NFL Real Talk: Get Grimey

As the late Eddie Guerrero once said, “Cheat to Win”
Photo Credit: NAPARAZZI


If you are the person in your fantasy league who always bitches about “unfair” tactics utilized by your opponents, then this edition of NFL Real Talk is not for you.


Since we are marching towards the nitty-gritty of the fantasy football season, it’s only right that we spend this week highlighting some strategic maneuvers that might be considered underhanded by some. So grab your Tonya Harding-signed whacking stick, because it’s time to go for the knees.


More after the jump:


Gamesmanship is a big part of fantasy football. Trade collusions aside, it is patently ridiculous to call anything anyone does in fantasy football “cheating.” This isn’t Monopoly with your family. Uncle Bob isn’t able to sneak a couple 100s out of the bank. Because fantasy football takes place online, the rules and settings are objectively enforced by. Thus, if your league allows moves to take place, it is because they are 100% legal for your league’s rules and settings. Can some people take advantage of certain rules and use wits to screw someone else over? Absolutely. But like Omar Little once said, “all in the game yo.” 


Below are a couple of ways you can get an extra edge over your opponent (while hopefully pissing a couple people off in your league at the same time):


Spot Blocking 

This is when you add players you don’t necessarily need just to attempt to screw over another manager. There are many variations of the spot block. Here are some easy ways to employ it:


1) If your opponent that week happens to have a bye week at a critical position, add and drop the best options that are available for them on the waiver wire. The most effective way to employ this method is to pick up the best players they may find useful immediately, and then drop them for the next-best options on Friday. Why Friday? Because those players you dropped will not be eligible for that week’s games since they’ll still be on waivers and unable to be added by any owners. If you do it right, you can prevent your opponent from adding four-to-six of the top waiver options available to them.


2) Check to see if your opponent has any game-time decision type of players. If so, peep when they are playing. If you see that they have someone who plays at 4 PM or later on Sunday, pick up the best options and commence with the Friday add/drop scheme.


3) If you see someone ahead of you in the standings has a starting RB that is playing a big role in their success, get their handcuff if possible. 


Trifling Trades

Trades are traditionally performed for the sake of improving one’s own team. But what if… you made the trade with the design of improving your trade partner’s team? That, my wheeling-and-dealing comrades, is a trifling trade. Confused? Let’s break it down.


Someone ahead of you in the standings is staring at a relatively favorable matchup, hurting your chances to move up the ranks. You assess your rival’s opponent that week, and see if there are any spare parts on your roster that you can safely give up while markedly improving your trade-partner’s starting lineup. By improving their lineup, you are hoping the person ahead of you in the standings takes a loss (improving your playoff outlook in the process).


Now some of you may be saying, “S-S-Starbonell?!?! I’m into some lowdown grimy shit, but isn’t this trade colluding?” Not unless you discuss the nefarity of this move with your trade partner. 


You should make an offer you know the other person will accept, because it makes total sense to them. The trade partner recognizes they have a hole, and are willing to make a move that improves their team without even thinking the word “collusion.” That is the beauty of this technique. The trade partner is ignorant to your intentions (unless you stupidly discuss it with them). Yet in the end, you get what you want: a boost up the standings.


About Starbonell

Starbonell is the co-founder of Sons of Roto and one of the most insightful and colorful fantasy analysts in the game. Mixing intelligent and well-researched advice with an entertaining style of writing that is easy to digest, Starbonell is the king of info-tainment.