GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 08: A fan of the Green Bay Packers is dressed for cold weather during a game between the Packers and the Atlanta Falcons at Lambeau Field on December 8, 2013 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Falcons 22-21. Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Despite my calling this thing Diary of a Fantasy Football Loser, I’ve done surprisingly well this season. Well, in one league anyhow. My Jolly Rodgers/Foles Gold team was the very definition of a loser, going 4-9 and placing dead last. I appear to have won Part I of my two-part consolation game there, but I honestly care more about the ongoing efforts to reform the Zimbabwean tax code (they are working on that, right? I hope so) than some meaningless game’s attempt to properly console my loser ass.
It’s a different story with my other team, It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Breesy. I went on a hot streak near the end and finished with an 8-5 record, good enough for fourth place. Thanks to a six-team playoff format, I was in, though I had no bye. I had to play this week and hope my streak continued.
In preparation, I … did absolutely nothing. Well, that’s not entirely true – I did go to New York to drink and mingle with a bunch of pleasant folks from Man Cave Daily, Cracked and various other companies. I even met Cookie Monster!
Cookie Monster and Jason Iannone (Photo Credit Jason Iannone)
“C is for Cicker!”
“Wrong, Cookie. C is for cork it and smile. God, at least I can spell the positions I draft poorly for.”
As for football, I decided to leave my team completely alone this week because they did so well last week. I had Drew Brees, Dez Bryant, David Akers, and Antonio Gates, while my opponent had Carson Palmer. There was no way I could lose!
Yeah, funny thing about that. Not only did I lose, I lost BIG, 148-102. So what happened? Well, every single player on my opponent’s squad produced, for one thing. Of their nine slots, seven of them produced double digits, including a disgusting 31 points from Matt Forte. Even the two single-digit scorers scored eight and nine points. There was not one single flop on that guy’s roster.
Mike Wallace (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
I, on the other hand, had several flops. Big ones, too. Four points from the Dolphins’ Mike Wallace and one from the Dolphins defense. What I’m saying here is, I hope Miami loses by 800 points on Sunday.
But those guys were Hall of famers in comparison to Akers, who somehow managed to do absolutely nothing during his game, if the zero points he garnered me are any indication. So yeah Brees might have been a beast with his 37 points, and Ryan Mathews might have been a slightly less menacing beast with 23 points, but the bottom of the barrel made this game an impossible one to win.
There you have it; the Fantasy Football loser lost, just as the Heavens predicted. Breesy gets to play in a consolation game next week, but I’d rather just, like, poop or something. It’s more productive.
Did I learn anything from this experience, other than how getting paid to chronicle my utter failure is a shockingly satisfying career path? Sure! My three big lessons for next year:
Photo Credit: Thinkstock
1. Research defenses better. As of this writing, I have not one clue as to which teams have good defense, other than the ones I’m not drafting. An awesome defense can win games that you would otherwise have no business winning, while a bad one can literally take away points and squash what otherwise might have been a clear victory.
Generally, the deep real-life playoff teams have awesome defenses, as commentators with nothing else to say love to remind us over and over again. So whoever wins this year’s Super Bowl shall be my next defense, even if I have to draft them in the first round and risk having my house firebombed by the rest of the league.
2. Try more trades. The waiver wire blows. There’s a reason those jokers aren’t on any teams, and stupid me didn’t consider that until far too late. I’m not sure how many trades are actually successful (the pitiful amount of notifications I receive about other teams trading says “not very”), though I did pull one off this year. Of course, it was a minor one (Joique Bell for Tony Gonzalez), it only helped me for a couple weeks, and it didn’t get Rodgers/Foles out of the basement.
But they can’t all be that bad, right? If I catch even one drunken owner at the right time, I could feasibly unload two or three schmucks and get Megatron in return. A boy can dream.
3. Accept that we’re all losers, even if we win. I’ve concluded that people are only fantasy football gurus if their job title says they are. This is a near-total crapshoot; how else to explain the same guy making the playoffs in one league and completely stinking up the joint in another, while putting the same amount of effort into each one? Other than Aaron Rodgers going down in my Loser League, that is. Hall of Fame-caliber quarterbacks are tough to replace with just any old moron from the waiver wire. Isn’t that right, Roethlisberger?
Ben Roethlisberger (Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
But Rodgers’ injury makes my point perfectly – there are simply too many unpredictable variables, like injuries, suspensions, slumps, horrible weather and murder charges, for anybody to actually proclaim themselves an expert at this stuff. It’s like saying you know exactly how to roll dice, or where exactly to place the Plinko Chip to win $10,000 every time. You might be a little better and more knowledgeable than others, but ultimately you’re just as liable to screw up as anybody else.
Maybe I’ll try a one-week league next time around; that way I’m not bound to the same band of underperforming misfits game in and game out. If one week stinks, I simply build a brand-new team and start all over. It’s like speed dating, only your dates are a bunch of behemoths who will break your spine if you dare ask them about the weather.
Jason Iannone needs your love and support during this difficult time. Join him in mourning the loss of his Fantasy season at Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, unless you’re actually winning your league. In which case, suck it.