Fantasy Football Truths
The five most annoying things about fantasy football: Yes, there's a Beanieinvolved
I’ve been playing fantasy football for more than 20 years now, longer than most, and I’ve loved just about every minute of it. They haven’t all been winning seasons, but they’ve all been a lot of fun.
But, alas, I would be remiss if I told you that everything was violins and valentines. On the contrary, there are some things associated with the pastime that get on my nerves. So I thought we’d take a break from the ins and outs of who to start and who to bench this week, and instead concentrate on some of the things that don’t do it for me, things that in my opinion need to be improved or removed from the picture.
FIRST-COME, FIRST SERVE PICKUPS
Luckily, this particular phenomenon is starting to go the way of the dodo bird, since most websites that act as fantasy football managers incorporate some sort of waiver system to stop this thing from happening. Otherwise, you’ll get a situation where a guy watches games with his smartphone in hand and quickly pounces on free agents who are having big games on Sunday.
It takes all of the importance out of the draft and allows teams to turn over their rosters at will. Impose a limit on pickups and a waiver system that gives everyone a fair shot at the free agent pickings, or else this particular malady will rear its head.
There is no more hated word in the fantasy football dictionary than “questionable.” There is no more hated phrase than “game-time decision.”
Put them together with a late afternoon Sunday start time and you’ve got a recipe for disaster if you’re a fantasy owner. Take the example of Beanie Wells last week. His owners were left to guess whether he was going to suit up for the Sunday late game against the Seahawks, an extremely favorable matchup. Wells promised he would play all week long, even as he was labeled questionable and a game-time decision.
Owners who made the call to start him were then burned when he didn’t suit up.
The lessons to be learned? Never trust a man named Beanie. And always play it safe with injured players, going with alternatives if you’ve got them.
Even though there is a wealth of information available to you, keep in mind that the majority of that information is blind guessing and unfounded speculation. In situations like Wells, don’t be a victim of misinformation overload.
Even though I play in several leagues where you have to start a team defense, I’ve never warmed up to this practice. The idea behind fantasy football is to draft the best team of players from the NFL, with your team’s performance being the sum of all of the real stats of those players. Drafting a whole team goes against the fabric of the game.
And there is nothing worse than having your skill position guys have big weeks and yet being victimized when your opponent’s defense bails him out with two return touchdowns and nine sacks or something silly like that.
CONSTANT ADD & DROPS
What’s worse is that guys have figured out how to manipulate defenses by dropping teams every week and picking up new ones based on matchups. It’s a farce, truly. If you must include defense, do it with individual defensive players, or IDP, and they should only get credit for turnovers and sacks, not tackles.
Giving them points for tackles makes them too valuable and drives scores way too high, which brings me to my next point . . .
POINTS PER RECEPTION SCORING
Which of these two players would you consider to have a better statistical performance, a guy who runs for 100 yards or a guy who catches seven passes for 47 yards?
According to the twisted logic of PPR advocates, it’s the latter player. We’re already rewarding guys for the yards they pick up on receptions. So why reward reception gobblers like Danny Amendola for the catches they amass? Based on that logic, we should start awarding points for rushing attempts as well.
In addition, PPR-league scores are way too high. One hundred points should be the benchmark of a great scoring game in fantasy football, yet I’m in an IDP league that gives a point each for tackles and receptions, and I’m 1-1 despite averaging more than 160 points a game. I have no idea how to gage my team’s performance.
Down with PPR, I say. As a matter of fact, down with all of these unfortunate aspects of the game I love so much. If we can get rid of them, it will make our fantasy football experience even more perfect than it already is.