They say the first step to solving a problem is admitting that you have one.
Folks, I have a problem.
I sit here Tuesday afternoon at my desk, knowing full well that I didn’t get enough sleep last night. I used to have some issues with insomnia and, though that’s mostly cleared up now, on rare occasion I still struggle to fall asleep at night. Usually these nights happen when I have something weighing heavily on my mind. Sometimes these things are important, other times they’re quite trivial but I can’t seem to stop my mind from racing. Last night, it was fantasy football.
See? I told you I have a problem.
I’d say without a doubt fantasy football is my favorite hobby, as it is for millions of players around the world. For those who aren’t familiar with how it works, you have a certain number of people in your league who choose real professional football players to be on their team. (Usually this is done through a draft). For certain statistical categories in your players’ real game each week, you get points. (For example: If I have Kansas City running back Jamaal Charles on my team and he rushes for 100 yards and a touchdown, he earns 16 points for my team: one for every 10 yards he gains and six for the touchdown.) Each week you compete against another team your league to create a win-loss record.
I’m in a couple different leagues, but the most competitive is definitely a 12-team league that I’m in with some friends that are mostly from my hometown. The league started way back when I was a junior in high school and, aside from a few people, has remained mostly intact. It’s a lot of fun with guys who all know their stuff, but that can also make things very stressful.
In fantasy football, the regular season lasts through Week 13 of the real season with the playoffs taking place in weeks 14-16. I entered last week — Week 12 — in control of my own destiny for one of the last couple playoff spots at 6-5. A win in Week 12 would all but guarantee me a place in the six-team postseason field while a loss would mean I’ll need a win and some help in the final week of the season. In other words, it wasn’t a “must-win” game, but it was close.
Going into Monday night’s games I had a 24-point lead on my opponent. In the games that evening, he had the Buffalo Bills’ defense and Buffalo wide receiver Sammy Watkins while I was using New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram. The odds were on my side as defenses don’t typically put up big numbers and Ingram has been hot lately. When the games finally ended, the Bills had destroyed the New York Jets 38-3 with their defense putting up a massive total of 24 points. Watkins didn’t do much, though, so my chances were still good. Unfortunately, Ingram ran into a stout Baltimore Ravens defense and rushed for only 27 yards while catching two passes for 15 yards. That equated a meager 6.2 points.
I waited until after the games had ended to check the score and — to my horror — I came up a little short. Three-tenths of a point short. He beat me 116.5-116.2 and put my playoff hopes in doubt.
I went to bed racking my brain for waiver wire pickups or trades I could make to better my chances in Week 13. This lasted well into the wee hours of the morning until I finally fell asleep.
With three games Thursday and the last not until Monday night, Week 13 will be a tense one for me. It’s going to be a long week.