One of the things that keeps me from working too hard at Fantasy Football is that the whole thing seems just so much iffier than baseball.
Somehow, playing every day for six months makes me feel more comfortable with trying to predict what a ballplayer will do than do the stats over 16 Sundays, where players are interchanged more frequently and specific skills are so much more exploited.
Don't get me wrong. I love playing. I love watching football on Sundays and tracking my four teams. I mean, just the fact that I have four teams should tell you something.
But, I do almost no preparation for the draft. I use the magazine our writers contribute to--The Fantasy Football Guide 2011, Professional Edition, which is pictured just to the right of this piece I believe--for basic information.
But, since those profiles are written by April, I also use information from both KFFL and The Fantasy Sharks.
For the most part, though, my picks and strategies are done on the spot, and to a degree, that is why I consider myself one of the worst Fantasy Football players on the planet.
As an example of my sometime ineptitude, in the Kathy League Gifford, where we play two quarterbacks each week instead of one, I drafted Carson Palmer in the fifth round. I did not know Palmer and his Cincinnati owner were at loggerheads, and though I am holding out that the QB will be back somewhere before the season ends, my hope is rapidly fading.
Fortunately, I also drafted Eli Manning and Ryan Fitzpatrick around the Palmer pick, and as a result my team has done pretty well.
But it is odd. For other players I took on my various squads this year include Wes Welker, Steve Smith of Carolina, and Tony Gonzalez.
And all these guys were taken later in each draft--as in past the seventh round--and each has been a point monster.
I could have taken Larry Fitzgerald earlier. Or Andre Johnson, Roddy White, or Calvin Johnson. And all those guys are great and are having good years.
But I don't think any of them has had a day like Welker did yesterday, or Smith in Week 1.
Plus, while taking Tom Brady or Drew Brees early is always a good strategy. And certainly Fitzpatrick has kept up with them so far, and in some leagues, like my Utter Genius, he was selected No. 131 in the 10th round by Dean Peterson (as a backup to Matt Cassell).
I am not complaining, mind you. I have had enough miserable years of performance that this is a welcome change. And, I tend to act slowly while working the FAAB pool, so I won't be surprised if as the season wears on, my very, very winning record so far turns into a losing one.
Nor will I be disappointed, for I do play Fantasy Football because it is fun, and truth be told, it does add to my enjoyment as I am sprawled upon the couch all Sunday, flipping from game to game (except for the Bears, whom I try to watch kickoff to final gun).
But it is so curious just how really topsy-turvy a game and a week and a single unexpected performance can make a Sunday range from disappointing to extra sweet.
It is also true that extra sweet is just that.