5 Weekly Tools To Help You Win Your Matchups

Dan the UCFL champ

Hello again fantasy fanatics. I wanted to take a few minutes and give you some pointers on how to better your chances of winning your weekly fantasy matchups. Some of these are obvious, some may not be. Let’s get started!

1. Check The Rankings

Hey, like I said…some of these are obvious! But to be more specific; check them across multiple sites and look for big discrepancies. For example; this week CBS Sports has Mike Williams as the WR29 in PPR formats, while ESPN has him at WR19, and FantasyPros has him at WR21. When I look at the rankings across different sites on a WR like Williams, who I consider to be a flex option, these discrepancies show me a wide range of outcomes.

I prefer to look for a little more consistent ranking when deciding who I should start. For example, CBS sports has Elijah Moore at WR22 for week 12, while ESPN has him at WR20, and FantasyPros has him at WR23. In this example give me Elijah Moore every time.

The consistency across multiple platforms shows me there is a higher likelihood that Moore will be the “safer” play.

2. Check The Matchups

Another fairly obvious one here folks! Winning in fantasy football often comes down to one call in your lineup that you either hit or miss; the difference between sweet victory and painful defeat is typically razor thin.

When making those tough calls on your lineup each week you can heighten your chances of victory if you play the better matchup. For example let’s say in week 12 you have a flex decision to make between Myles Gaskin and Javonte Williams. These 2 players are ranked within the 15-20 range across all platforms and are within 2 spots of each other on each of ESPN, CBS, and FantasyPros rankings.

Now using tip #1 in this article I see that Javonte Williams is the most consistently ranked of the 2, so I’m leaning his way already. Then to be sure I dig a little deeper into the matchups of the 2. Gaskin will be facing off against a Carolina Panthers defense that has allowed the 3rd fewest points to the Running Back position. Meanwhile Javonte Williams gets a crack at the LA Chargers defense that has allowed the 4th MOST fantasy points to the running back position. Hmmm, which one should I start? Come on guys and gals!

These are the decisions that can leave you smiling Tuesday morning, or standing on the edge of a cliff wondering if you should jump. Go with Javonte! It’s simple!

3. Ask For Help!!!

Ok, now we are learning something! Swallow your pride and reach out to a buddy whose opinion you trust. I am currently a part of two leagues with my friend and fellow FantasyFootballBullRush.com writer, Dennis Brady.

Not a week goes by that I don’t seek advice from him. When I have exhausted tips one and two and am still undecided, I pick up the phone and I reach out to him. While I may not always follow the advice, I do value it, and it is a big factor in my final decision.

Earlier this week in one of our leagues, prior to pulling off a trade for Jalen Hurts I had a difficult lineup decision to make. At the quarterback position, I had Matthew Stafford and Russell Wilson on my roster to choose from. CBS has Stafford at QB9 and Wilson at QB10, ESPN has Stafford at QB6 and Wilson at QB11, and Fantasy Pros has Stafford at QB8 and Wilson at QB10. All the rankings seem to favor Stafford in week 12, but Wilson had the more consistent ranking, so I moved on to number 2. Stafford faces off against the packers in week 12, who have allowed the 9th fewest points to opposing quarterbacks, meanwhile Wilson will be taking on the WFT, who happen to have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks through the first 11 weeks of the season.

This is a tough call so I scratched my head for a while and then reached out to Dennis for his opinion. We discussed back and forth different points on both qbs and decided that Stafford was the play coming off of a bye week, with a coach like McVay, and a familiar opponent who he has torched year after year while a member of the Detroit Lions. So, when the decision is tough and the rankings and matchups don’t show a clear winner, ask for help!

4. Check The Forecast

This one is all to often forgotten by Fantasy Football players. I personally skipped over this rule in week 11 and my matchup was a lot closer because of it. Fortunately, I was still lucky enough to pull out a victory, but that won’t always be the case.

In week 11 I scoured the waiver wire for a kicker (I know, kickers, bleh) i went back and forth between Randy Bullock and Chris Boswell. I decided on what I thought was a sure thing in Titans kicker, Randy Bullock. The man hadn’t missed a kick in over a month and the Titans were playing the Houston Texans, in Tennessee. Houston had allowed the 2nd most points to kickers in 2021. Sounds awesome right?? I thought so. Until the game started and the rain was coming down with no end in sight and the wind was swirling all over the stadium. Bullock went on to miss one of his two extra-point attempts and did not even attempt a field goal as the Titans’ offense was disgusting, and playing from behind all day. As the game concluded and Bullock had netted me a giant goose egg in my starting lineup I couldn’t help but kick myself.

Chris Boswell went on to convert 3/3 field goal attempts and 4 extra points for a total of 14 fantasy points. Had I checked the forecast, as I had previously always done, I would have started Boswell in week 11 and added 14 points to my starting lineup. Those are the types of little details and decisions that will cost you victories more often than not.

Now while I did this with a kicker, all positions should be viewed the same way – look at the forecast for each NFL game prior to kickoff. Is it snowing heavily with 35 MPH winds? If so, obviously that will downgrade the QBs and WRs involved in that game, while also upgrading the RBs and D/ST. Use some common sense here and help yourself, don’t beat yourself!

5. Check The Injury Report

Go over to NFL.com approximately 90 minutes prior to the kickoff of each game and take a look at the team’s injury report that your players are a part of, as well as their opponent.

Is your running back going to be missing any offensive linemen? If so, that may downgrade him a bit. Is his opponent going to be missing their starting linebackers or defensive tackles? That’s an upgrade. This one is pretty easy but is often overlooked.

The average fantasy players only check the injury report for fantasy-relevant players, such as their starting WRs quarterback, or to make sure their guy is active for the week. Don’t be average, give yourself an advantage, and dig a little deeper! This can aid you in making some tough decisions. Let’s say you have two fairly even WRs to choose from who are ranked 20th and 23rd for the week. The 23rd ranked is playing an opponent who will be missing their top 2 defensive backs. Most fantasy managers won’t know this and will just play the higher-ranked guy, potentially costing themselves a win.

Hopefully, these tips help you find your way to the winner’s circle this week and beyond! Take the few extra minutes to dig a little deeper and make the right decisions. Average won’t win you a fantasy championship, after all, so be better! All of these tips will help you gain an edge over your opponent on a weekly basis, and in this crazy game any advantage you can get, you have to take! Good luck as we roll through week 12 and continue the march to the Fantasy Playoffs!

And if you’re playing in someone else’s league, start your own damn fantasy football league!

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