if you love the NFL, which I do, then you may be interested in trying your hand at Fantasy Football. I know what you might be thinking, “But Amanda, isn’t Fantasy Football for guys? Do women actually play that?” The truth is, I’ve only known two other women besides myself that have played Fantasy Football; My sister-in-law (mother of five) and a friend of ours (mother of two). However, I’m sure there are many women who have played and continue to play Fantasy Football.
As silly and strange as it may sound, I believe that Fantasy Football is an untapped resource of relaxation for mothers. I have to say there is nothing quite like watching a game and having a player on your team score a touchdown after completing a 40 yard pass! Or your defense team intercepting a pass and running it down the field for a touchdown! It makes watching the games that much sweeter…especially if you’re in a league with your husband and you’re playing against him. You can also team up, help each other and ensure both of your spots in the playoffs (this is rare as there is typically ‘no love in the league’). But if you do, then you can talk to shit to the other people in your league.
I can imagine that it sounds like I’m advising you to start fights over Fantasy Football, I’m not. The truth is that it’s a great way to bond on another level with each other and can even make your everyday lives a little more interesting. For example, last year I was pregnant during football season and Adam and I had been discussing which NFL team we would encourage our son to root for (Adam is a Bears fan while I am a Lions fan). Football has always been important in both of our lives and it’s one of the things we have in common. So, we decided that the best way to settle the argument was to make a wager on Fantasy Football. I should mention that it was in fact my idea mainly because, since I was pregnant, I obviously couldn’t drink during the season and that kind of bummed me out. I needed to make football season more interesting for me. So, since we only played each other twice during the regular season and would have no tie-breaker if neither on of us made it to the playoffs, we said that which ever one of us ranked higher in our league by the end would win.
I totally won, by the way, but I am a good spouse, so I compromised and we dress A.J. in both Bears and Lions gear and will let him decide when he’s old enough to care.
By now you might be thinking that this actually sounds like fun, but you’re wondering how you would get started. Maybe you’re even saying to yourself, “I mean, I like football, but I don’t really know much about the individual players. How will I know who to put on my team?” Well, don’t worry. I didn’t know very much about individual football players either when I started playing three years ago. I barely knew any players other than those who are Detroit Lions. But believe it or not, that’s the perfect place to start!
Think about your favorite team. I’ll use the Lions as an example since they’re my favorite team. Next, think about the players you know from that team, typically you’ll know them because they tend to be very good at their position. For me, it was Matthew Stafford (Quarterback) and Calvin Johnson (Wide Receiver). When I first started playing, I didn’t really think about “stats” or who the top ten players in the league were. I honestly just wanted people I liked to be on my team, players that I knew or players who were on teams that I knew to be good teams. I was somehow able to draft both Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson to be on my team and as it turned out, they are both considered to be among the top ten in their respective positions!
Maybe you just like to watch football, but don’t really have a favorite team. Another great way to figure out who you should draft onto your team would be to Google or (if you participate in Bing points) to Bing it! For example, my second year playing, I had gotten used to how the point system worked during the previous year, so I focused on drafting good players. I had the eighth pick in the draft, which meant that I had a chance of drafting on of the top eight players in any position during my first round! So I Binged and made a list of my ideal team and granted, I didn’t get everyone I’d hoped, but I did end up with a good number of them!
A great resource for you if you’re wanting to get into Fantasy Football is Yahoo! Fantasy Sports. Here, you can look up player’s “stats” (I’m sure if you ask nicely and offer to take out the trash, your husband would be willing to help you figure out how to read them) and also do what is called “mock drafts,” which gives you a chance to practice drafting!
The best part? Almost all of the popular Fantasy Football websites are absolutely free! I like free! Who doesn’t like free?