A Make-Believe Game

9b46bb7a29915cdeb5005c1fd9f02100Fantasy football is quite possibly the second thing I most look forward to all year long. Not sure whether that’s sad or not, but I don’t really care what you think. Because I have so much experience both winning and losing fantasy football games, though I feel like you make or break your season based on drafting and I’m awesome at that. There’s a few ideas I have in mind to make fantasy football leagues go a little smoother.

First off, there’s not much we can do if it’s illegal to gamble online in your state but playing free games aren’t great for much else other than pride. All of these websites with leagues just need to put into place a mandatory 5 or 10 dollar charge for playing in the leagues. Maybe it should be more, but the payoff is always better than the risk of losing the money altogether. Perhaps that wouldn’t keep assholes from quitting midseason, but it would make it less common than it is now.

While the NFL is in full-effect with the popularity of West-Coast offenses and throwing the ball 40 times a game, defense is as important as it ever was. Still, defenses are largely annoying and not 100% reliable in fantasy play. The best defenses aren’t always forcing the most turnovers and putting getting scores and thus having a team that plays solid and doesn’t give up tons of points isn’t always going to yield a ton of points. Even if you have a good idea of how a team will perform, it’s still not as good of a percentage as the position players. This by no means is a plea to fantasy owners to join leagues that draft individual defensive players. Those drafts take way too long and are difficult to predict as the teams with the worst defenses usually have the best individual fantasy performers.

When it comes down to the draft day there needs to be changes as well. ESPN standard leagues have 90 second picks during the entire draft. While the last few picks of every draft tend to be throwaway picks and guys that you might drop as soon as you refresh your league page, they also tend to be breakout players that put an owner in a comfortable position for the course of a season. I remember picking Jimmy Graham in the 10th round of a PPR money league 3 or 4 years ago when he had yet to become a star and was rewarded handsomely for taking a chance. So fantasy leagues should make the first 7 or 8 rounds between 45 and 60 seconds and then keep the picks at the current 90 second interval. Everyone loves the excitement of the first few rounds, but no one likes how drafts drag on.

If you have a shitty internet connection or don’t show up on time for a scheduled draft it should be viewed the same as showing up late to work. Did I just compare fantasy football to work? You bet your ass I did. To some, fantasy leagues take that kind of time and effort. But to all, it’s much more enjoyable and is important for everyone that actually does show up on time. So if you aren’t able to get in on time there should be a penalty of waiting an additional pick and being forced to watch opposing teams fuck you over with an automated choice. If you don’t show up on time or log out once during a live draft that you signed up for 10 minutes ago on ESPN, then you default your right to pick the rest of your team. Everyone and their mother has Wi-Fi these days so there should be no excuses about losing connections. If you’re the asshole doing your draft from work and you have to keep closing the draft so your boss doesn’t see, then that’s just a chance you would be willing to take.

I love fantasy football and if it didn’t change one bit I would still be playing. Just like when the replacement referees were officiating games, no one stopped watching. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t several things that should be taken a look at by the powers that be. I’m already getting started with drafts and as soon as the year gets within a couple weeks there will be some serious advice sent your way. Keep posted.

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