I Suck At Fantasy Football!!!
(originally written 1/7/2022)
You wouldn't think so after my putrid Fantasy Football performances so far this decade, but I really was once a Fantasy Football champion. In 2017, in the Alter Ego Dynasty League.
My stars were Todd Gurley (who was absolutely superhuman for me down the stretch), Philip Rivers, Alshon Jeffery, A.J. Green and Zach Ertz—who to this day I STILL can't believe I got off waivers for nothing.
My Semifinals matchup, against league commissioner and friend Andy, went down to the wire. Atlanta's Julio Jones on Monday Night Football 12/18/17 was going for my opponent and needed to score a little over seven points to end my season. Lucky for me, Jones managed but 6.9 points and I escaped with victory by exactly 0.28 points (156.44 to 156.12).
One week later in the Finals, I was again victorious—much more comfortably this time.
While our league did have a couple of dudes who basically participated every two months, the other 10 players took Fantasy Football seriously and really did try to climb the championship mountain.
So me winning the trophy was by anything BUT default, people. I earned it!
Yet, since the 2010's ended, my Fantasy performance has been nothing short of abominable. In both my former league (Alter Ego Dynasty), where I finished 1-12 in 2020, and in my current league (Monkey6), where I've gone 7-20 combined in 2020-21.
Falcons WR Calvin Ridley finished 2021 with 31 catches and two touchdowns in five games.
That's an 8-32 record in my past 40 FF matchups covering both leagues.
Other than a pitcher's batting average, eight-for-forty isn't a good ratio for anything in sports unless you tally up freak things like halfcourt shots or kickoff touchdown returns. But there you have it.
I remember facing my buddy Dave in Week 2 with victory well in sight—all that stood in the way was his struggling Eagles QB Jalen Hurts on Monday Night Football. I remember telling Dave it "Hurts" to watch Jalen play that night!
Naturally, Hurts exploded in the second half and I wound up losing by a little over three points...terrific.
In Week 8, I seemed to have a fairly decent shot at victory against another buddy, Juan. I checked my lineup Saturday night, approved, and forgot about it until Sunday afternoon...at which point I learned my top WR, Atlanta's Calvin Ridley, was suddenly out with mental health issues. Leaving me with a big fat ZERO in my starting lineup. I'd lose to Juan by a little over 20 points, a figure within Ridley's capabilities on a good day. So went my luck in 2021.
As the season went on, my Fantasy luck trended so far downward that it became outright comical. Case in point: Tampa Bay WR Brehsad Perriman in Week 12. Keep in mind that Perriman was not on either mine nor my opponent's team and STILL managed to screw me over.
You see, my kicker was Perriman's Bucs teammate Ryan Succop. Against yet another buddy, Chicken, I needed as many points as I could get Sunday, because he had a player going Monday night—more on him later.
Tampa Bay was tied at 27 against Buffalo in overtime. All they were trying to do at that point was run the ball into field goal range and turn Succop loose for the game-winning kick.
Problem is, Perriman—he of 11 receptions all season—decided to turn a glorified screen pass into a 58-yard goddang TOUCHDOWN. Meaning Succop was denied a chance at a 30, 40 or maybe even 50-yard field goal!
At that point, I decided if I wound up losing to Steve by three or fewer points, I was going to somehow assassinate Breshad Perriman—and his pediatrician—for directly ruining what could have been MY VICTORY by scoring an unnecessary touchdown.
Luckily for Perriman, Steve's Monday player, J.D. McKissic of Washington, exploded for two touchdowns and a season-high in Fantasy points, saddling me with a near 13-point loss. So I decided to assassinate McKissic and his plumber instead.
(Later, it was explained to me that I'm barely capable of assassinating spiders and McKissic would probably sodomize me with my own weapon if I came near him. Plans changed.)
I'd gone into the 2021 season unprepared, without any legitimate game plan. I mean, our draft started at 8:30pm and I didn't have my laptop ready until 8:34. After ending 2020 on a four-game win streak that spared me from last place, my "strategy" was to draft as many 2020 players as I could and hope that over a full season, they'd make magic.
I was dead wrong, and there'd be no miracle finish in 2021 for Myles Gaskin and the gang. Still, from Draft Night on through the final game, I HAD FUN. (Well, except one frustrating night when I threatened to retire. But my pals are used to such declarations and basically told me I wasn't going anywhere.)
In 2022, I plan to do a bit of homework during the summer—clearly, there are glitches in my personal NFL database, and my roster needs an overhaul. Other than QB Josh Allen of Buffalo, I don't plan to draft anyone from 2020-21 just because they're available. Upon my joining Monkey6, Nate, our commissioner and my buddy of 28 years, said that my "irrational loyalty is just what this league needs." Thanks...I think?
Said loyalty to unproductive, or at least inferior players, has cost me in both of my leagues. (* Cough A.J. Green Cough *) But next year, I'm going to employ a strategy that's proven tried and true to many other Fantasy players in the past—knowing who all the best players are, drafting them, and not trading them for Gaskin a month into the season. (You're welcome, Chicken.)
See y'all in August.
Signed: The Guy Who Sucks At Fantasy Football.
My 2-12 finish in 2021 put me squarely at the bottom of my new league, Monkey6. Meaning, per league rules/tradition, I had to attach THIS to my ride for one year.