I'm an avid fantasy sports guy. I have played Fantasy Baseball since I was 12 and I've been playing Fantasy Football and Basketball for probably 10 years or so. I've loved the game and learned at an age where I could devote an enormous amount of free time into researching the teams. I got into it early as I developed a close relationship with my Uncle who was a hardcore Roto-Baseball player. In short, he taught me everything about fantasy sports, and since it was 13 years ago, it was a lot more work to have a good team, as information was tougher to come by and required a lot more research and commitment if you wanted to be any good.
Something that is often lost in fantasy these days, are not just the stats the players accumulate, but how guys get the stats. Now, perhaps this may not include you, but I know guys that player who don't really watch the games at all: they draft players, adjust their roster, then watch the highlights later or just read about it online at work the next day.
To me, that's great when I'm out of town or busy, but to do well (in my opinion) I need to know how guys are getting their points. So I watch games when I can, and with fantasy baseball practically over, and the fact it was a Sunday, it's all about Fantasy Football right now, for the next month or so.
Fantasy Football is the big buzz in general. I mean, it's probably the easiest fantasy game to play: you draft your guys, then you check your rosters on Friday or Saturday, the games are played on Sunday or Monday, you have the result Sunday or Monday night, and you go on with your week. Everybody and their grandma plays now. I play in a league with a couple of people that could probably name 5-10 NFL players on their now. Obviously if you're in a more competitive league, it requires more than this, but many leagues operate like this, and I believe it's why fantasy football is so popular.
What really makes be cringe about Fantasy Football is that it's the fantasy sport that rewards you the most just by being lucky. Now there is luck involved in all fantasy sports, but for football the luck factor is so high, and that's after you get past the whole injury issue, and how almost every player is a big hit away from having a career ending injury.
It's about the Touchdowns. We get rewarded for Touchdowns scored. In most leagues, if your running back gets 20 carries for 100 yards, it might be worth something like 4 or 5 points. If some other running back gets 3 carries for 2 yards, and 1 TD, it's typically 6 points.
Now, you may counter and say "Well yeah, but over the course of the season, it's going to even out". That may very well be the case, but in a head-to-head format, it doesn't matter. You aren't going to face that opposing lineup every week, so the fact that it all evens out in the end does not matter. Plus, does it really even out? 16 games is a relativley small sample size. It's not like Baseball with 162 games, or Basketball with 82 games, where it's easy to see trends.
In my mind, it is impossible to predict how many TDs someone is going to score over the course of the season. It's because it's impossible to predict the situation a team will be in. I watched some of the Eagles-Chiefs game today. Desean Jackson took a routine 5-10 yard slant into a huge TD. Would anyone know that the cornerback would miss the tackle and/or the safety would over-pursue and miss? Of course not!
Anyhow, these early weeks are important as you want to make your league playoffs, and get off to a good start. I'm 1-1 in my league (I'm a 1 team only guy these days, perhaps I'll do another post on this later), playing against a 0-2 team. It was a big matchup to seperate ourselves. Sparing you all of the details, I found myself up by 6 points heading into the Colts-Cardinals game. I had one guy left going with Reggie Wayne, while my opponent had Breaston and Addai. To be honest, I thought I was going to lose.
Long story short, I won by 3 points. The vital play was when Breaston made a leaping catch on the 1 yard line, and the Colts safety came in with a hit that kept Breaston out of the endzone. Had Breaston gotten in, it would've been 6 points for my opponent, and I would've lost by 3, and we'd both be at 1-2. Instead, I'm 2-1 and my opponent is 0-3 and it will be difficult for them to make the playoffs.
Everybody goes through this from time to time, whether you realize it or not.
Tonight was just another reminder for me that with Fantasy Football, it's better to be lucky than good.