In Matthew Berry’s book “Fantasy Life,” he describes people who have gotten obscene Justin Bieber tattoos as a result of losing their league, people who have drafted while at work inside a Red Robin costume (with his cheat sheet taped inside his costume’s bill) and active duty marines who put themselves in harm’s way in order to get a stable internet connection.
I’ve played Fantasy Football going on just three years this coming season, and I don’t yet have a league filled with crazy rituals or draft and game day traditions. Acknowledging the truly insane who play fantasy sports, I think it would be an overstatement to call me obsessed.
And yet I spend hours looking at player stats on the waiver wire, listening to podcasts, reading and watching fantasy analysis, studying lineup decisions, building pre-draft rankings and spreadsheets and agonizing over every single score change and update. Over the last two, going on three years, fantasy has consumed a large portion of my life.
Whereas I was always a sports fan, fantasy gave me a renewed interest in baseball and football (maybe someday basketball or hockey). I suddenly learned every player on every team, knew who was struggling, who was raking, where teams could improve and how trades or injuries would make an impact.
I also found that I could talk to everyone from family to complete strangers about fantasy sports. But at the same time, I can tell that even among friends or league mates, there are a lot of people who couldn’t care less about the week’s ups and downs.
In my current fantasy baseball season, I found myself writing brief weekly recaps if for no other reason than posterity’s sake. If I were to look back at a given week late in the season, there would be something that the stat line alone wouldn’t show, and if for no one else, those little paragraphs served a purpose for me, to let me know what happened. I don’t dream that anyone necessarily cares, but for those who might or at least might be curious one week out of the season, that’s where this blog comes in.
On Fantasy Assassin, I’ll be recapping some of the moves I’ve made throughout the week, sharing my strategy and discussing my team’s performance, all from a fantasy perspective rather than a directly sports-literate mindset. It’s less a blog that will tell you how to run your team, but more of an insight into how I run mine, and what I actually do with all my time. And if you think I’ve made a blunder in my lineup or draft or want to share how a similar choice impacted your team, I’m all ears.
The name Fantasy Assassin comes from my the commissioner of two of my current leagues. We were in the midst of my first season of fantasy baseball when he sent an email introducing all of the owners of the upcoming fantasy football league. Having dominated the regular season and beaten his team three times, the commish introduced me to the league as “Brian Welk – Current USC Graduate Student and Fantasy Assassin.” I went on to win that season of Fantasy Football, and I was pretty damn tempted to put that line on a business card.
Maybe that does make me obsessed, or at least lucky. Here’s hoping this is the first post on a long road to another title.