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It’s Tuesday morning. You roll over to turn off your alarm clock and slowly make your way to the can to take your precious morning glory. As you unlock your iPhone, ESPN reminds you Derrick Carr scored a grand total of 4 points and Tevin Coleman somehow accrued -2 points. You’re on a three-game slide and your league’s group text is riddled with messages emasculating you for putting trust in complete strangers who suck at their job.
You’re feeling angry and vulnerable and begin to contemplate why you do this to yourself every year. Trying to regain control over your fantasy life, you ask yourself, What are my options?
Channel Your Inner GM And Start Making Trades
Your first thought is to shake things up on your roster. You’ve been loyal to your starters, but now decide Amari Cooper is a flash in the pan and Chris Hogan is the future of the NFL. When you get into the office, you utilize every inch of your dual monitor setup to contemplate your season-changing trade. You notice Pete from sales needs a tight end and defense, so you make him an offer to secure Golden Tate. Thankfully, Pete is going through performance reviews and doesn’t realize you’re screwing him over. You’re feeling good now; shreds of hope are starting to return, but in the back of your mind you worry it won’t make enough of a difference.
Ask For Advice
Unless you’re related to Matthew Berry, asking for fantasy advice is pointless. You already put in 10+ hours a week reading, scouting, and watching players to set an effective lineup, but desperate times call for desperate measures. You call up a close friend with a decent record to see what he thinks of your lineup. Most likely the conversation turns to how good his team is, and he tells you to sit Zeke at home versus the Ravens because his algorithm predicts doom. You ignore his advice and feel worse than before you called him.
Subscribe To Stat Websites
You and thirteen other guys with too much time on their hands paid $80 to compete in this league. You believe a $30 investment into a couple of insider sites will earn you a healthy ROI. You immediately buy ESPN Insider and whatever else pops up in Google because these sites claim 78% of their premium subscribers made their leagues’ playoffs. You’ve never bought into the idea of “fake news,” but when the site suggests Chris Johnson will be the highest scoring running back in Week 5 you realize Trump may be onto something. You waste another eight hours of your week combing through charts, spreadsheets, and pivot tables hoping this is the edge you need. When Keenan from your college fraternity beats you by 25 points, you realize fantasy football is slowly killing you.
Incorporate Daily Fantasy
It’s too late to join another league, but you decided rolling the dice on daily fantasy can help you recoup your losses from your main league and potentially earn you a little extra money. You get your promo codes for a free entry into a $50K contest and start seeing dollar signs. You spend a healthy chunk of your budget on some blue chips and fill in the gaps with other guys you’ve heard of but haven’t seen play in two years. On Sunday night, you log in to see how much you’ve won and learn that you’ve come in 16,891 out of 20,000. After frantically scrolling up to see what lineup won, you discover the smart move was to start Bortles and Tarik Cohen. Your first thought is to fork over money next week to get into a smaller pool, but on second thought you realize it’d be a futile effort.
Quit Fantasy Football
This is equivalent to dropping the M.O.A.B. on your social life. You’re getting older and losing friends, but fantasy football forces you to interact with people and keeps relationships alive. But losing has left a bad taste in your mouth; you spend more time and money watching pro players suck at their job than anyone known to man. After realizing that the playoffs are out of the picture, you light up the message boards to tell your boys fantasy is not for you anymore. Maybe you’ll be back after taking a year off, but the thought of watching the NFL and hoping your Falcons don’t beat the Saints by too much because you’re starting NOLA’s D seems like a breath of fresh air. After all the grandiose gestures, you finally feel relieved… but inevitably you realize there is no longer anything to live for. Odds are you’ll tell your league that you had a mental breakdown after one too many bourbons and watching Joe Flacco go scoreless versus the Jags and beg them to take you back.
Fantasy football is like a premium porn subscription — really exciting at first, provides hours of entertainment, but leaves you unsatisfied and loathing yourself. It seems pointless to get invested in something you have no control over, but you can’t replicate the highs of telling your opponent that you’re going to make him a cuckold after Jordy Nelson torches his fantasy team. Your only option is to accept that you — much like the Jets — are not very good at this game, but the four wins you eek out make it all worth it..