Last night, shortly before my fantasy football draft, I wrote: “I’m never more in control of the universe than when I draft my fantasy football team. Do you realize, in less than 45 minutes, I will begin deciding who gets injured this season? Powerful feeling.”
Last season, “The ACL whisperer” watched five of his top six picks wind up on injured reserve before the season was half-over. Two years before that — the last time I played two leagues — three of my four starting tailbacks had either fumbled away or gotten injury-robbed of their seasons in the first week. I draft players and immediately feel sorry for doing so.
What would this season have in store for me?
ONE TWO: Let’s start when a League of Legends match went long and I logged into my draft two minutes late. No problem: In a league of exactly 10 surefire big-time point-getters, I drafted eleventh.
I’m in the room just in time to make my first pick. My needs of “a running back, who plays for a good team, who hasn’t been injured yet” drew me uneasily to Giovani Bernard. I blew an exasperated breath into my bangs and clicked DRAFT. Whatever. I’m picking again in three minutes.
Except I wasn’t.
ROUND ONE: My league ostensibly spent the first round in hyperdrive, making 13 picks in two minutes. It’s these kinds of miracles, I swear, God saves only for me. So, who did the Yahoo! autobots think I needed the most?
That’s right: The position I was going to draft in round seven became the crown jewel of Dolphin King Bowser. Mr. Soft. The goal-post dunking guy. BUT, that’s what I get for zapping punks with my she-fox when I should’ve been draft-prepping. Lesson learned.
ROUND THREE: I now experience the plash of exuberance that accompanies a starting running back choice with Pick 35. Do I want … no, I think he’s part-time. What about … who’s this guy, and why is he ranked so highly? Fuck me.
Wait. Is LeVeon Bell getting suspended for that DUI/weed thing?
Some quick Net-reading seemed to indicate no. Phew! Pittsburgh’s preeminent Stoney Pony was promptly brought aboard.
ROUND FOUR: I needed a first-rate receiver NOW. I fret, but wait! LARRY FITZGERALD‘S STILL AVAILABLE?! YOU GUYS ARE ALL SO STUPID! HAHAHAHAHA, SELECT!
Cordarelle Patterson, Keenan Allen, and Michael Crabtree were taken ahead of our hometown hero. Why? Were they really the dumb ones? Maybe I was just the last of us to see his disgusting schedule, and remember Carson Facepalm is chucking his pigs, and remember Fitzy’s 11 years in.
But wait, there’s more! Go to the Arizona Cardinals website. See number 15? That’s Michael Floyd, another wide receiver. That’s right: Forget fantasy, Fitzy wasn’t the first receiver picked BY HIS OWN TEAM for the website design! And here I am taking him in the fourth round and acting like I’d just sent my best friend home with an uggo.
What eases trauma? Solid mid-rounders like:
ROUND FIVE: T.Y. Hilton.
Yahoo! says I over-reached for this one, but screw them. Let me settle this in four sentences.
1. The Colts play 10 games against the AFC South and NFC East.
2. Andrew Luck is the Terminator.
3. Reggie Wayne is older than me — and I’m old.
4. Trent Richardson runs like he’s hip-deep in quicksand.
If Hilton is ever going to have a big year, it’s this one.
ROUND SIX: Nick Foles rang up 75 points in one day for me, yet everyone seems to hate him. Our league was no different. Peyton Manning went first overall, and he’s projected to average three more points per week than the man I took with pick 10 bazillion.
That’s a wasted first-rounder, if you ask me. Oh, you’re not asking me? How come?
It’s never been a better time to be holding the NFC East belt. Take the Colts schedule I just mentioned, throw in some cornbread Packers, add top it with the stinky carcass of the 2013 Panthers. What you get is a 12-course meal in which Foles might look like a world-class Madden player’s controlling him.
ROUNDS SEVEN AND EIGHT: Drafting a Saints running back is like buying a scratch off, as are all players really, but it’s especially so with a committee backfield on a pass-first team. Pierre Thomas? He’s like picking up an already scratched-off ticket, seeing it didn’t win anything, putting the scratchy stuff back on, and scratching it off again. I needed a number-three back. All I can do is hope the other backs are worse.
Did we forget about Jeremy Maclin? He was injured last season, and might provide the fireworks DeSean Jackson just brought over to Washington. If he does even almost that, I’ll be happy.
MANDATORY DOLPHIN: Charles Clay, whom I believe Yahoo! under-rated severely.
THE WHAT-IF GUYS: What if Nick Foles doesn’t pan out? Having Russell Wilson (10) behind him isn’t the worst thing. He did win a Super Bowl and all. And what if Bernard Pearce (11) plays out of his mind during that one asshole’s suspension, causing the Ravens coach to keep riding him and look like good people? Finally, yes, the Chiefs won’t be as good as they were last season. Duh. But … what if they’re … decent? What if QB Alex Smith having the same coaching staff for two straight seasons for once makes him really good, and makes Dwayne Bowe (12) a steal?
Defense (13), whatever. Kicker (14), got one.
TROLL PICK: Johnny Manziel with our league’s second-to-last selection. It was the most fun I’d had making a pick all night. I need another drink.
To recap: My draft was a technological backstab, followed by three consecutive settle-marriages, followed by two picks I felt good about, followed by nine iterations of my dead-voiced “okay.” Yet, I don’t feel bad for myself. I’ll have a miserable year, because that’s what I pay for. It’s cheaper than hiring a dominatrix, and the beatings last a lot longer.
Who I’m guiding my pity to are the poor men who I drafted, men who’ve done nothing to me yet are headed toward an autumn of doom. Their careers may never recover.
I’m really sorry about this, you guys.