Optimizing your bench is crucial in fantasy football because there are always injuries that occur and matchups play a huge roll in who you start. But what is the best way do that?
First NEVER! EVER! IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCE have 2 kickers on your team. 95% of the time I can say the same thing for Defense/STs. Roster space is crucial and having players on your team that you’re never going to use is pointless.
If you have an elite QB then you really don’t need a backup. There are exceptions to the rule, like last year I drafted Aaron Rodgers and drafted Mathew Stafford in round 10 so I could trade him later. This year I feel like there are 2 QBs worth taking late to trade, Josh Freeman is going to have a resurgent year and RG 3 is going to have a great year that could be taken late in drafts. However, if you have an elite QB ( Rodgers, Bress, Brady, Newton, Stafford, just to name a few) then there is really no reason to have another QB on your roster.
No matter what roster type your league uses, 2 WR & 1 FLEX WR/RB or 3 WR, having more than 1 wide out sitting on your bench is not a good strategy. There are always breakout WRs ( Victor Cruz and Jordy Nelson last year) but it is a lot harder to predict those guys so having more than receiver on your bench isn’t a good way to maximize your bench. Sitting guys because of matchups is trickier with wide receivers.
It gets a little dicey when it comes to having more than 1 TE on your roster, but I like to treat it like the QB position, which is if you have an elite guy then there is no reason have another TE on your bench. What constitutes as an “ELITE” Tight End? The Gronkster and Jimmy Graham are no doubters but I would include guys like Jason Witten, Vernon Davis, Aaron Hernandez, Antonio Gates, and any other Tight End you would start every week. If you draft a Tight End that you plan on starting every week then there is no reason to have a backup Tight End collecting dust on your bench.
Now we are at the running back position and these are the guys I am filling my bench with. Let’s take a look back last year when Jamaal Charles, Darren McFadden, Adrian Peterson, Fred Jackson, and Matt Forte went down with injuries. Those are 5 of the top 10 RBs who got injured last year which resulted in extra playing time for guys like C.J. Spiller, Toby Gerhart, and Michael Bush. There were a plethora of RBs that contributed a big way in fantasy that were late round draft picks or waiver wire adds, such as DeMarco Murray, Darren Sproles, Willis McGahee, Roy Helu, and Donald Brown. The running back position is always changing and I want as many of them on my team as I can get.
The best way to optimize your bench is to have 1 more WR than you start (if you only start 2 WR then have 3 WR on your roster)and fill rest of those spots with running backs. Get your handcuffs and get other players handcuffs. Fact is, I would much rather have bench filled with guys like Doug Martin (TB), Peyton Hillis (KC), Ben Tate, Ryan Williams (Ariz), C.J. Spiller, and Isaiah Pead (STL), who can become instant starters/ fantasy studs, then have an extra QB or WR that I’m never going to use collecting dust on my bench.