This past August a good friend of mine sent me a text message asking me to join his Fantasy Football team. At first thought I exclaimed, “Are you crazy? I don’t have time for that. Besides I know teams not football players.” Well I guess its kinda obviously looking at the title of this post, I took the plunge and played Fantasy Football.
Below are a few reflections and lessons I learned while playing. Oh and I had a blast playing this year…see you next year!
1. The draft is like the presidency…nothing can prepare you to do the job.
However, just because there is really nothing one can do to prepare for the draft: prepare, prepare, prepare. Have your wish list, have your B list and most important have a “if all else fails” list. Things move fast but having a few names for each position will help especially when someone picks your plan D running back by the 2nd round (I speak from experience). I also had a consultant aka my football loving brother and had him on the line during the draft. This helped when I had panicky moments but at the end of the day just like the president you are the decider.
2. Sports blogs/bloggers are your friend.
Forget ESPN or the NFL, the best source for information concerning football and by extension your fantasy team are the sports blogs or bloggers. Shout out to Ed the Sports Fan who helped me re-vamp my team which ended 6-8, this is not bad considering that at the end I had some RB and TE issues…smh! Black Sports Online also helped a lot.
3. NFL.com contains a plethora of information that can increase your football knowledge.
So as a graduate student and a fan of teams not in my NYC media market (Go Eagles & Seahawks!) I came to depend on NFL.com as my source of what is going on in the game. At the beginning of this post I mentioned that I am a football team fan not a football player fan, this has changed due to my fantasy experience but I digress…, well on NFL.com allows you to watch the games live. No I’m not talking about real live but they have a page where you can see the drives of the game, the stats of the game and even see the line ups for offense and defense. The latter was one of my greatest discoveries this season beyond the talent of DeSean Jackson. I finally was able to visualize where the RB, FB, TE actually were on the field…next step learning how to play Madden (In my defense I could tell you where the linebackers were on defense and I knew where the QB was and all but looking at the line of scrimmage was more a blur).
4. Never tell a man who is into football and also trying to pick you up that you have a fantasy team.
Sometimes I get so excited about football now that I will talk to football with anyone who lends an ear. Well I learned the hard way this season that sometimes its just best for me to leave out just how much I follow/understand about football. I had an experience that was worse than the time I was at a guy’s house and I turned to ESPN News. Let’s just say he thought I was joking. I had to tell him that I was not pulling his tail and that I was serious about tuning in (at the time I did not own a TV and I knew that EPPN News is the fastest way to catch up on sports).
So to this fantasy football when not to share story, I was out with some girlfriends after a fundraising event in NYC and we ended up going to this bar near the after party we went to. Well I enter bar, I was wearing my fail safe LBD and 3.5 in heels fyi, and this guy is checking me out. Well we get into a conversation and sports comes up. He ends up being a Giants fan, boo, and so of course I started talking football. I can’t even remember what was going on in football that week but I mentioned one of the players on my fantasy team and, smh it was over. Now the guy that was clearly interested, he already offered to buy me a drink at this point, was foaming at the mouth, smh still thinking about this. I knew at that point that mentioning my fantasy football team under these conditions is a NO NO…do not pass Go, do not collect $200 dollars. I still remember when my line sister said to me when we were leaving the bar…he is still checking you out, smh.
5. Do not trust the proposed fantasy match up points.
I’ve only played using ESPN and at ESPN they have these match up boxes that tell you how many points each player and team will get during that week’s match up. At first, I was so worried because I was slated to loose just about every game in the 1st half of the season because I had a bunch of TEN players, my draft consultant is a TEN fan and they went 0-7 to start, but then I realized that the phrase “Any Give Sunday,” is real. Thanks to a combo of Peyton Manning, DeSean Jackson and a Raven’s defense, the latter failed me a bit in the 2nd half but I digress… I came to realize that those pre-game point estimates were a joke. If anyone of my players, mainly the ones listed above with Rob Bironas joining in during the 2nd half of the season, had a breakout game they would shatter the pre-game estimates and I would add another win to my column.
Well that about covers it…a little about my first Fantasy Football season. I’m already trying to figure out how I can take what I learned this year and make my team better next year…here’s to a good draft position in 2010!