The Ultimate Fantasy Sports Quandary

This elephant is quandrific.

The World of Fantasy Sports is the greatest invention ever to those who participate.

To those on the outside looking in, it seems like a moronic, meaningless, waste of time.

Well, consider me one of those morons who waste meaningless time. Time is of the essence? What does that mean? Speak English, please. Wasting time is what I do best.

But think about it, it can’t be any more moronic than watching YouTube videos of Maru trying to jump in a box all day. Surely, there are better ways to waste time, right? Why yes, there is — and that dear friends, is called fantasy sports.

I’ve been a Fantasy Football player for the past 6 years. I’ve dabbled in different leagues, even once playing 3 leagues at one time (2 in Yahoo, 1 in ESPN), and that was the most stressful time of my life. Why is it stressful, you ask? If you’re not a fantasy sports player, you won’t understand the following, so I suggest you stop reading. Or continue reading if you’re looking for reasons toย notย join a fantasy league.

There are two possible reasons why fantasy sports become more stress than you could have possibly expected:

1. In Fantasy Football, you select offensive players, consisting of a Quarterback, Wide Receivers, Running Backs and Tight Ends, with the amount of each varying depending on the league settings. Additionally, you select a Kicker (for field goals and extra points), and one defense (again, depending on the league settings, this can vary). However, those are how typical fantasy teams usually look. Your offensive players usually score a bulk of your points for the week, but the defense you select can easily be the reason why you either win or lose a particular week. (I should know. I have the Pittsburgh Steeler defense this season. They got me -3 in week 1. Ouch.)

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The issue you face is when your offensive players go up against your defense. Every time a QB throws a TD or a WR/RB scores a TD, that becomes points taken away from your defense. Since you have more offensive players than defensive, this theoretically should not be a problem. However, as noted earlier, the defense you select can be vital to your team. That year I was in 3 different leagues, I swear my defense in one of my leagues went up against at least one of my players in another league every week. So I would cheer like a madwoman when my QB threw a 90-yard bomb, but then would get pissed off and swear like a sailor because my defense lost 7 points in the league where I was up by 6. It was a confusing time.

For the record, I’ve learned my lesson, and this season, I’ve finally narrowed it down to only playing in one league this year. It’s so much easier, why didn’t anyone tell me?

2. The other less confusing reason why Fantasy Sports causes brain aneurisms is because most fantasy sports participants are die-hard sports fans. When it comes to your fantasy leagues, however, you very quickly learn that sacrifices must be made, and you have to decide between two very important questions: “Do I want my fantasy team to be the most kick-ass team ever?” or “Do I want to be that idiot who’s a loyal homer and just selects all the players from my favorite team?

Instead of me explaining in way too many words, how about you take a look at my fantasy team this season:

Do you see where the issue lies? Aside from the fact that my team is pretty damn awesome, that awesomeness comes with a huge price. Phillip Rivers is my quarterback, and I have to cheer for him on Thursday. I’m playing the number one team in the league this week, and it would be ridiculously sweet to have bragging rights. I’m sitting pretty in 4th place (after a horrendous 0-3 start), and with this win, I’d move up in league standings. Granted, he’s probably going to rip a part the dreadful Raider defense anyways, so it’ll most likely be a bountiful fantasy week for me regardless. But I’m going to have to hope Carson Palmer and co. can score more points than Rivers. The Raiders are tied for first in the AFC West. This is an important week, both in the real world and in fantasy. But good god this is going to be a tough game for me to watch. So I won’t*.

*I’m not watching the game because I’m unstable and take sports way too seriously sometimes. Instead, I have a prior engagement. Yes, even though it doesn’t seem like it, I do have a life outside of sports, unlike this guy.**

**This was an awesome show, by the way. Bring it back, ESPN! Along with Teammates, because stuff like this is absolutely golden.ย 

Besides Fantasy Football, I’ve actually decided to jump into the world of Fantasy Hockey this season, as well. It took me a while you figure it out, but I’m starting to get the hang out it.

However, the same issue is very present in this league, especially with my specific team. Know, however, I was unable to attend my league’s draft, so…my team was autopicked. Here’s a view of my team’s opponents this previous Monday, November 7th (Ignore the fact that I’m a fuckin idiot and completely forgot to start players for this day. Remember — me, life, I do have one. It doesn’t really matter right now since I’m still winning my matchup anyway.):

I actually went to the Sharks-Kings game on Monday knowing very well that a majority of my fantasy team (that I thought I had started) was up against my real team. Jack Johnson scored the first goal of the game in the 2nd period. It was funny because at first I thought it was Doughty who scored, and under my breath muttered, “Yay.” But then I said “Boo” immediately after cause fuck Drew Doughty. Then, I found out it wasn’t Doughty, instead it was Johnson. And then I said, “Well, I have him on my team, too…so yay…heh.” And then I found out Doughty actually assisted on this goal, AND THEN I was like “Well, double points. Sweet.”

Then I said, “Man, fuck the Kings. I hate Fantasy Hockey.”

What a straight buzzkill it was though that I was stressing over this fantasy hockey matchup, and I didn’t even start the guys. I was stressing out over nothing. Thankfully, the Sharks pulled out a win, so whatever.

That’s really what it comes down to for me. I love playing fantasy sports. Clearly, I’m more than half a decade into fantasy football, and I’m pretty positive I could get more into fantasy hockey. I’m just trying to get my feet wet, but it could be something I could waste more time on.

And as much as I love to pretend I’m the general manager of these teams, scouting players on different teams, assessing the strengths and weaknesses of my team as well as others while trying to find out who are willing trade partners, my loyalty lies strictly with my real life team. If Phillip Rivers wants to throw 0 TDs and 5 INTs on Thursday, fine by me. If Jack Johnson and Drew Doughty (and Mike Richards) want to play like ass when they meet the Sharks again, no problemo amigo.

Being a fantasy sports player can be an arduous process, but it doesn’t compare to being a hardcore fan of your favorite team.

Plus — IT’S NOT REAL. I get the feeling not a lot fantasy players understand that concept. Then again, I write “articles” in my fantasy football league pretending I’m a writer from the Associated Press.

Yeah, I don’t take this seriously. Heh.

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