How To: Manage your fantasy football team

Manage your fantasy football team

You've drafted a promising team, and the season's under way. Now increase your chances of making the playoffs.

You Will Need
* Time
* Football news
* Knowledge of your league's rules
* Patience

Step 1: Pay attention
Devote time to following football news. Keep track of injuries, players who are performing above or below expectations, and weekly matchups. Knowing more than your opponents about individual players and the game schedule is the key to getting ahead.

Step 2: Be patient
Unless they have a season-ending injury, wait a few weeks before you drop or trade away players you picked within the first 10 rounds of the draft. Be extra patient with wide receivers, who tend to post inconsistent numbers from week to week.

Step 3: Pick up free agents
Pick up free agents – players who don't belong to any of your league's teams – on the waiver wire. In most leagues, beginning on Tuesday, the worst teams get to pick first, and the best teams go last.

Step 4: Step right up
Usually, starting on Thursday and continuing for the rest of the week, free agents become available on a first-come, first-served basis. Use the knowledge you've gained from following football news to add and release players.

In order to claim a free agent, you have to open a spot on your roster by dropping a player.

Step 5: Choose wisely
Look for diamonds in the rough: free agents who are flying below the radar, but are either posting consistent numbers or are about to become more valuable because they're replacing injured starters.

Step 6: Pick up RBs
Grab running backs whose stats are on the upswing, and keep them on your roster as bargaining chips for trades. Running backs are in demand in every fantasy league.

Step 7: Initiate trades
Trade with other teams for key players to fill the holes in your roster. You must submit trade requests to your league's commissioner before a set deadline, and they can reject your trade.

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