ESPN’s Fantasy Football app had over 11 million users in 2022. Photo courtesy of ESPN.com.
RYANN BAHNLINE | NEWS CO-EDITOR | email@example.com
Overtime, or “OT”, is an opinion column series where the Collegian takes national sports headlines or polarizing topics and gives them a Butler-centric angle.
Football season is back, and for 11 million people around the world, it is fantasy football season. A fantasy roster can be a reflection of the manager, and I’ve compiled four of the most common managers you can find in your league.
The name game
The first thing people notice about a fantasy roster is the name. Whether you are looking at your matchup for the week or just peeping on others in the league, the team name defines you for the rest of the season.
Junior sports media major Ben Buttrick has played fantasy for the past eight years, beginning in elementary school up until now. Although Buttrick did not feel extremely creative with his team name this year, he does see the importance of the name, even if it is not the end all, be all goal for a league.
“It’s pretty important,” Buttrick said. “I don’t want to do the same thing every year. I mean, obviously it’s important for bragging rights, but it doesn’t win you games.”
Buttrick said his favorite fantasy football name of his, “Bill Belichick’s burner account”, had a photo of Patriots coach Belichick’s dog sitting at his table as the profile picture.
However amazing your fantasy name is, Buttrick is right that it will not win you games. Your name does not score points.
For those who spent time scraping through every best fantasy football name article, looking for a winning name instead of a winning team, ask if it is worth it when your league has to scroll to the bottom of the standings to read the name you worked so very hard on.
For some, the minute that draft day is set, they begin planning out their roster. We’ve all seen the giant whiteboards or poster boards covered in colored tabs planning out every single one of those 24 picks. For some individuals this means taking strategies from any and every TikTok and ESPN visionary and using it to make their team the best.
John Clark, a sophomore marketing and applied business technology double major, focuses heavily on his first and second rounds, but otherwise picks based on what he sees.
“[After those one or two rounds] it’s just picking based on who is still there,” Clark said. “You can’t predict 24 picks.”
Clark said that one of his fraternity brothers has a league where it requires an $80 buy-in to play, so he believes he has much more invested and therefore should plan more for his league.
Clark did plan for one position in particular — the running back. Clark drew inspiration from TikTok to plan out who he picks up.
According to the plan, there are three different paths you can take when it comes to running backs:
- The Hero: the first two rounds are spent taking the highest running backs
- The Villain: the first 20 or so picks are spent taking everything except a running back, with it being the very last spot filled on the roster
- The Optimal: the draft is spent trying to figure out the best time to take a running back, neither the first nor the last pick, but the best running back at that time
Clark chose the villain approach, and ended up with Aaron Jones of the Green Bay Packers, as well as Jahmyr Gibbs of the Detroit Lions.
No matter how much prepping is involved, seasons do not always go according to plan. If you’re the strategist of your league, you may end up burning your draft board in a bonfire for the ages.
The one who wants a flag and a whistle
We all see the calls that the refs miss. There’s always going to be a hold that isn’t called, a pass interference call that isn’t actually pass interference, and we all get riled up from our couches at home. But we are on our couches at home. We cannot do anything.
As a manager, you’re supposed to put your best players forward, but after your lineup is set, there isn’t much you can do to change the outcome of the week — No matter how hard you try.
Buttrick described how people will sometimes let it affect their mental health and well being.
“I think a lot of people take fantasy football way too literally,” Buttrick said. “They will yell at the TV acting like the players and the referees can hear them.”
As Buttrick said, no matter what, players cannot hear you screaming and jumping up and down. If Tuesday mornings roll around and you find yourself wallowing in self pity about Joe Burrow’s 8.64 points, re-evaluate. I promise that it is not that deep.
The auto-draft ghost
If you’re reading this far and frantically realizing that you never picked a single player for your fantasy draft that happened a month ago, you fall underneath the category of the ghost of the league. You probably relied on auto-draft to pick your team, royally p*ssing off the rest of your league.
Katie Kult, a junior entrepreneurship and innovation, French and applied business technology triple major, frequently used the queue feature for her fantasy draft this year. Auto-draft messes up that strategy.
“I hate the auto-draft,” Kult said. “I know the [player] that I want to pick up next is at the top of the stats, and if it was an actual person [doing the draft] and not auto-draft, they probably would not have picked them.”
Auto-draft promises the ability to pick some good players, which is all the more infuriating knowing there is a ghost running the team and beating you instead of your buddy down the hallway. However, too often, we see this owner forgetting to sit injured players, replacing players on bye-weeks and simply forgetting the fact that they have a fantasy league. So set your reminders and put it in your calendar. Don’t be this type of manager.
Regardless of what type of manager you are — no matter the drama, the upsets or the injuries — at the end of the day, fantasy football is fantasy. It is made up. Patrick Mahomes does not care whether or not his one interception ruined your matchup for the week. Justin Jefferson does not go out onto the field aiming to win your team 27 points. It is all in good fun — as long as you do not use auto-draft.