This post is all about fantasy football. Well, it’s about fantasy football and my own personal anxiety attacks. I’m sure you are interested in at least one of those topics.
Anyway, for those of you who don’t know, fantasy football is one of America’s greatest pastimes. It combines (1) football, (2) friends, (3) trash talk, and (4) some form of gambling.*
Here’s how it works: Each year at the beginning of the football season, team managers (you and your friends) hold a “draft” to select NFL players to be on your team. Managers can spend months preparing for the draft by doing research, they can follow a preselected selection of rankings, or they can just auto-pick, meaning a computer or list picks their players for them.
Each week, you start certain players on your team. These include a quarterback, some receivers, some running backs, a tight end, a kicker, and a receiver. Individual players earn points for doing good things, like throwing a touchdown pass or kicking a field goal. It’s a lot of fun, and it makes each week of football exciting. It can also make each week nerve racking.
I played my first season of fantasy football two years ago. Improbably, I won the league championship and about eight months of bragging rights. It was glorious. Last year, though, the pressure was on. Would I overcome the sophomore slump?
I spent weeks studying stats and listening to opinions from various experts. I developed my own criteria for what would make a player good. I followed my guts. Overall, I outscored everyone in my league by over 100 points. That’s substantial. Unfortunately, I lost in the championship game. I was exhausted.
Next year, rather than kill myself with anxiety over my roster each week, I’m going to stick with a single system throughout the entire season. That way, I actually enjoy football again.
Here is my system:
- Arrange my draft auto-pick exactly according to the National Football Post’s draft rankings. This takes out weeks of study and strategizing. It allows me weeks of free time!
- Select my startrsd based exactly according to Yahoo’s projected points, OR according to a combination of projected points and matchup rating. This is where most of my grief came from last year. I spent an unholy amount of time looking at matchups, considering hot streaks, and picking up weekly free agents. My fairly complex system got me to the championship, but it also sucked the fun out of the season.
- In the event of injury (player injury, not personal injury), I will pick up the best-rated free agent available at the time.
- I will rearrange my time ONE TIME the night before the game, according to rules 1-3.
I’m hoping this system will contribute to my continuing sanity and also to enjoying the football season.
See you at the draft.
*Not necessarily the illegal kind.