It’s that time of year again in which people decide to take part in fake drafts in order to prepare for their real drafts for fake football leagues. Every year, people I haven’t talked to in awhile will decide that they need to prepare even more for their fake football league by texting Divac some fantasy questions.
Let’s make one thing clear. I don’t give a f*** about your fantasy team. I care more about wind turbine efficiency in Belgium than I do about your fantasy team and I don’t care about that at all. I don’t care about how unlucky you got when you lost by a point because Pierre Garcon tried to lateral the ball on a hook and ladder play at the end of the game and his defense picked it up… don’t care. You can’t impress me with your terrible luck. I once won a match-up by a decimal because San Francisco 49ers backup QB Blaine Gabbert led a drive from his own 20-yard line trailing by like 340 points and fired a touchdown pass as time expired against my opponent’s Broncos defense on Monday Night Football. BLAINE GABBERT! HE LOST BECAUSE OF BLAINE GABBERT! Nobody will ever surpass the level of unluckiness my opponent experienced that night so don’t even try to impress me with your bouts of slight misfortune. It was the very first time Blaine Gabbert has ever made anybody else’s team lose beside his own (and the Bears).
However, I’m a sad and lonely Divac who is desperate for any type of social interaction and therefore I will answer your questions about your team that I don’t care about. What have I been doing since fantasy football ended way back in January? I’ve literally been staring blankly at this screen for eight months:
Haven’t moved. Just sitting there in Red Zone hibernation. I just can’t wait for Scott Hanson to deliver some obscure, mind-boggling statistical nugget that like Vick Ballard holds the single-season rushing record for Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College when he ran for 10 billion yards in 2009.
Usually around late August or so, my text message influx will quadruple and I’ll get questions like, “Who do you like in fantasy this year?” as if there are only like 10 players in the entire league. I’ll usually just rattle off the consensus top five picks and Aaron Rodgers. “What do you think of my team?” is another one of those questions that gets tossed around a lot that I can simply eschew with a “looks good” or “it blows.” Honestly, I usually don’t even look at the team and just randomly decide which phrase to use. I fear neither of these open-ended, mind-numbing questions because my answers don’t promote any type of engagement unlike this third question which is the one I fear most:
“Who are your sleepers this season?”
It’s the most cliche of all fantasy football questions. It’s the one people like to throw around when they want to pretend like they actually know what’s going on. It may seem harmless, but this question is far from it because there’s no easy way around this one.
I’m no longer sure what a sleeper even is anymore. An incoming, talented rookie in an unstable situation or a shifty slot wide receiver whose targets are very uncertain? Is it just a guy whose not going to be picked that high and may end up being a star? Is it a super-freak athlete on the verge of a potential breakout or a former basketball-playing tight end? A back-up running back behind a fragile starter? It may be all of these things which means there are so many options when it comes to what a sleeper is that it’s almost impossible to accurately project breakout sleepers with anymore than coin flip accuracy. Anybody who tells you otherwise is lying. I’ll tell you about the time that I snatched Chris Johnson as a rookie in which he rushed for over 1,000 yards or how I was all about Jeremy Hill during his rookie season. I won’t tell you about the time that I drafted Mike Sims-Walker as a “sleeper.” F*** Mike Sims-Walker, seriously.
The issue here is that this question requires some thought and engagement because of how many potential intriguing options there are. Because I refuse to answer fantasy questions to anything less than the best of my abilities, this inevitably opens up a Pandora’s box of season-long fantasy updates and weekly roster questions.
It’s Week 5 and I’m still talking to this same guy about his team and guiding each and every transaction.
“My kicker has a bye. Should I pick up Caleb Sturgis or Ryan Succop?”
“Do you think Andrew Hawkins is worth picking up this week?”
My favorite is when he will ask something like, “Who would you start Daniel Thomas or Bernard Pierce?” like I’m some sort of sh**** running-back messiah. I’ll probably say something like, “I dunno, um… Bernard Pierce” in which he will respond with something like, “Even with Knowshon hurt?”
“KNOWSHON’S HURT!?!?! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR LETTING ME KNOW! I COMPLETELY FORGOT TO TAKE DEPTH CHART INFORMATION INTO ACCOUNT WHEN MAKING MY DECISION! START DANIEL THOMAS THEN!
This is what I want to say, but I don’t. I hate this guy. I really do. However, I’m just in too deep now to cut him off. In a strange way, I now feel responsible for his team that I don’t care about and eventually this guy will probably give me his password so I can just make the changes for him. I oblige because I’m an idiot. I’m now making waiver pick-ups, offering trades, posting on the league message board, trash talking a bunch of guys I don’t even know.
Sure, this guy probably plays in a league in which the entry fee is $20 and 4 teams check on a regular basis, but by Week 8 I’m devoting just as much time to his team as I am to any of my own teams. It’s a nightmare.
As the playoffs near, I’ve now declared it my life mission to reward this random dude who I barely know the satisfaction of winning his fantasy football league while having to do basically nothing. By now, the few league members who still pay attention are texting me directly regarding trade offers and talking to me about “our” upcoming match-up.
It’s now Championship Week. I only have one team left to follow and it’s his of course. For the entire season, I’ve pushed the right buttons each and every week for this guy’s team whose draft pretty much sucked, but I’ve now brought his team back from a 1-4 start to the championship game. It’s truly a fantasy football renaissance as he’s now in position to take home the title. The championship game is a rout as I sit back, relax, and admire the work I have done.
I receive texts of exclamations and birthday hat emojis from my new best friend who informs me that he will “gladly pay me 50% of the $150 he won even though two teams haven’t even paid their entry fee yet.”
I politely reject. “No thank you my friend, it was my pleasure :)” (I hate myself, but at least I’ve developed a new friendship with an old acquaintance.)
“Well, thanks. Really appreciate your help. Couldn’t have done it without you,” my new friend exclaims, “Talk to you next season!”
This is never happening again.
I then receive a text from the winner of the league I commission, the heralded 14-team Czar’s League, “Hey Czarko (that’s my fantasy football commissioner alter-ego Czarko Milicic), you can send the $3000 over to my PayPal anytime. Thanks for a great season!”
Please don’t ask me who my fantasy sleepers are.