But I did it “my way.”
My fantasy football season hit an uninvited halt last week as I was unceremoniously booted from my two fantasy semifinals matchups. Still, all is well in my mind.
As every fantasy season reaches its conclusion, whether I have some extra cash in my bank account or I’m wondering what went wrong, there is a sense of relief. Next week, Week 16 of the 2010 NFL season, I can watch the games out of pure satisfaction. I don’t have to follow every player or track every touchdown. Just kind of keep an eye on my team and its rivals. It should make for a pretty easygoing Sunday.
Are fantasy sports too strenuous? I know it sounds ridiculous, but perhaps that is one of the problems. This past week, as I was watching all the games to follow my fantasy team, my wife was overwhelmed. While it’s become second-nature for me to keep track of my fantasy players, for a “newbie” like my wife, she just can’t keep track. And it almost takes too much energy. Whereas just following one team and one score is pretty simple, following 10 players from your team and 10 players from your opponent’s team, not to mention multiple leagues, is exhausting.
So, yes, I’m relieved (as is my wife). Next week I’ll recap my playoff decision-making and whether or not I’m the Indianapolis Colts of fantasy sports.
Fortunately, I had a bye last week and didn’t have to pay too much attention to fantasy. However, I did see the craziness that was Week 14 in Fantasy Football. Duds by Aaron Rodgers, Dwayne Bowe and Adrian Peterson probably lost many managers their leagues. Meanwhile, Deion Branch, Jason Witten and Derrick Mason ushered many to Week 15. So, how do you plan for this stuff?
What could be the better system for executing fantasy playoffs in the NFL? For one, ESPN Standard Leagues need to eliminate the idea of playing the championship into Week 17. Plenty of players are unusable at that point. But what about weeks 15 and 16?
Playoffs in fantasy sports are so unique because oftentimes the team that has led the league all season, for one reason or another, gets knocked out in the playoffs. Last year, I dominated my league until Week 16, when I started Chad Ochocinco over Jonathan Stewart. Stewart of course had a monster week and I lost by three points. But the common methodology for approaching fantasy playoffs differs depending on who you talk to. Some experts say to play the players that got you there. In other words, don’t get cute about lineups at this point of the season. However, some would argue that matchups and situations are never more important than the playoffs. In my example from last year, Stewart became the primary back and had a great matchup against a bad New York Giants defense. I should have played him, but Ochocinco had been my guy all season.
Which brings me to this year. So, I got Kenny Britt who I just picked up and have never played all season. He’s got a great matchup against the lowly Houston Texans secondary. Do I start him over the proven, fairly consistent Mike Williams of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?
Is there a better system for fantasy playoffs? I’m not so sure there is, but it does tell you one thing: anything can happen.
What would you do for pride? And what is pride if you manipulate the system?
This NFL season, I am participating in two fantasy leagues, one for money and one for free. I am so stupidly fanatic that I remain fairly active in both leagues. Unfortunately, as would be expected, many who play in free leagues lose their motivation as the season progresses. So by Week 12, which we are approaching, only four or five managers are still paying attention to their teams.
Josh, a manager in my free ESPN league, is not one who has lost his motivation. In fact, he is so motivated that he is ostensibly cheating to win the league. Convinced that his team is far inferior to mine (I’m currently in first place with a record of 9-2), Josh made a trade with another manager, John, presumably his brother, that is blatantly uneven.
I’m not here to wage a war on Josh and John (of the same last name) but rather to express my curiosity over a manager that cheats to win a free league. In the ESPN free leagues, there are really no prizes for winning a league. The only true prize is pride. Along with that, the winning manager is invited to play in a Winner’s League the following season.
So why cheat? The answer goes back to the very origins of this blog. I’ve argued since the beginning of my research that I don’t think people play fantasy sports for the money. Sure, I’ve discussed the massive monetary totals that are spent on fantasy sports, but that’s a byproduct. People play for pride. Brothers try to outsmart each other. Women try to prove their sports smarts over their man. Friends establish their dominance over one another. They play for PRIDE!
But again, how proud can you be if you cheat to get there? Josh declined to comment.