Last year a friend put the call out –who would be interested in playing in a ladies-only, no-money fantasy football league? It had never occurred to my to play Fantasy Football before, but a good group of women all raised their virtual hands, so I joined in the fun. And to my surprise, it really was lot of fun, fun that spilled into real life, mostly on Sunday afternoons.
To have a fantasy football league, all you have to do is sign up and invite via email address those you’d like to have in your league. The administrator’s main job is to schedule the “drafting”, which is when all members of the league pick their teams. This is the part that made me the most nervous– I know something about football, but certainly not enough to build a team all by myself. Enter: AutoDraft. When you sign into draft, you can elect the “Auto Draft” option, which means that the computer will pick for you.
What’s fun about playing with girlfriends is that have strange and bizarre drafting preferences, some which are not based on football performance at all. In the two years I’ve played in this league, no one drafts Tom Brady because he’s a jerk. No one drafts Michael Vick because he’s mean. Other players who make the news for less than stellar reasons meet a similar fate. On the flip side, “sweet” players, those who support charities and hold babies and are kind to their mothers? They are the number one draft picks every year.
Once the season begins, you can put as much or as little time into ‘”playing” as you wish. I tend to log in on Wednesday, and see if there are any injury reports that might affect the line up. I move benched players around, drop anyone who’s been declared out for the season (there’s almost one every week) and make sure those players with Bye weeks are switched out with benched players.
I don’t know if that’s the best strategy, and I’m sure there’s more strategy out there, but it’s enough to get a few wins here and there. Playing Fantasy Football has also made me more aware of what’s happening in the league outside of my home team. Does this really matter? Eh, maybe not. But it means I can watch almost any game and have an inkling as to who’s playing, and what their season’s been like.
I’m sure I still have a lot to learn, and I know I’m not ready to play for money (some league’s have a buy-in, and then pay out throughout the season), but it’s a fun winter-time diversion!