You might not want to admit it, but it's completely OK to just acknowledge that a little computer game known as fantasy football has completely overtaken your life.
Don't think so?
Well if you just denied it by furrowing your brow or rolling your eyes, then it might be time to listen up and take what I'm about to tell you as an intervention, because you're an addict all right.
It's totally understandable—as the fantasy football industry is a booming business—so let's examine all the variety of ways that a simple league started with your buddies in high school has become something that you obsess over each year.
13. Actually Sending Questions or Advice to Fantasy Experts Like Matthew Berry.
As you can see from this tweet, I did it—And you know what? I'm not at all embarrassed by it one bit.
But things get to be more of a problem when someone doesn't only submit a question via Twitter or a weekly mailbag but also drafts every single "Sleeper" that these experts have or plays the "Breakout Player of the Week," each game.
Look, I've only won my fantasy league once, but even I wouldn't think about risking Antonio Brown having a big day—as he did against the Browns—just because he was going up against Joe Haden—even with the respect I have for Haden.
12. Losing Sleep Over the Possibility of Having the Most Unclever, Unwitty Name in Your League.
Although the only thing that will actually win your league are the guys you strategize each week to play, one thing every fantasy football owner knows is true is having an unreal team name.
Most of these include inside jokes with some of the other guys in your league—like poking fun of a buddy's ex from high school or something.
However, if you're someone who's literally wasting hours of productivity either at work or in your down time trying to figure out the name that will get the most laughs, you need to focus on your roster a little bit more, because you may be starting a quarterback on a bye week.
11. Rooting For a Fantasy Team Over a Real Team.
In the words of the ESPN Countdown crew, "C'mon man!"
While I can relate with your competitive spirit of sweating out a close game that has your starting quarterback just a few passing yards from a victory, there's no way in hell your devotion should be given to anyone other than your real team—until the balance is in question.
If for some God-awful reason you started your fantasy quarterback against the team whose colors you don every weekend—and secretly hope for a shootout with your team coming out on top—you're just as bad as the guy who'd rather watch the Broncos game because he has Peyton Manning, than cheering on your hometown team.
10. Checking Scores From Absurd Places—Like Church.
It seems like every single fantasy player has an instant update app for us to check out when something good or bad happens with our team.
Hell, that's why you download it, right?
I'm just not sure that your priorities are exactly in place when, instead of receiving communion on church, you're receiving high-fives from your son who you run a fantasy team with.
Oh yeah, and when you find that the only prayers you request deal with winning your fantasy game that week, it might be time to talk to just admit that you're going to hell.
9. Talking Trash on Twitter, Facebook and, Well, Every Form of Social Media.
For a while, I admit that I only seemed to use my Facebook account on the weekends to talk serious smack to my friends who were in my league with me.
Damn, come to think of it, I only used my Twitter account for the same thing a lot of times.
Talking trash to your opponents has been a part of life since before sports was even a thing, so doing it doesn't mean that you're part of the fantasy football-addicted masses—well, until you're posting on every single social platform out there—including that MySpace page you keep updating for some strange reason.
8. Pre-Ranking Players Before the Draft Just to Be Safe In Case Something Goes Wrong in the Live Draft.
Here's a fair tip for anyone who, if for some reason, has never played in a fantasy football league—there is no reason to ever pre-rank your players when having a live draft.
Yeah, I said it—Zilch. Nada—because it's an absolute waste of your time.
Now I'm not one to trust technology—since it always seems to let us down in crucial situations—but even I'm not paranoid enough to think that either my computer will crash, my Internet connection will be dropped and/or I won't have the necessary flash update to get into the league draft.
Rather than freak out about what might happen, why don't you just try planning ahead by writing down some names of players you want when you draft, that way you can be a lot more efficient while still getting your pre-draft fantasy football fill.
7. Knowing There's No Satisfaction From Other Fantasy Sports Games.
Anyone who has ever thought that playing in another fantasy sports league would help satisfy their gaming hunger, you know what I'm talking about here—nothing even compares to fantasy football.
In a weird way, maybe that's me admitting right there that I'm a fantasy football addict myself, refusing to even give fantasy baseball or basketball another chance.
But after experiencing them in high school and college in hopes to have the same experience, I learned that those league's seasons are way too long, providing nothing but frustration to keep up with the ever-changing roster changes.
OK, in short, they both weren't fantasy football.
6. Managing More Teams Than You Can Actually Keep Up With.
To get a more accurate response to this, ask yourself this question—Can you name each quarterback you have on your all of your fantasy teams right now?
If you can do that, congratulations—even if you do have six teams, because that's impressive.
More importantly, if you can't do this, then it might be time to re-access how many teams you want to attempt to manage next season. I know that fantasy football is fun and all, but it kind of waters it down when every single NFL game has a player who you're cheering for from one of your leagues.
5. Relating to Nearly Every Situation on the TV show, The League.
Simply put, if you're a guy who likes sports at all, you probably watch the uber-popular TV show, The League.
If you're a guy who likes sports and happens to play fantasy football, then there's a hell of a chance you find yourself watching what seems to be a documentary on everything that goes on in the show with the league you have with your buddies—save for fighting Ryan Fitzpatrick—I hope.
From blackmailing each other in real-world situations to help yourself get a leg-up in fantasy, to getting ideas on how to properly ridicule a friend who finishes in last place each season, when you live your life vicariously through these dudes, that's one reality show that's a little too close to home.
4. Dropping Over $100 For a League.
Although the majority of my paycheck goes to alcohol and going out on the weekends, I think it's still a better alternative than tossing $100 into a blind pot in hopes of having the best luck in a fantasy football league.
While I annually pay $50 for my leagues, I can't live with that extra $50 just being handed to someone because my "sure-thing" first- and second-round picks decided that this would be the year they wanted to start declining.
Yes, fantasy football takes skill in trying to maneuver who does and doesn't start, refusing to second-guess yourself each week, but a lot of it has to do with circumstances completely out of anyone's control—like that rookie running back who seems to kill you unexpectedly.
3. Paying for Red Zone In Order to Keep Up With Your Fantasy Team's Players.
I'm just going to go ahead and say it—Red Zone is for people to just keep up with their fantasy team's players.
I mean, why else would anyone really care about a game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Minnesota Vikings if they didn't have Adrian Peterson as their running back?
We all love football, but not even Vince Lombardi himself would have subjected himself to that kind of display on the gridiron without having something to make him care.
If you're paying the extra cash each month to watch Red Zone, you have a very mild case of fantasy football paranoia.
2. Days and Weeks Are Ruined From a Loss.
I'm sure that this has happened to all of us before.
It's strange how I can have the busiest day of work, my girlfriend can yell at me for something mundane or I can get a ticket for illegally parking while running to a Redbox, yet losing my fantasy football game is what pisses me off the most.
As a competitor, with something (money) on the line, it's only natural to be upset, but pillow-punching has seemingly become a habit of mine during the fall and winter each Monday night once I realize my team's done for.
In the ultimate display of a ruined week, my team actually lost this season on three straight kneel downs by Drew Brees, taking me from a narrow, .65-point win, to a devastating .08-point loss—yes, my blood-alcohol level exceeded my team's margin of defeat that night.
1. Spending More Time Managing Teams Than With Your Friends or Family.
And here it is, the ultimate sign that you're in a fantasy football relationship—spending more time with your fake football team than with your real family or friends.
It's one thing to spend a few minutes searching the waiver wire and reading up on who might be a key pickup in this week's games. But things are taken to a whole new level when those minutes turn into hours—every single night of the week.
Look, when it's Sunday or Monday night, that's definitely when you should focus on what your fantasy team is doing. When it's Wednesday afternoon and you're out to eat with your mom to celebrate her birthday, though? Yeah, probably not the best time to start proposing trades left and right.
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