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When should fantasy managers cut bait with players in-season?

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At Sportzshala Fantasy Football Forecast, Liz Loza and Frank Schwab look at draft strategy and how long underperforming players can be retained.

Video transcript

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FRANK SCHWAB: Now I’m curious because I struggle with it a lot, especially baseball which is a much longer season and everything bounces back a lot easier. What is the right time for these guys? You talk about holding on too long, but still you don’t want to… I’m not going to do it at the end of September.

Like, I’m going to believe in Allen Robinson, probably for too long, because it’s, like, Allen Robinson or whatever, even Trey Sermon. It’s like, well, once he gets his chance, whatever. When is the best time to start cutting bait?

LIZ VINE: I guess it depends on your… well, your track record. You know, you have… if you lose, you have to take the bait and you can’t imagine this guy being the hero of the second half of the season. You didn’t choose him to… you chose Dameon Pierce.

To be that guy, you don’t call on Ezekiel Elliot to be that guy. You — and I think that’s also something when we look at our draft strategies, look at the charts. I know some people don’t like schedules. But, like, the Lions come out. You will have an idea.

I want players who start hot to know that I can take the bait if I need to. And there will be some foundational players that you don’t want to do that with, like I think like Terry McLaurin last season when Ryan Fitzpatrick went down with a hip injury in the first half of this season. The first game of the week was supposed to be the moment when I would have thought, “Oh, click.” How is it not–

FRANK SCHWAB: Sometimes you just get stuck. You are by no means firing Terry McLaurin. What is it like–

LIZ VINE: Well, you can’t cut it, but…

FRANK SCHWAB: But you could kinda shop [INAUDIBLE] or something like that.

LIZ VINE: We had a 100+ yard game against the Giants in week two, but James Bradbury was his main reporter. Like, they fought. And Maclaurin owned it, which is important.

The next week they played in Buffalo. I should have looked ahead and exchanged for… for example, knowing, in hindsight, knowing what I know now, I should have thought that it couldn’t be sustainable. It’s not… like, we got lucky this week. It’s time to move on and pack the deal.

And I think that in the second week, people — after going 100+ yards against an absolutely respectable opponent in James Bradbury, people would be excited about it. And I don’t… I’m a bad trader. Again, I stay with the guys that I have. I stay with the company I work for. I stay with the man I married. For example, I stick… I’m just faithful. And I think maybe I just need to get smarter, really.

LIZ VINE: Yes, and it’s hard when you [INAUDIBLE] a guy like McLaurin, who I like, and he just spent 100 hours on James Bradbury. It doesn’t matter who the quarterback is.


FRANK SCHWAB: He’s bulletproof, and then, yes, a few weeks later, he regretted it. So yes, I think this is a difficult question to answer because so many things matter.

Obviously, I will cut the 15th round pick long before I cut the 5th round pick. Your record is a great moment. I think it’s a great point that you need to be a little more aggressive with your opt-out wiring when you’re one and three years old in September.

But I always struggle with it. Again, especially in baseball, where at the end… like Juan Soto is now. For example, I have Juan Soto. And I think what can I do with this guy?

Like, he will come back and play well for the last four months. He must. But when? When will it happen? Let’s go to. So yes, I agree that one of the hardest things about playing fantasy is just to last too long and when you can somehow get away with a guy.


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