If you were to put your ear up against the virtual door of my fantasy football team’s locker room, security would probably ask if you’re affiliated with the New England Patriots, and then escort you off the premise. But before they drag you away, you’d hear a room of players sitting in silence, cycling through a playlist, hoping to land on a song that would accurately define the mood.
And I’m free, free fallin’
Yeah I’m free, free fall-
Hey now, you’re an all star, get your game on, go play
Hey now, you’re an…Mmmbop, ba duba dop
Ba du bop, ba duba dop
Jump up, jump up, and get down!
I’m a genie in a bottle
You gotta rub me the right w-
“Cut the music!” – Unidentified Player
Alright, so our locker room playlist is actually a jukebox from the 90s. What of it? This team is on a budget.
We use the jukebox as the lead blocker when we run the screen pass in practice. It’s only injured three players, if you’re wondering.
The fantasy football regular season is over. My team – Flea Flickers – started the season with a 6-1 record. Thank goodness, too, or I wouldn’t be in the playoffs right now.
I knew I wasn’t as good as my record said I was and had gotten incredibly lucky, several times, that almost all of my opponents had an off-week against me.
I wasn’t winning; they were losing to me. There’s a difference. But hey, a win is a win. After my 6-1 start, I went 1-5 the rest of the way to finish the regular season at 7-6, good enough for the 5th seed in the playoffs.
It’s safe to say my team thinks its February and they’re in Quebec City for Bonhomme Carnaval and are tobogganing down the ice slide. I don’t blame them, it’s fun and fast and a great view, even though it’s cold…FOCUS!
My team is slip sliding away, but all I need them to do is pull it together for three weeks, one week at a time.
Finishing the regular season in 5th, out of 10 teams, is the worst I’ve ever finished in any fantasy league. Granted, this is my first time playing fantasy football and this is the most competitive league I’ve ever been in.
There are many things I would do differently – the first one being a few of my draft picks.
I had the third overall pick, which I absolutely hate. I don’t want high picks because then I’m forced to go with the consensus picks.
Being new to fantasy football, I figured this wasn’t the year to “go off the board”.
Le’Veon Bell, Todd Gurley, and David Johnson were projected as the top three picks. Every article I read said the same thing.
After taking a week to acclimate myself with the current crop of players in the NFL, I was skeptical of David Johnson being a top three pick. He didn’t play last year due to injury, the Cardinals’ quarterback situation wasn’t good, and their offensive line was apparently not impressive, either.
Though his stats from 2016 were incredible, I wasn’t sure he would get anywhere close to that this season.
But it’s a top three pick, this is my first year doing this, I can’t make a bold pick right out of the gate, let me go with the experts. Maybe they know something I don’t.
I convinced myself that all the Cardinals QB had to do was throw a 5-yard pass to Johnson and let him do the rest. That let me sleep better at night.
So I drafted Johnson and what happens? He runs right into his offensive line for a gain of three yards. The QB hardly throws him the ball. The Cardinals are down by three touchdowns before halftime and running the ball is an after-thought.
Going into the draft, I wished I had a later pick in the first round because I had my eye on other players who were never ranked in the top three, but I thought would be good this season.
The first one was Ezekiel Elliott. I figured he would run the ball 25 times a game, get a touchdown here or there, and maybe catch some passes. I almost drafted him third, but was scared away when I saw he only caught 26 passes last year.
Lo and behold, he has 53 receptions this year! There are still four weeks left in the season! Arrrrggggghhhhh.
The other player I was thinking about taking was Saquon Barkley. I saw one picture of his massive legs and thought, that’s a thoroughbred right there. They’ll feed him (the ball) and take care of him. Then I thought, do I really want to hitch my wagon (I’m all-in on this horse theme, apparently) to a rookie? That’s a risk, isn’t it?
I talked myself out of it because he was only a late first round pick in mock drafts and I didn’t want to “reach” with the 3rd pick, I wanted a “sure thing”.
The other player I really wanted on my team was Christian McCaffrey because he was initially ranked 18th and that’s when my second pick in the draft would be. I had no clue who he was, so I did research and talked myself into it.
As the pre-season went on, it became clear that the secret about him was out and that he’d go much higher in the draft. Picking him 3rd overall would be ludicrous, surely, so I didn’t.
Currently – Barkley, McCaffrey, and Elliott rank 2nd, 3rd, and 6th, respectively, for fantasy points by a running back.
Needless to say, I am going into next year’s fantasy draft and I am taking everything they said I couldn’t have! Okay, that’s a bit dramatic. But I’m going to pick the players I want, regardless of where they rank.
I’ve yet to have a week where all of my starters put up a productive number. There are always some stragglers, who I should’ve left on my bench.
I’m the eternal optimist and the eternal pessimist wrapped into one, when it comes to fantasy. I hope my players will have a big game, but there’s always a voice yelling from the back of my head, “BENCH HIM! HE’S GONNA STINK THIS WEEK.”
And sometimes I think that voice is a sixth sense and will make a last second roster move, only to be burned by it an hour later.
No matter who you start in fantasy football, it’s always the wrong decision.
One thing I’ve struggled with this season is the fact that the NFL only plays on Thursday, Sunday, and Monday. That’s too much time for me to look at my roster and make changes.
I get fidgety and want to tinker. At times, I started players just because they played in the Thursday or Monday nighter and I wanted a reason to watch the game.
This week, none of my players play on Thursday, so I’m forced to wait until Sunday. I’m already going crazy and over-thinking my decisions on who to start.
You could say I’m taking this too seriously, but this is just who I’ve always been.
When I was in Grade 6, I was the captain of an intramural soccer team and got to draft my own team. It consisted of kids from Grades 4-6.
After the draft, I went home and wrote out line combinations.
These kids were between the ages of 9 and 11, and most of them were merely a name on a paper – I didn’t know a lot of them. I’m pretty sure I looked them up in yearbooks to gauge their athletic ability and inform my decisions on who to slot in to which positions.
That’s me. The word “Captain” isn’t in this blog’s title by accident.
So yes, I may spend more time on fantasy sports than the average bear, but it’s fun to me. Also, stressful.
To make matters worse, I’m facing Cass this week. I did not want this matchup. I don’t know what matchup I wanted, but it wasn’t this one.
Her team has scared me from the start, even when it was 0-3, because I saw she was running into teams that had their best weeks against her, whereas I was running into teams that had their worst weeks against me.
My good start was a lie, as was her bad start.
I’m 98.4% sure, that many weeks ago I commented on her blog, or mine, saying I wouldn’t want to face her team in the playoffs.
AND. HERE. WE. ARE.
If my team loses, they’ll lose with class, and shake hands afterwards.
Then they’ll return to the locker room and crank the sad tunes on the jukebox, but it’ll accidentally land on “Good Vibrations” and then they’ll kick the machine, trying to get it to stop, but it won’t, so they’ll unplug it and sit in silence until I walk in and hand out orange slices.
It’s only Thursday. This is the state my mind is in. Help.
Thanks for reading.