7 Steps To Control The Fantasy Football Addiction That’s Ruining Your Life

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Sundays are the best day of the week. Pro football rules supreme over all other activities. We sit on the couch with beer, and we become one with the pillows. There’s no thinking about work. And for a day, you could let it all hangout – hell, you look as messy as Brett Favre. That is, if you’re manly enough.

That was, until fantasy football was invented.

If you’re like me, you catch yourself running through scenarios like this: If LeSean can score two rushing touchdowns (yeah, right) against the Rams, that would be huge. Then, my opponent gets less points from his quarterback, Nick Foles, and he’s starting and the Rams defense. That’d be a three-fer. And if you’re like me, you think about shit like that all Sunday long.

I’ve been playing for the last nine seasons. I generally play the year with five fantasy teams, and I generally put a good deal of money into my leagues. I’m emotionally and fiscally invested. After the first kickoff on Sunday, I watch my team rack up TDs and yardage. Fantasy football could be a hell of a drinking game if it weren’t a one-man operation.

Then I realized I wasn’t watching football anymore. I was watching stats on a roster of players on my computer screen. So my pledge for this year was to spend more time with football and not my evil mistress, Fantasy football. I wanted to go back to the game – even if there’s only 11 minutes of game action in a three and a half hour broadcast. Here’s how I’ve done it:

Close The Damn Computer

I liked having my computer open during Sundays. I could use twitter while checking my fantasy stats – and, if some hot photos of Charlotte McKinney pop up, then I’ll meander over to the website to check them out. The result was that I was using my computer and rarely at the games. You’re not Tyrone Biggums – fantasy isn’t crack cocaine. You can close the computer.

Grab a bag of chips and salsa instead. Put your computer in another room, or go out to a bar where you don’t have access to a computer. You might ask: But what about injury status changes?

Get Push Notifications Sent To Your Phone

This should help alleviate your stress of missing an injury status change. Push notifications to your phone will allow you to be an attentive owner while allowing you to keep your computer closed. The only problem is that this can be a gateway to check on your team’s scores. Only open these notifications if they will result in a roster change. The goal is to look at your roster once on Sunday.

If you find yourself using push notification to check your scores, then delete the app on your phone and download generic fantasy apps that keep you updated without giving you access to your roster (There’s one app called Fantasy Football News and Player Updater).

Set It And — Kind Of — Forget It

Set your lineup on Wednesday night, then on Saturday afternoon, and check it once at noon on Sunday and that’s it.

The reason it’s so hard to close the computer is because it can be treacherous for a fantasy player. Part of what makes us good at fantasy is undivided attention. People who have Carson Palmer or Arian Foster probably know that. Both were last minute benches. Even solid fantasy players missed that they weren’t going to play. So set your lineup at the appropriate times and go back to a closed computer.

You could also try not to allow yourself on the computer during the first three quarters of every game. If you find yourself straying, use a browser extension that blocks sites. You could block your fantasy teams for 45 minutes of each hour, if need be.

Above all, set it and forget it – it’s that easy.

Use Twitter as a source of reprieve

Scouring twitter during commercials is the best. There’s nothing better than giving a voice to every stupid person and watch them reflect upon football in a perfectly immoderate way. And it’s a good distraction for those times where you’re itching to remember whether your opponent has Calvin Johnson, who is BLOWING up this week. Resist the urge. Knowing whether your opponent has Megatron won’t change the score. Once the games start, you’re powerless. And thus, periodically (or obsessively) checking it only makes things worse.

Redzone is for commercial breaks ONLY

Redzone is perfectly catered towards fantasy players – and it keeps up with the most ADD fans. But it sucks you in, and it’s tough to stay on your team’s game when it’s slow. Root for your fantasy players all you want, but above all, root for your team. Enjoy the game and dabble on Redzone during commercial breaks – especially if you don’t think twitter is for you.

By now, you have a sense of how long commercial breaks are. Keep the clicker near and don’t linger on Redzone.

Check your scores on Monday at work

In a perfect world, you haven’t looked at your roster since Sunday at noon. So, this is the perfect time to do it – on your company’s dime. Amirite?

Remember, it’s called fantasy for a reason

Set it and forget it. This isn’t Madden. You have no control during gameplay. The only thing you can do is make roster moves – which again, don’t come during gameplay. Fantasy was probably designed so that you didn’t have to stop watching the games.

So remember why you loved fantasy so much to begin with – because of the real game. Crack open a cold one and become one with your couch.

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