I hated Bill Simmons’ most recent column on how to fix fantasy football. The tone, the excessive pop-culture references, the elitism–I just wasn’t a fan. I’m of the mind that if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. Simmons makes some interesting arguments for auction drafts and a universal scoring systems, but overall the piece felt mailed in and just something he threw together to boost traffic since the next four weeks are the most important weeks of the fantasy calendar. Draft time, baby! And, I WILL TELL YOU MY BORING FANTASY STORY AND YOU WILL LIKE IT.
Real talk: I’m back-to-back champion in my ten team work league, and I won a twelve team friend league last year as well. I know some shit, but I know that I’ve been very lucky in the process. You want to be diesel and taunt your friends this fantasy season? Bone up on these tips.
1. DRAFT WHOEVER THE FUCK YOU WANT
I’ve been playing fantasy for a couple years and there’s nothing worse than hating your team. It makes playing no fun. You want to like the guys on your team. Now don’t be stupid. Just because you’re hard over Rex Ryan and the Jets doesn’t mean you draft Sanchez in the third round and LT in the fifth. Obviously, do your homework–read the sites, mags, watch the shows and even a do couple mocks. Know who’s going where and how you can get the best value in each round. But the point is that half of the players you draft will be a bust, a quarter will be dropped by week five and a quarter will carry you. Last year I drafted Brandon Jacobs in the first round at pick number six. Didn’t quite work out for me, but at the time I liked the pick and was OK with living with the consequences of pulling the trigger on that move. I also had Aaron Rodgers on one of my teams last year. He was a beast. I love him again this year. I’d rather take Rodgers early at the end of the first round/early second than be stuck with Frank Gore. I love Chad Ochocinco as a person, but the Bengals’ offense is terrible. Get the point?
“Experts” will give you more advice and insight than you probably need. You’ll probably second guess yourself more than anything. The point is, this is your team. Make your bed and happily lie in it.
2. WASTE VALUABLE TIME ON YOUR TEAM
So you have the team you want and like. Now it’s time to waste several hours a week looking at match-ups, stats and potential ways to fuck your opponent up. Don’t think you can roll out of bed Sunday morning fifteen minutes before kick-off and just adjust your roster based on bye-weeks. Dedication, time, results. Productivity at work only decreases if you miss the playoffs.
3. WORK THE WAIVER WIRE
The only reason I’ve won titles the last two years is because I constantly add free agents. Know who had a breakout game on Sunday and be the first person to put in a claim. You might not get him, but at least you know what’s happening. Also, don’t be scared to go fishing on the wire for a sleeper in a favorable match-up. Remember Miles Austin last year against Kansas City? Of course you do. Before that game no one had him on a roster. After, he was a must-start for the rest of the season.
4. PROPOSE RIDICULOUS TRADES
Part of the fun of fantasy is seeing if you can get your friends to bite on a lop-sided trade offer. In 2010, rarely does this happen. Everyone knows what’s a fair trade and it’s uncommon that you have a friend stupid enough to be had. Peyton Manning for Eli Manning? Sure! Half of the fun is seeing the outraged reaction from your friend, disgusted at the idea that you even proposed such a thought. What’s worse than receiving insane trade proposals every week? A league full of pussies who don’t even propose trades.
5. COMPLAIN ON TUESDAY HOW YOU LOST BY ONE POINT ON THE MONDAY NIGHT GAME
Fuck you, Bill Simmons. And you know what else? I’m going to tell you about how my entire bench scored more points than my starters. This is my life, man. Pretend like you care!
6. HAVE FUN (UNLESS YOU’RE PLAYING FOR MONEY)
Of course we all say that fantasy football is “just for fun” but really it’s another way to exercise my gambling addiction. Face it, fantasy is more fun when money is on the line. Every game is vital and one injury tanks your whole season. Ride the wave. But remember, one one person walks away with the cash at the end of the year, so enjoy the competition, the camaraderie and most importantly, the trash talk.