Joining the fantasy football ranks seemed easy enough. Pick players and watch games, easy street. Try something new, learn a trade, kiss some babies; maybe I’ll get Tom Brady. Initially I had a swell of Belichekian confidence. Then I really thought about it all. Wow, am I doing this? As I began to ruminate, a bad habit, my heart began to race. My mind spun with the possibilities. I became overwhelmed by the prospect of drafting via the internet. Being a spurious decision, there was no preparation on my part. Stat geeks probably had been going at it for months pouring over the inane and delicate numbers that determine fantasy value. It had been 20 years since I had done anything fantasy related. Baseball rotisserie back then was hard enough for me. Way too much work with very little resources in the pre internet, pre sports dorks era. The stone ages back then, I figured. Just imagine fantasy now. The anxiety was steady, too many variables, too many numbers, and too many players. So I froze, fearing my own stupidity, poor key stroking, and the dreaded draft pick clock. I was scared, plain and simple.
I found the out. Hallelujah! Auto pick! Safety in computer driven madness, no guilt, second guessing myself, agonizing over Antonio or Santonio, it all seemed perfect. Bring on the team.
Then the picks came in and Team Gagan was formed by ESPN Fantasy Football.
QB: Mike Vick, PHI
Hmm, can pass and run. Seems ok! Except he gets hurt often, very often, in Kevlar vest I trust.
RB: Maurice Jones-Drew, JAC
Really! Auto pick takes the guy #5 overall. He’s holding out, Khan isn’t folding. Dammit, hating the auto pick. My Brady dream crushed. FML!
RB: Amad Bradshaw, NYG
Not ideal but a Giant fan, so I’m happy.
WR: Hakeem Nicks, NYG
Another Giant! Things are looking good.
WR: Demaryius Thomas, DEN
Huh, hope this works out. Decker is more Manning’s style. Praying for a breakout year and that Peyton can throw the long ball.
TE: Rob Gronkowski, NE
Brilliant auto pick! The Pats are my other team. A touchdown machine.
FLEX: Shonn Greene, NYJ
Yuck a Jet! Pedestrian back. Should be productive given the Jets horrendous aerial attack.
My gawd I hate the Jets but I have to admit this is a good pick.
K: Rob Bironas, TEN
RB: Michael Bush, CHI
Whatever, they got Forte.
RB: Donald Brown, IND
Bad team, flashes of something?
WR: Darrius Heyward-Bey, OAK
Think this one depends on Carson Palmer’s season.
WR: Denarius Moore, OAK
Umm, I have two Raider receivers and their first names rhyme, must mean something.
TE: Jared Cook, TEN
Who? What? I’ve never heard of him. Thanks auto-pick.
QB: Andrew Luck, IND
Insurance for the injury prone Vick. Loving the auto-pick.
QB: Robert Griffin, WAS
See above. Both star in the making rookie quarterbacks on my team. Truly blessed, wish more than one QB could start games. Tough decisions ahead, when Vick scrambles out of the Kevlar.