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NFL Fantasy 101: How to manage your team

Oh my gosh, thank you for joining us for another installment of Fantasy 101. This piece is going to talk about team management. If you're new to the course, you can find some other informative pieces here or here. And if you haven't already, please download the NFL Fantasy App. Because that is where it's at!

ROSTERS

A reminder that your starting lineup in a standard NFL Fantasy App league is one quarterback, two running backs, two receivers, a tight end, a flex (RB or WR), a team defense and a kicker.

Each week your player will have a projected stat for the week. These are educated guesses and conjecture. They are not a guarantee. But they are a good measure to how that player is expected to perform. Use this information and check your team before each game starts (first game of the week is on Thursday night). And look for the players who are expected to have big weeks and get them into your lineup. You can also check the player stories during the week for updated information, as well. And then select the starters.

BYE WEEKS

When a player is off in real life, he also has a week off in your fantasy week. Make sure they are removed or you will receive no points for this player. And as a pro tip, make the change early in the week. You don't want to wake up in a panic on Sunday morning trying to scramble to make changes. If you have multiple players on a bye, you will probably want to hit the waiver wire. (We will cover the wire in a separate piece.)

INJURIES

Make sure to check your lineups for injuries. These will be listed in the app. O means out (he won't play). D means doubtful (he's unlikely to play). Q means questionable (it's uncertain if he will play and will likely be a game-time decision). Again, player stories on the NFL Fantasy App will keep you up-to-date on injuries. And obviously COVID will be a huge factor in 2020, so make sure you are up-to-date.

OPTIMIZE

This lets the app make the decision for you. This feature was a huge hit last year for fantasy newbies who had some tough lineup questions. Of course, we will always try to help you as much as possible on this platform, television and podcasts. But sometimes you might just want to hit that optimize button and put out the lineup with the most potential for the coming week. And the best part, if you lose, you can blame a computer instead of yourself. Which is always nice.

TRADES

Hey, sometimes your team isn't perfect. Sometimes injuries happen. Or your players just aren't as good as you thought. Or maybe you have a surplus at one position and a deficit at another. That's when you can make some trades. Propose trades to other league members. You can trade one star player for a few lower-level stars. Or maybe you can find a one-on-one swap that will benefit both teams. If the trade is deemed "fair" it should be upheld by your commissioner. Some leagues will allow "vetoes" to trades. Don't play in those leagues. Trust me.

Oh, and you don't have to accept any trades you don't like. If you feel like somebody in your league is trying to take advantage of you because you are new, well, they probably are. Don't be afraid to live by the "Stone Cold" Steve Austin manta of "don't trust anyone."

PLAYOFFS

Leagues are just like the real NFL. The top teams with the most wins at the end of the fantasy season make it to the fantasy playoffs. Most leagues allowed four-to-six teams to make the playoffs depending on the size of your league. Because fantasy is based on the regular season (and with a lot of teams resting starters in Week 17), most of the fantasy world sets the championship for Week 16. Plus, it gives guys like me a head start on winter vacation (hey, I live in Southern California and I like to golf). But that would mean your fantasy playoffs would start in Weeks 13 or 14, depending on the number of teams in the playoffs.

And just like the NFL, the fantasy playoffs are single-elimination and culminate in the fantasy championship. If you win the final game, you are crowned Fantasy Champion of your league, enjoy your title! You have my utmost admiration.

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