You've heard of the joys and excitement of winning a fantasy championship, but have you ever truly experienced it yourself?
Chances are you haven't. And that's okay.... I didn't either for a number of years. But once I pulled myself together and eliminated some of the key mistakes that even the most seasoned fantasy veterans make, I attained fantasy glory.
By now you're probably thinking I'm here to preach to you about how to win because I've done it a few times in my life. That couldn't be further from the truth.
I'm going to throw some things out there and they may sting a little (that's because you're guilty of them). I promise it's the first step to righting your fantasy ship.
Why You'll Never Win a Fantasy Football Championship
Let's face the facts, you've been shooting yourself in the foot. No really, you've basically been playing with one hand tied behind your back.
If you want a real chance to win you need to cut out the crap and start thinking straight. Otherwise your yearly donation to the league will stay just that, a donation.
Here are the 4 biggest reasons you'll never win a fantasy championship:
1. Recency Bias
So many of us operate with the belief that many players are "very risky" and that others are "very safe". The problem is that we're not very good at objectively deciding what very risky and very safe truly means.
If a player has had a ton of injuries in recent memory, we expect them to have more in the future. If a player has been relatively healthy, we expect them to stay healthy. That's how most of us asses players and their potential fantasy future. It's flawed as a whole.
It's a simple concept that impacts most fantasy owners you know. Put into fantasy football terms it's evaluating players based on the question of "What have you done for me lately?".
You need to stop doing that.
The problem with recency effect is that it can throw off player values. It puts way too much focus on the past and ignores the future. When we’re drafting, we’re picking players based on how they will perform, not simply on how they performed in the past.
I'm not telling you to forget about the past, it's still important, but start evaluating players as a whole. I promise you'll be much happier as the season progresses.
2. Your Blind Loyalty
Too many fantasy football selections are impacted by fan loyalty. I'll be honest, everyone that lets their fandom cause them to overpay can't be saved. I'm sorry, but if you truly want to win you need to put your bias aside.
Sure, there's a fun factor of owning a player on your favorite team. I can't deny that. But is it something that's worth losing a key matchup by a mere point? Is it worth missing the playoffs or a shot at the championship? If you're in it to win, you know the correct answer.
Put your fan loyalty aside, do some research on the players in the upcoming fantasy football draft and make your own rankings. Stick to your fantasy rankings and if the guy you want falls to you, go for it. But overpaying will be a factor in winning zero championships.
3. You Don't Think for Yourself
This my sound obvious, but it truly isn't common sense to so many.
Too many people listen to and believe, verbatim, what ESPN, NFL and so many other major media outlets say about fantasy football.
Don't get me wrong, they have some great information and some brilliant people. But you and everyone else you know has likely listened to the same advice. You've all likely printed out the same fantasy rankings and you've all likely set your hearts on the same player.
That's not how you win fantasy championships people. You need to do your own evaluations, see what other fantasy experts have to say and challenge them when you disagree.
If you don't have your own opinion or reasoning behind a draft pick or roster move, you've let the entire fantasy community down.
Do some research, create your own rankings and you'll be better in the long run for it.
4. Lady Luck
This is simply out of your control. Plain and simple.
Sometimes you do everything right, you play the wire right and you still get strung along.
It's those close losses that hurt the most. The ones that keep you up all night wondering where you went wrong.
Don't beat yourself up over these, there's nothing you can do. Sometime lady luck has bigger plans. In this case, it was to ruin your season.
All you can do is pick yourself up, grab a few beers (for those over the age of 21 of course) and look towards the future. IF things don't get better, I'd recommend praying to the fantasy football gods. Like ASAP.
Fortune Favors the Bold
I'm not sure what I was going for there. I'm not telling you to be bold at all. All I'm saying is that if you control what you can and make some smart decisions, you're bound to win a few championships.
Sometimes the least sexy picks work out the best (cough, Jonathan Stewart, cough) and the flashy ones fail. At times lady luck will ruin the perfect team and hand a win to someone who has skated by. But fantasy football is a game of numbers and chances, take advantage of your opportunities, limit your stupidity and things will fall into place.
For the record, I never actually played football. I have no doubt that I would get crushed running across the middle for a pass, every single time.