Can you feel it? That bracing nip in the air?
That’s football season, friends. It’s finally here, and with it comes the time-honored tradition of rooting for players you don't normally care about.
It’s a beautiful time of the year, a period where Chicago Bears fans can pray for Peyton Manning to drop four touchdowns on their team, but still lose the game.
No one but a fantasy football owner can appreciate this phenomenon, or understand why a Green Bay Packers fan would fist-pump an Adrian Peterson touchdown.
Fantasy owners are a weird—and large—subgroup of sports fan. And while the non-fantasy inclined might paint us all as the same overly competitive, know-it-all bro, there are actually about 15 different strains of fantasy football owners.
The following is a comprehensive breakdown of the different owners you’ll encounter in any given fantasy league, along with their strengths and weaknesses. With that said, lets gets this slideshow on the road.
Wait—you paid your buy-in, right?
Can you feel it? That bracing nip in the air?
You know what would go well with that first round selection of Adrian Peterson? Another three running backs. In a row.
That’s the Stable Master’s game plan—get the best running back possible, and keep drafting them until they have a whole train of workhorses to pull their team.
Drew Brees in the second round? Clown question, bro. Give the Stable Master Maurice Jones-Drew, and wash it down with a Reggie Bush selection in the third. Throw in a fourth-round pick of Le’Veon Bell and then—only then—will they start considering a quarterback.
It’s this strategy that leaves the Stable Master stuck with Tony Romo every year, but it’s also the tactic that always puts them in the running for the league championship.
What can they say? Fantasy football loves running backs.
Strengths: Working the system, bartering running backs.
Weaknesses: Lack of balance, all apples in one basket.
Peyton Manning, oh Lord in Denver—hallowed be thy name.
Thine touchdowns come, mine games be won—in fantasy, as it is in heaven.
When they’re not building their favorite field general a shrine in their breakfast nook, the Quarterback Worshipper shows his adulation by drafting his favorite quarterback in the first round.
The Quarterback Worshipper is typically a true fan of their passer, and will pass on the number one running back in the league if it means safely securing his idol.
In turn, the Quarterback Worshipper is the guy directly responsible for triggering an early run on quarterbacks and napalming your draft strategy. Thanks, guy.
Strengths: Sexy, consistent output from one player.
Weaknesses: Having to start Shaun Draughn.
Want to trade your backup running back for my wide receiver? No? What about my team for your team?
The Trade Spammer trades just to trade, and they do it all the time. They'll barter for anything, but their favorite trade involves gigantic multi-player deals that require an addendum to the Treaty of Versailles just to receive league approval.
They also enjoy throwing out the same garbage player to every team in the league, and will spam your inbox constantly with three different offers for one guy.
Strengths: Persistence, eroding your resolve like waves on a beach.
Weaknesses: Lack of focus, annoying their way out next year's league.
Like a false shepherd, the Wolf is the owner in your league who slyly leads clueless lambs to the slaughter.
An experienced fantasy owner, the Wolf takes advantage of the less knowledgeable in the hopes of luring away their marquee player in exchange for Danny Amendola and some used toilet paper.
A good league commissioner watches over his flock and will block such trades, but a persistent Wolf will always find a way to snake at least one steal from an unsuspecting victim.
Strengths: Cunning, lying.
Weaknesses: Vigilant commissioners and other wolves.
Nights. Days. Countless hours.
The Over-Analyst has lost track of the time they’ve spent trying to decide who to start in their third wide receiver slot.
One guy has steady production, but the other caught 12 passes and a touchdown last week. THAT HAS TO COUNT FOR SOMETHING OR THE SYSTEM IS BROKEN.
If you haven’t caught on, the Over-Analyst is the owner who spends all week switching the same two players back and forth into their starting lineup.
Monday it’s one, Tuesday it’s the other. By the time Sunday rolls around they’re suffering from delirium tremens and sweating coffee rinds. And if they choose wrong—oh boy, they’ll tell you about their frustration.
They’ll carve it into the side of your house with a shingling axe.
Strengths: Information farming, effort.
Weaknesses: Decision-making, insomnia.
Without fail, the Gonzo has drafted Tony Gonzalez every season since 2000. And each time, Gonzalez has delivered.
The Gonzo believes in brand-name veterans. They aren't against drafting new talent, but they prescribe to the wisdom that “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it," and prefer anchoring their lineup with proven players.
Don’t be surprised to see Steve Smith or Michael Turner on their rosters.
Strengths: Consistency, loyalty.
Weaknesses: Adaptation, going rover.
Pays zero attention to their team, and hits the jackpot every week.
You don’t know how they do it—hell, they don’t how they do it—but every week the Lottery Winner rings up another improbable victory.
You go to bed Sunday night thinking you have the Lottery Winner dead to rights, only to awake the next morning and see that their third wide receiver exploded for 40 points to edge you out in a narrow victory.
Simply put, losing to the Lottery winner makes you want to harm kittens.
Strengths: Sheer dumb luck.
Weaknesses: None. This moron is almost bullet proof.
How do they do it?
Blood sacrifices? A demon pact? Some twisted ritual involving a shoehorn and Sara Jessica Parker’s tears?
No one knows what manner of witchcraft the Sleeper Whisperer is conjuring, but whatever it is—it's working. Somehow, some way, they always end up with unknown breakout players on their team.
Beware the Sleeper Whisperer and their dark arts. They look into the free agent pool like Cesar Millan looking into a dachshund's eyes, and they see things we cannot.
Strengths: Divining the future, assessing raw talent.
Weaknesses: Miscalculations cost them big.
Everyone hates He Who Picks First, and we hope that all the bad things in life happen to them and nobody else.
Some people will tell you they don’t want to be the one who makes the first pick of their draft. Those people are liars.
Strengths: Being a lucky SOB.
Weaknesses: “No pressure, bro.”
*The Annexation of Puerto Rico isn’t a kind of owner, but rather an event that occurs in fantasy football—and it must be discussed.*
Like the play from which its namesake is derived, the Annexation of Puerto Rico is what happens when a ragtag fantasy football team pulls off an improbable Hail Mary and beats a far superior squad.
For example, my 2012-13 team finished the season second in overall points scored, but ended up sixth in the league standings. Why? Because every week, my opponent’s team would somehow manage to put up its highest scoring game of the season.
In other words, my squad was Annexed. Repeatedly.
“What are you guys thinking for the buy-in? $50 a person?”
“How about $200?”
Whoa there, Mr. Money Bags. We’re not even fiddling the same tune here.
Sure, some older gentlemen (or gentlewomen) with longstanding leagues and money to spare will have large buy-ins, but your average league of guys doesn’t want to shell out several hundred dollars just to play fantasy.
There's always one Mr. Money Bags, however, who wants to go big. As a rule of thumb, this owner is a fantasy player with a pants-load of confidence in his team—or a compulsive gambler. The odds are skewed toward the latter.
Strengths: Has money to burn.
Weaknesses: Will likely gamble away said money before buying in.
The Punster spent more time brainstorming their squad’s name than researching their draft, because isn’t that the point of fantasy football?
Some Punsters are more clever than others, and a few are just downright inappropriate.
There are plenty of players whose legal issues have become common fodder for the Punster, but I’m going to move on before I get in trouble.
Strengths: Wit, potentially having an amazing team name.
Weaknesses: Often falls flat.
If you haven’t had a Crappy Commish, you’re a lucky individual.
They come in all stripes, but the worst commish is the one who doesn't have time to handle their oh-so burdensome responsibilities.
After that, the second worst Crappy Commish is the one who lets every trade through without examining its fairness (see: the Wolf).
Strengths: Sleeps well, maintains low blood pressure.
Weaknesses: Getting their (bleep) together.
“Shattered femur, eh? Well, I’ll keep him on the bench, just in case.”
A true humanitarian, the Nurse can’t bear to put an injured player out of their misery. They’ll hold onto running backs with Lisfranc injuries, wide receivers undergoing groin surgery and other lame ducks, while banking on the off chance they’ll return later in the season.
The Nurse professes to have a deep and personal knowledge about players' injuries, and will often try to convince others that they will be back much earlier than projected.
Bless their hearts.
Strengths: Compassion, optimism.
Weaknesses: Accepting reality, making hard decisions.
What happened to them?
No one knows what happened to the POW. They were last seen making running back adjustments in Week 1 and haven’t been spotted since.
It’s now Week 9, they’re sitting at 1-8 and their starting roster has three players on a bye week. With an absence this prolonged, we can only assume they were captured behind enemy lines and hope they’re being treated in accordance with the Geneva Convention.
Strengths: Zero emotional attachment, ability to vanish.
Weaknesses: Fantasy football.
Unlike the Crappy Commish, the Commandant rules over the league with a mailed fist of authority.
Oh? You and the guys were thinking about trying an auction draft this year? That’s cute—NO DRAFT FOR YOU.
When they’re not constantly posting on the bulletin board, the Commandant spends their time blocking every trade they can and harassing you for buy-in money.
It’s still the preseason, Mike. I promise I will PayPal you SOMETIME IN THE NEXT 16 WEEKS. You know where I live.
This is a fantasy football league, not the Fourth Reich.
Strengths: Thoroughness, getting their way.
Weaknesses: Appearing human, ingratiating others.
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