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Life of a First Time Fantasy Football Owner
When I first signed up for a fantasy football league, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew a lot about football and the players of the different teams in the league in general. I always cheered for some of the players I liked and wished other players would get in the goal during games like Terrell (TO) Owens. So when a friend of mine asked me to join his Fantasy Football League, I realized what I was going to do on Sundays anyway was watch NFL games.
A few weeks later I received a confirmation email to go online and register my team name and set up my account before the fantasy league draft. When I created my account, I noticed that you can actually rank players in the order you want on your team. It seemed easy; I found players who are usually good players, but after the 50th person there were another 300+ names to sort through, so I just left it alone.
It was now two weeks before the draft and I was paying more attention to preseason football games to make sure the players I wanted to draft looked good during the regular season. I also focused on top rookie prospects, especially wide receivers, running backs and quarterbacks. You know if they’re drafted in the first round of the actual NFL draft, they have a good chance of seeing playing time if the guy ahead of them on the depth chart goes down with an injury.
Now it was preparation day and my research was done, I finally made a list of all the players I wanted to schedule. With the second pick of the draft I selected QB Tom Brady of the New England Patriots and I also went for running backs Brian Westbrook (Eagles), Ryan Grant (Packers), Cedric Benson (Bengals), Darren Sproles (Chargers). Ernest Graham (Buccaneers) and Leon Washington (Jets). For receivers I got Reggie Wayne (Colts), DeSean Jackson (Eagles), Eddie Royal (Broncos), Devin Hester (Bears) and Donnie Avery (Rams). I just drafted tight end Owen Daniels (Texas), a defensive end from the Patriots, and a kicker from David Akers (Eagles). With my last draft pick, I selected Jake Delhomme (Panthers) as the backup quarterback since Brady spent all of last year on the sidelines.
Coming into the season I thought I had a good team and I was excited to see how the first week would go. One of the fantasy league features that I find drives you crazy is the score predictions, which I now know not to trust. In my first game it said that I won the game 101-92 and it made me feel even more like a draft unit, playing for the first time and it already seemed like I was in the first game I will win.
As the first week of the NFL season began, I kept wondering in the back of my mind what my players were doing while watching the game on television. Then I remembered one of the guys said you could add a stat tracker that would give you the latest player stats for all the games but for a small cost or you could get the NFL Network channel during the 13 games Check out 4:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. So every commercial I would jump on the channel to see what my players were doing, it felt like I was the real owner of the team, with all the money and the luxury shop.
After the 1 o’clock games, I logged into my ESPN fantasy football account to see what time my other players were playing. That’s when I noticed that there is already a stat tracker on the website that gives you up to live minutes for your players. When the 1 o’clock games ended I was down 60 to 35 and that wasn’t good, the predictions were now saying I would be down 101 to 89. I had 4 players left and the other team had 5 players, so I was a loser during the 16:00 games. I was constantly looking at my laptop while watching games on TV, needless to say my wife was not too happy. At the end of the day I was up 94 to 84 and going into Monday night’s game we were both one player down. I was sure I was going to win, but as I’ve learned before, fantasy football scores can quickly turn ugly.
When I got home from work on Monday, I did my fatherly duties, making sure the kids’ homework was done, helping with dinner, and hanging out with the family before putting the kids to bed. When the game started, I already had my laptop screen open so I could track my player points throughout the game. I won my first match 106 to 89 and felt proud. So after the first week I was hooked and couldn’t wait for the next week to start.
Over the next couple of weeks, I learned that when the team has a bye week, so is your player, which I wasn’t prepared for (I know, I’m an idiot). I have to miss the next three games before I decide to make some trades to improve my team, so I trade QB Jake Delhomme and TE Owen Daniels for TE Chris Cooley (Redskins) and RB I replaced Rashard Mendenhall (Steelers). Then I dumped WR Avery and got WR Mike-Sims-Walker (Jaguars) off the free agent list. From the trade I won two games in a row and went into week seven at 3-3.
I don’t watch my laptop stats that much, I only check it about 5 times a game which I think is reasonable, although my wife says that’s still too much. I now understand why fantasy football has become so popular throughout the year. Before I wanted to make sure I was home to watch my favorite team play on Sunday and follow the other teams to see who would make it to the Super Bowl. Now, not only do I watch my favorite team every Sunday, but I enjoy watching my fantasy team walk up and down every weekend.
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