Adrenaline and excitement is flowing heavily through my veins because freaking fantasy football is upon us my brothers and sisters.
This is what we trained for….the mind numbing losses, the euphoric wins, draft day, bitching at the commissioner because of a close loss, trade rapes, scrapping over the waiver wire, the trash talk and being able to run a team simply because you call the shots.
What makes fantasy football so fun is the different people that play. As of 2014, the number of women playing fantasy sports doubled to 8.3 million since 2007. Part of me believes fantasy football (along with wearing pink in October) is one of the main catalysts for why the NFL is so popular among women. For being such a “man’s” game, it is awesome that 45% of the viewership in the NFL belongs to women according to Reuters.
When people have a connection or can recognize names and faces, that will attract them more to your sport.
Fantasy football has turned the casual fans into super fans to some degree. If you have not joined a fantasy football league, do it. Even if you think you wouldn’t be any good, there are rankings that will make you competent if you just follow those. There is nothing like it.
Just a warning, pick your league wisely if you are a first time fantasy footballer. Don’t join a league where you are putting up $100 to play people who have been playing for years. You have a better shot at being Jewish and surviving Nazi Germany. People like me fill those leagues and will do anything we can to tear down your team, along with your soul.
That is money league Michael though. Family league Michael is more willing to help you pick a better squad and give you friendly advice like not taking the Seahawks defense in the fourth round. Just know your league.
Before I get into my reasons for why I love fantasy football, this is what you guys had to say.
- Ryan – “I get to shit on my friends for losing. Makes boring NFL games barable to watch. And I get to shit on my friends for losing.”
- Jordan – “I love fantasy football because I’m a glutton for punishment and have a crippling gambling addiction.”
- Mallisa – “I love beating my husband the most.”
- John – “I enjoy year long bragging rights against the bros.”
- Shaine – “When you finally win a league and realize the prize money doesn’t even come close to the amount you have invested over the years.”
- Danny – “I enjoy the highs and lows of feeling like an expert or idiot. Some weeks, you’re a genius for starting a player. While other weeks you start a player and he makes you look as if you have never watched the sport of American football.”
- Ashley – “Trash Talk. Get Off My Ditka Bro.”
- Casey – “Haven’t set my lineup since the butt fumble. Forever sacko.”
- Pierce – “Why Fantasy Football is great to me?… a few reasons..Matter of opinion.
Everyone thinks they have the answer. Everyone has a differing opinion on all topics.. Rules, Players, Draft, etc…. Truly enjoyable to see how people perceive different situations and players. Friendship. Different leagues with different cliques. Between work and friendship I’m in multiple leagues. It gives you one more reason to see one another.. whether it be draft day or viewing parties. It tests friendships. It adds to friendship rivalry. Strategy. Everyone has their own preparation. Whether it be doing nothing or doing 6 mock drafts a day. Everyone prepares differently… It’s enjoyable watching that unfold. And honestly my favorite reason… DRAFT DAY. It’s hard to put into words what draft day is to me. It’s just a day dedicated to hanging out with your best friends. It’s a day to bitch and complain about draft picks. It’s a day to drink to much and eat to much…My name is Pierce Pitre, and I love fantasy football. Bitch.”
- Nick – “Fantasy football is amazing because you can be the gm of your own team without all the headaches of contracts and player drama. Just get me points bitches or get on the bench!”
- Ryan – “The best things about fantasy football are draft day, trash talk, and the fact that it makes me pay attention to every gave every week.”
- Brandon – “Spreadsheets.”
- Grant – “I like the fact that anything and I mean ANYTHING can happen. Like Julie Chen says in Big Brother, expect the unexpected. You might have your main star get hurt in week 1. Of course, we don’t wish this on anyone, but just the unpredictability is the best part for me.”
- Matt – “Picking that guy that gets put in the perfect situation with an offense that plays to his strengths and he just EXPLODES. Yes, sleeper picks!”
Why I Love Fantasy Football
Playing off what I said about the demographics of fantasy football and how more women are playing, I love the fact that my wife and I are in a league. Shamefully, I admit she has been kicking my ass every year in our family league.
Despite that, I love that I can turn on a Green Bay Packers game and she knows who Jordy Nelson is. We are able to talk about our weekly match ups and cheer for each other’s players. Just don’t catch us when we play each other.
This is what I fucking live for. Draft day is amazing. There is nothing like being in a fantasy football war room. Like Pierce said, it is a day to hang out with your best friends, eat and drink too much and just bitch and complain about your picks. This is the day where you can have a small taste of what it is like to be a GM on the clock.
One of the things my leagues does is determine the draft order the day of. We don’t do the pre-draft determination because fuck your mock drafts.
Last year, we used a game of Laser Tag to determine our draft order. Winner got to select where they wanted to pick and worked our way down the rankings.
Since we are having a pool draft party for my money league, we thought it would be fitting to use beer pong to determine the draft order. This isn’t just any beer pong though. We have 12 teams. Therefore, your standard 10-cup game won’t work.
We decided a 15-cup game will suffice. You’re probably thinking, well that is three more than you need. No problem. 15 cups will be labeled accordingly and randomly shuffled and placed. Written on the bottom will be the numbers 1-12, a question mark or nothing. Each cup will be filled with a full beer. You must chug before you can see your draft position.
- 12 Cups (labeled 1-12)
If you hit any of these cups, that is where you pick in the draft. For example, if you shoot first and hit a 5, you pick fifth overall. This one is pretty simple.
- 2 Cups (labeled with “?”)
These are your wild cards. You can use these to steal and ice your opponent. If you land on one of these with the first shot before any numbers are picked, you get iced. That means you have to chug a Smirnoff Ice on one knee. Sucks to suck. If you shoot fourth and the numbers that have been selected are 1, 7, 10, you get to choose one of those. The person who has the number then gets iced. If you elect to not use your wildcard, you have to wait until everyone shoots before you can shoot again.
- 1 Cup (blank)
This will be the bitch cup. This cup will sit directly in the middle. If you make it in this cup, you are iced and then have to finish the beer. Don’t get this cup.
We try to make determining the draft order just as fun as actually drafting. Think of it as our pre-draft combine.
People underestimate the power of trades. I traded myself out of a decent team last year by overthinking. I have also traded myself into a championship winner. An example of that was three years ago. This was my starting roster week 1…
- QB- Russell Wilson
- RB- Jamal Charles
- RB- Toby Gerhart
- WR- Brandon Marshall
- WR- Torrey Smith
- TE- Vernon Davis
- Flex- Marquise Lee
When I won the championship, this is who I had…
- QB- Russell Wilson
- RB- DeMarco Murray
- RB- Mark Ingram
- WR- Jeremy Maclin
- WR- Dez Bryant
- TE- Coby Fleener
- Flex- Eddie Lacy
Now, a lot had to happen to conduct these deals. This is back when Jamal Charles, Brandon Marshall, Torrey Smith and Vernon Davis were looked at as top options in fantasy. Ingram, Maclin and Murray were all looked at as “meh” players. I traded Charles in a three for one swap. Looking at that today, you probably think how the hell? Again, this was three years ago.
Ultimately, I am all about the two for three and huge package deals. For me, no one is off limits. I firmly believe there is a price for everything. I traded Zeke and Bell and last year. Obviously that didn’t work out too well, but I am not scared to make moves. I love trying to work trades every year. Sometimes it pays off and sometimes it doesn’t. There is nothing worse than the guy who clings on to every player.
Two years ago, I offered my QB, best RB and second best WR for Gronk just to see if that person would budge. They wouldn’t. I finished second, while they finished second to last. That is part of the game though. Some players just don’t like to trade and win.
Makes the week and games more fun
NFL Sunday wouldn’t be what it is without fantasy football. I love that I have to follow multiple games to keep an eye on my guys. Like a few people said, it makes all the games watchable. No one is going to tune in to the Browns and Jaguars unless they have Bortles or someone from either of those teams.
Let’s talk about the rest of the week though. Scrapping the waiver wire for fill ins or making those decisions whether or not to start the questionable guy when your back up plays Sunday are all part of what make football fun.
It is not like other fantasy sports where you have a million games.
Trash Talk and Side Bets
The best part of fantasy is talking shit to your league and then being able to make fun of them because they just lost some embarrassing wager. I lost to someone last year and had to bow at their feet and confess how great they were at Fantasy Football on command. Bathroom floors were off limits.
Let The Games Begin
If you have not joined a league, join one. Ask your friends if they have room or start one with people you know. It makes the NFL more enjoyable and makes each week that much more entertaining.
To all my friends and family that I will be competing against this year…
I am going to sodomize you all and take back my crown as fantasy football champion. Suck it.