The discussion I hear way to often about fantasy sports is 90% always related to fantasy football. Do people really prefer checkers to chess or go fish to rummy 500? Fantasy football is fun don’t get me wrong, but it’s also something that groups of fifty – sixty year old single mom’s get together to play. If you honestly think you are good at fantasy football you need to step into the world of fantasy baseball.
I dunno, maybe I’m just being super dorky when I tell people I literally love fantasy baseball. It is a real grind knowing the top 300 baseball players (compared to the top 100 football payers). In fantasy baseball you start anywhere from 17 – 23 players where as in football lineups have nine starting players….nine…literally a blind toucan could put together a lineup and win any given week. The Matthew Berry’s of the world and the rest of the major sports networks go on TV every week and tell the public Aaron Rodgers or Antonio Brown is a great start this week. Like really? Football is HUGE it’s the most covered sport in America, if you can’t figure out who is a good or bad start in the NFL then maybe you shouldn’t be watching.
Maybe you don’t like checking lineups everyday, analyzing park factors with different weather patters, or right handers vs left hander splits. I however love it, baseball is everything that makes sports great. Personally in my own situation I have played fantasy baseball for close to twenty years now, my first being in 1999. I remember thinking Pedro and Randy Johnson were absolutely amazing. Troy Glaus was my third basemen and he helped me finish in the top half of my league. Having to check everyday to see who was pitching against my squad gave me something to do as I sat in class. I would race home after football practice just to see if any of my guys had hit a home run. There were no cell phones back then (yeah that sounds old) so making sure my mom stayed off the phone so I could log on to AOL was the absolutely brutal. Years later I still play and love it 365 days a year. The eleven other managers in my league consist of childhood / high school friends and my brother. It’s by far the most competitive thing I still participate in today.
Fantasy baseball gives you the ability to win on any given day of the week, it gives you the ability to talk smack to your opponent any given day of the week, and at any point in the season you can discover the next Mike Trout by scurrying the waiver wire of 300+ players. Fantasy football honestly only takes tweaking your lineup Sunday before the games start. At any week a random running back could go off for 200 yards and a pair of touchdowns. You may have played it perfectly; sat this guy, started this guy. You did everything the experts told you to do, but the guy who never checks his team has left in the Browns back up wide receiver in his lineup, and he scored three touchdowns that week..you lose. Things like this never happen in baseball because the outcome can not be decided by one single day. And a championship can not be decided by one single week, its a marathon not a sprint.
This brings me back to checkers vs chess or go fish vs rummy 500. Fantasy football is dumbed down for the masses to play as is checkers and go fish. It takes time an patience to play chess or rummy 500, just as it does fantasy baseball. Playing this game has made me much more of a fan of the MLB so much so that I could sit and watch any game as I would watch any NFL game. There are many different ways to play too, you can set it up so it’s head to head matchups, just like you would have it in football. You then get a week to battle it out with whoever it is you are playing. For those who say its boring I just turn and shrug my shoulders. I’m all for fantasy football, I just like more of a challenge and playing a game that is based off skill rather than luck.