Fantasy Sports

Fantasy spots. Oh boy. One moment, you love it. The next moment, you hate it.

So if you have no idea what I’m talking about… The whole idea of fantasy sports is that you’re the owner of a team of a specific sport, whether it be basketball, soccer, football, baseball, or whatever else there is out there. Before a season starts (or very early in the season), you select players to “play” for your team. Over the course of the season, they accumulate stats for your team. Depending on the format, you may face off against other teams and the team with the most points or most categories won, wins that week. Or you could try to accumulate the most stats over the course of the entire season and try to finish as high as possible. Millions and millions of people all over the U.S. and the world participate in some sort of fantasy sports. Some do it for money, others do it for pride.

When I see myself playing it, I think “Geez, this is such a roller coaster ride… Ugh.”

Here’s what I mean: I run a fantasy football league with some friends of mine (and no, it’s not for money, but a lot of pride on the line). I drafted a team that I felt was pretty strong. It might have some trouble against a couple of teams, but should win the majority of the weeks playing.

In our league, the average score is roughly around 120 point per week. So when you score 130 or more, that means your team is pretty good and you should likely win… Except when your opponent scores 176 points, thus resulting in a loss for that week. Then I play another team, beat him handily, winning 166 to 111. So I’m thinking, “Man, my team is pretty ridiculous. How can I possibly not make the playoffs this season?”

That’s when the roller coaster ride begins.

One of the things about fantasy sports, especially football, is that it’s all about individual match-ups versus various defenses (or offenses). Regardless of how amazing that player might be… they still might have an off-week, which means bad news for you. What’s even more fun is if several players on your team have a off-week… on the same week. Take this for example:

The Strike Box Score
QB Troy Smith, SF QB » L 0-21 10.2
RB Adrian Peterson, Min RB  Q » L 3-31 12.6
RB Jahvid Best, Det RB  P » L 19-35 6.3
RB/WR Wes Welker, NE WR » W 31-28 16.8
WR Hakeem Nicks*, NYG WR  K  O » L 17-27 12.5
WR Brandon Lloyd, Den WR » L 14-35 19.8
TE Dustin Keller, NYJ TE » W 30-27 2.7
D/ST Lions D/ST, Det D/ST » L 19-35 2
K Dan Carpenter, Mia K » L 0-16 0
Bench Matt Schaub, Hou QB  P » L 27-30 18.9
Bench Sam Bradford, StL QB  K » L 17-34 24.8
Bench Raiders D/ST, Oak D/ST » L 3-35 -0.1
Bench Michael Bush, Oak RB » L 3-35 7.9
Bench Joseph Addai*, Ind RB  O » L 28-31 0

So sometimes, you make the wrong decision and pick the wrong guy to play (i.e. playing Troy Smith over Sam Bradford or Matt Schaub, as I probably should have played Bradford since he was also on fire). However, there’s other times where even if you play the best guy (Adrian Peterson) or have a couple of the best players of that position (Nicks and Lloyd), you still can’t score that many points. Typically, AP scores in the high 20s. That week… 12.6 points. Awe… some…

I scored a total of 82.9 points that week, which is well below that average that I spoke about earlier. In any case, that’s the frustration of fantasy sports. As much research as you try to put into it, it really comes down to whether or not the player performs, whether they get hurt or a bunch of other things that are completely out of your control. But it’s just this up and down ride that you go on when you play. And sometimes, you think you’re gonna win… And then on the Monday night game, someone decides to go bonkers and score 60+ points to come back from a 59 point deficit to win. All you can say to yourself is “That’s just my luck.” Or when you play a team with an inactive owner and you think you should win because it’s a bye week, only to lose? Yeah… That’s a great feeling.

Thankfully, the reason why I play isn’t because I want to win the league though. It’s simply to create a place to get friends and sports enthusiasts together to follow sports together. For us, it’s football and it’s a blast to go text each other, chat about games when meeting up with them and do some trash-talking here and there. It doesn’t matter about the age (one of our guys playing in the past two years is still in high school and been in playoff contention each year) and it doesn’t matter about how well you know the sport. You just play and have fun. That’s all there is to it.

But fantasy sports… If you haven’t played it before and ever decide to play, take these three pieces of advice:

  • Just have fun.
  • Be wary of the ups and downs of the game.
  • If you play fantasy football, don’t draft Seattle Seahawks players. Ever. Even if you’re a fan. You’ll thank me later.

Thanks for reading.

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