This is the third installment of a season-long series.
Well, my first week of Fantasy Football is over. My results were unimpressive and somewhat depressing, which came as a shock to me considering all of the time and care I put into my team.
I have learned my lesson. Just because I take a great deal of pride in my team and feel as though I am their “coach,” I ultimately have absolutely no control over the way they play. It is a simultaneously very logical and completely ridiculous concept to me.
Here is how the weekend went. On Saturday, I begin to get excited. I open my app about 25 times during the day to just lovingly gaze over my stacked fantasy team. While I am walking through the Logan Neighborhood on Saturday night back to my house with my friends, I am checking to make sure that none of my players is injured. Everyone looks happy and healthy.
Suddenly, I panic. My wide receiver has a threatening red dot by his name labeled “questionable health.” I freeze, quickly drop him to my bench and select a replacement. Disaster averted. I wipe my brow and can rest easy knowing my team is prepared for the battles they will each face on Sunday.
Sunday morning rolls around. Swamped with homework and consumed with my own team, the Denver Broncos, who played Tampa Bay, I make the conscious decision to not check in on my fantasy team. I reassured myself that I looked at all of their projected points, checked for injuries, made the appropriate swaps from my bench to my starters and they would be fine. Honestly, I even sort of forgot about them during the day.
Sunday night arrives. I become excited to check in on the success of my team. The app is loading, my fingers are anxiously tapping and then the home screen opens up with a number I find to be unmentionably embarrassing. I proceed to yell expletives in my kitchen and my housemates ask if I burnt or cut myself.
Who even is this mystery opposing team named “The Miami Harambaes,” and why is this fantasy team better than mine? Why did some players not meet their projected point goals? Who even created these player projections and why do they feel qualified to do so? Were there warning signs to drop players that I missed?
To this day, I do not have the answers to these questions. All of this, while incredibly stressful and frustrating to me as a Type A personality, is wherein the excitement of fantasy football lies. It is radically unpredictable, consistently inconsistent and inherently surprising no matter how much work you put into your roster. You can go from a glorious victor in week one to cursing alone in your kitchen, like yours truly, within seven short days, so I choose to stay hopeful.
This week comes as a fair warning to all of the sports fans out there like me. If you color code your planner, if you plan your outfits in advance, if you organize when the group project meets up or simply enjoy feeling like you have control, fantasy football will be difficult for you. You have very little control over it all.
Unfortunately, I cannot sit my underperforming players down and talk with them about how the team can only succeed when we all do our best. I cannot call Jamal Charles into my office with the team nutritionist and ask him how we can improve his diet this week so he can contribute even a single point to our fantasy team. I am not able to pull Matt Stafford aside from practice and check in to see if there is some sort of emotional issue contributing to why he could not score a single offensive touchdown this week.
So, I will do the only thing I can do. I will put on a brave face, respond, “I don’t want to talk about it” when someone asks me how my team did on Sunday, and try again next week.
Follow the writer on Twitter: @britbulawa