Fantasy football leaves me unfulfilled

Sorry the first entry of 2007 is so late in coming. Part of it is I started a new work schedule and January is our busiest month and I was working a lot of overtime. I was also stumped in what to write about, having thought of several good issues to post. Then I watched the weekend NFL divisional playoffs and thought I would write about my experience with Fantasy Football.

For those who don’t know what Fantasy Football is, that is where you pick current players and base scoring on their stats each week.The team with the most points wins your game.

I have been playing for several years through Yahoo Sports and My general strategy has been to pick a team that I think will make it to the end and get me in the playoffs and maybe winning the league. While some of my league mates base their weekly lineups on matchups they also sign free agents or trade players.

Unfortunately, five years of playing has shown I am the unluckiest player in the world. I have never finished higher than 4th in any of the leagues I have been in and this past season I finished last or near the bottom of the three leagues I joined. My records were 3-11, 5-9, and 4-10 and each team finished the season by losing 5 games in a row.

Being on my fantasy team is like the kiss of death for a good player. QB Byron Leftwich had a season ending injury, WR Chris Chambers sucked this season, WR Doug Gabriel was cut from the Patriots after getting into a fight with the staff there, WR Braylon Edwards suffered from a sucky Browns team, and QB David Carr faded at the end. The only player that performed consistently for me this season was RB Larry Johnson and WR Reggie Brown. Even the defenses I picked, Indy and the Steelers, had bad years.

In previous years I let the computer pick my teams but this year I bought a Fantasy Football preseason magazine with all the stats from 2005 and predictions for 2006 and I used that info to rank my first 50 players. In my league, one of the teams that finished in the top 2 at the end was for an owner who didn’t even show up for the live draft we had.

I thought at first I just stunk at the game but I really think that luck plays a major role in how players and teams do in a given year. For example, in 2004, I picked up QB Ben Rothlisberger when I found out he was going to start for Pittsburgh after the starter, Tommy Maddox, got hurt. I knew Big Ben would do well as I had watched him in his college days and Pittsburgh that year had a good team. He led them to a 14 game win streak to end the season.

At the start of this year one of my league mates wanted to trade TE Tony Gonzalez to me for Kellen Winslow Jr. Looking at points alone I said no and wouldn’t you know, Tony had the better year as Winslow suffered from a poor offensive team performance. It was pure luck. Had I made the trade I might have won more games that I lost by only a few points.

As the old saying goes: Wait till next year….