Stretch Run Strategy

There is help out there for your fantasy squad, once you figure out what you need.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - With the season beginning the "stretch run," as I think every play-by-play announcer called it this weekend, it marks the time of the year when fantasy owners need to start looking at what final moves they need to make to put their club in a position to make a run at the league title.

Some decisions may be very easy. If you are weak in goal, you need to pick up a goaltender or two to help improve that situation.

Other times though, it is not a position you need help in, but a category. Maybe you are strong in goals, but weak in plus/minus. Or you have a ton of power play points, but you are lacking in penalty minutes.

At this time of year it is better to zone in on the categories you can make some noise in than on the positions those numbers come from.

Take a look at your league's overall standings. If it is a rotisserie style league where you are ranked based on the overall number accumulation of a certain stat, this theory is perfect for you.

How many points are you out of top spot? How many points do you need to gain over the season's final months to be in the mix when the music stops? Once you have this number, you can put together a competent plan of attack for your end of season wheeling and dealing.

Examine where you stand in each stat category, not just how far you are from the team that leads the category, but from the team or teams ahead of you and those immediately behind you. Write these numbers down on a piece of paper and keep track of them all.

Next, add up how many of that statistic you need to gain one point in that category, and in the overall, standings.

Once you have completed the assignment for each category, go back and take a look at how far out of first place you are and compare that with your "movability" in the individual categories.

Now rank these categories from one to however many categories your league uses based on how quickly you can make up one point, then two points and so on.

A clear plan should be forming in your head. Put together a plan of attack based on the categories you have a shot in, and then adjust your deadline dealing as appropriate. You may even be able to find some help on the waiver wire.

This may lead to some odd looking deals on the surface, trading a 40-goal scorer for two or three defenseman with high plus/minus, but if your plan is solid, it will not only be the right move, but the best move you can make for your team.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Tim Godfrey at tgodfrey@sportsnetwork.com.