You’ve done all of the planning for your fantasy draft. You’ve made all of the preparations, read tons of articles, and watched the experts give their analysis on ESPN. You feel confident and ready.

Then the draft happens.

And you had a great one. You drafted most of the players that you really wanted. Some players fell to you that you thought would be gone, and the other guys in your league picked guys in the first or second round that you NEVER would have. You have a killer lineup and are ready to take on every single team in your league. How could anyone beat this team?

Then the season starts.

And your team kills it in week one. You destroyed your opponent. You do the same thing in week two and then week three. Your team is everything that you thought it would be. And then something happens. You become so wrapped up in the success of your team that you neglect your bench.

Fantasy Football Tip: DON’T NEGLECT YOUR BENCH.

This is what separates champions from runners-up. You must value every spot on your roster. Your bench is every bit as important as your starting lineup.

There are several reasons why your bench is important:

  • If your starter gets hurt, you need to have someone worthy who can step in and get points for your team.
  • If you have good players on your bench, there is a good chance that one of them will get hot and start producing big numbers. You can insert that guy into your lineup and start winning the close games.
  • At the same time, one of your currently-hot starters could go ice cold and single-handedly lose games for your team. You need to replace that guy.
  • Roster-blocking your opponents

Roster-blocking is an often overlooked and under-utilized strategy in fantasy. It happens when you pick up a player that you don’t plan on starting that week; you are only adding them to your roster to keep them off of someone else’s (usually your opponent that week). Think about it…would you rather have a decent backup on your team or drop him and pick up a player that you know your opponent wants and can use to defeat you.

Your starting lineup is important, but so is your bench.