The trade deadline’s have passed and the regular season is coming to a close. Fantasy playoffs are only a few weeks away. Are you in? Are you close? Here are some things you need to do to prepare for the playoffs.

Play for now. If your in a tight race, whether its trying to get into the playoffs, or whether its trying to get a bye, you need to play for now. If you comfortably have a bye wrapped up, or you have a playoff spot wrapped up and you can’t get to a bye then you can still plan ahead for the future. But if you need to win now then you need to make short term decisions. You can’t be holding on to Adam Dunn waiting for him to hit much longer if you need to get into a playoff spot. You need to go ahead and drop guys like that. Now there are a few weeks left but every point will matter in the end. Do everything you can to scratch and claw away at every point. Even if you have an extra two starter than your opponent go ahead and make it two just to be safe. Do everything you can. Once it gets down to the last week and your still fighting you need to hit panic mode. Which means get hot hitters and stack your team with two start pitchers. If someone like Dan Uggla comes back down by the time your in your last week and he’s slumping hard and you have to win, then cut him for a hot hitter. Because there is no tomorrow if your not playing for today.

Project your starters. It’s okay to start projecting which of your starters will pitch when once your playoffs start. If your looking to pick up a pitcher for this coming week and it’s close between a couple of guys, take the guy who is projected to start the first week of your playoffs. And it is okay to look ahead that far and see what teams that pitcher will be facing. This isn’t the time to be lazy. You’ve just played every single day for an entire season for the purpose of winning a championship, so don’t get lazy at the end. It’s impossible to make your players play better, but you can look ahead and put your team in its best possible situation to win. You should know by now that a pitcher is a two start pitcher one week, then the next week he pitches around friday to saturday, then the next week its wednesday thursday, then back to being a two starter. So approximately every 3 weeks a guy is a two start pitcher. If your playoffs start 3 weeks from now and you won’t have a bye then you can start to prepare with two starters this week. By then things can change such as double headers or rainouts, but thats too hard to plan for. For now you have to go with these probable guys. If that week comes and these guys aren’t pitching twice, then you can dump them. By then the player pool won’t be as good, but at least you took the chance to better your team. Hopefully the pitcher stays on a normal schedule and your guys go twice during the week you most need it.

Don’t look ahead into the playoffs. Again, there is no tomorrow if you don’t play for today. When you are in week 1 of the playoffs don’t be worried at all about your situations for week 2. Only those who have earned a bye get that privilege. Don’t even worry about how that guy is already preparing for the following week while you can’t. Stack your team for that first week only. Just make sure you win that first week. If you get through then you can start to worry about week 2. You may be at an immediate disadvantage in week 2, but the fact that your team was just hot enough to get a win means that you have some momentum going into your matchup. Your round 2 bye opponent doesn’t necessarily have a hot team at the time. That is why so many top seeded teams get knocked out and don’t win championships. How many #1 seeds do you ever see winning the championship? It’s pretty rare. While they are sitting pretty with their normal team that got them there the team that won in round 1 has a team full of players who are hot right now. That could make all the difference.

Best of luck to you all and I hope that the majority of the readers from this season win their championships. Then my job is complete. I will continue to post about baseball even though its about time to jump full force into fantasy football. If you saw my last football piece you’ll remember me saying that my rankings by position will debut next monday on August 22nd. A different position will be released each day.

Please post your questions or comments about your fantasy playoffs. I will be checking the site a good bit to answer all questions during the playoff weeks. Together we will get you those championships!