The annual draft.

1. The draft

The fantasy football draft is probably the single most fun day in the fantasy season. Everyone gathers at a friend’s house before the season starts to draft their team. We all pressure Pete Foster to host the draft, and he reluctantly agrees (Pete, you know you like hosting) to have us all over. There’s pizza, sodas, fantasy cheat sheets, ping-pong and touch football aplenty. And if you do an online draft then you’re lame, because they suck.

2. Mock drafts

Not really, though. Mock drafts are when you do a pretend draft with other strangers online to prepare yourself for the “real” fantasy draft. That’s kind of ironic.

This is the first year I’ve done mock drafts because before I always thought they were unnecessary and time consuming. And they are. You stare at your computer screen as faceless strangers discuss their various fantasy strategies and imply how they are the next Matthew Berry. But I’ll admit that I stayed up until about 12:30 the night before the draft doing three mock drafts.

Arian Foster, the reason why I am still alive in fantasy this year.
3. The sleeper pick that busts out

Anyone can draft Adrian Peterson and watch him put up big week after big week (Wade and Kyle!). It’s not difficult to know that Aaron Rodgers was going to be money. It’s so satisfactory though to have scouted an under the radar fella, draft him and then have him bust out for you. Arian Foster has been that guy for me this year; I took him in the 5th round and he is the #1 fantasy RB this season.

4. Dominating your friends / Smack talk

I lump these two together because they go hand in hand as the best reasons to play fantasy football. Your friends may be cooler, smarter, better looking or more athletic than you, but if you’re fantasy team scrapes that’s a legitimate claim to fame. And when you blow them out in your match-up the smack talk the next day at school is so nice. I think fantasy football is similar to ping-pong in this regard. If you take a step back to ponder, you realize that they’re kind of stupid, are pointlessly time-consuming and don’t prove anything, but to guys, both are very important in the alpha male culture.

5. Sausage fest central

Fantasy football is nice, too, because it is mostly a dudes-only activity. Just a lot of good guys sharing a common interest with bewildered girls puzzling over why we find fantasy football remotely interesting. And that’s totally fine with me.

Child please! Chad Ochocinco appeared in the premiere of the second season of The League.

6. The League

To prove that fantasy football is not just a nerdy guy thing, I give you The League. The League is a comedy tv show that is based around guys and their hyper-competitive fantasy football league. It’s really funny, very inappropriate, and is on FX on Thursdays at 7:30.

7. Wasted time

The time I waste each week on fantasy football is funny.

Mon: Repeatedly check our league’s scoreboard to check on who won and who lost. Watch the Monday night game if players on my team are playing. (10 min.)

Tue: Evaluate last week’s performance and scour the internet for this week’s pick-ups. Spend way too much time obsessing over pretty scrubby bye week fill-ins like James Jones and Danny Woodhead. Make claims on players on waivers. (30 min.)

Wed: Check to see if I got the players I claimed. Add anyone else that I was interested in. Change roster.  (5 min.)

Thu-Sat: While I’m bored and on the Internet, check my fantasy team. Read any “breaking news” on the health of Andre Johnson’s ankle. Check out my team’s scoring projections and make any last minute roster adjustments (10 min.)

Sun: Game time baby. Every half an hour or so while I take breaks from homework, check my fantasy league’s scoreboard and see how my team is doing. Berate Reggie Wayne for not having scored a TD since Week 4 and hope upon hope that this is the week that my scrub tight end Tony Moeaki decides to bust out. Hang out in the family room and watch Red Zone HD. Check fantasy scoring updates that get texted to my phone. Watch the Sunday night football game and continue to fret over my team. Check the fantasy thread on facebook. (2.5 hrs)

Altogether about 3.5 hours each week spent on fantasy football. That’s time well spent right there.

8. The cash

Our league’s unoffical motto is “We don’t f*** around.” This is demonstrated by our hefty entrance fee. It’s $35/person and multiply that by 12 teams is $420 in the pot. The winner takes home about $300. A man’s gotta make his living in this tough economy, and if it’s by fantasy football, so be it.

9. Arian Foster, Brandon Lloyd, Peyton Hillis, Kyle Orton and Terrell Owens.

Enough said.

Scrubville central aka Matthew Berry aka The Talented Mr. Roto. Honestly, who gives themself their own nickname?

10. Matthew Berry

Haha, sike! He sucks and thinks he’s a huge deal but for some reason I always read his stuff.