It’s tough being a dedicated fan of an NFL team. Heck, some would argue being a fan of any team of any sport will leave you more likely to be miserable than happy.
It’s tough being a dedicated fan of an NFL team.
Heck, some would argue being a fan of any team of any sport will leave you more likely to be miserable than happy.
By midseason, most fans know if their teams are any good or not, even if the standings tell them otherwise. And unless you’re good enough to suit up for your favorite team, chances are there’s nothing you can do about your team’s fortunes.
So as I sat and watched the Chicago Bears get whooped by the Detroit Lions on Monday night, it reminded me of why many of us became fantasy football fans in the first place.
It’s an escape from all the dumb moves real GMs have made in drafts and a fantasy of what we would do if we were GMs. Sure it’s harder to draft real life NFL players than a fantasy draft where you pretty much know who’s good, who’s an up-and-comer, and who you should avoid.
And the likelihood that we could be real NFL GMs is as likely as picking the right lottery numbers every day of the week for a month.
But it makes us feel better, even when the players you drafted can actually do damage against your favorite team. Case in point: Jahvid Best (DET).
I didn’t sit Best in a matchup that in the past I would have avoided. The Bears defense is usually good against the run and struggle giving up chunks of passing yardage, though rarely giving up huge TDs plays.
This year has been different and, being a Bears fan, I knew Chicago’s defense was more than able to givieup the big run play on a draw. And of course, Best ran for an 88-yard TD off a draw play.
Even though it hurt the Bears fan in me seeing Best’s big play, I knew it paid dividends for my fantasy team. The team I built. The team that can help me escape an infuriating season watching Chicago’s dysfunctional offense with a line that can’t block, receivers who can’t catch or gain adequate separation in enough time and with a quarterback who’s been sacked so many times since being traded that he’s developed happy feet.
For the record, I’ll never actively root more for my fantasy team over my real team. But if the opponents are going to score, at least run it or pass to the guy I started this week.
My fantasy teams are a diversion from this country’s ultimate diversion — NFL football — from work, family and life.
Losing isn’t fun for fantasy folks, but at least we’re in a little bit more control of how things pan out. Luck or no luck.
Can’t Wait! Waiver Wire Pickups
Yes, you should pick up Tim Tebow (DEN). If you need more evidence, just look at the No. 2 overall fantasy player: Cam Newton (CAR).
The Carolina Panthers may as well be running the spread offense and Newton has flourished under the system. Unlike the Bears, most teams run a system catered to the strengths of the quarterback and subsequent players around him.
With a bye this week, Tebow and Denver will tweak the offense to what he does well. I’m not saying he’s going to throw for an average of 337 yards in his first three starts like Newton, but Tebow did throw for 308 yards in his debut last season.
QB: Tebow (DEN), Alex Smith (SF)
RB: Earnest Graham (TB), Jackie Battle (KC)
WR: Doug Baldwin (SEA), Steve Breaston (KC)
Breakin’ Bread List
Two weeks I’ve picked Tom Brady to break bread for your fantasy team. Two weeks he’s put together under 20-point performances.
Perhaps Brady should’ve kept his long flowing hair. Since he’s cut it, he’s been kind of average in terms of fantasy.
Thing is, Dallas is much better against the run than the NY Jets defense proved to be last Sunday. I look for Brady to surge this week.
QB: Brady (NE) vs. Dallas, Aaron Rodgers (GB) vs. St. Louis (who cares that the Rams defense is 13th against the pass?)
RB: Adrian Peterson (MIN) at Chicago, Fred Jackson (BUF) at NY Giants
WR: Calvin Johnson (DET) vs. San Francisco, Steve Smith (CAR) at Atlanta
The Purple Drank list — presented by Bears GM Jerry Angelo
There were plenty of candidates for this week’s Purple Drank list presenter. Jimmy Graham (NO) flopping like he was playing soccer overseas was frowned upon.
There’s Eli Manning (NYG) for tossing a pick-six that allowed the lowly Seattle Seahawks to beat the Giants. There’s also Carolina coach Ron Rivera for calling a timeout just before time expired at halftime to allow New Orleans to kick a field goal, especially since the Saints won the game by three points.
Then Bears GM Jerry Angelo decided to open his big mouth. Angelo talked about how nothing’s changed in Matt Forte’s contract situation and did everything he could to excuse poor drafts by citing “player development” before the Bears were pounded Monday night.
Forte aside, who has Angelo drafted since 2006 that’s mattered and kept a roster spot? I’ll wait while you scan through his seemingly Purple Drank-induced picks.
QB: Blaine Gabbert (JAC) at Pittsburgh, Sage Rosenfels (MIA) at NY Jets
RB: Pierre Thomas (NO) at Tampa Bay, Tim Hightower (WSH) vs. Philadelphia
WR: Nate Burleson (DET) vs. San Francisco, Reggie Wayne (IND) at Cincinnati
Don’t sleep on my sleepers
QB: Alex Smith (SF) at Detroit, Andy Dalton (CIN) vs. Indianapolis
RB: James Starks (GB) vs. St. Louis, Peyton Hillis (CLE) at Oakland
WR: Brandon Gibson (STL) at Green Bay, Jason Hill (JAC) at Pittsburgh
Joey Baskerville writes his column every Wednesday. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @jmark79 on Twitter.