Jason Kaestner is an intern with “The D and Davis Show” and an aspiring sports broadcaster at the Illinois Center for Broadcasting, where he hosts a weekly online radio show called “Spraying All Fields,” it broadcasts Saturdays at 2pm after D and Davis on chicagolandsportsradio.com.
Jason also is a part of the Regal Radio fantasy football league, WARRFFL, he will provide weekly updates on his experience in the league and takes on playing fantasy overall. Read him here throughout the NFL season.
After years of resistance, I’ve succumbed to the pressure. I finally let myself get sucked into fantasy football for the first time this year. To be specific, I joined the We Are Regal Radio fantasy football league, WARRFFL.
It’s a pretty basic, ten-team Yahoo Sports league, though the personalities are far from basic. On any given Saturday the cast of “The D & Davis Show,” which takes up half the league, can deliberate and argue and cut each other down over the latest happenings in our online battlefield. Based on that fact alone, I found it easy to justify my participation, it makes for good radio.
I must warn you if you’re turning to me for on the nose fantasy advice, you will likely find yourself disappointed. I’m no expert. But I have plenty of fantasy angst to share if that’s more your style. Just one week in, all of my reasons for previously avoiding fantasy football are still valid.
One of the biggest objections I’ve had to fantasy football was how the whole process seemingly compels an NFL follower to put fantasy interests ahead of those of their favorite team, the Chicago Bears in my case. Right away, in Week 1, I was confronted with starting C.J. Spiller on my fantasy team, he would be starting for the Buffalo Bills against my beloved Bears that Sunday.
Had I chosen to start my late round flyer Sammy Watkins at wide receiver too, I would have been truly anxiety-ridden. Lucky for me Fred Jackson, not so much Spiller, proved decisive in aiding the Bears efforts to choke its home opener against the middling Bills.
A less lucky position I put myself in played out as I agonized over points left on the bench due to wrong flex position start. If only I had known Mark Ingram stepped up to be a Week 1 scoring machine, I could have felt comfortable benching either Marques Colston or Julio Jones. But how could I justify benching either one in favor of trusting both Ingram and Cordarelle Patterson (whose start was a rewarding leap of faith) to earn more points, especially with Drew Brees as my fantasy QB?
Of course Colston, Brees’ most trusted target down in New Orleans, would come through along with his signal caller and surely both Matt Ryan and Jones of the Atlanta Falcons — New Orleans’ Week 1 opponent — would keep pace with their division rivals, I thought. Wrong. And so it goes with fantasy football. The best logic often fails to bear out in reality.
Even my waiver wire triumphs — landing Week 1 darlings Chris Ivory and Allen Hurns — proved to be double-edged swords. Sure, I didn’t have to let the disappointing performances of Doug Baldwin and Maurice Jones-Drew bother me but instead I’m left to fret all this week — a m I making the right choice in leaving my team’s newest additions on the bench?
Each of these small frustrations leads me to wonder if I’m really cut out for fantasy football. I micromanage and doubt myself enough in life, why bring on another chance to do that which I’m working against. Even when I do well, the gratification is only momentary. This makes the whole exercise feels like one big, stressful time-suck sat times.
Thank goodness for Brees and Denver tight end Julius Thomas making life more simple than it has to be. Every week it’s obvious with talent like theirs — start them and be rewarded. Even if a player on the bench gains more points than a Brees or Thomas, it’s likely to be only by a slim margin and unlikely to be repeated over the course of the season.
Will 2014 ultimately be my one and only season of fantasy football? It’s too soon to tell. It could be that my feelings after a week are just growing pains. Perhaps as I get more experienced the stress gives way to satisfaction. Perhaps the guys I’m playing with won’t add to that stress (I doubt it though). Only time will tell.
I’ll be keeping my first year fantasy journal all season long here, so stay with me and feel free to offer any fantasy football tales of your own in our comment section. Also watch out for updates on the WARRFFL at large every Thursday going forward.
Follow Regal Radio on Twitter @regalradio1 and on Facebook under Regal Radio; follow Jason on Twitter @JFKaestner