You always read about how everyone loves fantasy football, how it makes the game more exciting, how it has turned the NFL into far-and-away a more popular sport than it ever was … but you never read about how fantasy football is a horseshit institution full of heartbreak and agony!
Every year, I ask myself, “Why do I do this?” And yet every year, there I am, suckling at the teet of Yahoo’s free fantasy football game. I’m not here to piss and moan about Yahoo – I’d be writing this even if the old stalwart Sandbox.com was still around.
Unless you somehow lucked into far-and-away the best team in your league, there’s nothing but frustration going on! You obsess about setting your lineup. You obsess over who’s out there on waivers. You obsess on Sunday morning, trolling Twitter for the latest injury updates. Then, you forget to check the fucking WEATHER, and you come to realize Torrey Smith is out there playing in a blizzard and you were THIS CLOSE to picking up Marcel Reece at the last minute, but you didn’t want to be That Guy who tinkers with his lineup at the last minute in a week where you need to win to make the playoffs!
Then, you sit there all day on Sunday and you’re just miserable. You’re dead inside because your fantasy team is sucking dick that day and it totally takes you out of the moment of the game you’re watching right now. The game you’re watching not necessarily because you have a rooting interest in any of the players (although, indeed, I’m paying the price for having Colin Kaepernick on my team going up against the Seahawks defense), but because you have a rooting interest in the TEAM. Oh, the Seahawks are losing? Fuck that, I’d trade a million Seahawks losses if it meant I could win my Fantasy Championship!
And then you realize how crazy that sounds. Then, you try to brush it all aside and keep your eyes on the bigger picture. Your team – your flesh and blood team that you’ve been following since you were five years old – is in the middle of its very best season ever. And you’re sitting here worried about fucking fantasy football?
That’s when you start to sympathize with some of these old fucks out there. Who keep saying that fantasy football is ruining the game. Of course, they don’t say that much anymore, because they’ve been drowned under a sea of Everyone Else who loves the fucking game and is involved in not just one, but multiple fucking fantasy teams. I’ve been guilty of that. All of it. Mocking the elderly. Having multiple fantasy teams (though, thankfully, I’m now down to just the main one, and even then I’m looking for some sort of clean exit strategy).
In a way, Fantasy Football IS ruining the game. It’s taking away from what’s REALLY important, and that’s illegal sports gambling! Who gives a fuck about whether Jordy Nelson scored a touchdown when the miracle Vikings/Ravens game is about to cover the Over inside the final two minutes of the game???
And who gives a fuck about your fantasy team making the fantasy playoffs when your real team is still dialed into the #1 seed?
Once you’re able to let that sink in, you start to realize it’s not so bad. I’ve still got the consolation bracket, which in my league means you’re fighting for the #1 pick in next year’s draft. I’ve got a number of quality choices for keepers on my team, so I’m not scrambling. All in all, I’m set up quite well for next year!
Then, you take a look at the message boards and your asshole friends are there to remind you of your futility. Don’t get sucked in! Turn off the web browser, go back to your Christmas specials. Take a deep breath and relax. There are more important things going on. Like the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers eating shit. Like Gonzaga basketball is NEVER winning a national championship. Like the San Francisco 49ers are still WELL behind the Seahawks for the NFC West and are still in a dogfight to even make the playoffs!
Did that about cover it, you chickenfuckers? Until next year then, when I somehow get sucked back into this fucking farce. God, I hate Fantasy Football.
On to the rankings.
- Seattle Seahawks (11-2) – 14-2 just doesn’t have the same ring as 15-1.
- Denver Broncos (11-2) – Russell Wilson is not the MVP. He was never going to be the MVP. Peyton Manning is, was, and always will be the MVP.
- New Orleans Saints (10-3) – The Saints now have control in the NFC South, but they still have to go back to Carolina in two weeks.
- New England Patriots (10-3) – A win is a win, even though they really should have lost to the Browns.
- Kansas City Chiefs (10-3) – Andy Reid’s team defeats his old hated rivals in the Redskins. The Chiefs defeat their old hated rival Mike Shanahan!
- Carolina Panthers (9-4) – The Panthers take a pretty big dive after losing to the Saints, which is what happens when you get blown out the way they did.
- San Francisco 49ers (9-4) – It’ll be interesting to see what this team is able to do on offense against a not-top-three NFL defense.
- Philadelphia Eagles (8-5) – I’ve waited all year for Shady McCoy to go down with an injury. Now that I’m out of the fantasy playoffs, I guess I can go fuck myself. Way to go on that TD run, Chris Polk!
- Cincinnati Bengals (9-4) – They look good now, but Dalton still has another 3-INT game or two left in him before the year is done.
- Indianapolis Colts (8-5) – Shit happens when you party naked.
- Detroit Lions (7-6) – They were moving the ball pretty well in that driving snow; I don’t know what to tell you.
- Arizona Cardinals (8-5) – I have to admit, this is leaps and bounds better than I would have thought they’d be at this point this year.
- Baltimore Ravens (7-6) – That was a helluva finish to that football game against the Vikings. Couldn’t have thrown a few more dozen balls Torrey Smith’s way, though?
- Chicago Bears (7-6) – Is there some way we can get it so both Chicago AND Dallas make the playoffs? Those defenses are my wet dream.
- Dallas Cowboys (7-6) – I mean, who didn’t see this coming? The Bears’ defense can’t stop the run to save its life, so why even TRY to have a dedicated running game (even though, when you did run, it worked out as splendidly as it could).
- Miami Dolphins (7-6) – I don’t care anymore.
- St. Louis Rams (5-8) – It’s just impossible to get a quality read on this team!
- San Diego Chargers (6-7) – If for nothing else than the moderate weather, I would give everything I own to be living in San Diego right about now.
- Pittsburgh Steelers (5-8) – And now, my friend, you die.
- Green Bay Packers (6-6-1) – Who is going to step up to win this thing? You can’t even GIVE this NFC North title away!
- New York Giants (5-8) – I can’t wait for the Seahawks to take out all of their aggression on this soft pudding-pop of a football team. We’ve had a knack over the years of forcing Hall of Fame-ish head coaches into retirement; is this where Tom Coughlin calls it quits?
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-9) – I don’t remember who you played this weekend, but you got the win, so good for you.
- New York Jets (6-7) – The AFC Everybody: where this Jets team still has a decent chance to make the playoffs!
- Atlanta Falcons (3-10) – I don’t know how you let Matt Flynn beat you, but there you go.
- Buffalo Bills (4-9) – EJ Manuel, you go right to the top of my shit list.
- Cleveland Browns (4-9) – That’s a bummer, man. You had the Patriots and you let ’em off the hook.
- Tennessee Titans (5-8) – Rumors abound that the Titans will clean house after this season. The players reward those rumors with a good first quarter or so and then totally fall off the cliff.
- Oakland Raiders (4-9) – I’m sorry, what’s that?
- Jacksonville Jaguars (4-9) – Your 2013 Jacksonville Jaguars!
- Washington Redskins (3-10) – FIRE THEM! FIRE THEM ALL!!!
- Minnesota Vikings (3-9-1) – Adrian Peterson getting injured, that’s all you need.
- Houston Texans (2-11) – I can’t remember a time where the Jags weren’t the worst team in football. I guess that’s reason-enough to get your head coach fired.