Pass Plays: Getting the most out of the Detroit Lions

During most of the season, I advocate using a long-term approach to player pickup, but by about Week 12, my suggestion for many GMs is to put their teams on the Robert De Niro "Raging Bull" diet. For those readers who might not be familiar with the classic film, De Niro portrays the legendary middleweight boxing champion Jake "The Raging Bull" LaMotta. In the early parts of shooting the movie, De Niro played the younger LaMotta, but by the end, he had to portray an older, pudgier Bull. He eschewed putting on a fat suit to get the overweight look and instead decided to devote four months to eating his way from 145 pounds to 215 pounds. De Niro did this in large part by consuming foods that were none too good for him, but the idea was to put on pounds fast and it worked like a champ (pun intended).

The fantasy football equivalent to that kind of diet is to stock up on single-week, high-upside picks who might help you win one game but are likely to be a pocket of useless fat on your fantasy team after that. It doesn't make sense to overdo this early in the year, as it takes only a few pickups of this nature to kill a team's future chances, but when there are only two weeks left to the fantasy season, it's time to take those kinds of risks.