Frustrations Only Fantasy Football Players Understand

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If there are football players knocking helmets and pads, that means one thing—the wait is over, football is back!

And while that’s awesome for so many reasons, the one that most of us care about the most, especially if your real team sucks ass, is that the fantasy football season comes with it.

Fantasy football has become a religion, with people talking shit with one another all year long, not just during the actual football season, as those who play ponder what keepers to hold onto and who their sleeper will be to help guide them to championship glory.

Before one gets bragging rights as tops in their league, though, it takes a bit of luck and even fewer mistakes, but that doesn’t mean that frustrations aren’t going to happen.

So no matter if you win two games and toss in the towel before the season ends, or you end with a championship, here are some frustrations that are bound to happen, so be prepared to cope with them as best you can.

10. The Wrong Start

Example: Eli Manning

First off, don’t even get me started about how frustrating New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is in fantasy football? With two Super Bowl rings, some may debate if he’s a future Hall of Famer, but, when checking his regular season stats, he’s anything but—and that’s where fantasy matters.

Forget Eli for a second, though, and think of any player who you thought had a favorable matchup and took a chance on, only to see that guy completely bite the curb in production.

Whether it was taking out your go-to running back for a bench player who was going against the league’s worst rush D or a quarterback who was certain to have a killer day against a banged up secondary and finished with three picks, choosing the wrong guy happens to the best of us—just don’t make it a routine.

9. The Torn Fan

// Real Team vs. Fantasy Team

This isn’t a new one, but it’s a dilemma that we’ve all been faced with before—who to actually cheer for.

There’s almost nothing worse for a football fan then to see their favorite team get shredded by an opposing player—unless that player happens to be a starter on your fantasy team.

Still, does that make it OK to cheer for the guy? Absolutely not, as your allegiance should always be with the team you’ve cried over after heartbreaking losses since you were younger.

It’s a tough proposition, cheering for a single guy over your favorite team, but stick by what you know—or just bench the guy if you really don’t even want to deal with this.

8. The Draft Regret

Example: Odell Beckham Jr.

Coming into last season, New York Giants wideout Odell Beckham Jr. was a first-rounder who was banged up and missed the first four games of his rookie campaign. Then, it happened.

He broke out in one of the most ridiculous ways ever seen before by a first-year receiver, breaking team and NFL records left and right, while providing one of the greatest catches ever seen before.

Would you have predicted that during last year’s fantasy draft? Probably not.

Still, there was a chance that ODB was on the board really late in your draft given his injury circumstance and first-year status, yet you refused to pull the trigger.

It’s going to happen to all of us—where we think a guy might be a good pick, but we get cold feet for some reason—but don’t let it happen this year and go with what your gut tells you.

7. The Fractional Point Loss

Example: The Kneel Down

This is a true story that I wish I was embellishing.

Two years ago, in a tightly contested fantasy game between myself and my buddy that came down to the Miami Dolphins at the New Orleans Saints, I had “won” by 1.4 points over my friend thanks to Drew Brees as my starter.

Beginning to gloat and text his ass that I pulled off the victory, I saw my points begin to drop because Brees took a knee on the last three plays from scrimmage to ice the clock for the Saints win.

With each loss of yardage, points got deducted, pillows were punch, profanities were yelled and I ended up losing by .01 points.

This might seem like an extreme circumstance, but if you’ve ever had it happen to you, it’s like dying a slow, slow death, as you can’t do a single thing about it.

6. The Draft Freakout

Example: Anyone Taken From Rounds 12-15

When the later rounds in a fantasy draft come, that’s where good teams can be made great, as sleepers and breakout stars can be found.

It’s too bad no one really prep themselves for the last 3-4 rounds like they do for the first 1-3, when bigger names are all over the draft board.

For those who don’t so their homework, good luck solidifying much of a bench, when you just coast with either auto-pick or drop well-known guys in the queue.

It’s an awful feeling when you have three guys ready to go and, poof, those happen to be the next three off the board before you choose, leaving you scurrying to find a guy in 60 seconds.

It’ll be frustrating to end up with a kicker in round 12 when you could have had a backup quarterback, so don’t drop the ball and go into auto-pilot during a live draft. Ever.

5. The Backup Dilemma

Example: Ryan Tannehill

Similar to the Eli Manning example above, it’s always difficult to choose which player you’re going to start.

Do you go with the “sure” thing like Aaron Rodgers or Peyton Manning, or roll the dice on someone like Ryan Tannehill in a favorable matchup, who quietly had a huge year in 2014?

It’s simple to just stick by a guy who has a couple MVP trophies and Super Bowl rings on their mantle, but when that guy has the one rare dud against a team that he shouldn’t and your backup goes off, it sure is frustrating.

4. The Self-Doubt

Example: Reading/Listening To “Experts” on Sunday Morning

As I’ve said a few times—always go with your gut.

No matter what someone’s credentials say in terms of fantasy advice, no one can ever predict how a player will perform on a given week, so don’t second guess yourself and change your lineup 15 times between 10 a.m. and kickoff on Sunday’s.

With so much info and analysis out there, it won’t only drive you crazy, but it will leave you actually think ridiculous things like a slot receiver over a No. 1 guy because of matchups.

If you want to get burned each week, go ahead and pay attention to the chatter, I would just rather stick with the guys I believe in.

3. The Running Back By Committee

Example: New England Patriots

Who knows when this got popular—it was a few years ago when coaches figured out that two, reasonably fresh guys were better for team success than running one dude into the ground—but all fantasy players hate it.

The team who is best known for it? The world champion New England Patriots, of course, who are so unreliable in which running back they’re using each week that it almost makes me think that Bill Belichick does that shit on purpose.

Fantasy running backs are the backbone of any team, with depth the name of the game in racking up critical points on a consistent basis.

So, remember, you can never have too many running backs—especially when you don’t end up with a Marshawn Lynch, DeMarco Murray or LeSean McCoy.

2. Mr. Unreliable

Example: Devery Henderson

In all of these scenarios, Devery Henderson as Mr. Unreliable is probably the most spot-on, as the guy just seems to forget how to perform week-to-week.

Just when Henderson has two-straight games of three catches for over 100 yards and a touchdown in each week, he shit’s the bed and puts up a big ohfer, leaving you with a dead position in one of the most crucial on a fantasy roster.

Whether it was the former New Orleans Saints receiver or someone else, boom-or-bust guys are miserable to have on your team, and shouldn’t even be considered if playing the free agent game and looking for a replacement for someone during a bye week—unless you really enjoy boozing away your sorrows, of course.

1. The Last-Minute Injury

Example: Arian Foster

If there’s a Mr. Glass in the NFL right now, it might just be Houston Texans running back Arian Foster, who has shown in the past to have superstar skills without any healthy luck for his fantasy owners.

In Foster’s case, it’s almost guaranteed that he’ll end up on the shelf at some point during the season, it’s just a matter of when—with this year’s injury coming in training camp for a hamstring.

While Foster’s case is frustrating in its own right, the absolute worst thing in fantasy sports is when a player sustains an injury during pregame warm-ups or late in the week, leaving owners scurrying to either find a replacement or, in some cases, getting burned that they aren’t in front of their computers or phones to know that one of their starter’s is going to miss a game because that guy forgot to stretch.

Fuck if I’m not the guy in my league who this always happens to.

Nick Dimengo avatar
Nick's a Sr. Editor for BroBible, mainly relying on his Sports Encyclopedia-like mind to write about things. He's also the co-host of the BroBible podcast "We Run This," and can be seen sweating his ass off while frequently running 10+ miles around Seattle.