If there is a general rule about fantasy sports it is that no one cares about your team. There are millions upon millions of fantasy owners out there, so what makes you think anyone wants to hear about your individual collection of imaginary player combinations? Unless that person is directly involved in your league I would bet he/she wants absolutely nothing to do with you when fantasy sports come up.
That is why, of course, I’m going to talk about fantasy football. Now to be fair, this will set up a larger discussion, so bear with me for a paragraph or two.
I have four fantasy football teams, and yes, that is a lot. One league I am the commissioner of, and another is the keeper league Jon and Chris invited me to last year. A third team is the Buffalo Bloggers’ league, and a fourth I got into because of my new job. Yeah, that’s a lot of fantasy work, especially if you add in an eventual hockey team or two.
Needless to say, it sucks when all four teams lose on opening day. My keeper league team got stuck with a roster freeze issue and didn’t have a third wide receiver (I have Marshall (suspended), Smith (suspended), Limas Sweed (0), Reggie Brown (hurt), and I was stuck with someone else I couldn’t drop before the freeze. (Crazy waiver wire thing, it’s very unnecessarily confusing, really.)
ANYWAY, I lost that league by 7 points and the guy we wanted to pick up scored ten. So whatever. The other league I got murdered, but everyone on my team just played awfully. I still really like that team, though, so we’ll see what happens. What about those other two leagues?
Well, I drafted Tom Brady.
Now this isn’t going to be that whiny, lamenting, Bill Simmons post you may be expecting. As I’ve stated before, I’ve never been more excited about someone else’s physical injury in my life as I was when Tom Brady tore his ACL and MCL. I mean, I only heard about it from a text message, but when I saw it, I mean, that was awesome. However, two of my fantasy teams are officially dead.
Well, there’s a chance I could still do okay, but when you lose your first round pick eight minutes into the season you aren’t going to do as well as your once thought. Unlike my keeper league team, which will only get stronger, these two teams will be playing catch-up all year, and that’s not the most fun of fantasy strategies.
However, I’m not complaining. When I first heard about Tom Brady getting hurt my first thoughts went towards the Bills and their chances of winning the ACF East. No matter what I have tied up in my fantasy teams I’ve never put them in front of my real football team, and I’m not sure the same is true for everyone.
For example, Darren Rovell pointed out that Brady’s injury equals a $150 million shift in fantasy league prizes, which is a massive number whether estimated or not. I don’t fall into that that category (only my other two leagues are pay) but that fact alone may shift an fan’s allegiance if you suddenly have $50 riding on the fact that your team’s secondary gets eaten alive by Randy Moss.
We all know it happens. You look at the match up on Saturday and know it will come down to a big game against the Bills. But do you secretly root for Ronnie Brown to have a breakout game because you need the win in your standings more than the Bills do?
Maybe that’s too abstract of a question, so let’s try this: If it comes down to Jacksonville’s D holding strong and you getting a tight fantasy win or the Bills going 2-0, which is more important? And if your initial answer is the latter (as mine is), is there a situation you can come up with in your mind where you would want the former, even if you know it means a Bills loss?
Personally, I would let my entire team team catch malaria if it meant the Bills make the playoffs. Even if it means Brett Favre is your Week 2 starter.