Why do we play Fantasy Football?...and Week 12 rankings

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A great friend (and fantasy addict) approach me with the following question for today’s article-- why do we play fantasy football? We both follow all the important NFL writers, text back and forth hundreds of times a week, and watch upwards of 10-12 games every weekend. But for what? Why are we obsessed with this game? Why did Fortune.com say businesses lose approximately $13.4 billion annually because of employees devoting work time to setting their lineups? Today I want to try to make an attempt at explaining our obsession. By no means is this the be-all and end-all of an explanation for why we love it. But here’s my opinion:

·      Trash Talk

o   Nothing is better than getting a league email from a guy you just played, complaining about how unfair fantasy football is and how he obviously should’ve won, rather than losing by 2 points. The second you see this; the trash talk rebuttal begins stewing in your brain. You will do everything in your power to never let him live this down. You want him to go to sleep at night agonizing over those 2 points. The majority of fantasy leagues are played with people you know. Be it friends, relatives, or co-workers, trash talk takes the league to another level. It adds fuel to the fire; emotion to the game.

·      Rivalries

o   Piggybacking on trash talk is the rivalry aspect of this wonderful game. If you have been in any league for more than one year, chances are you have that one guy (or girl) you absolutely want to crush. You could lose every other game all year long, as long as you demoralize that hated enemy. Your effort level for the week leading up to the massive matchup is unmatched. For example, in my favorite league, I play with some guys that are about 10 years older than me who all went to a college I didn’t go to. (Another story for another time). Anyways, after I sent out a lengthy trash talk email last year, he responded with an email of his own and from there the rivalry began.

·      Interest in Every Game

o   Fantasy adds entertainment to your entertainment. There are plenty of fine folks who watch many NFL games without the added pleasure of fantasy football, but they must not know what they’re missing. It seems like most weeks, every single game has fantasy implications. You love Andre Johnson this week but you also have the Bengals D so you’re put in a conundrum. You have so many ties in every game, it makes each and every play seem of massive importance. Before you know it, you’ve watched 8 games that don’t include any teams you root for. And you better believe the NFL knows (and absolutely loves) this. The NFL is one of the most powerful organizations in America and it has fantasy football to thank.

·      Get to be a GM

o   Most of us will never work in an NFL front office. Even fewer will ever reach the peak of NFL player management, becoming a General Manager. The 32 GM spots aren’t exactly easy to attain. But with fantasy football, suddenly the unattainable is at your fingertips. You get to be the GM of your own team. Your power limited only by fellow GMs who refuse to trade with you. This idea of completely controlling every aspect of a team is the overarching theme of fantasy football. Each and every one of us gets to run our organizations in any manner we please. Want to own 3 kickers? Go for it. Want to own only Oakland Raiders players? Go for it (but be sure to start praying). Fantasy gives us the unique ability to put together a team and watch it perform on a weekly basis. As GM, we get to prep months for the draft, pick your dream squad, and trade them all away the next week.

With the fantasy season is quickly coming to a close, enjoy it while it lasts and remember it’s ultimately about having fun (and winning along the way). But I ask you: Why do you love fantasy football? Email me at FantasyDecisions@gmail.com and tell me why you love it. And if you have any lineup dilemmas or need waiver wire wisdom, send it my way.

Onto the rankings!

Week 12 Rankings

QB

1.     Andrew Luck

2.     Aaron Rodgers

3.     Drew Brees

4.     Peyton Manning

5.     Jay Cutler

6.     Tom Brady

7.     Colin Kaepernick

8.     Tony Romo

9.     Philip Rivers

10. Ryan Tannehill

11. Russell Wilson

12. Josh McCown

13. Matthew Stafford

14. Matt Ryan

15. Ryan Mallett

16. Kyle Orton

17. Mark Sanchez

18. Zach Mettenberger

19. Joe Flacco

20. Andy Dalton

RB

1.     DeMarco Murray

2.     Jamaal Charles

3.     Matt Forte

4.     Arian Foster (if active; if not, Alfred Blue would settle in around number 8 on my RB list)

5.     LeSean McCoy

6.     Eddie Lacy

7.     Marshawn Lynch

8.     Justin Forsett

9.     Denard Robinson

10. Isaiah Crowell

11. Jeremy Hill (if Gio is inactive; if not, both Hill and Bernard would be in the low teens for me)

12. Mark Ingram

13. Andre Ellington

14. Rashad Jennings

15. Frank Gore

16. Steven Jackson

17. C.J. Anderson

18. Trent Richardson

19. Chris Ivory

20. Tre Mason

WR

1.     Jordy Nelson

2.     A.J. Green

3.     Demaryius Thomas

4.     Calvin Johnson

5.     Dez Bryant

6.     Brandon Marshall

7.     Josh Gordon

8.     T.Y. Hilton

9.     Randall Cobb

10. Mike Evans

11. Jeremy Maclin

12. Alshon Jeffery

13. Roddy White

14. Sammy Watkins

15. Julio Jones

16. Torrey Smith

17. Jordan Matthews

18. DeSean Jackson

19. Andre Johnson

20. DeAndre Hopkins

TE

1.     Rob Gronkowski

2.     Jimmy Graham

3.     Antonio Gates

4.     Larry Donnell

5.     Jason Witten

6.     Coby Fleener

7.     Martellus Bennett

8.     Austin Seferian-Jenkins

9.     Travis Kelce

10. Mychal Rivera

11. Owen Daniels

12. Charles Clay

13. Marcedes Lewis

14. Kyle Rudolph

15. Vernon Davis

D/ST

1.     Bills

2.     Chiefs

3.     49ers

4.     Packers

5.     Eagles

6.     Seahawks

7.     Cardinals

8.     Broncos

9.     Colts

10. Texans

11. Chargers

12. Bears

13. Cowboys

14. Patriots

15. Jets

FLEX 40

1.     DeMarco Murray

2.     Jamaal Charles

3.     Matt Forte

4.     Jordy Nelson

5.     Arian Foster

6.     A.J. Green

7.     Demaryius Thomas

8.     Calvin Johnson

9.     Dez Bryant

10. Rob Gronkowski

11. LeSean McCoy

12. Brandon Marshall

13. Eddie Lacy

14. Marshawn Lynch

15. Josh Gordon

16. Justin Forsett

17. Jimmy Graham

18. T.Y. Hilton

19. Randall Cobb

20. Mike Evans

21. Jeremy Maclin

22. Denard Robinson

23. Isaiah Crowell

24. Jeremy Hill

25. Alshon Jeffery

26. Mark Ingram

27. Andre Ellington

28. Roddy White

29. Rashad Jennings

30. Sammy Watkins

31. Frank Gore

32. Steven Jackson

33. Julio Jones

34. C.J. Anderson

35. Antonio Gates

36. Torrey Smith

37. Jordan Matthews

38. DeSean Jackson

39. Larry Donnell

40. Jason Witten