The blowing of the final whistle during the Super Bowl marks the commencement of the anticipation for the next season. There will not be NFL football for the next seven months. What is a sports fan to do? If we don’t get our sports fix, we’ll go into a sports withdrawal. The first event that provides sports fans with this “fix” is March Madness. March Madness is the time of year where college basketball goes into its playoffs, an epic sixty-four team tournament filled with some of the best basketball you can watch. Me and my friends all fill out brackets and put in ten dollars each. Whoever picks the most games correctly wins all of the money. After March, the NBA playoffs begin. The playoffs are the only NBA games that I can stand watching, because all of the players actually play hard. But after the NBA finals, there is a huge sports lull. The only sport that is going on is baseball, a sport that I love but can’t watch every night (it’s too long and slow-paced. I do love playing baseball, though).
But summer brings the unofficial start of the NFL. Training camps begin and teams begin to take shape. By the time August rolls around, preseason games begin. It is during the preseason that me and my friends create our Fantasy Football league. We all come up with our most creative team names (my team name is “Adrian Beaterson”) and prepare for the draft.
The draft is the most fun hour of the year. I love the fantasy draft. I love picking the players who I think will give me the best team. I love talking shit to people who make stupid picks (Drew Brees with the second overall pick? Really?). And this year’s draft was exciting. Everyone picked a damn good team (except for the guy who picked Drew Brees with the second overall pick. Just awful).
The reigning champion from last year, Alex, is projected by NFL.com to win this year. I will admit, his team is exceptionally good. He has two of the best receivers in the league in Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas and also has the best quarterback in the league, Aaron Rodgers.
I am the runner-up from last year. I would have won if Payton Manning didn’t play one of the worst games of his life during our championship. I picked up the best receiver in the league in Antonio Brown as well as another top-ten receiver in A.J. Green. In addition to my elite talent at WR, my running backs are definitely better than Alex’s RBs. Matt Forte is a fantasy monster, and Alfred Morris is a solid RB 2. I also picked up Jordan Matthews, a second-year receiver who I think will have a huge 2016 year.
However, we held our draft early this year (during week one of the preseason, I was actually at the Vikings game during the draft and had to do the draft on my phone). This comes with certain risks. Some players won’t perform well in the preseason and will lose a large bulk of their roles. But the worst thing is the injuries. There have already been two injuries that have rocked the world of Fantasy Football. The first was Kelvin Benjamin. After a great rookie season, Benjamin was a third round value receiver that has the potential to be a WR 1. He tore his ACL and is out for all of this upcoming season. A similar injury now afflicts Jordy Nelson, the Packers’ primary receiver. He is one of the most consistent receivers in the NFL but will be missing all of the 2016 season.
These injuries often lead into one of the most fun parts of Fantasy Football: trading. It makes you feel like the general manager of your own team (because you basically are the GM of your own team). You get to negotiate with your friends, which can be either fun or frustrating). I have a few players I am willing to trade. Larry Fitzgerald is a popular player that someone will undoubtedly want. I should be able to get a player of much higher value just because he is Larry Fitzgerald. I have some other good receivers as well as quarterback Phillip Rivers on the trading block. I’d like to get one more elite WR for my flex spot.
In my anticipation of the NFL beginning in two weeks and my first matchup against the team “Touchdowns and Titties” (an easy win if all of my players perform as well as they should) that I decided to go to Fantasy Football’s Wikipedia page to learn a little bit more about the game.
The first Fantasy Football league was created in 1963 by some NFL fans from Oakland, California. After six years, the members of this first league told people what they were doing and the patrons of the bar loved it (this first league still exists today and is called the Greater Oakland Professional Pigskin Prognosticators League). Word slowly spread about this fun little game and popularity grew and grew. Now, 19 million people play Fantasy Football and the Fantasy Football market is $70 billion.
Before I end this post, I would like to make my prediction for the Superbowl this year. I do this every year and I am always eerily close to correctly predicting the outcome of the Superbowl. This year I believe that the Steelers will win the Superbowl. I haven’t decided who they will play (I was going to pick the Packers until the injury to Jordy Nelson).
So if you are reading this and have any questions about my league, go ahead and leave a comment (I still haven’t received a comment yet. Aren’t my followers reading my posts?) The NFL season starts in two weeks if you still want to play fantasy football. You have plenty of time to call up some friends and form a league. Thanks for reading!