Ten Reasons To Play Fantasy Football
My wife is an amazing woman. She is an incredible mother, a fantastic partner, and truly my better half. One of my favorite memories of our earlier days was when I first told her about my obsession with fantasy football. She beamed at me and said “I love how into this you are”. Fast forward a half decade later. While she is still very supportive, I know that my “fantasy workload” has at times, taken it’s toll. Sometimes I have to remind myself that it is 2 am and I need to stop doing fantasy research and get some shut eye. She is really good at reminding me.
Every year right around draft season I begin to really dive into things. I read every article from every writer I find reputable. I study statistics like it’s my own personal stock portfolio. I go all in, and while my wife probably doesn’t find it cute anymore, she always handles it like a champ. Each season we have the same conversation. I’ll casually start talking about my latest mock draft and five hours into the conversation suggest that she give fantasy football a shot this year. I’m always met with a quick and decisive no. With juggling work, home, martial arts schedule, doctors’ appointments, and just being mom, she has plenty on her plate already. One day I do believe I will talk her into it and it will either be the best or worst thing possible for our marriage. We are both hyper competitive after all.
So even though my wife probably won’t join me for the upcoming fantasy season, I hope that this reaches someone who has never played. Life is hectic and stressful. Fantasy football is both. Fantasy football is also rewarding, beautiful, fun, entertaining, brutal, heart-breaking, frustrating, and sometimes down right miserable. The good far outweighs the bad however. The people you meet, the players you fall in love with, and the memories you make are just a few of the things that make Fantasy Football what it is. For those of you who have never experienced this, this article is for you. Here are the 10 reasons Fantasy Football is the greatest game in the world.
- Players Not Teams
There is nothing wrong with being a homer. As a Cowboys fan I have some very strong opinions on Emmitt Smith, Dez Bryant, Tony Romo, and Michael Irvin. Those are my guys. However, because of fantasy football I fell in love with so many other players. Arian Foster, Peyton Manning, Jamaal Charles, Antonio Brown, Jimmy Graham and so many others were players who became some of my all-time favorites. Other guys like Danny Woodhead, Kamar Aiken, and Gary Barnidge also hold equally special places in my heart for their play during given stretches of their careers. Fantasy football broadens the scope of players you follow and have a rooting interest in, something that you won’t understand if you never play.
- Smarter Fan
Fantasy football forces you to pay attention to just about every game. Every week is a different matchup. You will study each matchup looking for an edge. Tampa Bay sucked last year, but they were excellent against the run. Therefore, it was a smart play to sit your running back against them most weeks. Speaking of Tampa, Jameis Winston was a turnover machine but also threw for 30 touchdowns and 5000 yards. Fantasy football is a game based completely on statistics and analytics. You aren’t just looking at the wins and loss column anymore. Even if you just take a casual approach and read player cards on your app, you are absorbing more than the common fan.
- You call the shots
Probably the most rewarding aspect of fantasy football is it’s YOUR team and YOU call the shots. Are you sick of your running back underperforming? Great, sit his ass down. Do you have a hunch that Kenyan Drake is going to take over the world the last quarter of the season? Great, send the other manager a trade offer they can’t refuse. This is your world. You answer to nobody but yourself and have the final say on everything. Which makes winning it all so much sweeter.
- Your NFL team can suck, it’s okay
This one is for all the Bengals, Dolphins, Redskins, and Giants fans. So, your team is rebuilding and you find yourself almost rooting against your team each week as to not damage your draft stock. It’s clear you don’t have a prayer for this season, yet you watch religiously and put your heart and soul into your organization. While fantasy football doesn’t inherently change anything about the team you follow, it can provide hope. While your team may disappoint you each week, you have the opportunity to compete every single game and bring home the championship that your franchise just can’t seem to win. Fair warning, this can also backfire on you.
- The Game of Inches and Fractional Points
Unlike the real sport, every single play matters in fantasy. Maybe you’re watching a game that is a 30 point massacre and the winning team has rested its starters. There is nothing that will happen to change the outcome. Yet, if your wide receiver catches a garbage time bomb and takes it in 40 yards for the touchdown, you’ll happily take every point. Conversely if you are starting a player and he gets pulled due to a dominating performance, you may be left cussing at coach, the fellow players, and the opposing team for not letting your guy get his. Every yard matters in fantasy. The most extreme example of this I have ever seen took place this season in our fan league. Our Patreon Nathan Shown had our very own Casey Brown on the ropes in the fantasy playoffs. As Buffalo wrapped up a decisive victory Nathan was forced to watch as Josh Allen kneeled the ball for a loss of 2 yards. That .2 points was enough to swing victory back to Casey and boot Nathan out of the playoffs. No matter what your wife may tell you, EVERY inch matters.
- It is NOT One Size Fits All
Fantasy football is fully customizable in just about every aspect. You can change league sizes, roster sizes, create custom rules and scoring settings, and even decide whether you want to pick a new team each year or manage on team continuously. The options are endless. For a beginner I would recommend a 10 man basic PPR set up. The beauty here is you choose. I hate playing with kickers and individual defensive players. I played with head coaches once and will never do it again. But for some players that is their specialty. The more diverse set of leagues you play in, the more likely you will figure out what you like best.
- ANYONE can win
I don’t know if this is a good reason to play or not. For us seasoned vets, this is where fantasy football is a cruel mistress. Anything can happen in fantasy and you have to be okay with that. If you had drafted Devante Parker this year to be your third wide receiver you may have been laughed out of the draft room. At the end of the season you would have been the one laughing with his top 15 finish on the season. At the end of the day the games are still decided on the field and the thing that keeps us coming back for more is knowing that anything can happen on any given Sunday.
- Team Names
One of my personal favorite aspects of fantasy football, albeit goofy, is naming your team. There are very few rules on this besides certain apps not allowing you to use certain language. Again this is fully customizable to your liking. I’ve always subscribed to the play on words with player names philosophy. Some of my all time favorites include
- It Ertz When Eifert
- Yipee Kai Aye Justin Tucker
- That Boykin Run
- The Thrill of the Chase
Very few things beat the rush of trying to navigate a playoff push. Everyone’s injured. Some players are being rested for the playoffs while others are deactivated because their team is no longer competitive. This is where legends are born. Kamar Aiken, here’s to you!
- The Community
Far and away the best thing about playing fantasy football is the fantasy football community. I have friendships with guys like Cord Trahan that were strengthened through fantasy football. I have renewed old friendships with people by playing in their leagues. I’ve also met some of the coolest people just by playing fantasy football. I have talked into the early hours of the morning with guys like Jeremy Pyle and Mike Pompa, two of my favorite people in the world, despite never having met them. I met the funniest guy I’ve ever met, Ryan Lee Miller, just by joining the Truth Serum Fan League. I also met my fellow Truth Serum partners Joey, Jeff, and Casey because of this wonderful sport. These people have become not only people I play a game with, but people who I genuinely love and care about. It’s a fraternity like no other.
I could list another 100 reasons for a newcomer to take the plunge into fantasy football, but I digress. Just do it. Take the dive and never look back. I promise you; it is worth it. A big thanks for anyone reading this blog, checking out our site, listening to our podcasts, or following us on social media. A special shout out to all of our wonderful Patrons on Patreons. You guys are the real MVPS. As always. #StayTRUE