Roster Shake Up  

 

How to fix your struggling fantasy football team

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Every game, all season
So we're one quarter of the way through the fantasy season, and your team stinks. Perhaps you're sitting at 1-3, or even worse, 0-4. You're running out of time to make a push for the fantasy playoffs, and the only way you'll be able to turn your moribund team around is with a complete roster shakeup. Now, this isn't as easy as turning off your Xbox during a rough outing of Madden. It's going to take some work. Below are several suggestions for how you can potentially salvage your season before it's too late.

Cut ties with struggling big-name veterans

Perhaps you bought into the Andre Johnson farewell tour in Indianapolis. Or thought the steady hands of Anquan Boldin could cover the backs of your more volatile players. Or you believed Jonathan Stewart's late-season surge in 2014 would carry over into 2015 (right there with ya, by the way). Or you figured Roddy White would actually catch some passes in a revitalized Atlanta offense. Whatever the reason, if you're team is failing to produce it's time to cut the dead weight of your struggling, big-name veterans. Yes, I know they've done it before and it can be hard to turn someone loose who has helped you in the past, but this is when you have to go straight up Bill Belichick and cut players earlier rather than later. The extra space on your roster will allow you to target players with higher upside who could be on the verge of breaking out into more steady fantasy contributors, like the Travis Benjamin's and Leonard Hankerson's of the world. You need points now, and waiting for these elder players to turn back the clock is ill-advised.

Trade aggressively

Trading is a fickle business in fantasy football, but with your record in tough shape you could have no choice but to package your best assets for a blockbuster trade. One stud won't be able to carry your roster on his own, so look to flip him for a handful of pieces that can help get your roster on track. Even if it's your first-round pick. If the losses are mounting, it's time to make a move to rectify that and start putting some marks in the win column, and the only way to make that happen might be by swinging for the fences with a huge trade offer.

Use the waivers to build depth at a position of strength

Another way to help your roster (and your trading capital) is by using your top priority on the waiver wire to stash all of the highest upside players each and every week. Whether or not you need that top receiver or running back every one is seeking doesn't matter -- go get him. With him on your bench you'll have more leverage to negotiate trades to bolster your depth at other positions. For instance, say you're in the top waiver spot and Antonio Gates is on your waiver wire, but you have Travis Kelce. Pick up Gates anyway, and use him as a piece in a trade. Or start him in your flex (if allowed). The point is, you earned that top waiver priority for a reason. Make the most of it.

Collude!

Now, I personnaly wouldn't partake in this final option, but if you have no other option do whatever it takes. Offer to do your leaguemate's launrdy for the next month in order to get them to trade you some good players. Perhaps they want your signed Peyton Manning rookie card. If that's the case, what's more valuable to you -- material goods, or living forever as a fantasy champion? If the answer is the latter, than do whatever it takes to follow the slogan of the late, great Al Davis and "Just win, baby."

In the latest episode of the NFL Fantasy LIVE podcast the gang recaps Week 4, looks ahead at Week 5 waiver wire targets, and re-evaluates some top NFL backfields with players returning from injury. Don't forget to subscribe and listen in HERE!

-- Alex Gelhar is a fantasy writer/editor for NFL.com, and the producer of the NFL Fantasy LIVE podcast. For more tips on how to shakeup your roster or possible collusion strategies, hit him up on Twitter @AlexGelhar.

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