Thursday, September 1, 2011

Arian Foster & Fantasy Ignorance

So if Irene knocked out your power and you happened to ignore ESPN earlier this week, you probably didn't hear about Arian Foster's now infamous tweet.
4 those sincerely concerned, I'm doing ok & plan 2 B back by opening day. 4 those worried abt your fantasy team, u ppl are sick
At first I got a little annoyed with Mr. Foster (who's not on any of my teams this year, too much risk to me for a top tier pick) and his disgust with fantasy football. If you hadn't noticed before, I'm an addict. After all, who outside of Houston would really care about Arian Foster if it wasn't for fantasy football? Hell, who would care about the majority of NFL players?

Before fantasy football, I knew about the Pats... and the Pats. I had a slightly above casual fan knowledge of the Skins too since I moved to Skins country, but I couldn't tell you who the WR1 on the Lions was or who backed up Jerome Bettis. I was a casual fan, someone who paid attention to my team and the rest of the stars: Peyton, Favre, Vick, etc. The Arian Fosters of the world were an afterthought to me that I only occasionally saw at the Pro Bowl.

When I started playing fantasy football, all of a sudden RB2's and WR depth became important. Would you draft a RB with potential if his offensive line was horrible? No. Is one of your WR's playing a shutdown corner? Might want to check your matchups. To be great at fantasy football, I had to learn about real football. It was the gateway for me to go from casual to die-hard, as I'm sure it's been for millions of others.

Let's not forget about the benefit to the players too. I don't think Maurice Jones-Drew would be a household name with a radio show without fantasy football. Not much feels as great as hitting on a sleeper or rookie and having them lead your team to a championship. I'll forever be a huge Adrian Peterson and Marques Colston fan just because they've won me leagues. If I wasn't cheap as hell, I'd probably own their jerseys.

At the same time though, some people take it too far. There's no "fantasy etiquette" that fans abide by. Fantasy football's great. It means that a week three Bengals at Browns game actually matters to me and many other people outside of Ohio. It's an awesome supplement to the game, but it should be just that and no more:  supplementary.

Personally, I can't stand the people that get pissed off at players for not scoring enough. The "only four points?!??" people are ridiculously annoying. They've committed the cardinal sin of caring about their fantasy teams more than the actual game. For me, the Patriots come first. No matter what happens to my fantasy teams, if the Pats lose I hate the weekend, and if they win I'm elated.

It doesn't matter if your team is awful, I know enough beaten down Skins fans that don't get upset about Santana Moss not catching for more than 44 yards in a game. They knew who they were drafting and understand the risk. If the player isn't on your team, stop complaining. A team other than yours didn't play well, so be happy.

At the end of the day, players need to understand that fantasy football is their friend. It'll give them more opportunities and a higher Q-score. Fantasy players need to understand that it's a supplement to the game, and nothing more. If you're complaining about a player not scoring enough, you should've picked a better match up. There's inherent risk in starting anyone, don't play if you can't accept that. 

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