The Expert’s Guide to Losing Your Fantasy Football Playoffs

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Honolulu transplant from Nashville, Tennessee. Teaching high school English during the day, coaching Track & Field in the afternoon, then drinking enough to do it all over again.

Too competitive for an amateur, too amateur to be competitive.

Are you crushing your friends in fantasy football every week? Performing really well in the regular season? Everybody knows that someone in the top 3 of your fantasy league has to absolutely choke, so why not you? Be like Russell Westbrook and never win a playoff game again with these impeccable fantasy football tips. After sitting at 9-3 going into Week 13 with a strong chance of going 10-3 (my not-so humble brag), all that’s left is for me to totally choke for a first round exit in the fantasy football playoffs. I’m doing my best Dallas Cowboys impression and you can too. Here’s how:

Grab the Backup!

The first step in the choking process is to waste your FAAB or waiver order on useless players. The best worst thing I did all season was spend $31 FAAB on Keelan Cole after Week 3, but I had dumped him just a few weeks prior. In reality, no one tanked as hard as our league friend, Shizzlez, who picked up Cam Akers for $42 FAAB. Or you can be like DumbLuckChamp and grab Dion Lewis for $27. Maybe you prefer backup QBs thrust into the spotlight? Then hopefully you took Andy Dalton for $31.

These guys are visionaries, looking ahead to disappointment and mediocre results. That’s the kind of thinking that gets you booted right out of the fantasy football playoffs. Everything is going according to plan. If you haven’t grabbed the “Plan B” guy yet, do it! If Gurley goes down, do you take Brian Hill or Ito Smith? Grab both now and let go of your promising young receiver that’s finally heating up!

Dion Lewis stiff arms an oponent
Getty Images

ADP is Everything

While you’re getting rid of your promising late round guys, everyone knows the number 1 rule is to always start your early round draft picks. ADP is everything, that’s why experts write and sell their draft guides every offseason. David Johnson was the big thing the past few years, and the best way to lose was to continue starting him just because you drafted him in the first round. Those fantasy losers are the poster boys (and girls) for choosing the floor over the ceiling. Besides, undrafted players? Never heard of ’em. Keep on grinding, youngblood, broken McCaffrey legs and all. 

Always Overthink It

What about your really good early round picks? How could you possibly guarantee a loss with them? Easy! Send them to the bench. Patrick Mahomes doesn’t have the most appealing matchups in the fantasy football playoffs, going up against the Miami Dolphins and New Orleans Saints before finally getting Atlanta in Week 16. Despite a QB 1 or 2 ranking in most leagues and being probably the greatest football player on the planet right now, that’s a huge risk to take in the playoffs! You know who does have great matchups in the playoffs? How about the QB going up against New England, the Jets, and Seattle- Jared Goff. 

Patrick Mahomes with tears in his eyes
Getty Images

I know what you’re thinking: “But wait! What if he really does produce great numbers against New York and Seattle?!” See? You’re already overthinking it. If you’re that worried about it, maybe I’ll start Ryan Tannehill, who plays Jacksonville, Detroit, and Green Bay, despite December belonging to Derrick Henry. He’s practically guaranteed to throw only 1 TD each game while Henry runs for 600 yards. Trust me: this is the best play to help get me out of the playoffs. I’ll tell the guys “I could have won it” for years to come.

Follow the Red Flags

Joe Burrow with a season ending injury? Did Dak Prescott’s ankle show Jerry Jones that he needs Dak more than Dak needs him? Magically have a practice squad WR playing at QB for the team? Who cares?! Pay no mind to the man behind the center. Go ahead and keep playing Tyler Boyd or Tim Patrick into the fantasy football playoffs. This is the surefire way to score almost zero points and eliminate yourself at the most important time of the year. Other red flags you should keep an eye out for include the fun “1 Hit Wonders,” defenses playing against Kansas City, and star players coming back from injury to steal all the targets from your early-season waiver wire pickup. 

Some prime examples include Cam Sims of the Washington Football Team or even Cam Akers in Los Angeles. You could also consider playing Miami’s defense in Week 14 in the hopes that they make Patrick Mahomes look less like an MVP and more like every other top ranked QB who scored 30+ on them: Kyler Murray, Russell Wilson, and Josh Allen. My favorite take is to just play Mike Davis the rest of the year, scaring your opponent while you know deep down Christian McCaffrey is going to take every single rushing attempt and passing target he can when he comes back. 

3rd Place Material

By following these tips, you won’t have to worry about the pressure of trying to come in 1st place anymore. You don’t need that in your life. It’s 2020 after all! Put on your game face and look like the smartest guy in the room and play off the loss as the guy who outsmarts himself. Less stress anyway, right? Right?!

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Episode 82