I’m experimenting with it this season, as I decided to finally give in and “play” fantasy football, after banning it for the past 10+ years. I’m just going with one fantasy team, and I have to admit, I did enjoy the draft process. I mean, just take a look at my draft board!
So how does a Cowboys fan who drafted Zeke Elliott with the first pick predict a low-scoring loss by Dallas during a pivotal divisional match-up on the road in Philly? Well, it’s much easier said than done. But the correct answer is – by being objective and putting his commitment to accuracy over his desire to win for fantasy bragging rights and emotional attachment to “his” team. It’s funny because my betting record when picking for or against the Cowboys to cover is worse than my normal record for all other teams. Just that shows an emotional bias, as well as a knowledge bias – the fact that I know the team and players so well puts a magnifying glass on them, the way we do with our own kids, that makes it very hard to be objective when evaluating their games. I’m working on turning that “inside knowledge” into a positive.
When it comes to Fantasy Football, the question is – does the focus on individual player ability and performance empower or distract one’s assessment of teams and game dynamics? This past weekend, I just experienced my first week of dealing with the multitude of emotions, thoughts and points of attention between Thursday Night Football and the two Monday Night Football games, not to mention, 13 Sunday games, over 3 time slots. It was quite exhausting, to tell you the truth! It reminds me of why a part of me is generally happy when the regular season, and even Super Bowl, concludes, so that I can have all that time and mental space back.
I plan to continue experimenting throughout the season, but essentially, my bed is somewhat made with all three factors in play, and in this order of energetic importance – 1) NFL Portfolio handicapping, 2) Fantasy Football, and 3) Dallas Cowboys fandom. It goes from what I control most, and that has the greatest tangible outcome in my real life, and what I control the least. The Cowboys winning another Super Bowl doesn’t change the quality of my life, in spite of the temporary pleasure that it would bring. Whereas, continuing to be successful and extending my winning streak to 8-0 on an NFL Season level, with double digit returns annually, means something and continues to prove that “the system” really works. And in my early analysis, I do feel that attention to player skills and statistics is a helpful indicator of teams’ abilities to score points and play defense. Let’s see how that plays out over the course of the season, one in which I can hopefully manage my energy and attention well enough to get through 21 weeks, and to sustain my priorities, both in Football and in Life!