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Cost-Benefit Analysis of Going On a Multi-State Crime Spree After Your Fantasy Football Team Tanks

November 25, 2014

Just kidding.

Sort of.

It’s my space (No, not MySpace, that’s different), it’s my party, so I can cry if I want to. (Betcha that song is now stuck in your head. Feel my pain.)

I am one of the over 41 million people who play some form of fantasy football in the United States and Canada, and for the most part fit the average demographics: Male, Not Married, Caucasian (half), College Degree or More, 10+ years in Fantasy Sports (13 for me), I consume more sports and fantasy sports per week than I care to admit, and the one league I participate in regularly is for money.

The names of both my team (we’ll call them “Los Guapos”) and the 14-team league I’m in are changed to protect the innocent and the guilty, but not the actual football players.  I’ll just refer to my league as the League of Boners (or LOB) and leave the inferences to the reader.  Los Guapos currently sits at 5-7, out of the playoffs, meaning I will go 13 for 13 in years not winning the LOB.  I’m not asking for pity, or even empathy, I just want to vent.

I’ll also spare you the particular set-up of the LOB, I know no one but the uber-est of fantasy geeks cares about that.  My demise this year was relatively easy to figure out: Here is a list of the players I drafted that are either out for the season or have lost significant time to injury:

  • Nick Foles – He was my weekly quarterback starter for the first half of my season, performing below expectations but still putting up average numbers before a mediocre offensive line caught up to him and his collarbone.
  • Carson Palmer – He was actually putting up more points per game than Foles, when he was playing (missed 3 games early in the season with what the Arizona Cardinals would only call “shoulder numbness”).  Then he signs a $50 million contract extension, and two days later tears an ACL.  You can’t make this stuff up.
  • Doug Martin – My 2nd round pick, when I could have had Andre Ellington, Lamar Miller or even a V8 and been much more productive. Currently #70 among running backs in fantasy points, missed 5 games with a bad knee and a bad ankle, and who otherwise stunk (and still stinks) when he played.
  • Knowshon Moreno – I barely knew thee before he blew out his ACL.  I’m sensing a theme here.
  • Dennis Pitta – My sneaky, deep draft tight end (who count as wide receivers in our league) pick, but the joke was on me since I somehow forgot he has the hips of a geriatric salsa dancer on his 3rd hip replacement.
  • Cecil Shorts – I dropped him while he was hamstrung by his hamstrings. He’s returned since then and provided sporadic production for some other Boner franchise.
  • Pierre Thomas – I dropped him as well after he apparently caught the shoulder injury bug from Palmer. Just returned to provide haphazard production for the back-end of someone else’s roster. Unlucky Pierre.

That’s about half my draft day roster. Add-in the fact that 1.) I have picked up nobody of consequence off the waiver wire (while others have picked up fantasy producers such as Justin Forsett, Odell Beckham, Mohammad Sanu, Denard Robinson, Jordan Matthews, Brandon LaFell, Martavis Bryant, Tre Mason, the Philly Defense, yadda, yadda, yadda, these names may mean little to the casual football fan, but fantasy geeks everywhere are nodding their heads) and that 2.) last week in the make-or-break game of my season, I traded away Jonas Gray and his fluke 44 point output – which would have won my game by 4 points and kept me alive for the playoffs – for Eric Decker (Who? A New York Jets wide receiver? With Michael Vick throwing to him? Exactly.), well, I sure thought about firing up the Lexus, grabbing a ski-mask and picking a bank to rob in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.

Sanity prevailed however. For one, multi-state crime sprees sound like a lot of work.  I realized that probably 25-30 million of the other fantasy football geeks have similar sob stories that no one but them really care about. I realized that while both Federal laws and courts have held “that fantasy sports are games of skill”, there was a large aspect of chance and luck that derailed my season, over which I had no control.  I also realized that I’m not particularly skillful, either this year (Doug Martin in the 2nd round? Really?), or even in the past, despite having made the playoffs in 4 of the 5 previous years.  Part of me longs to be able to just enjoy football games on Sundays for what they are, instead of obsessing over the statistical production of the back-up running back of the Houston Texans (You’re still my boy Alfred Blue!). But the greater part of me knows that I’m a fantasy football addict still chasing the dragon of that first high, and that I won’t likely stop until I actually win the League of Boners. Even then, I’ll probably succumb to the desire to defend the title. And keep the ski mask handy.

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