Fantasy Football: It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Football Maniaxs@@FantasymaniaxsSenior Writer IJuly 14, 2009

LAKE FOREST, IL - MAY 20: Kevin Jones #27 of the Chicago Bears leaps to catch a pass during an organized team activity (OTA) practice on May 20, 2009 at Halas Hall in Lake Forest, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

By Sean Haugh.

The rise of Fantasy Football has a profound influence on how we perceive the real game. As recently as two years ago, most fans would tune out after the Pro Bowl. Fans would watch the NFL Draft in April, but otherwise only return attention to the sport at the beginning of the exhibition season.

These days, interest has increased to the point where, as one of my favorite competitors proclaims: "There is no offseason." Fantasy Football owners stay engaged through OTAs and hunger after every last scrap of information and speculation in preparation for the beginning of training camps.

These six weeks between OTAs and formal training camp are truly the most wonderful time of the year. It is a time filled with hope and promise. Every team has a chance to go to the Super Bowl, every player is primed to have a career year, and every rookie promises instant impact.

It would be easy to get carried away with these hopes. In the zeal to be the one owner in the league who picks all the right super sleepers, sometimes we can talk ourselves into wasting roster spots and draft picks on players who never deserved our confidence.

Let me cite a few recent blurbs from Rotoworld to illustrate my point. If you don’t have their NFL players new feed in your daily reading, you need to bookmark it now.
Rotoworld item 1:

"Kevin Jones reportedly looked ‘very quick, fast and explosive’ during Bears' OTAs. Jones is now 19 months removed from ACL surgery, and running backs coach Tim Spencer says he's back to where he was before the injury. It will be hard to take Matt Forte off the field, but the Bears are adamant that Jones will play a bigger role this year in a ‘1-2 punch."


Oh really? The key phrase here is “back to where he was before the injury.” And where was that, exactly?...

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