Two words that have circled around me in conversation for years, but I've primarily wandered around clueless about the process involved. At work, among friends... at this time of year, it's everywhere.
No more. I'm now a rookie team manager.
Yep, I've bravely jumped into the fray. Blindly. But looking forward to it, nonetheless.
My coworkers have a league together, so it's prime fodder for lunch-room conversation. This year, when the call went out for people interested in participating, I raised my hand. We actually had enough interest this year that we had to split into two separate leagues.
I joined for two main reasons: 1. To learn more about football. 2. To have some fun with coworkers.
The first milestone in my rookie team-manager career happened last week: the draft. Now, here's the thing: I'm competitive enough that even though this is my rookie season, I want to actually stand a good chance of being a contender in the league. So, preparing for the draft was a bit like studying for a test in a class I'd been sleeping through all semester. "Where in the world did all of this information come from and how am I supposed to learn it by then?!"
I consulted some veterans for advice, did some Googling of "fantasy football 101" keywords on my own, and spent some serious time preparing my strategy for the draft. The pressure mounted even more when I was randomly selected to receive the first pick. That meant that of all the offensive players in the NFL, I got first choice for my team. All eyes were on me; that's a coveted position to be in.
I quickly learned in my researching that my initial thought of, "Oh, well, I'll pick Peyton Manning, because he'll go quickly" was a bad idea. Rookie move. Let him go. Go for a top running back instead, because they'll earn you lots of points.
Essentially, what I learned was: load up on running backs and wide receivers. Pick your quarterback in the third or fourth round. Don't worry about a backup quarterback until later, and then only if your primary QB has an early bye week. Leave your defense and kicker until the last two rounds.
So here's where I ended up, in order:
1. RB Adrian Peterson, MIN
2. WR Marques Colston, NO
3. QB Aaron Rodgers, GB
4. RB Ryan Grant, GB
5. RB Joseph Addai, IND
6. WR Hines Ward, PIT
7. RB Jahvid Best, DET
8. WR Steve Breaston, ARI
9. RB Justin Forsett, SEA
10. WR Mike Wallace, PIT
11. TE Brent Celek, PHI
12. RB Chester Taylor, CHI
13. QB Matthew Stafford, DET
14. DEF San Francisco 49ers
15. K David Akers, PHI
Next lesson coming up in my education: What I actually have to do each week with these players! Here we go...!
Camera: Canon 40D with 60mm macro lens and 430EX Speedlite, 1/60s, f/2.8 at ISO 1250