Women play fantasy football too, but it takes a special kind of woman to pull it off. It’s not like you could just pluck any old girl off the street and expect her to have an opinion on when to take Michael Turner, after all. They’re a rare breed. A proud few. And if there were any way to spot them from afar, men would have figured it out and married every single one of them a long, long time ago. You just can’t do it.
Now men, on the other hand, are a different story altogether.
Men, especially those who play fantasy football, are usually pretty simple fellows. On game day, they all dress alike. When the game’s over, they all have the same conversation afterward. And when it comes to participating in a fantasy league, in at least nine cases out of ten, they usually engage it in a consistent, predictable manner.
Today we’ll classify 15 of the most common types of fantasy football dudes known to exist, and while your own league might not contain each of them, it’s got to have one of them.
See anyone you know?
Lazy Guy doesn’t really know how to build a fantasy football team he has any confidence in and, to be perfectly honest, he’s just fine with that.
Now don’t get him wrong, Lazy Guy loves watching football just as much as the next guy, but the idea of pretending to own and manage a make-believe team in his free time just doesn’t seem to do it for him, for whatever reason.
Lazy Guy is just along for the ride. He enjoys the experience and he likes the camaraderie, he just has no passion for the game, and while he is glad to be a part of the club, he really doesn’t care what happens with it and he expends as little effort as possible trying to win it.
Signature Moves: Making strange draft picks that baffle everyone, missing the draft entirely, starting players on a bye week
Favorite Fantasy Player: Whatever
You can’t tell the Nerd anything about fantasy football he doesn’t already know, so don’t even try. Like he didn’t know that rookie running back some team drafted in the ninth round was going to be a total steal. Please. Give him a break.
The Nerd eats, drinks, and breathes fantasy football. He plays in multiple leagues. He has ten different gadgets blowing up every time one of his players scores. He’s on a first name basis with each of his starters, his players’ bye weeks never overlap, and just in case there are any technical problems during the draft, he has 250 fantasy players already personally pre-ranked months in advance. He’s probably your league’s commissioner. He probably wins every year.
He definitely expects to.
Signature Moves: Winning, pointing out your mistakes, being actively involved in every league decision
Favorite Fantasy Player: Some Guy You’ve Never Heard of
Day Trader likes his team, but he always likes yours just a little bit better, and with every waking breath you better believe he’s concocting some crazy scheme to try and pry away your team’s best player.
The thrill of the trade is what makes fantasy football worthwhile for this guy. It’s not about the draft. It’s not about following some player he actually roots for. It’s about wheelin’ and dealin’, living for the moment, keeping things moving. Sure, sometimes Day Trader might insult your intelligence with his laughably one-sided offers, but he doesn’t mean any harm, plus his pitches are usually pretty solid, he’s always open to counters, and his patented package deals, some with the potential to shake up your entire league, are always tough to resist.
Signature Moves: Harassing you day and night, radically changing his entire lineup, working the waiver wire like it’s nobody’s business
Favorite Player: All of them
Married Guy is the real winner of every fantasy football league because he’s so ecstatic about just being able to interact with his buddies that every season is a victory no matter what.
Married Guy puts the fantasy in fantasy football, period, and while most dudes enjoy their fantasy football experience, single fantasy players just can’t comprehend the love Married Guy has for his. It’s a deep, emotional attachment, like a family heirloom, or a pet, or some crazy dream he gave up on years ago.
The league is his fortress of solitude. His reason for being. If you could take a picture of your league, this guy would keep it in his wallet. And the best part? It’s all his. His kids can’t ruin it, his wife can’t suck all the fun out of it (no matter how hard she tries), and as long as it continues to exist, this guy is going to be a part of it.
Signature Moves: Reminiscing about last season, organizing league-wide get-togethers, cherishing every moment to the absolute fullest
Favorite Fantasy Player: Drew Brees, QB
Everything just seems to go Lucky Guy’s way. His late round draft picks magically blossom into solid players, his bench never outscores his starting lineup, and whenever there’s a questionable call or controversial play, this guy usually stands to benefit.
Now Lucky Guy certainly knows he’s lucky (everybody does), so he’s not in denial or anything, but just because he claims no credit whatsoever in creating the good fortune he’s been blessed with doesn’t mean he can’t still enjoy it. Lucky Guy may therefore at times also be known as Uncontrollable Smirk Guy, Laughing Monday Morning for No Reason Guy, or, in rare cases, I Can’t Believe I Actually Just Won this Thing Guy.
Signature Moves: Beating you by one point, landing the No. 1 draft pick, turning that loser you dropped from your bench last week into a must-own starter
Favorite Fantasy Player: Arian Foster, RB
The Bad Sport takes everything way too seriously.
Beat him by a large margin? You might as well just ask him to meet you outside in the parking lot. Bad Sport talks trash before your game, and not just playful banter, either: he’s spitting inappropriate, real-life, personal insults, and the only time he ever loses is because of some fluke in the system.
The stats must be have been off.
The refs blew the call.
What, you think you’re better than him?
Also known as Jealous Guy. Also known as Pouty Face. Also known as Needs to Get a Life Guy.
Signature Moves: Arguing, belittling your team, making you wish you lost
Favorite Player: The One You Stole From Him in Round 12
The Complainer loves fantasy football, he’s just never quite satisfied with the way the league is run, that’s all.
He hates the scoring format. He hates the playoff structure. He really hates the way the pay-outs are determined, and if you’re curious what he thinks about the tie-breaker settings, let me just go ahead and save you some time right now: he thinks they totally suck. Snake draft? Auctions are way more fun. Two QB’s? Screw that. We should do PPR instead. However we’re doing things now, we should do the exact opposite, and whatever will make things more complicated, that’s the way to go.
Signature Moves: Issuing ultimatums, blaming the system, acting like he never really cared to begin with
Favorite Fantasy Player: Philip Rivers, QB
Funny Guy enjoys every fantasy football season no matter how his team performs, and for all the effort he puts into this pursuit, he sure as hell ought to: outside of the commissioner himself, nobody does more for the good of the league than Funny Guy, and as the season drags on and the number of owners in playoff contention slowly dwindles down, nobody does more to help sustain the group’s collective interest.
His team names are legendary. No topic is off-limits. Beat him head-to-head and he’ll burn you in the message boards in side-splitting fashion. He’s a team player, a guy who can take it just as easily as he dishes it, probably the only guy you can lose to and not be upset about it, and definitely the only guy that doesn’t mind losing as long as he can score a big laugh as a result.
Revel in his childish antics (no matter how immature they might be).
Signature Moves: Starting league-wide polls, bringing back some inside joke you haven’t talked about since elementary school, drafting some player you really like just to spite you
Favorite Fantasy Player: Chad Ochocinco, WR
The Outsider is a mysterious loner who somehow wandered into your league just to fill an open spot. He’s a friend-of-a-friend, a co-worker of a co-worker, or maybe he’s just some dude from the internet, who knows? He could be a serial killer for all you know.
Hey, at least he’s not a computer.
He knows one or two people at most, he doesn’t get any of your stupid little inside jokes, and he’s really not interested in making new friends here, either. He usually winds up with a pretty decent team the internet picked for him and it often performs well (just the way the universe works some times), but in the event that it doesn’t it’s not like it’s the end of the world or anything.
What the hell does this guy care?
You’re all just a bunch of strangers to him anyway. You mean nothing to him. This guy couldn’t pick you out of a lineup. He’s probably in like eight leagues or something. Four games in he’ll probably forget who even asked him to join this thing.
In short, he’s got it made.
Signature Moves: Not participating, flying under the radar, going with the flow
Favorite Fantasy Player: Won’t say
Busy Guy wants to enjoy fantasy football but his fancy job and other adult responsibilities here in the real world just won’t let him.
Constantly out of the loop, Busy Guy struggles to even remember what site the league is on, and if it weren’t for the constant nagging of his fellow league-mates, the notion of playing never would have even crossed his mind in the first place.
Busy Guy has places to be, things to do. He can’t be wasting his precious time messing around with some silly online game, and even if he could it’s not like he has any idea what the fantasy world is like these days anyway.
Busy Guy just found out Michael Vick got out of prison. He has no idea there are two wide receivers named Steve Smith. His secretary probably picked his team for him, and if he wins, someone has to send him an email to let him know. He wants to play but, just like every other minor little chore this guy mindlessly blows off, it just wouldn’t be practical.
Signature Moves: Rescheduling, not setting his lineup, having his people call your people
Favorite Fantasy Player: Any name he recognizes
Poor Guy is in over his head but seems to be the only one not the least bit concerned about it.
He changes jobs every other week. He’s drowning in debt. He can barely afford his groceries, and his car is slowly falling apart. The last thing this guy should be doing right now is gambling away what little money he does have and yet, here he is, the first one to sign up for your high stakes fantasy football league and (surprise, surprise) the last to cough up the money he agreed to pay to join it.
Poor Guy just has to cash a check on Friday, then he’ll be glad to ante up.
Actually, did he say Friday? He meant next Friday. No, no, the Friday after that.
How’s next month sound?
Signature Moves: Planning how to spend his winnings, extending deadlines, making you feel better about yourself
Favorite Fantasy Player: DeSean Jackson, WR
Hometown Hero lets his inner bias cloud his fantasy judgment, much to the delight of his more reasonable opponents and much to the dismay of his poorly constructed team.
Every fantasy owner has a favorite NFL team, and every fantasy owner would like to be able to root for the same players in fantasy that he does in real life. Hometown Hero goes to extraordinary lengths to ensure that this is the case, however, using high draft picks to snag his favorite players much earlier than their value dictates, then usually pays for his blind faith once the season gets underway.
Just what the hell is wrong with this guy anyway? Is his perception so distorted he actually thinks his home team’s players are automatically better than their counterparts? It’s almost like his fantasy team is itself some wild, illogical fantasy. Like a dream within a dream. A mystery wrapped in a riddle. Some Christopher Nolan film nobody seems to understand.
Snap out of it already, Leo!
Signature Moves: Drafting the player whose jersey he’s wearing at the time, thinking highly of himself, going down with the ship
Favorite Fantasy Player: 53–way Tie
Technologically Challenged Guy’s passion for fantasy football is never in question, because he has to overcome a daunting new maze of user names and profile settings every fall just to participate.
Technologically Challenged Guy got his first cell phone in 2007. He owns a computer, but he relies on others to help him operate it. He types one key at a time. He has a dial-up modem. If you’d let him, he’d make his draft picks by fax, and before he got into fantasy football, the only computer game this guy had ever played was Pong.
His team is usually adequate, but the fact Technologically Challenged Guy even has a team is an accomplishment in and of itself.
It took him four days and three calls to tech support just to register his account. He almost missed the draft because he couldn’t log in. The computer had to make three auto picks for him because he couldn’t figure out how to click the giant button in the middle of the screen in time, and when the group temporarily considered changing to a different website to host their festivities for the upcoming season, Technologically Challenged Guy is pretty sure he had a mild heart attack.
Most fantasy football owners love the game.
None have to prove it as often or as thoroughly, however, as this helpless guy right here.
Signature Moves: Freaking out, sighing in frustration, studying owner manuals
Favorite Fantasy Player: Sebastian Janikowski, K
If there’s a league out there that awards points just for being super cute, Dynamic Duo is its undefeated defending champion. Dynamic Duo is a husband and wife co-op team. It’s a partnership. A coalition. More often than not: a conversation topic.
The Dynamic Duo genuinely enjoy playing fantasy football, but not nearly as much as they enjoy talking about fantasy football. These two have turned fantasy football into their own personal bonding experience, and they’re not going to rest until everybody knows about it.
It’s a shame, too, because love just has no place in football, that’s the problem. Football is a violent, ferocious sport. Death used to be so common in football’s early days, in fact, that the U.S. President himself once had to get involved. Where in the world does something as peaceful as a warm, loving marriage fit into a gruesome thing like that?
Maybe if the couple were dysfunctional, then it might be okay. Like if Ron and Sammie put a team together, for example. Or Al and Peggy Bundy. And the league was this constant source of resentment and anger between them and they hated each other even more as a result. Then it might fly. If the two are blowing kissy faces to each other while everyone else is seriously competing to win, however, that’s a different story altogether.
Who put you guys up to this anyway, a marriage counselor? Are you that desperate to find a shared interest? Everything okay back at home?
Maybe a little trouble in paradise?
Signature Moves: Turning every game into a story, spewing G-rated insults, adding smiley faces to everything
Favorite Fantasy Player(s): Matt Ryan (QB) & Roddy White (WR)
The Sucker has no business playing fantasy football but continues to anyway, and his or her identity can change over time.
We’re all The Sucker at one point or another in our fantasy careers (each league has exactly one winner at the end of the season, after all), and to some extent you could probably say we’re all The Sucker just for spending so much time obsessing over this silly little thing in the first place.
Sometimes The Sucker is someone completely unfamiliar with fantasy football who plays just because someone asked them to, like your grandma, or an attention-starved co-worker. Sometimes it’s someone who’s actually good at fantasy football but just wound up with an underperforming team, or lost his star players to injury. And now he’s just stuck with this terrible team and can’t do anything thing about it.
Usually it’s someone who thinks he’s good but isn’t, and no matter who it is their very involvement in the league is a complete waste of not only their time but, if applicable, a portion of their hard-earned money too.
Finally, while it’s tempting to laugh and point fingers at The Sucker and the donation he’ll inevitably make to someone whose team doesn’t totally suck like his, it’s important to also remember that if you play fantasy football and you haven’t identified yourself as any of the 14 other owners on this list yet, there’s a good chance The Sucker in your own league might be someone you hadn’t considered initially.
As a matter of fact, it might be someone you know quite well.
Like, someone you see every single day.
When you look in the mirror.
Now this is just awkward.
Signature Moves: Losing, being disappointed, thinking about next season
Favorite Fantasy Player: (your favorite player here)