So you’ve had a successful regular season and the playoffs are here. Now what do you do?
First, remember that a good regular season means nothing if you don’t do well in the playoffs. In fact, here in the good ol’ USA, we still believe in finishing first. (And yes, Mr. President, we even believe in American exceptionalism.) So focus your attention on being the champ.
Sounds good, but how do you do that?
First, scour the waiver wire for one or two last pickups. Look for ‘upside players’ – players who have taken over for injured starters or have moved up the food chain getting regular playing time.
Do it the week before playoffs start if you’re pretty well set for the playoffs. If you’re still scrambling to make the playoffs, you may need to wait until the following week.
Second, take a hard look at your current roster. Up until now, your bench focus has been on ‘value players’ and injury-related handcuffs. Times now change. A value player – like your 4th or 5th WR – provides no value to you on the bench in the playoffs. As mentioned, your bench should now have one or two upside players. Don’t go overboard but, remember, taking a higher level of risk in the playoffs is pretty much a necessity. Stick with your horses but supplement with high upside players regardless of their current website rankings.
Third, pay more attention to the site of the games than you did in the regular season. A couple years ago Kurt Warner carried many of us to a high finish in the regular season – and to an early exit resulting from a disastrous cold weather performance. Continue to play your cold weather QB’s but be wary of warm weather QB’s heading north.
Fourth, ignore everything I said above. OK, just kidding. But I mention it because you should not make more than two changes to your roster. Cast off value players in favor of upside players. Use a flex spot for an upside player if appropriate. And give some barometric thought to your QB position.
But do not overreact. Prep for upside but play your horses – not hunches. Play with the confidence that got you to the playoffs