you want leading your team into the postseason. If that’s the case, and you feel comfortable with their matchups in your season’s playoffs, now’s the time to unload the backups if there’s a market for them. This topic is one I’m currently facing, as I own Drew Brees and the surging Russell Wilson in a league. I’m comfortable with either guy going forward, so it’s in my best interest to see the return I can get. Granted, you might not get what you think you deserve, but think about pairing one with another starter of yours for a bigger asset that will give you a boost down the stretch.

3. Know who’s in contention, and who’s probably not.

Although you’re looking to improve your playoff roster, be mindful of the roster needs of your competition. You don’t want to hand over an opponent near the top the piece that fills out their roster. Instead, target fellow owners who haven’t yet given up, but are desperate to make a move. In this scenario, I love trying to make a 2-for-1 trade with an owner that is need of roster depth. Pairing two players you may not be thrilled about, but are starter-worthy, in return for a RB1/WR1 can win you your league. It’s a win-win for the both of you, although you’re the real winner because you’re the one on track for the playoffs (just don’t tell them that).

4. Hold your waiver claims sacred.

If you play in a league where your waiver order is determined by your most recently claimed player, make sure you make the most of it. If your league uses waiver bidding, save up your money for the right guy. In the NFL, you never when a notable player will be sidelined due to injury, and we’ve already seen plenty of instances this season. Saving your spot at the top of the waiver order could very well win you your league if the right guy falls in your lap. For example, imagine the workload backups like Alfred Morris, Mike Gillislee, or DeAngelo Williams will take on if the fantasy studs in front of them are forced to miss time. There’s no telling who it might be or if it’ll happen, but you should be there just in case.

Best of luck with the rest of the season to all the fellow fantasy-footballers. Hopefully some of these tips will come through, and feel free to leave some feedback if that’s the case!

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