Sandbagging What It Is and How To Avoid It

Sandbagging: What It Is and How To Avoid It

by Scooter Magruder

If you’ve ever been in a fantasy league for anything, (football, basketball, baseball, etc.) then you’ve probably heard this term before. But for those of you who have no idea what it means, I’m here to explain.

Sandbagging is the act of intentionally leaving a player on your bench when they are scheduled to play in order to keep them from making your team score more points. There are many reasons why this may happen. The most common reason is because the owner has a grudge against another owner. He wants that other owner to lose because he started someone on his roster or vice versa. Another reason may be that the two teams are playing each other that week and the owner doesn’t want the other team to get a big win. In some leagues sandbagging is just part of the game and it’s expected that every owner will do it at least once during the season. In others, sandbagging is looked down upon and will usually get you kicked out if you’re caught doing it too much.

A few days ago I was talking to one of my readers about sandbagging and he asked me how he could avoid it

For years, I have been the commissioner of a fantasy football league. It’s pretty standard stuff, with twelve teams and a fifteen-man roster that starts one quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, one tight end, one kicker and one defense/special teams. The draft is in August and the playoffs take place in December. In between there is a period of intense activity and another period when things calm down considerably.

Since this is a blog about writing, you may ask yourself what fantasy football has to do with the subject. Well, it has absolutely nothing to do with it directly until you think about the term “sandbagging.”

Many people who play fantasy football think that once the draft and opening weeks are over their work is done. Those are actually the easy parts. The tough part is monitoring your team’s performance as well as those of your opponents to see who might be sandbagging and what moves need to be made in response.

Sandbagging occurs when a player or team deliberately underperforms either to gain an advantage later on or because they have given up hope for improvement at an early stage in the season.

Have you ever been playing fantasy football for a season, only to realize at the end of the year that your team would have won the championship if you had just made a few strategic moves at the end of the season? Or maybe you were in first place for most of the year, but you are now fighting to hold onto a playoff spot. If this sounds like you, then you may be experiencing something called “sandbagging”.

Sandbagging is essentially when a team has two or more wins more than their current ranking in the standings. For example, if a team is ranked 6th in their league, but they have 7 wins (or more), then they are sandbagging. Conversely, if a team has fewer wins than their current ranking in the standings, then they are said to be “tanking”.

So what causes sandbagging? The answer is that it is caused by aggressive trading during the early part of a fantasy football season. For example, say Team A is ranked 4th overall in their league and they have 4 wins on the year. At this point, it’s still early enough in the season where many people will trade high-value players for low-value players because they feel that they need those low-value players to help

Sandbagging is what happens when a commissioner does not crack down on individual managers for taking advantage of bad luck.

For example, imagine that you are a manager and your opponent had two players who were inactive for the week because of injury. If you are playing a manager with no more moves available, you will get the full benefit of having those players out of their lineup (assuming you still have moves to play with). This is fair game.

But if your opponent has moves, they will use them to replace those inactive players. You do not get the full benefit of facing an undermanned team. This is unfortunate, but it is also fair game.

But what if your opponent could have replaced their injured player but did not? In other words, they could have reaped the benefits of having a “full” squad while still enjoying the advantage of having an undermanned team in their match-up against you. That is unfair and it is sandbagging.

In this scenario, both managers are playing within the rules but only one manager is playing fairly. And if it gets to be a habit with some managers in your league, it can spoil things for everyone else. It becomes more difficult for other managers to make up ground because some teams are

Sandbagging is a term used in fantasy football to describe those teams that are so far out of the playoff race that they don’t care about winning – or losing – games anymore. These teams have no incentive to put their best foot forward and will often play back-up players and/or rest their starters.

As a fantasy football owner, you must be able to recognize sandbaggers and also know how to deal with them if you’re going to make the playoffs. The easiest way to deal with sandbaggers is to avoid them in the first place. When making trades, keep an eye on the standings. If you’re going to give away a good player, make sure it’s in return for an equally valuable player on a team that is still in contention.

If you do find yourself playing against a sandbagger, there’s not much you can do besides hope that your players are better than theirs. However, if you’re facing this situation late in the season when playoff spots are on the line, it might be worth going out of your way to knock a sandbagger down a peg.

Most fantasy football leagues have some sort of rule that requires owners to start players at each position. So if a team has two quarterbacks, for example,

No matter the league, each season is comprised of two parts: the regular season and the playoffs. Winning a championship can be satisfying… but it’s only half the battle. The other half? Making it to the playoffs in the first place.

There is no single road to a playoff spot – some leagues are less competitive than others, while others are so difficult that they might as well be called majors. Some owners are more skilled than others; some leagues have more parity; some teams start off playing well and fade down the stretch, while others start slow and peak at just the right time. And of course, some teams get lucky.

That said, there are things that you can do to improve your chances of reaching the postseason – and doing so before you’re eliminated from contention. Here are 12 tips for making it to your fantasy league’s playoffs:

Ask yourself what your worst possible outcome is when you place a trade.

For example, if you are in first place and have a four-game lead, your worst possible outcome is that you lose the lead and miss the playoffs.

This means that only trading for players who can move the needle and help you win a championship is worth it.

If the answer to your question is “it’s not worth it,” then don’t do the deal!

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