View From Across the Pond – Fantasy and Reality Blurred as Lockout Continues

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With the lockout looking like reaching some sort of resolution, at least we may have some Titan news to look forward to in the coming weeks. However until then and with my argument about NFL expansion exhausted there is still little in the way of real football to discuss.

With that in mind, I turned my attention to Fantasy Football. I have played a soccer version of this on many occasions, but interest soon fades due to the format used by most offerings of  the game in the UK. In the mass participation leagues based on the EPL, players select a squad of players using an imaginary transfer budget. All the players though combine into one massive competition, so when you find yourself in 24617th place after the first two weeks, interest fades.

The beauty of the NFL organised league is twofold. Firstly you compete in a small league. NFL Managed League 367107 (for that is my league this year) features just ten teams, with the teams playing each other on a week by week basis. This means that should you have one horrific week, your entire season is not ruined and you have the opportunity to turn things around.

The second, and this is the beauty of American sports in the real world as well as the fantasy one, is the Draft System. In the soccer versions, anyone can in effect pick anyone, meaning whole hosts of teams can have practically the same players. In this version, the real players can only play for one fantasy team per league, and it requires the fantasy GM’s to have a broader knowledge, rather than just picking the well-known players.

Once I made the decision to play, it was clear I needed to do some research. With 15 players per team, I needed a list of 150 players to choose from. A process which would take an hour in the soccer version quickly became a much longer process, as I looked to find the hidden gems in the pool of players.

Six hours and two practice drafts later, I was ready for the live draft. I am ashamed to say that not one Titan was in my first choice players with only Chris Johnson and Rob Bironas even coming close to making my team. At 1.30pm EDT the Yorkshire Whites (named after my home county and the uniform colour of my soccer team, Leeds United) entered their first draft.