Monday, August 24, 2015

A guide to Fantasy Football for Haters...and Spouses

So, tomorrow is my husband and my 9 year anniversary!  Nine years!  It’s hard to believe all the adventures we’ve had and how quickly the time has gone by. 

Tomorrow is also important because it is my husband’s fantasy football draft. Now, to all you haters out there I used to be a hater too.  And then I got pregnant with our first child.  And I got really really sick.  Sick so that I could not move from the couch without being violently ill.  I spent my days watching ESPN because even changing the channel was just too much for my feeble mind and body.  

I realized that learning about sports was like learning a new language... and ESPN is a really really good teacher.  Seriously, if we covered common core curriculum like ESPN covers sports....making shows that all discuss the same things but in slightly different forums (i.e. Sports Center, Around the Horn, and Pardon the Interruption) we’d have a lot more kids passing standardized tests.  Anyway, I started to care about this new language I was learning.  

Also, I realized that sports are a great outlet for people who, like me, love to argue.  Sports debates can go on endlessly.  So, I am eager for my husband to go pick a killer fantasy football team because it will be a subject of great conversation all fall long.  

So, just in case you want to join in that lively debate this fall, I’ve written this post covering the basics of Fantasy Football (because let’s be honest...half the hate comes from feeling left out)... Ok 

Step 1: A person must pick a team name for their Fantasy Team (a team they dream up as all the perfect players from various real teams coming together to play as one for them an imaginary owner/ manager) The naming of teams may be the last bastion of literary wit among sports fans (besides sports writers/bloggers).  Puns, word play and allusion are all welcome.  My personal favorite comes from a NY Giants fan we know.  His team gave a clever nod to the Giant’s coach Tom Coughlin and to prostate health. It was called “Turn your head and Coughlin.”  

Step 2: You must have a draft.  All of this is done online and like the real NFL draft you have to wait your turn to pick the player you want.  You get to pick between 15-18 players.  The usual combination (according to Fantasy Football for Dummies) is as follows:
~2 quarterbacks (who throw the ball or hand it off or run with it if they are athletic enough) They receive points according to the number of yards they successfully pass or run the ball AND get points for every touchdown they throw or run in)
~4 running backs (who take a handoff and run the ball) They receive points according to the number of yards they successfully run the ball AND get points for every touchdown they run in)
~4 wide receivers (who catch the ball) They receive points according to the number of yards they successfully catch and/or run the ball AND get points for every touchdown they catch and/or run in)
~2 tight ends (who...I had to look this one according to wikipedia.....“is often seen as a hybrid position with the characteristics and roles of both an offensive lineman and a wide receiver.” Basically a blocker and a runner.) They get points the same way a running back would.  
~2 kickers (who kick the ball in between the “uprights” to earn 1 or 3 points depending on the situation) They get points for how many points they score kicking the ball between the two yellow poles.  
~2 defenses/ special teams (Now, this is a little confusing because you can’t pick defensive players you have to pick a whole teams’ defense...I don’t know why , that’s just the way it is.  I suppose there must be a limit to the amount a person can dream even in Fantasy Football.) They get points based on how many interceptions they get, sacks they make (in other words how many times they bring the quarterback down while he has the ball), and points they score running the ball in for a touch down.  

Step 3: Research.  Really this is step 1 or 2 and should be done first but it wouldn’t have made sense before all the other stuff. I tried to keep this very brief because it c
~Names to Know: 
Aaron Rodgers
-Quarterbacks: While Peyton Manning (Denver Broncos) and Tom Brady (New England Patriots) will undoubtedly make their way into the Hall of Fame as the best players of our time they may not be the optimum fantasy pick.  (Tom Brady because he will be suspended for the first four games). Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers) has actually held the number one spot for fantasy football the past few years.  
Adrian Peterson
-Running Backs: Adrian Peterson (Minnesota Vikings) is freak of nature when it comes to running.  Although he has made some very bad moral choices that got him suspended last season he has a heartbreaking back story that makes me want him to be the best version of himself.  
-Wide Receivers: Calvin Johnson (goes by Megatron and plays for the Detroit Lions)
-Rodger Goodell- The NFL Commissioner (in other words, the boss who decides all things pertaining to professional football.)
~Terms to know:
-Touchdown- When the ball crosses over the plane of the end of the field (i.e. over the painted white line or the orange pylons at the edges) a team scores 6 points.   The team can then choose to try to score another touchdown which is only worth 2 points or kick a field goal which is only worth one point.  Note: If a team doesn’t even try to make the first touchdown but goes straight to kicking a field goal they earn 3 points for a successful kick.
-Sleepers- Players who no one expects to do well but end up earning a ton of points.

So, to bring things full circle, tomorrow along with a mushy card, my husband will be receiving my strong suggestions on who he should draft.  

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