Chances are you or someone you know plays Fantasy Football. Quick summary. You draft a quarterback, 2 running backs, 2 wide receivers, a tight end, a kicker, a defense and a flex player. Which can be a running back, wide receiver or tight end. Every league has different point amounts for different things. For example, a touchdown may be worth 6 points for a running back. Field goals of different distances are different amounts as well. It gets pretty deep. You need to know your league’s points when building your team.
But this article is not about how to set up a fantasy league or even how to draft. There are a “bajillion” websites, blogs and podcasts that can help you with that aspect of the game. I am amazed how Fantasy Football has grown over the years. It’s now a legitimate form of gambling in some states. And many of my friends play in multiple leagues with different teams. It’s crazy.
So here’s my two cents. I think fantasy football is brilliant. And I don’t throw that word around lightly. When you pick players for your team you suddenly have an interest in how well that player and that player’s team does. In the past you might not care about the Buffalo Bills versus the San Francisco 49ers. But if you have a player on either of those two teams you are interested in how it plays out. Heck, you might even watch it. Even if you don’t have a player in that game, the person you are playing against may have a player or players in that game. So again, you’re interested. As a casual fan, you begin to notice that you are more knowledgeable of the NFL. By being exposed to other teams you can’t help but become educated about who is good on that team. It’s definitely made me a better fan of the NFL overall.
But now here comes the part that I have a problem with. And this is a dilemma that everyone who plays fantasy football has to wrestle with. You’re building your team and you find out that you have a chance to get one of the best wide receivers in the league. That player will guarantee you double digit points each week. Problem is, he plays for a team that you absolutely despise. Let’s say that you are a Ravens fan. You could never draft any player from the Pittsburg Steelers. Honestly, how could you root for them? Or if you are an Eagles fan, pick a player from the Dallas Cowboys. It’s something that we would never even consider until fantasy football came around. Or even worse, a player on a team you hate has an amazing day and racks up tons of points against you. Double whammy. Now, some fantasy football players can put that aside and have no problem drafting Tom Brady. I suppose if you want to win you need to put the best players on your team regardless of who they play for. And then there is the other end of the spectrum. There are people who pick all of their favorite players regardless of how good they are. We call them “Homer” picks during the draft. And honestly, that’s probably the most fun way to play. If you don’t mind losing every week.
So, Fantasy Football season begins Thursday night. For the next 17 weeks I get the experience of being an NFL owner. Complete with injuries and suspensions that devastate my team. Or maybe, just maybe this will be the year that I drafted an unknown talent who blossoms into a player everybody wished they had. I usually settle in to consistent mediocrity. At least I don’t have to pay the player’s salaries.
So enjoy the 2019 Fantasy Football Season; Or Hate the 2019 Fantasy Football Season. It’s a little of both in my opinion.