Another fantasy is upon us
WILKES-BARRE — Summer is winding down and Fantasy Football is cranking up.
As leagues get ready to hold their annual drafts, the sale of fantasy football magazines is on the rise. Fantasy franchise holders want some advice on who to draft and where.
Will Marshawn Lynch have another stellar year? Will Peyton Manning be able to put up big numbers as always? Will Dez Bryant and the Cowboys keep winning and maybe make it to the playoffs?
In a world too often interrupted with real news — natural disasters, shootings, and Kielbasa Festivals — Fantasy Football is a welcome respite from all that. People like you and me get to pretend to be Jerry Jones or Robert Kraft, but we don’t have to worry about inflating or deflating any footballs. The only thing getting deflated will be our egos.
Just a year ago, I selected Michael Turner, a former running back with the Falcons. Turner was holding out and hadn’t signed a contract for 2014. I took him on my last pick, hoping he would sign and have 15 touchdowns like the year before.
He didn’t sign. He didn’t play. He didn’t score. I had to give up my Fantasy Football Mensa membership.
So as we prepare for the coming year, here are some tips for a successful and enjoyable draft:
• Hold the draft in a sheltered facility outdoors; preferably a garage. All you need are some tables, chairs and an area for food.
• Yes, food. It must be ordered to arrive just as the draft is ending. Or, if you have a marathon draft, order the food midway — it will be good to take a break from the brain draining process of deciding when to select your tight end or defense or kicker.
• Preferred food includes wings, pizza and doughnuts. But you can change it up. Could the group you will draft with use a salad or two? But salad really doesn’t go well with beer, now does it?
• Refrain from inviting anyone named Sammy the Shark, Joey Two Times or Johnny the Greek. Chances are they will know the results of the season before it begins.
• Hide your collection of ceramic elephants.
• Insist that everyone pay up before they draft a player.
• Hopefully nobody will have to use the bathroom until after dark, so they can go around the back of the garage, rather than enter your home.
• Exclude spouses from the entire day. It will be better for everybody. Pets, however, are always welcome.
• Invest in a draft board to list each team and all players by position. If you’re too cheap to buy one, then scroll the selections round by round on your buddy’s boat or SUV.
• Above all, have fun! Make sure you insult each other after every pick. If someone right before you takes the guy you wanted, make sure you tell him/her every time. And then play poker after the draft.
We’re not going to tell you who to select or even make recommendations. That’s on you, but we will help chastise, jeer or praise you, your team or that guy who always beats you.
Let us know what’s going on in your franchise. We want your stories — the crazier the better! We can come out to your draft or weekly meeting, or we can take updates via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email or even the phone. The point is we want to tell the world about your Fantasy Football league. Why should your news be restricted to just your members?
We want to talk about the fun that is Fantasy Football. My base league is the Neighborhood Franchise Football League. We are entering our 33rd (or is it 34th) league of play. I dare say the NFFL is the oldest in this area.
It’s simple, but it’s still fun. And that’s what we want to talk about here in Fantasyland.
Now go pick your teams and let us know what happens.
Email me or call me with any news, funny stories, or significant happenings in your league. My email is: firstname.lastname@example.org, and my phone number is 570-991-6118.