Defense Wins Championships: My Dive into Fantasy Football

I don’t know what the kids are being told today, but when I was younger it was that defense wins championships. So you can imagine my thrill when I was able to pick up Seattle’s defense with the number 3 overall pick in my fantasy draft this week. No one else apparently was aware of this old adage as they continued picking running backs and wide receivers through the first few rounds - all the while I continued to stockpile defenses.

Alright I admit I’m exaggerating, but I did just go through my first fantasy football draft. In fact this was my first anything fantasy sports related that I have participated in. The many years of holding out finally came to an end by some good old fashioned peer pressure at work. Allow me to share some initial impressions.

First, it can be really stressful! I suppose my initial hesitation to playing fantasy was the fact that I didn’t know much about the nitty gritty details. I understood the basic concept but that was about it. I didn’t want to be judged for making bad picks, having a bad drafting strategy, or God forbid, drafting someone who I didn’t realize was retired or injured.

Second, where do you start with the analytics and who do you listen to? For that matter, where do you stop? There's a wealth of data out there from a number of different sources. What stats should I pay attention to? After I started pouring through projection data I started to develop my own metrics but I had a TE in the top 5 and a kicker in the top 15 based on added point value - I'm assuming something went wrong. Regardless, I love data and analytics so it became rather addicting coming up with models.

Finally, everything else. Some people check the trade wire everyday... how am I going to do if I'm only checking once a week? I consider myself to be a pretty competitive guy so I'm curious as to whether or not that'll also apply to my fantasy team. So many questions that will have to be answered through my first plunge into the world of fantasy sports.

I figure some real NFL teams end up winning only a few games during the regular season, so as long as I can win at least a few, I shouldn't feel too terrible. It will however be interesting to start rooting for teams I normally couldn't care less about. So here's to trying something new that will most likely crash and burn - I'll check back in later in the season.

And since I started this post off with an old adage, I'll also end with one - let's just go out there and have some fun... or does this no longer apply either?