Fantasy Football Confession
by Kevin Sylvester
I have a confession to make: I hate fantasy football. Hate is a strong word. It’s more of a frustration with how consuming it has become. It seems that fantasy football takes over people’s lives for half the year, and I don’t have the time for it.
I used to love fantasy football. The concept was incredible. You get to be the GM/Owner of your own team. Pick you lineup each week. Feel the agony of benching the wrong Flex player , or hoping you kicker has a miraculous Monday Night Football game to eek out a win against Joe from Sales. It was fun. Trash talking was face to face. I won my league or finished in the money seemingly every year. That all changed for me about five years ago.
In 2012, I made the poor choice of joining three leagues. I knew my stuff, enjoyed the interactions (trash-talking), and figured I would be raking in cash in all three leagues. Wrong. Keeping track of three teams was not nearly as easy as I had thought. I would mix up which player was on each team. Thursday night games would throw me off. Information overload had me second guessing my lineup decisions. Those are all normal things, and not what made me sour on it.
The waiver wire did. In particular, the automated waiver wire on the league home sites. In each league, there were at least two fellow competitors that would be all over it at 12:01AM on Tuesday to pick up/dump/sign/trade players. I wasn’t willing to sit by my keyboard like I was trying to buy Beyonce tickets as soon as they went on sale clicking the refresh button over and over. My fault for having a life, I guess. As you can guess, injuries struck, and the best options were already taken weeks prior by the midnight masters. It used to be that league commissioners had more control over waiver transactions, and you had to make actual human contact to execute a transaction. No more, and I agree that rings ease of use for the consumer, but may not make it better.
I think the best part of the fantasy leagues are the drafts. Getting everyone together, in person or online, to select their teams is where the action is. Begging someone to hurry up and pick, informing them the running back they wanted tore his ACL the day prior, or just plain old ribbing of a crappy pick is fun. It’s also the only time the whole gang is usually together for that interaction. The feeling of urgency, hoping the person drafting in front of you doesn’t select the backup defense you’re eyeing, is rarely found elsewhere. Neither is the looking at your roster at the end of the draft and proclaiming “my team sucks”. What better place to do that than with a group of friends in fantasyland.
So, I am luke warm, but excited (?) that JK Karlson is going to run a league here on Buffalo Sports Page. It will be a mix of contributors and BSP members chosen at random. I’ll look forward to the draft, but the waiver wire will have to win me over.