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You lost your fantasy football league because fantasy football is stupid

USA TODAY Sports

I'm sorry to hear that your fantasy football team failed to win the championship. Just know that it isn't your fault. Fantasy football is dumb, and everyone else is dumb except for you.

Your failure to win your fantasy football league this season was not, in fact, your failure. Rather, it was the failure of the fantasy football format at large. It does not reward highly intelligent, analytical people like you. Remember that time you solved all the table puzzles at the Cracker Barrel? You're basically K-PAX, only cool and not a nerd because you like sports.

As you learned, fantasy football rewards blind luck. Anything resembling strategy or cunning is an illusion. Let's take a look at how your draft picks panned out, and agree that you should never play fantasy football again.

(The statistics below are based on Yahoo!'s average draft rankings for each player, and their totals in standard scoring leagues.)

Quarterbacks

Qbs_medium

You know this already because you are very smart, but the closer to the upper right of this chart, the more value you got out of your draft pick. The most important lesson demonstrated here is that there were plenty of perfectly decent quarterbacks to go around for everyone, especially if you were in an eight-to-ten-team league.

The best fantasy quarterback (Drew Brees) and the ninth-best (Andrew Luck) were only 51 points apart. That's only about three points per week. To boot, the top four quarterbacks were more or less equally valuable. You may as well have spent your first-round pick on an elite running back or wideout, and waited to grab a Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck in the later rounds.

Why your cunning and well-considered quarterback selection didn't pan out:

  • Matt Stafford did not try as hard as he did last year.
  • Eli Manning just thought he could go do whatever on the field just because he won the Super Bowl last year. He lacked a winner's mentality.
  • Michael Vick was tackled a lot and injured because of racism.
  • Tim Tebow was not given the opportunity to succeed.
  • Mark Sanchez was not given enough opportunities to succeed.

Running backs

Rbs_medium

Drafting a running back, meanwhile, was far more dangerous. You drafted Ryan Mathews over Adrian Peterson because you are a football insider, and a few picks later, your novice friend selected Peterson because he recognized his name from a Subway commercial or something. Just keep in mind that you are smart and that he is either not as smart or not smart at all.

Consider this: the running backs selected within the first 30 picks scored an average of 171 points, while those selected with the 31st through 65th picks averaged 156. That's a difference of approximately one point per game.

Why your cunning and well-considered running back selection didn't pan out:

  • Maurice Jones-Drew injured his foot because the time he would have spent exercising his foot muscles was wasted on a contract holdout. As such, he is greedy and lazy, and your decision to draft him anyway is testament to your willingness to see past peoples' flaws. It is a fault, but it is a noble fault, and it is your sole tactical shortcoming.
  • Ryan Mathews broke his clavicle because of bounties.
  • LeSean McCoy was injured because the Eagles did not have a win-now attitude.

Wide receivers

Wrs_medium

Going forward, Calvin Johnson should probably be regarded as the surest bet in fantasy football. Last season, the numbers of his quarterback, Matt Stafford, were off the charts, and Johnson finished as the league's best fantasy wideout. This season, Stafford faltered statistically, and he only found Johnson for five touchdowns (as compared to 16 last season). Megatron remained the top wideout anyway by breaking the NFL's single-season record for receiving yards.

You didn't get to select Calvin Johnson. Well, I mean, you could have passed on LeSean McCoy to get him, but there is no way of knowing who will be good or bad in football because of low sample size and Spygate. Regardless, it seemed worth your while to invest a top-round pick in a top-tier wideout -- seven of the first eight wideouts selected enjoyed good-to-great seasons.

Why your cunning and well-considered wide receiver selection didn't pan out:

  • Cardinals quarterback John Skelton did not throw to Larry Fitzgerald because it seriously did not ever occur to him. The whole season, he was just like, "durr who should I throw to, durr I don't know," and then he got sacked. He should have thrown to him on every play because you have to thread the needle in today's NFL.
  • You pretty much had to pick Larry Fitzgerald.
  • You placed Larry Fitzgerald on waivers after Week 4 and then used your spot on the waiver wire to re-claim him because you heard someone on ESPN say he had "great ability" while you were washing the dishes.
  • Your friend claimed Fitzgerald off the wire before you could. The next morning, you woke up with a terrible hangover and found that you had traded Brandon Marshall for him. You also found that you had series of texts to your friend, including but not limited to, "LETS MAKE A DEAL," "WHEELIN AND AND DEALIN,""I am riverbot gambler," "Beware the river gabler," and, "Do you hakl;".

Lessons learned from the 2012 fantasy season:

  • You are brilliant and supremely talented, and to engage in a game that so cruelly rewards thoughtlessness and chance above other things is an act of self-hatred. You were designed for greater things. You are God's perfect angel.
  • If you had been able to attend Stanford like you wanted to, you would have had more interesting friends. Instead, you are stuck in your hometown, marooned in social circles with your dullard high school buddies who depend on something as intellectually fruitless as fantasy football to maintain relationships with one another.
  • Fantasy football is a means of observing a game with points -- non-real commodities -- and then assigning non-real values to those commodities. In so doing, fantasy football sits two full degrees of separation from reality or actual value. Whichever of your friends won your fantasy football league is a petty tyrant of his or her own daydream, and nothing more. That is pathetic. That person is pathetic.
  • Yes, the champion of your league will soon come calling for your dues, which you were supposed to pay in September. No worries. Simply explain to your landlord that your rent will be short $100 this month, and that you're good for it next month. Think of your landlord as a bank that can lend up to $425 at any given time.
  • You are a treasure, and I love you so very much, and you didn't need to win some crummy fantasy football league to impress me. I love you just as you are.
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