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Are you playoff ready?

November 11, 2011
By Keith Shelton - Armchair quarterback ( , Daily Press

ESCANABA - Hello Fantasy Football fanatics! Are you ready for the playoffs? Depending on the amount of teams in your league you are either closing in on three weeks or four weeks until the Fantasy postseason begins. Time enough for things to go right, or very wrong.

Playoff preparation is more than just having a team that tore through your league's regular season.

Silver Crush (my team) is sitting pretty at 7-1-1, second place and a first round bye on the line, but I'm not all that content with rolling into the postseason as is.

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Keith Shelton

Rosters should be continually tweaked as the last regular season weeks wind down. I would recommend each Fantasy owner to scour their roster and check the matchups weeks 14-17. If you have players going up against world beaters that week, it might be time to plan ahead and reconsider starting them. Playoffs are all or bust, so it's no time to get sentimental. Even with players who you rode to a top three finish can and should be discarded if the matchups look poor.

Second of all, it may be time to dump players with injury problems. The last thing you want is a player with a questionable tag in a starting spot during a playoff game. In the regular season maybe you can live with it, but you want to leave as little to risk as possible in the postseason. If you do have to start a questionable or doubtful player, research as much as you can into the injury. A lot of factors go into the injury tag. For instance, Wes Welker had the questionable tag last Sunday, but he plays for the New England Patriots. Knowing full well that the Patriots like to sandbag the league with their injury tags and having read quotes from Welker saying he expected to play, I gave him the start. It paid off as he finished with 17 fantasy points. Other players on other teams, it's more of a grey area. Grey areas are not your friend in the Fantasy postseason.

Thirdly, in postseason play, it's time to throw potential out the window. In the regular season deciding between a mediocre player that scores eight points a week and a high-potential players that could score 15 might be an easy decision. In the postseason, you unquestionably start the average player. Why?

With the average player, you know what you're going to get. He's been consistant. You can start him and know you're going to get those eight points. With the potential player, he might score 15, he might score five or he might not score at all, and that will cost you dearly.

By following these three keys, you will have eliminated a lot of risk. They're far from keys to winning in the Fantasy postseason. Luck still comes far too much into play. But by following these steps you will have the upper hand, because the 25 percent of Fantasy Football that is not luck, is strategy.

Silver Crush had one of the highest scoring weeks of the season last week. I racked of 138 points, vanquishing the fourth place team in the league, despite Mike Vick coming in with a paltry nine points against the smothering Chicago Bears defense. Not that it mattered. Vick played Monday night and I had the win wrapped up before he even took a snap. My Arizona defense carried me with 42 points. I drafted Arizona has a backup D, but they've thoroughly outplayed the Philadelphia defense (which i drated early) all season. I plan on starting Arizona against Philadelpha this Sunday, yes, while starting Mike Vick.

It might seem counter-active to start a Philadelphia quarterback and Arizona defense as they go head-to-head. But Fantasy defense has little to do with points against. It will count against you, but you will gain far more in return yards and defensive touchdowns. Arizona is superior in these catagories.

I also plan to keep starting Reggie Bush. Bush was a godsend of a free agent pickup after a disgruntled owner in my league dropped him. He's scored 17+ points in back to back weeks and has seemingly won the starting job in Miami. Couldn't have come at a better time with Peyton Hillis hobbling and LeGarette Blount still shaking off the injury bug as well.

In the next four weeks in my league, I'm facing off against the 7th place team, 8th place team, 10th place team and 3rd place team. So if all goes according to plan, that first round bye should be mine.



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