#1. Make A List Of What Categories Your Team Is Great In And What Categories Your Team Needs To Improve Upon
I recommend using the current totals of your teams stats, which can be found in Yahoo by clicking on where it says "League, then under that click "Team Stats" and below that click on "Totals". Though I have only used Yahoo for fantasy basketball, my guess would be that all fantasy basketball sites would have a team stats page, or at least something like it.
Once you get to the "Team Stats" page and click on "Totals", you can easily compare your teams stats to every other team in your league. Find which categories that your team is best in and what categories your team is worst in, in comparison to the other teams in your league. Write down your team's two best categories and two worst categories.
Example: Your team may be great in blocks and rebounds, but may be lacking in assists and FT%. Make a note of this before you continue on.
#2. Research Your Current Players' Season To Date Stats And Their Current Season Rank
When researching your players, first make sure to find out if they are injured or have been injured. A player may appear to drop in rank because of bad play, but it also may be due to injury. It is very important that you pay attention to this.
Find which of your players are the major reasons for your success and find the players that are bringing your team down. If you do not periodically check your team each week, you may not notice that some players on your team add very little value and may not even deserve a roster spot. An easy way to check this, is to check your players' actual season ranking (Not the O-ranking, or projected ranking).
If a player has a poor ranking, his ranking number will be very high compared to everyone else on your team. The higher the number, the less production and value that player is adding to your team. If this player is not or has not been injured, you should definitely consider dropping him or trading him to another team. Find the weak link on your team, in order to free up a spot for your new waiver wire pickup. If you already have bench spot open, then great, you don't need to get rid of anyone.
#3. Check To See Who Is Available (Keeping in mind which categories you need to improve on)
First check the most dropped/added players in the last 7 days by going to ESPN Here or if your league is on Yahoo, then you can just click on "Research", which is to the left of where it says "Draft Central".
There will almost always be some reason why the most added players are the most added players for the week. Click the little yellow notification box next to each player and read why each player is such a hot commodity for the current week. It may be because the player is on a hot streak or because someone on that player's team was injured and the player is getting more minutes as a result of the injury.
Next, check each "top added" player's average stats for the past 7 days, which should be about 4 or 5 games, depending on the team's schedule. Look for a player that will help you improve on your worst category or second worst category. Example: If you need 3's and FT% and you can afford to lose a little in FG% add a player who meets these requirements. It would be even better if you could pickup someone who is an overall better player than the worst player on your team. Just proceed to make the switch and you are good to go.
#4. Reevaluate The Situation
Ask yourself, will my team be better off once I add this player?
How long will this player produce these numbers for? (Is he in just for one game because another player on his team is out with a minor injury?)
If he only produces like this in a couple more games, is it really worth adding him?
#5. If You Feel Comfortable With The Situation, Make The Add
If you are okay with riding a player's hot streak for a little while and you need a short-term solution then make the pick-up.
However, if you are looking for a player with sustainable production, do a little more research on the player. Finally, use your own discretion or ask a question in The ESPN Fantasy Football Forum if you are really not sure what to do and you need another person's opinion.
Also Feel Free To Comment On This Post If You Have Any Questions.
Good Luck Finding The Right Pick-Up For Your Team. I Hope These Steps Helped A Little And I Wish You All The Best!