Hello and welcome back. Thanks for tuning in for Episode 5 of Fantasy Life, our online exploration of one fantasy football season and its cast of characters. If you need a review of any prior entries, here is a description of some of the owners of the Saving Private Buddy Ryan league from the first entry as well as entries two, three, and four.
I have to start today by breaking a promise. I promised that I wouldn't use this platform to talk about fantasy football bad beats or the boring intricacies of pick-ups and wins and losses, but I'm practically giddy this week because I finally had the guts to do something I always want to do but don't each week and that is ignore the consensus and follow my instincts.
The Saving Private Buddy Ryan League uses CBS Sportsline and if you also use that site or similar ones like it, what's the first thing you do each week after you set your lineup? Check the "preview" to see whether the experts say that you are going to win this week! We all do it. And for some insane reason, it actually makes us feel better when the *cough* experts think we are going to win. They even tell us how much we are going to win by. We get confident. We think, why, this is math, only presidential polls are more accurate, we don't even have to play the game.
Conversely, being predicted to lose by even just a few points gets us despondent and makes us look for waiver wire pick-ups to cure our anemic offenses. We ask the magic computer experts, "please, great and wise computer, how might I sit one player and start another so as to be worthy in your eyes?" And the computer tells us. Then it stares at us. Until we, despite all our instincts to the contrary, make the switch.
Some times we fight it a bit. We hold off just long enough to see an article or video with another expert who agrees with the computer, that Sidney Rice does have a better match-up than Vincent Jackson and will likely score more points. It plays over and over in our minds. And eventually, no man is strong-willed enough to resist. We make the switch.
But, not this week, my friends. Over the almighty and wise computer's sage and unfailing advice, I started the Texans defense over the Giants this week. I gave Brandon LaFell one last shot to throw me some points out of the WR3 slot. And, my good, good friends, I am here to tell you that, praise the football gods, I was redeemed and I have won this week's match-up by five whole points. That's right, my heresy has resulted in sweet fantasy football victory. And in honor of my bold choices, the computer has bestowed upon me an even greater gift than I could have possibly imagined. It changed my "coach rating" from 11th in the league to 9th. Vindication, Hallelujah!
Meanwhile, in less game-oriented and more sordid affairs, we have gotten to the point where the newest member of our league, Tom, is unofficially, not quite letter of the law, stalking Randy. It has become more clear than ever that when our Commissioner, Jimmy, picked Tom as our newest member, he had barely, if ever, met Tom, and knew nothing about him.
The only thing we now really know for sure is that Tom lives in his parents' basement and is very, very lonely. I mentioned in prior entries that Tom was texting and e-mailing Randy ever since Randy invited Tom to watch fantasy football and be Randy's wingman--unsuccessfully--with the fantasy football playing women of the greater DC area.
Well, last weekend, Randy, who lives downtown, accidentally left his cell phone at home and went out for a few hours to dinner and a movie with friends. Upon his return, Randy picked up his phone to find that, along with some texts, he had missed 14 phone calls from Tom. Two minutes later, the phone rang. Randy didn't answer. When it rang again a few minutes after that, Randy picked up. It was Tom. Tom wanted to know what Randy was up to. It was 11:00 at night. And, coincidentally, Tom happened to be in the neighborhood. Tom lives nowhere near Randy.
Now our league has a real dilemma: how do we get rid of an owner mid-season for a completely non-fantasy football-related reason? And, despite our endless teasing of Randy for having a "Single White Female" situation, how do we get rid of an owner of whom we are all really scared? Clearly, something has to be done. I just know I'm not going to be the one to do it.
Last tidbit of the day. We've actually already had a much larger number of ties this year than in any full year previously. Unlike most leagues, where playoff tie-breakers are simply decided by overall points scored, I believe our league has a head-to-head tie-breaker component. The frequency of game ties this year makes that a lot more problematic.
I'm wondering, has anyone out there had a fantasy football league where the tie-breaker rules didn't cleanly resolve the tie? What did you do? After the blood, sweat, and tears of a full season, I'm sure we'd all like to avoid a coin-flip. Yes, we can vote on an immediate rule addition to go to overall points in the event the head-to-head tiebreaker doesn't work, but whoever is disadvantaged by that is going to cry bloody murder. Just curious to see what other similar catastrophes have befallen my fellow fantasy players and how you resolved them. Thanks for reading and I'll see you next week.