Written by: Jack Robbins
Football season is finally here. The NFL preseason is up and running and the smack talk emails from your fantasy football buddies are heating up. You’re tired of being the butt of every joke. You’ve done your research and this is the season you are taking home that ridiculously oversized trophy your friends made for your league. But some things are out of your control.
Here are five of the most common reasons that your fantasy football team could tank this season, leaving you lost and confused, wondering where it all went so terribly wrong.
1. Auto draft – The dreaded Auto draft. Nope, not gonna happen this year. My draft is on Saturday the 26th. Wait, that 26th is a Sunday. Wait, is it Saturday or Sunday? This happens every single year. Guaranteed that one of you reading this will end up on auto draft due to no fault of your own. One year my power went out 30 seconds before the draft started. It’s ok, I’m sure someone who drafted a kicker in the 5th round has won their league before. It’s the injured players that you picked up in rounds 1-4 that are really gonna kill you this season. Also worth noting, your team took the entire 5 minutes allotted to make every single pick, extending the total draft time by 2 hours. Everyone else in the league hates you. Good luck making any trades now. This season is over before it even started.
Point of the story: Triple check your calendar. Set reminders. Start taking a daily regimen of ginkgo biloba. Draft from a nuclear fallout safe bunker.
2. Injuries – This is by far the worst way to go down. Last season you took Peyton Manning and Jamaal Charles with picks 1 and 2. Both were top players in their position the previous season. Your draft is a success and the future is bright. Fast forward to week two and your new starters for the rest of the year are Matt Schaub and Fred Jackson. Not bad. Oh, they both got hurt a week later? Good luck with Blaine Gabbert and Toby Gerhart. On Sundays, you can be found watching games at Hooters, alone, drunk and sad. Rightfully so, you did everything you possibly could. Injuries are something that are out of your control and happen to almost every player at some point during the season. Pray they don’t happen to yours, and if they do, pray they aren’t knee injuries. If it’s to the knee, you can kiss your season goodbye.
Point of the story: Stay away from Tony Romo. He is made of glass.
3. Inattentiveness – Life happens. Work gets busy. Every single class you’re in schedules its exams on the exact same day. You get sick. Any one of life’s little events can cause you to forget to change your weekly lineup or sign a player from waivers on time. Bye weeks are your worst enemy. How much easier would fantasy football be without bye weeks? I try to pick a day and time that I check my fantasy line up every week. Tuesday mornings and Saturday afternoon while I’m watching college football are the best. Let’s be honest, if you’re reading this, you probably check your team hourly. I do.
Point of the story: Quit doing other things. Income, education, and significant others aren’t that important in the grand scheme of things.
4. Rookies – Everyone is always looking for the next big thing. Your all time favorite college player just entered the league, and this is your chance to prove to everyone that all he needed was a real quarterback during those years underachieving as an undergrad. Baylor never had much of an offensive line, imagine what he can do with the one in Washington. Stanford never had any real athletes, imagine what he will do in Indy. Don’t fall for this logic. So your player dominated in college? Please list the number of Heisman Trophy winners that went on to have successful professional careers. I’ll wait.
Point of the story: Most rookies are extremely unpredictable, except for Trent Richardson. I’m betting the house on that dude.
5. Bad luck – Shit happens. 2 minutes left and you only need 1 more rushing yard for the victory = team decides to take a knee. You’re ok just as long as your defense doesn’t give up any more points = they will give up a meaningless field goal just as time expires. Dropped passes, fumbles, Tim Tebow. I’ve seen it all. Screaming at the TV won’t fix this situation, although it may make you feel better about your serious misfortune. Sorry.
Point of the story: Pray to the gods of Fantasy Football. Pray long and hard. Buy a rabbit’s foot and a horse shoe. Wear them everywhere. Eat lucky charms for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Any one of these five events can break your entire season. Months of planning and hundreds of dollars washed away in an instant. You can try to minimize risk of injuries or bad luck by joining several leagues, but that’s just going to raise your chances of failure for inattentiveness or auto draft, not to mention it’s not cheap. On top of that add in contract disputes, trades, coaching changes, and the odds are stacked against you. My suggestion is to play with people who are dumber than you, or at the very least willing to be bought. Never underestimate the power of a good bribe.
Good luck, you’re going to need it.