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Fantasy Football Lineup, Trade & Bench Strategy

By Jared Smola | Updated on Thu, 18 Apr 2024 . 9:20 AM EDT

Draft Sharks Best Fantasy Football Strategies – In-Season Roster Management

Your team will need management throughout the season. Try these three proven strategies. 

1. Set Your Best Starting Lineup Every Week

Use a fantasy football strategy beyond mindlessly starting your “studs” every week.

Player projections fuel everything we do at Draft Sharks. 

Including starting-lineup decisions.

 

We project every single fantasy-relevant player every week during the season.

We factor in usage metrics, efficiency, injuries, and matchups.

We apply those projections to your league’s scoring system – which the Team Intel tool does for you. Your start/sit decisions are made from that process.

Of course, it’s not quite that easy. Upside and downside matter too. This is why you’ll also find ceiling and floor projections for every player every week.
 

Tools Based Around Our In-Season Strategy

The art of setting your lineup? Deciding how heavily to weigh those floor and ceiling projections. 

The answer depends on both your team and your opponent.

You probably don’t want to fill your starting lineup with too many high-floor, low-ceiling players.

But it’s also unwise to play too many guys with lots of upside … but basement-level floors.

Your opponent matters, too. You can play it safe with high-floor options if you’re a heavy favorite in your matchup. 

But if you’re an underdog, you should take some shots on the higher-ceiling guys.

Learn more about all the Draft Sharks tools to help with starting-lineup decisions >

2. Don’t Waste Your Bench Spots 

Working the waiver wire each week will bring you an in-season breakout

Your team isn’t a finished product after the draft. (Unless you’re in a best ball league.)

Using the waiver wire to bolster your roster is crucial to winning fantasy football leagues.

Keep upside in focus when working the waiver wire, just like you did when drafting.

For example, you can almost always find a WR who projects for 6-8 fantasy points per game.

Or a QB who can get you 15-18.

So don’t prioritize those types when taking a shot on a free agent. Instead, think more long term.

Target players with difference-making upside

That often means grabbing and stashing RBs, who can see huge spikes in fantasy value when injuries hit guys in front of them on the depth chart.

It can also mean young, talented players who haven’t gotten the opportunity yet.

That said, there are some cases where your waiver-wire focus should look short-term.

It’s almost always optimal to churn DSTs throughout the season based on matchups, for instance.

You can grab 'bad' defenses in plus matchups for cheap and outperform fantasy teams that ride with one DST all year.

Similar deal at QB. Most 1-QB leagues will commonly present short-term starting options on the waiver wire.

Whether you need a fill-in for the next week or two or want to stream, your Free Agent Finder will display matchups and projections for the next two weeks.

You can even sort by either category to compare market options with the QBs currently on your roster.

Our weekly waiver-wire article highlights the top targets at every position, including suggested bid amounts for fantasy leagues that use FAAB (waiver bidding).

Learn more about how the Free Agent Finder tool can help you with waiver-wire moves >

3. Trade to Enhance Your Roster

Get ahead of dips and spikes in player production

Another way to improve your fantasy roster during the season is through trades.

Every trade should improve your team. Otherwise, why bother making the move?

Of course, the ideal trade would have you sending away an overvalued player (“selling high”) and receiving an undervalued player (“buying low”). That production boost can then supercharge your march to a championship. 

We run our Trade Targets report every two weeks throughout the NFL regular season to highlight such candidates.

Buy/Sell/Hold Report #5

By Draft Sharks Staff 11:21am EST 11/16/22

And we run reports for your dynasty leagues as well.

Dynasty Buy/Sell/Hold Report #4

By C.H. Herms 10:13pm EST 12/15/22

When trading, you should also consider the strengths and weaknesses of your roster – and your opponents’ rosters.

If you’re loaded at WR but struggling at RB, trade away some of that surplus WR value for help at RB. 

To maximize your return, find a team in your league stacked at RB but hurting at WR.

Finally, be careful not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

Although we’d love to make a buy-low/sell-high trade every time, that might not always work out. 

If your team needs that final key piece to win the league, don’t be afraid to give value to get your guy (within reason).

Learn more about how the Trade Partner Finder and Trade Analyzer can help you find and win trades >

TIP

Sometime the best way to enhance your roster is with a new team name. Show everyone who is the boss. Here is our strategy guide for making the best fantasy football team names

In-Season Advice to Help Win Your League

Are you trying to make sense out of dozens of conflicting opinions? We give you one cohesive winning approach.

Waiver Wire Pickups

Everyone gives waiver-wire advice. But we’re digging deeper to uncover key trends, sleepers, and future matchups that can turn a midweek pickup into a league winner.

The Free Agent Finder will show you which hot pickups are available in any or all of your leagues. And you can sort of current-week projections, the week ahead, or full season.

Trade Targets

This specific fantasy football trade advice guide publishes bi-weekly throughout the season, telling you who to target, who to get rid of, and who to be patient with.

You’ll also find a regular edition for dynasty leagues.

When you’re ready to deal, the Trade Navigator will match you up with the perfect trade partner and guide you to the ideal trade package.

Final Thought

We just walked you through some of the best fantasy football strategies for 2023. Feeling overwhelmed? That’s why we built a suite of draft tools and in-season tools. And these tools are available right now to Draft Sharks Insiders. Wanna learn more?

Other rankings are stale  before the 2nd round.

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