New Thing #258: Another New Fantasy Football Game

Fantasy_GameOne of the first things I wrote about this year was fantasy football. And then one of the other first things I wrote about this year was fantasy football.

They were both playoff fantasy football games - and they were both fun ways to end last year's football season.

It was fun to play a different kind of fantasy football.

Well, a friend of mine e-mailed me with a new game to begin this football season, and at the last minute I decided to join.

Turns out I just can't resist a good stats-driven fantasy football game.

I'm in two fantasy leagues this year - this one I'm writing about today and another more traditional one - along with my picks pool, picking against the spread.

What's unusual about this year is that I'm not doing an elimination pool for the first time in a bunch of years, and for the first time in a few years I also don't have the fantasy league I've done with the guys I do a baseball league with.

But this pool fills some of those gaps.

It's traditional fantasy football - you pick a QB, 2 RB, 3 WR/TE, and then a defense. You pick a new slate each week. The catch? Once you pick a player, you can't pick them again the rest of the season.

It's an interesting strategic game, the strategy of which I haven't even begun to wrap my mind around yet. (The closest I've come to strategy so far is the chart that I created, which you see above. It'll at least keep me aware of the players I've picked.)

Since I made the decision to join so late, I kind of slapped together my Week 1 picks - I decided I didn't want to use any real stars yet, so I picked against the Oakland defense (which played better than I expected) and I guessed at a decent defensive performance with Miami (I succeeded) and filled in the rest of the gaps.

As the season goes on I'll employ more strategy, probably.

It's similar to a baseball picks league I used to run - it's all done by hand (though the guys in charge are working on a computer program to make it easier). As such, though, it's all guesswork during the day to as to how well your players are doing relative to other performances.

So far it's fun.

Another interesting thing about this football season is that I didn't make any season picks - that's the first time I haven't done that in possibly a decade-plus.

It's interesting - I sense that with my involvement in these games, and without the self-imposed pressure of my season picks, which may or may not subconsciously color the way I pick games and players - I might actually enjoy this season more as a football fan.

So far, as Week 2 continues today, I am.