Fantasy Football For Beginners

Year one of Fantasy Football explained…

Your coworker will invite you to become a part of your office Fantasy Football league. At first you’ll decline, but as it gets down to the wire, there will only be one spot left. “Only one left” has always been a successful marketing tactic for you, so you’ll cave.

You’ll convince yourself there’s nothing to lose because you’ve joined a free league. You’ll later come to regret this bargain with yourself, because it’s similar to the kind of shit the devil says to get people to sell their souls to play guitar better.

On draft day, you’ll do a lot of research on player statistics, because you’re kind of intense (or someone told you that once. Or maybe more than once.) You’ll investigate some software and algorithms that you honestly believe will give you a competitive edge.

Before draft day, you were pretty sure Drew Brees spelled his name “Drew Breeze.” Your player search during the draft for “Breeze” comes up empty and the clock’s-a-tickin’ on your number one pick. Besides Tom Brady, he is the only player you know. You only know Tom Brady because he’s on your “celebrity out list.”

You choose every other statistically valid player once your turn comes up. When it comes time to select a defense, you frantically shout aloud to your coworkers, “WHAT DOES D MEAN?” They pause the draft for you because you have taken to Google since the “never trust a competitor” clause has taken effect.

On week one, you’ll sit back and just let your team do its thing. You’ll lose by about 20 points. On week two, you’ll just sit back and let your team do its thing. You won’t realize that one of your players has injured himself and isn’t even playing that day. You’ll lose again.

Having never been accustomed to the feeling of losing something, you’ll recruit an advisory board that consists of men who 1) like football and 2) will listen to you. This is limited to three individuals, two of whom are trying to build a startup company, one of whom is out of the country selling mobile software 25 out of 30 days a month. But the important part is that they’ve agreed to help you (maybe over a few beers, but that’s legally binding).

You harass them during work hours about pending trades, since everyone in your league will have identified you as a weak link and try to poach your good players. You aren’t giving up Drew Breeze. Your advisory board will finally answer your multiple emails and IMs and you’ll pull the trigger on a trade because you’re feeling fast and loose.

On week three, you’ll come to face the individual who has drafted Tom Brady. You’re so nervous, you’re sweating. Your other coworker has recommended that you get the ESPN Fantasy Football app, which you can check the day of to make sure none of your players have stabbed a man or pulled a hammy.

Your husband will beg you to stop looking at the Fantasy Football app but the damage has been done. It will appear as if you’re winning for an entire day, but at 10pm after you’ve gone to sleep, Tom Brady will take everything from you. Everything.

Your coworker who originally recruited you to the league will tell you that whenever he feels like a loser, he becomes the league comedian and posts to the message board a lot. You will want to hack into his computer when he leaves, but you resist the urge. Your other coworker offers you his 9-year-old son’s fantasy league advice, which has proven successful for him so far. In a game that fails all logic, you agree to recruit the boy to make major decisions for your starting lineup.

In this whole process, you keep telling yourself to “be a good sport” and “keep your chin up.” Then you realize that’s just something losers say and get ready to make a big move for week four.

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