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I Tried to Manipulate My Fantasy Roster. It Worked.

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Some IR-related strategy to maximize your roster down the stretch.

A fantasy scheme/strategy to prevent the loss of Roman Josi.
A fantasy scheme/strategy to prevent the loss of Roman Josi.
Yahoo Sports

Last week, I tried to manipulate Yahoo to my advantage - and the crazy thing is, it worked. I debated whether to write this post at all; I normally hate columns centered around another person's fantasy team, but I wanted to share my scheme in case it will help anyone else win a championship.

With the imminent return of Steven Stamkos and Johan Franzen from IR, I was faced with a dilemma: who to drop on my first-place team, Laich a Virgin. Until Tuesday, this was my roster in our 12-team league:

Patrick Marleau

Eric Staal

Tomas Plekanec

Nathan MacKinnon

Chris Kunitz (Traded for)

Andrew Ladd (Traded for)

Rick Nash

Alexander Semin (Traded for)

Brandon Saad

Phil Kessel

Wayne Simmonds

Chris Stewart (Traded for)

Ryan Callahan

Nino Niederreiter

Roman Josi

Cody Franson (Traded for)

Niklas Kronwall

Alex Pietrangelo (Traded for)

Radko Gudas (Traded for)

Shea Weber

Jason Garrison

Marc-Andre Fleury

Kari Lehtonen

Anton Khudobin


Steven Stamkos (IR) (Traded for)

Johan Franzen (IR)

First of all, as you can see, I am an unapologetic trade whore. For Semin, who I obtained two weeks ago, I begrudgingly/purposely traded two players (Mikhail Grabovski and Daniel Alfredsson) to open up a roster spot. I then picked up Niederreiter as a placeholder until Stamkos or Franzen returned. But that still didn't resolve the other spot I needed to activate both of them. Secretly (and shamefully), I hoped Stamkos would return first and Franzen would be out a bit longer to give me time to figure this out. So clearly, the opposite happened: Franzen returned immediately while Stamkos was postponed to March 6th. Clusterf*ck.

So who would you drop? Josi, who I adore? He only offers me some points and a ton of shots on goal, which I don't really need, while a goon like Radko Gudas serves a specific purpose (hits and PIMs). But I love him! I could try to pull off another two-for-one trade, but I really don't want to move two more of my players; I am rather infatuated with the current Virgins.

So as I sat staring at Yahoo, trying to come to terms with having to break up with my fantasy boyfriend and watch someone else steal him, I had an idea: with both players still on IR, what if I dropped Nino and opened one spot, and then set my roster for the entire season, playoffs included, constantly swapping Stamkos and Franzen when they had games? Meaning, one player would always be on IR, while the other would be active, utilizing one roster spot for two players.

Sure, I would be barred from making another move this season with an uninjured player on IR, but what move would I make? That is the whole problem. I was concerned about the days when all three of my goalies have games, because I didn't think I would be able to adjust my roster if one was playing while another was getting a breather; strangely, it has no effect on my ability to alter a lineup. So I will be getting statistics from both Stamkos AND Franzen without actually dropping a player, like I would otherwise be required to do. Keep in mind, as soon as a player loses the Red Mark of Death, you lose the opportunity to manipulate your roster.

So far, it has worked flawlessly. A little too good to be true, if we are being honest here; I keep waiting for my roster to reset and for Yahoo to prompt me to remove the uninjured player off of IR. Nevertheless, while it may not be sustainable all season, it is a nice little trick to buy some time. Enjoy.