Above all else, fantasy football is about bringing people together over a shared interest. Sure, it’s fun to be competitive — and who doesn’t like winning money — but it’s important to keep in mind that you’re an adult and it’s a silly little game meant to keep your friends from forgetting about you. It’s about human connection. It’s supposed to relieve stress, not produce more of it. Your draft is basically the same thing as selecting numbers for a lottery ticket, insofar as you may think you know what you’re doing, but fate has the final say whether or not the roster you’ve assembled will yield the results you’re looking for. So have fun and don’t sweat the small stuff!
Also, don’t do this shit…
16) Run every pick by those around you, incessantly soliciting advice and utilizing other people’s notes.
Ex: “Psst, Kevin, who do you have getting the bulk of the carries in Baltimore? Is Forsett too old to draft in the second round? Let me see where you have him. [Picks up Kevin’s cellphone] What’s your password?”
15) Get way too drunk.
Asshole: “MM gonnna draff Mildred’s mum with myy dick!”
Commissioner: “Zach, the draft hasn’t started yet and who is Mildred? Why don’t you take a seat…”
Asshole: “Ronnie Manziel!”
14) Take the air out of the room with extremely personal trash talk.
Ex: “Guys, I just want to be clear about something before I make my pick. Would it be within the rules if I Jeff’s ex-wife co-managed my team? Jeff, do you think Sara would mind helping me out this year? I know she probably has a lot more time on her hands now that you aren’t clogging up her day with all those depressing texts about losing your job. I could really use a extra hand. Oh, and speaking of ‘hands,’ you have no idea if she’s currently in the midst of giving out a lovely little handjob right now, do you? I wonder if she is. Ya know what, scratch that — I’m gonna fly this one solo. I bet she’s busy game planning how to wrap her hands around some stranger’s giant penis. Forget I said anything.”
13) Reach so far for a player that it gives the person drafting after you a clear shot someone they should’ve never been able to draft, irrevocably damaging the league’s balance of power.
Ex: “I know this is going to sound crazy, but I really think Chip Kelly is going to prominently feature Darren Sproles in the Eagles’ ground game this season, so yes, I’m picking him before the guy who is ‘technically’ the Eagles’ starter has been selected. Why are you guys so quiet all of the sudden? Guys? Where are you going?”
12) Announce every pick as if it’s an actual draft pick in a real professional football league that isn’t taking place in a basement in central Jersey.
Ex: “With the 12th pick in the 2015 Deflated Ballboys fantasy football league draft, the Manasquan Gronky Kongs select tight end Robert Gronkowski of the New England Patriots.”
[Mimes shaking draftee’s hand, poses for picture that isn’t being taken]
“Robert, glad to have you onboard.
[Takes selfie with invisible Rob Gronkowski]
11) Ask to reschedule the draft.
Ex: “Hey, I know it’s been difficult finding a time that works for everyone, but it’s really nice out today and I’m tired and I don’t respect any of you because I’m a psychopath who belongs in an asylum for the criminally insane. How’s next next Sunday sound? Is drafting in Week 2 of the regular season ok with everyone?
10) Run down your rankings asking if players are still available.
Asshole: “C.J. Anderson.”
Commissioner: “Willie drafted him three rounds ago.”
Asshole: “Ok, LeSean McCoy.”
Commissioner: “Dude, it’s the fourth round, why would LeSean McCoy still be on the board?”
Asshole: “Just being thorough. Which quality running backs are still out there?”
Commissioner: “The ones no one has drafted…”
Asshole: “What about Jeremy Hill
Commissioner: “YOU drafted Jeremy Hill.”
Asshole: “C.J. Anderson?”
9) Draft players who don’t play football.
Ex: “Mike Trout!”
8) Draft players that haven’t been in the NFL since the late-90s.
Ex: “Dave Brown!”
7) Draft players who aren’t even professional athletes.
Ex: “Donald Trump!”
6) Draft players who aren’t even human.
5) Auto draft — especially during an auction.
Ex: “Hey, why is Dan running up the price on players I know for a fact he has no opinion on whatsoever — oh, I see. That fucker walked out on us. Great. Glad we can get 11 of our closest friends together to battle an ESPN algorithm for the next three months. Good times, you guys.”
4) Over explain the logic of every pick.
Ex: “Listen, some of you might think Andre Johnson’s best days are behind him, and I’d agree, but playing in a dome with arguably the best quarterback in the NFL will give Johnson ample opportunity to accumulate stats on a regular basis. Moreover, [snoring noise emits from crowd] Luck has never thrown to a player of Johnson’s size or ability, meaning he could very well steal red zone targets from T.Y Hilton and supplant the Colts’ anemic rushing attack near the goal line. Let’s take a look at his YAC from 2013 for measure… [holds up laptop]. Can you see this chart? Raise your hand if you can see this chart.”
3) Show up late.
Ex: “Sorry guys, I’m getting in a cab now. No, not to the bar — to the airport. Yes. Wait, you meant 7:00 p.m.?!? Oh, I was gonna say, that sounded early for a fantasy draft. Ok, hold tight, we’re supposed to land before tomorrow. See you there.”
2) Take your sweet fucking time picking scrubs.
Ex: “Hold on. [Five minutes later] Ok, Cody Parkey. No, wait. Yes. No, hold on. Brandon…[Thirty seconds later]…McManus.”
1) Ask for a do-over because you didn’t understand the rules/your internet cut out/you’re an idiot sent from hell to ruin fantasy drafts.
Ex: “Wait, I had no idea it was .50 PPR?!?! When was someone going to tell me we changed that? This is bullshit. I’m protesting this draft. I would’ve never drafted Adrian Peterson with the first pick had I known we bumped up the points per reception from .25 to .50. Re-do. [Kicks over big board, unplugs wi-fi router] This is not what our founding fathers died for in Vietnam, goddamit. Start it over.”