When the NFL season kicks off Thursday night, millions of fantasy football players will enter a false sense of reality that they actually might win their league this year. Some will fantasize about winning a stack of cash or a trophy. Others will be plotting out some punishment along the lines of making their buddy sport a bikini and sing some Katy Perry song for finishing last, or whatever other twisted things you have in store that we can’t publish on this site.
In reality though, nearly every single one of you will lose. Hopefully you won’t be the one who loses their dignity too, but it’s the simple truth. Aside from the fact that there can only be one winner in each league, plenty of you have either already or will be destined to make the same dumb mistakes that guarantee a last-place finish. As Ricky Bobby famously said, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” This is why you’re not winning your fantasy football league this year (and probably next year, too).
You’re Not as Smart as You Think
You’re probably not a stupid person. In fact, if you’ve gotten through this many words, you’re at least of average intelligence. Your fantasy football IQ isn’t nearly as high as you think it is, though. While plenty of fantasy football success can be tied to pure luck, let’s face it — you’re not as in-tune with the NFL as anyone else.
Any sleeper picks you make come from the same articles everyone else reads and unless you’re best friends with some un-drafted guy from Southwest Washington of Idaho State, you don’t have any inside knowledge. Really, it comes down to who is atop the waiver wire order when the Bears’ running back goes down and his back-up comes in to rush for 132 yards.
You Can’t Get Out of the Past
No player is a sure-thing in fantasy football, but do you know what’s especially detrimental to your team’s success? The extra value you put into those has-been stars. It’s easy to get blinded by the star power of guys like Adrian Peterson in the draft when you’re on the clock and the ESPN big board has Peterson and some guy you’ve never heard of from Jacksonville atop the list, but your worst mistake is starting A.P. for weeks after he shows he’s officially over the hill.
Whatever voodoo magic Tom Brady has conjured up aside, football is a young man’s game. When in doubt about a 32-year-old former All-Pro star, hit the drop button.
You Can’t Get Out of Your Own Way
Going back to the first point, your head is too big for your own good. We know your mother thinks your special, but your momma doesn’t know s*** about fantasy football. You probably think you had the best draft in your league. Or you’re so smart that you can fleece your opponents in a trade or two. More likely than not, you had an OK draft at best and karma is going to send you right to last for trying to take advantage of your buddy or unsuspecting co-worker.
Don’t be afraid to do some deep research to overwork your roster via the waiver wire. It’s gotta be more than reading a bunch of sleeper articles. Stalk some players on Twitter or get an undeserving press pass to get into the locker room like that guy who stole Brady’s Super Bowl jersey. You want to win your league? You might need to do some time to get to the top.