The 2017 fantasy football playoffs are well underway, and that means peak competitiveness for some owners, but not so much for others. Half of each league often completely stops paying attention when the playoffs come around, causing rosters to fall into disarray and match-ups to lose all meaning. Here are some ways to improve your league next year so all owners stay motivated throughout the season.
- Improve the actual owners in your league. This sounds obvious, but it needs to be stated. Sometimes being friends is not a good enough reason to earn a spot in the fantasy football league. Find owners who are passionate about football and are ready to commit. If someone is indifferent before the season even begins, they will certainly be bored by the end of it.
- Implement league traditions. Make being in your league as fun as possible. Hold a draft party and watch football together whenever possible. Small events like these build league chemistry and add crucial time for trash talk… all the more reason to pay attention to a team for the length of the season.
- Add in a prize system. Yes, money is the most common form of fantasy football awards, but there are other ways to keep owners motivated. Whether it be a trophy or improved draft position next season, get creative and find ways to make games matter, even at the end of the season.
- Add a last-place punishment. This is the most essential point. When non-playoff teams have nothing to play for, competition on the waiver wire decreases by half a league, which could have a huge impact on the actual playoffs. Adding some type of last-place punishment will motivate those playing in the consolation bracket to continue managing their team.
For the rest of owners who are worried about actual fantasy football playoffs, and not the state of the league, here are some general tips as the championship nears.
- Start your studs. This is another piece of advice that sounds self-explanatory, but many need the reminder. Making the playoffs means you did something right, so if one of the guys that got your team to where it is has a tough matchup, do not overthink it. Getting cute and playing that clever waiver wire pickup over one a perennial starter will likely not end up working in your favor
- Go with your gut. That being said, sometimes a bold start will be what wins a playoff game. The rankings are not the end-all-be-all. Experts can do all the research they want, but all the statistics in the world cannot predict what will happen on Sunday. It is your team, so set your lineup like it.
- Stay on the waiver wire. Just because it is the playoffs does not mean your bench should be neglected. Expect the unexpected. Every week starters could be injured or suspended in the blink of an eye. Be prepared, and stay ravenous on the waiver wire.
Good luck finishing out your respective seasons strong, and remember — fantasy football is fun, treat it that way.