Fantasy football frustration

Jacob Smith • Updated Aug 10, 2017 at 1:00 PM

Since the NFL semi-officially returned with the Hall of Fame game between the Cowboys and Cardinals (Go Cowboys!), it’s time to start thinking about fantasy football; at least for me it is.

For the last four years, I’ve sat comfortably at the bottom of the standings in the league that I’m commissioner of, and frankly I’m tired of it. I can attest from first-hand experience that rock bottom is when you no longer even think about winning the championship because just making the playoffs seems equivalent to a good modern Stephen King adaptation being made. I’m looking at you Dark Tower. 

So I’ve determined that this will be the year I pull myself out of the proverbial pits of purgatory. My goal isn't to be a champion; my goal is simply to be an average, middle-of-the-pack player who can make the playoffs.

This is no pipe dream, I’ve got a simple two-step plan for how it’s going to happen.

Step 1: Mock Drafts like crazy

Bad drafts have plagued me throughout my fantasy football experience. Last year I let the computer auto-pick because why not? It can’t be any worse than how I usually do.

Side note: unless you want to waste a third round pick on Carolina’s Defense, I do not recommend this strategy.

Practice makes perfect so they say, and boy have I practiced. I’ve taken part in 30 mock drafts already. The actual draft isn’t for another three weeks, but by that time I plan to be more than prepared for anything that gets thrown my way.

I make sure each time I mock draft that I choose a different draft position so that I know what the best picks for each round are in each spot.

Yahoo Fantasy Sports grades your draft each time and I’m proud to say that I score in the high 90s almost every time.

In short, I’m like the Pete Carroll of Yahoo Fantasy Sports mock drafts.

Unfortunately drafting isn’t the only thing that leads to a successful season. A good draft can be ruined when something crazy happens during the regular season. Something like, oh I don’t know, 1st round pick Adrian Peterson going out for the season in the first week…I’m not still mad about it I promise.

That being said, I’ve got that covered as well.

Step 2: Regular season lineup management.

My Aunt Penny has been the queen of our league since I first started it four years ago. She’s rarely been beaten in the playoffs, and of course she makes it every year.

(Special mention goes to Uncle Stan because he said I couldn’t write a piece on fantasy football without talking about the league’s two-time champion.)

The reason for her success is her incredible lineup management during the season. She’s always watching and listening to sports talk shows and googling who the best pick-ups for the week are.

The goal for me this year: be more like Aunt Penny.

One of the ways I’m going to try to meet this goal: set my Twitter account up to send notifications anytime one of the big fantasy football accounts tweets. Is that overkill? Maybe, but it’s better to overdo it than spend another year getting stomped on by sweet Aunt Penny. 

There you have it, my two-step plan to become an average fantasy football player. It may seem overly simple, but I feel like it shouldn’t take days of analysis when your goal is just not to finish in last place. But how would I know?

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