Thursday, July 31, 2008

Numbers Man

It's that time of year again: fantasy football season. Yes, it doesn't actually start till the real games do, but July and August are when thousands of players across the world prepare their draft lists: crunching numbers, banging heads a few times against desks (Maurice Jones-Drew or Fred Taylor?) and generally trying to predict the unpredictable.

Well, there are some things you can be sure of in fantasy football — LaDainian Tomlinson's production and the Colts offense — but most of the fun and excitement comes from making big gambles to best your buddies. When you draft that receiver who bounces back from an injury or that third-year QB who takes the next step, you smile a little more broadly and quietly call yourself a football genius for separating the wheat from the chaff.

But like life, there is a lot of luck involved in fantasy football (more so, I feel, than in other fantasy sports, such as baseball), and for every Derek Anderson or Wes Welker, whose success you presaged, there is a Peerless Price, Kyle Boller or Cedric Benson, whom you quielty dropped mid-season in disappointment.

Let that temper your hubris, fantasy player — but not too much. If we couldn't gloat, well, why would we play at all?

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