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Life of a First Time Fantasy Football Owner
When I first signed up for the fantasy football league, I wasn’t sure what to expect. He knew a lot about soccer and players from different teams in the league in general. I had always cheered for certain players I liked and wished other players would just run into the goal post during games like Terrell (TO) Owens. So when a friend of mine asked me to join his Fantasy Football League, I thought what the heck all I do on Sunday is watch NFL games anyway.
A couple of weeks later, I received the confirmation email to log in and register my team name and set up my account before the fantasy league draft. Once I set up my account, I noticed that you could actually rank players in any order you wanted on your team. It seemed easy; I reviewed players who are usually good playmakers, but after the 50th person there were still over 300 names left to rank, so I left it alone.
The draft was two weeks away and I was paying extra attention to preseason football games just to make sure the players I wanted to draft still looked good before the regular season. I also paid attention to the top rookie prospects, especially wide receivers, running backs and quarterbacks. You know that if they’re drafted in the first round of the actual NFL draft, they have a good chance of seeing some playing time if the person ahead of them on the depth chart gets hurt.
Now it was draft day and my research was done, I finally compiled a list of all the players I wanted to draft. With the second pick in the draft, I selected QB Tom Brady from the New England Patriots, I also went on to have running backs Brian Westbrook (Eagles), Ryan Grant (Packers), Cedric Benson (Bengals), Darren Sproles (Chargers), Earnest Graham (Buccaneers) and Leon Washington (Jets). As receivers I chose Reggie Wayne (Colts), DeSean Jackson (Eagles), Eddie Royal (Broncos), Devin Hester (Bears) and Donnie Avery (Rams). I only drafted a tight end Owen Daniels (Texans), a defenseman from the Patriots and a kicker David Akers (Eagles). With my last draft pick, I selected Jake Delhomme (Panthers) as my backup quarterback since Brady spent all of last year on the sidelines.
Going into the season I thought I had a good team and I was excited to see how the first week would go. One of the fantasy league features I’ve learned that drives you crazy is score predictions, which I now know not to trust. For my first game, he was saying I was the favorite to win the game 101-92 and it made me feel even more like a draft genius, it was my first time playing and it already looked like I was going to win my first game.
As the first week of the NFL season began, as I watched the game on TV, I wondered in the back of my head how my players were doing. Then I remembered one of the guys said you can add a stat tracker that gives you up-to-date stats on players for all games but at a small cost or you can check the NFL Network channel during 1pm and 4pm games. So Every commercial I jumped onto the channel to see how my players were doing, I felt like I was the actual owner of a team minus all the money and the fancy booth.
After the 1 o’clock games, I logged into my ESPN fantasy football account just to see what time my other players were playing. That’s when I noticed there was already a stat tracker on the website that gives you up-to-the-minute live scores for your players. By the time the 1 o’clock games ended I was trailing 60 to 35 and it wasn’t looking good the predictions now said I would lose 101 to 89. I had 4 players left and the other team had 5 so during the 4 o’clock games pm constantly staring at my laptop while watching the games on tv, needless to say my wife wasn’t very happy. At the end of the day I was up 94-84, and going into Monday night’s game, we both had one player left. He was sure he would win, but as he had learned earlier that day, fantasy football scores can go downhill fast.
Once I got home from work on Monday, I did my parenting duties, made sure the kids did their homework, helped make dinner, and enjoyed time with the family before putting the kids to bed. When the game started, I already had my laptop screen open so I could track my player points throughout the game. I went on to win my first game 106-89 and felt like a proud owner. That’s all I needed after the first week I was hooked and couldn’t wait for the next week to start.
Over the next two weeks I learned that when a team is on its bye week so is your player, which I wasn’t prepared for (I know I’m an idiot). I lost my next three games before deciding I had to make some trades to improve my team, so I traded QB Jake Delhomme and TE Owen Daniels for TE Chris Cooley (Redskins) and RB Rashard Mendenhall (Steelers). After that, I cut WR Avery and took WR Mike-Sims-Walker (Jaguars) off the free agent list. Since the trades, I’ve won two games in a row and I’m 3-3 going into week seven.
I don’t look at the stats on my laptop as much as I used to, now I only check them about 5 times per game, which I think is reasonable, although my wife says it’s still too much. Now I see why fantasy football of the year has become so popular. I used to just like to make sure I was home to watch my favorite team play on Sundays, and I would follow other teams just to see if I could figure out who would make it to the Super Bowl. Now I not only watch my favorite team every Sunday, but I also enjoy the roller coaster of ups and downs of watching my fantasy team perform every weekend.
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