Fantasy Guru Matthew Berry On Greatest Fantasy Loser Punishments, Boneless Wings, And His Greatest Fantasy Story Ever


September is upon us and you know what that means?!

No, not Pumpkin Spice season.

Yes, Succession season 3 is just weeks away, but we’re getting sidetracked.

The VMAs? Do people still watch that?

It’s NFL season baby so chill your beer glass and prepare to lovingly tell your fantasy opponents you hate their guts and to not look you in the eye until someone bails you out of drafting Cam Newton.

We spoke with ESPN’s Matthew Berry, the most influential figure in fantasy sports about a range of topics under the fantasy umbrella, his partnership with Buffalo Wild Wings, and the merits of boneless wings.

“One thing I love about Buffalo Wild Wings is they get it. I always look for companies that are fantasy-friendly.  When you hold your draft there they really roll out the red carpet. If you do your draft at Buffalo Wild Wings, every Sunday after that, the commissioner of the league gets a free appetizer.

They have great draft packages as well—specials on beer and food. And not to mention, if you want to hold your draft from home, you can head to the BWW Fantasy page and they have food bundles you can order.”

B-Dub Wing Preference

“I’m a plain wing guy. My kids all make fun of me. I like 12 plain wings. My kids like honey BBQ. My 17-year-old loves the Caribbean Jerk, my wife loves the Orange Chicken. But I’m a plain wing guy.”

Boneless Wings: Trash or Treasure?

” I’m glad that Buffalo Wild Wings offers them, because I know people do like them. But I’m also glad that my deal with BWW means I don’t have to talk about them.

B-Dubs was like ‘Just be honest.’ And I’m like, ‘Ok, I’m a bone guy.'”

[Editor’s Note: Disagree. Boneless slander will not be accepted on my watch.]

Best Fantasy Loser Punishments 

  • “I found these guys in Omaha, Nebraska where the losers of the league had to get a tattoo chosen by the winner. I’ve seen tattoos with a lot of pop culture references—Justin Bieber, #YOLOSWAG, Joe Exotic. I’ve seen one league in back-to-back years, one loser had to get a Hillary Clinton tattoo and the other one had to get a Donald Trump.”

  • “I’ve seen people have to dress up in a parade and wave from a float.”

  • “I’ve seen leagues re-enact the SHAME scene from Game Of Thrones with the loser wearing a fantasy football sign over his neck.”
  • “There’s a league in Brooklyn, New York where the loser of the league has to dress up as a lion and the rest of the league hunts him with paintball guns.”
  • This one is really fun. You know how at an elementary school, they have those 8-foot basketball hoops? The loser of the league had to stand under the basket as every person in the league posterized him in slo-mo videos.
  • “There’s a league in San Diego where the loser of the league gets a custom-made Fathead, the winner of the league gets to choose what the picture is, and the loser of the league has to display this life-sized Fathead in their house for a full year.”

Fantasy (Junk) Science

“You’re trying to make predictions on data and film study, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.

My favorite fantasy football story ever:

Matt Hasselbeck, my colleague now at ESPN, when he was with the Seahawks he actually played in a fantasy league.

And for the 2009 season, he drafted himself and Brett Favre, his former Green Bay Packers teammate who was now in his first season in Minnesota. During that first season in Minnesota, Favre was actually a really good fantasy quarterback.

So Week 5, Hasselbeck has a decision:

The Vikings are playing the lowly Rams, one of the worst teams in the NFL at that point, and Seattle is playing the Jaguars. The Jags have a pretty good defense, they’ve won two straight, and Matt Hasselbeck has missed the last two games with a lower back injury.

So Hasselbeck decides to start Brett Favre and bench himself.

What happens that week is that Adrian Peterson has a huge game, like three touchdowns. Brett Favre only throws one touchdown pass, has an interception, and is the 18th best quarterback in fantasy.

But in the Seattle game, Matt Hasselbeck goes absolutely crazy—256 yards, four touchdowns, he’s the #1 QB in fantasy. Sitting on his own bench.

Think about that. Matt Hasselbeck knew the game plan, studied the film, was calling the plays, could audible at any time, literally touched the football on every offensive play, and he still got it wrong! What hope do the rest of us have!”

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Looking for a spot to host your fantasy party? Head over to the Buffalo Wild Wings’ fantasy page and let them do what they do best. Extra incentive if you’re a commissioner: free app every Sunday thereafter!

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