NFL Football In June Is Just A Fantasy

by Kevin Burton

   I’m not laughing at you, I’m laughing with you. Have you ever told that lie?

   Also, what happens when your so-called “seasonal obsession” shows up out of season? Can a true obsession ever be limited to one season?

   Spoiler alert, I do not have definitive answers to these questions. 

    Here’s what I do know: fantasypros.com has a mock draft wizard for fantasy football, and that it is free.

   Fuh-reeee,….to which I say, woo-hoo, but also, oh no!

   Last year my wife and I fielded a team in a fantasy football league put together by Rob Weigand, coach of the one-hit wonder USA Legends beepball team that played in 2021.  Legends players managed most of the 12 teams in the league.

   It was my first foray into fantasy sports. It proved surprisingly addictive.

   After my first-ever fantasy draft the Yahoo Sports evaluation said our K&J Silvers team would win four games and be near the bottom of the standings. They said it was a great draft if my goal was to come in dead last. 

   But we won ten regular season games and one playoff game, the consolation game that netted us third place in the league. 

   OK, so that was a while ago, now it’s June and my Reds are in last, my Royals are in last. It’s baseball season but my sports mind is moving ahead. 

   The fantasy football podcast I watch had a mock draft recently. So just for fun, I googled “fantasy football mock draft” and learned that I could practice drafting.  How great is that?

    Jeannette is the CEO of the K&J Silvers franchise and I am President of Football Operations. My cushy position is safe for now, after having made the playoffs in my first year on the job. 

   But I’m working to get better and want to show the boss I am on task, on time and on target. 

   On a recent Saturday I peeled back the curtain to let Jeannette see what I was up to.    “Bring a chair,” I said.  I had told her earlier I wanted to show her a fun game we could play together online.  Not sure what she thought that was but obviously not fantasy football.

   So I put into motion the simulator on the Fantasy Pros website. The randomizer gave us fourth draft position.

   I pointed to the screen and showed her that Jonathan Taylor, Austin Ekeler and Cooper Kupp were the players we could not have. I then produced a printed spreadsheet, with player names and began crossing off the ones the computer selected for the other teams in this mock draft.

   The spreadsheet is color coded, with players I really want on a yellow field, the next level of interest in blue, then light pink then white. 

   I’m trying to explain the opportunity cost of drafting a tight end, Travis Kelce, one of our favorites, in the first round. I’m talking about what you pass up by doing that. 

   Jeannette is not even trying to hide her laughter.  She started laughing when she saw that my “game” involved fantasy football. When she saw that spreadsheet she doubled over laughing.

   I’m trying to keep my composure as I ponder the next pick. On screen the simulator has four suggestions for players to select. Jeannette points to the screen saying “look, this one is at 40 percent.” That means 40 percent of the so-called draft experts say to pick that player. 

   “Yeah,” I said, reaching behind me for a three-ring binder. “and you can go by that, or you can turn to the Fantasy Footballers rankings…”

   Jeannette again is doubled over laughing, tears in her eyes this time, and snorting. 

   This the kind of helpless laughter I am going for, but never seem to achieve, with my humor pieces on Page 7.  But now I’m not trying to be funny.

  She thinks it’s hilarious how much thought I have put into this silliness.  She is completely missing the logic and strategy I have applied to the task. But by now I’ve given up on it and I’m cracking up too.

  But I am also wondering how I will get anything else done with the temptation to do more mock drafts ever-present.

    The Fantasy pros website started malfunctioning, which was good.  It made me figure out that other companies have mock draft sites.

   My next thought was I had better go to Yahoo and see if they have a mock. They do.  That’s important because that is the site I will have to use to draft the actual team or teams later this summer.

   Part of my drafting problem last year was that the Yahoo site is not user friendly.

   So I have been drafting against other players, not doing too well but at least figuring out how to use the site.

   Practice they say, makes perfect. Even if it does not in this case, I have provided my bride a good laugh.

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