You've drafted a promising team, and the season's under way. Now increase your chances of making the playoffs.
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.
TIP: 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.
Step 8: Watch the real thing Don't forget to actually watch the games on Sunday and Monday. Not only will you learn valuable information you can only get by watching the players in action, but you may also have fun!
FACT: Did you know? The average fantasy football player spends almost three hours a week on their league's web site.