Wednesday, September 16, 2015

How to survive the football season (Part 2)

What the HELL is fantasy football?

This new entry in my Football Widow's guide to Surviving the football season deals with the confusing idea of fantasy football. Many homes are now in the grips of the first magic week of the NFL season. (Oh and yes, college is in full swing as well which deserves its own entry at a later time.) So, this will be a brief primer about why your significant other is ranting and raving about a player NOT scoring against his beloved team.

The idea behind fantasy football can be very simple, but also far more complicated than you might think. A fantasy football team is drafted by team owners and will consist of players from many different teams in the basic positions of quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end (not what you might think), kickers, and a defense. Some leagues go so far as to add IDPs or, Individual Defensive Players--defensive line, linebackers, and defensive backs.

The scoring systems may vary a bit and offer certain bonuses, but the basic idea is that your fantasy team scores points tied to those individual players drafted. So, when your human black hole is now, not only yelling at the television when his team is playing, but now also seems to be yelling at random are some reasons. Let's say he has a running back on his fantasy team that runs the ball all the way to the one-yard line and is tackled, then in comes some back-up to get the ball and plunge in for the score. Sure, he gets some points for the yards, but the big money is in the touchdown. It would be like you slaving in the kitchen and making this amazing meal...and then he comes in, sprinkles something over the top and everybody tells HIM what a great meal HE has made. (Okay, I could have used a lot of other examples, and before you get your panties bunched up, I am the cook in this house and also do the housework...there was nothing sexist about that example, just using it as an example.)

So, let's say that you are trying to be a art of this aspect of your significant other's life. How can you even begin to understand this new wrinkle. Best way is to join a fantasy league. There are many you can do for free on and you do a little poking around, you can find a league (even after week one!). They will explain their scoring system on the league information page. Since you are pretty smart, you won;t have any problem understanding the system. You might not know who to take in the first round or anything, but this is a learning experience.

I suggest doing one on the sly this year to learn about what you are doing. You will learn about how you might want to start certain players against certain teams for various reasons. Like, let's say you have a running back facing a team that is known for doing a terrible job of stopping the run...see? There is actually a lot that goes into this little side hobby that many football widows are even more confused about than they are about the actual game. 

One of the most entertaining things that happen to fantasy players is when they start grousing about why they started one player instead of another. You will usually hear them say something along the  lines of, "Damn! Why didn't I start Player X! He's sitting on my bench while Player Y is started and not doing a damn thing!" Might as well be an entirely different language, right? 

So, football widows...any questions? Fire away!

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