Take a deep breath. 

It’s going to be alright. 

Put the tea kettle on.

Put in a splash of the good stuff in; make it a Hot Toddy while you’re at it. Maybe throw a log on the fire (yes, it snowed in Northeast Ohio recently).

Get comfortable.

The key thing is: Don’t panic. 

There have been a plethora of landmines this season: Injuries to studs like Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley to only name two, regression from Lamar Jackson, the constant uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, and now Johnathan Taylor getting outperformed by Jordan Wilkins! Just let us enjoy football in peace, 2020! 

The fantasy football season never plays out like we think it will; there is always an element of luck. As dynasty owners, though, we give ourselves the best chance at success by accruing value year-over-year. So yes, injuries, player regression, global pandemics, and rookie struggles may happen (we can’t control those things), but let’s not make things worse by panicking and giving away long-term value for short term gains. There is always a time and a place for “going all-in”, and we have provided 4 Late-Season Strategies Worth Reviewing. However, there are potential dangers to avoid along the way, so beware. 

I hope your Hot Toddy is ready, and remember, it’s going to be alright. 

Beware Of Giving Up On Your Rookies Too Soon

There is often a temptation, especially if we are managing a contender, to grow impatient with rookies.

We naturally want our first- and second-round picks to produce immediately, and special talents like Ezekiel Elliott, Alvin Kamara, and A.J. Brown can prove to be league-winners. And yet, football is a difficult sport. It takes players time to adjust to new offenses, develop rapport with their teammates, and get acclimated to the grind of a professional football season.

For that reason, hang onto Ke’Shawn Vaughn and others who haven’t quite taken off yet (and please, for goodness’ sake, don’t trade Johnathan Taylor unless you’re in a league with me, because in that case, I’m definitely buying and want to talk).

For Vaughn, if you liked him enough to take him at the end of the first round or beginning of the second, you should still like him enough to wait it out. He has a solid college profile and is best comparable to Dalvin Cook on PlayerProfiler, but he has only been given limited chances, logging a 21.3-percent Snap Share (No. 87). Situations change. Maybe Leonard Fournette moves on after this season. Maybe Ronald Jones and his pass catching deficiency forces him off the field more. We don’t know the future, but we can be patient.

Beware Of Trading Your Injured Stars

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With brutal injuries to so many great players, it could mean the end of our chances in some leagues.

Our advantage over our leaguemates at the tight end position may have been vaporized with George Kittle going down. That is really rough, but guess what hasn’t been vaporized: Your advantage over your leaguemates at the tight end position next year, and the year after, and so on. If you have a competitive advantage moving forward, don’t give it away at a discount. 

There is certainly a time and place to trade an injured star. Maybe they’re on the back-end of their prime. Maybe you can use them to trade for a younger player who looks like they will be a stud.

However, be careful not to trade Kittle or Barkley (a dollar) for lesser players and mid-round picks (quarters and dimes). Players who still project to have many elite years ahead of them are hard to find. As painful as injuries are for the players and our dynasty teams, there is always next year. Don’t be afraid to pack it in if the injury bug got you this year, and instead reload for a title chase next year and beyond. It’s not worth it to throw away long-term value just to chase the playoffs this year and get smoked in the first round.

Beware Of Throwing Picks Around

Draft picks are fun.

The drafting process is my favorite part of each season. I love researching prospects, projecting which players will be taken by which managers in my league, and wheeling and dealing for the perfect draft day trade. They are also fun, because they turn into fantasy points which help me win championships.

The beauty of that is that the pick either becomes a rookie or a vet depending on if I keep the pick or trade it, so they possess wonderful potential. All of this makes valuing them difficult and at times rather abstract. “What exactly is a second round pick worth?” The answer will depend on who you ask and, most importantly for our purposes, when you ask.

With all that said: Be careful trading your picks in-season.

Sure, if you have a chance to go for it and land a big time player with a pick, do it. Go chase that ‘ship! But, the reality is that the pick will only increase in perceived value the closer we get to the actual draft.

A first-round pick mid-season is rather murky for most gamers (hopefully not those of us who use THE BREAKOUT FINDER, since we already have a good idea of who those picks will become). Still, it is only once the NFL Draft is finished that many people can put names and faces to draft picks. And when that happens a funny thing occurs: The value of the pick goes from “generic 2021 1st” to “Travis Etienne”, and it soars. With that in mind, do the best you can to hang onto your picks. Better yet, accumulate more picks so that on draft day people are blowing up your phone desperate to make a deal as the price skyrockets, and not the other way around.

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