Gearing up for the fantasy playoffs – part two

Well, it’s the last class of our Introduction to fantasy football here at the FFF, or the faculty of fantasy football. Next up is the final exam – the fantasy playoffs. Some of you may ace the exam by winning a championship. Some of you may fall just a bit short. But no matter the outcome, you’ll need to prepare your team. Here’s a quick reminder of a few things fantasy owners need to see to:

Does your team have balance and depth? If one of your studs falls to injury, do you have a replacement? Do you have a “next man up?” Very important.

Do you have options if one of your studs or fringe players has a brutal matchup? Again, your playoff lineup should be a mixture of studs and players with cupcake matchups. Maximize your points for the win.

Do you have your lucky charm ready to go? Mine is a Winnipeg Jets hockey puck from the 1.0 era. I take it out when I need it. If you don’t have a lucky charm, don’t worry about it. And some of you may not believe in that stuff anyway. For some, luck, as Han Solo would say about the Force, is “a lot of simple tricks and nonsense.” But I still like having that 1.0 Jets puck around. I find it comforting.

As owners, all we can do is put our team in the best position to win. We prep as much as we can and just let the players play. But are they ready? Perhaps you need to deliver a classic rousing speech to your fantasy team in the locker room.

You could do Al Pacino in Any Given Sunday :

“Either we heal as a team, or we are going to crumble. Inch by inch, play by play, ‘till we’re finished […] Beause we know when we add up all those inches, that’s going to make the #$%&ing difference between winning and losing, between living and dying!”

Maybe replace inch with decimal point here.

Or you could do a little Kurt Russell from Miracle :

“Great moments are born from great opportunity. And that’s what you have here tonight, boys. That’s what you’ve earned here tonight. One game. If we played ‘em 10 times, they might win nine. But not this game. Not tonight”.

Or there’s always the “win one for the Gipper.” But maybe some of your players, or even yourself, might not know who the Gipper is. Confusion is not the emotion you want when you send your players onto the field.

It’s been an exciting and challenging fantasy season. So many injuries to top stars. But we’ve seen some new ones break out, like Carson Wentz. And we’ve seen some old ones continue to dominate, like Antonio Brown. AB should be an Avenger.

The fantasy football season is a journey, passing through great obstacles and great rewards at different moments. Think of one of the most difficult Mario Kart tracks you’ve ever raced on. There’s a book written by the legendary Hall of Fame Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi called Run to Daylight!”  The title refers to that moment when players have the football cradled in their arms and they’ve eluded every defender. All that’s left in front them is a clear path to daylight.

This is the final lecture of the class. I understand your “real” classes take priority. But I hope these lectures have been a pleasant diversion. With this series of articles, I’ve tried to provide some fantasy insight with a little humour mixed in along the way. I hope you’ve had as much fun reading them as I’ve had writing them. Best of luck in your fantasy playoffs, and may you all run to daylight.