Keeper League Owner Stereotypes
About 9 days after the Superbowl I refocus all my energy on fantasy football once more. Sure the season is 34 weeks away - about enough time to create human life in a womb - but I need all the time I can get to prepare for draft day. Or should I write Draft Day (with capital D’s). Draft day marks the single biggest day in my calendar year. To those readers who know me, yes, I have several "biggest" days because I am in numerous drafts!!! That’s perfectly acceptable.
Draft Day (including the days leading up to the draft) is particularly important in keeper leagues, where the end of the previous season is marked by the cutting of your "low draft value" players - scrubs, recent NFL retirees, and stars on the tail end of their careers. For salary/auction leagues, draft value is easy to comprehend - it’s how much you’re paying a guy compared to how much he should be getting paid. In draft only leagues, draft value is directly related to the round in which the keeper was drafted, which is usually correlated to the draft pick you have to give up in order to keep your keeper. Once you figure out who you’re keeping, which is like picking your favorite child, you move on to even bigger decisions.
Picking your new team is not easy in a keeper league. You need to win this year, but also make sure you don’t suck years after that...thereby giving fodder to all of your friends and becoming the resident bottom feeder in your league. Keeper league owners have to strike that harmonious chord that synchronizes immediate greatness with future competitiveness, veteran savvy with rookie energy, a little Teri Hatcher with a little Hayden Panettiere. It’s important to keep track who has draft value, who is still available, and the number 4 running back on the Texans (Where is Wali Lundy when you need him?). The decisions you make this one day will haunt you for the next 23 weeks. How many decisions do you make everyday with that type of long term impact? Not many, except that decision at the boarded up massage parlor in Northeast DC. That’s why draft day is so important.
What do you have to do to make draft day a success? The same thing (some of) you did from ages 5-18: Your homework. Knowing the game, anticipating every move, and beating your opponent to the punch are the secrets to success. Impossible task you say? Probably, at least for the feeble-minded; I am especially talking to those who scoffed at my comment above about doing homework until they were 18, who are the very same who gave up their homework somewhere between the ages of 14-17 and are now having trouble reading this article. No worries though. For you, and all those less enlightened than me, I provide you with a scouting report so profound, that you are a virtual lock to prevail at your draft if you simply read this article. An article so profound that it goes beyond this year’s players, next year’s players, even players in Pee Wee football right now. A report based on the very fabric of any keeper league - the owners.
Yes, I have followed fantasy football ownership for many years, taking down meticulous notes, observing with a watchful eye, and analyzing decisions at the most basic level (decisions based on sheer brilliance, alcohol-induced stupidity, or blackmail based on pictures of you with a web-footed prostitute named Chloe). The result: this definitive guide to fantasy football league owners. Knowledge is power, and if you desire this power, read on. But, beware: Your life will be forever changed and your power of perception will be enhanced to the point where you actually heard that paper clip fall off your desk while you were reading this article.
How to use this guide: This guide is most useful if you characterize each of your opponent owners into one category, and then use the stereotyped characterization as your only basis for judging and anticipating every action at your draft. Just try it. If this strategy fails, please contact QBallers.com for a refund of your league fees.
The Self-Proclaimed Legend - The quintessential know it all. The guy who comes into the draft claiming he is Mr. Fantasy Football. This claim of course cannot be definitively substantiated because he has finished both last and first in previous years. This is the same owner who picked up Chad Ochocinco as a rookie and now claims that he has 20/20 fantasy vision. You will remember that his vision also included rookie picks of TJ Duckett, Patrick Ramsey, and Drew Henson as "the next big thing."
Karabell’s Bitch - As you know, Eric Karabell is an ESPN fantasy writer. This owner is the guy that reads Karabell (or any one single fantasy source) and relies on it like it’s the gospel. If Karabell says Peerless Price will return to form this year, this guy will pick Peerless in the 5th round, contrary to popular convention. This is the same person’s whose entire draft guide is a print out of the ESPN Top 300, and whose draft strategy is based on an unwavering adherence to each player’s ranking in that Top 300.
Hooked On Sleepers - Did you hear that Chris Brown - the perennial Tennessee bust - is probably going to rush for 1500 yards and 10 TD’s this year because of Norm chow’s new offensive scheme to feature the most upright runner in football. No, you haven’t? This guy has, and he will make sure he finds Chris Brown on his roster on draft day. He will have a team full of underachievers or newcomers who are poised to make a HUGE splash this year. Who cares about the blue chippers, when he this guy knows the guys below the radar....This is the same guy who thinks he has an inside tip on Exxon Mobil stock...(pssst...he heard it might go up).
Joe 1999 - Haven’t gotten rid of the fantasy football Magazine with Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin on the cover. According to this guy’s most recent reading, Dallas is the team to beat in the NFC - the best conference, according to the magazine. You’ll note that this guy refuses to believe in the "internet" as a resource. Sure, this guy might seem like he is on top of things by drafting Edge (maybe not the best example, but it will do), but then he will look to #57 on the list of WR rankings in his magazine, and select none other than Don Beebe.
The Guy Who Thinks Lindsey Lohan’s Substance Intake Is Weak - 3 paragraphs ago I just finished reminding everyone about how important draft day is. This guy goes into the draft knowing this. But for whatever reason, this guy’s thirst cannot be quenched by selecting a good team. No, only 15 Magic Hat Number 9’s and 3 Makers on the rocks will get this guy where he wants to be. 10 rounds into the draft, you and the rest of the owners realize that he has 4 kickers and 3 tight end’s and 2nd string QB on the roster, but this guy doesn’t. That’s when you hope you’re in his division.
The Nerd - How do you spot this guy? Easy. A TI-81 calculator, a cheat sheet on graph paper, and frequent use of the word algorithm. This guy will almost definitely choose Maurice Jones Drew early in the draft because the ratio of his yards per carry divided by his TD’s per fourth quarter times the square root of the Redskins’ winning percentage is the highest in the league. Also look for a collared shirt tucked into pleated pants with moccasins.
Overly Prepared Guy - not to be confused with The Nerd, this guy isn’t as smart. Yet, he comes to the draft with flowcharts, spreadsheets, and hand written notes with arrows and squigglies all over them. By the way, you’ll likely see a sheet of paper that is folded and says Master List, which when unfolded 400 times is actually 8 pieces of paper taped together with a list of every player in the league marked by various color highlighters. The Master List also has a Legend on it to help decipher the contents.
Cool, Unprepared Guy -"What’s up guys? I had no clue the draft is today. What the fuck? I’ll wing it." If you don’t see him at first, just look over your shoulder - because that is where his head is at as he tries to spy on your cheat sheet for his next pick. If you still don’t recognize this guy, he’ll be the one asking if people are taken, over and over, especially when it’s the twelfth round, and he asks "Is LT off the table?"
The Rookie - So you had 11 owners returning, and you needed a 12th. That’s when someone found Habib, the new guy at work, who just moved here from Kazakhstan. You tell him each team needs 9 kickers, and that’s what he will do. You tell him that Eli Manning is the greatest QB on earth, and that’s his first move. 90% of the time, in a salary league of $100, for example, this guy will have one completely mediocre player for $50, 15 others for $1, and the rest in unused salary. Every league needs at least one novice. If you don’t have one in your league, take a vote at the draft to kick out one owner - hopefully it’s not you.
The Guy Who Has To Ask For More Time Every Time It’s His Fucking Turn - This guy is pretty self-explanatory. He is the guy that can’t make up his mind at the draft. Your league allows 2 minutes per pick, everyone is watching the clock online, time expires - and still no pick. The chat room postings show up about 20 seconds later, and explain that the commissioner has to stop the draft so this guy can make his pick. Imagine this scenario EVERY round...
The Dreaded Owner Who Needs To Conference His Co-Owner - Here is why league hates teams with more than one owner: one owner at the live draft with either a blue tooth on his ear or a cell phone held to his ear held there by the pressure created by shifting one’s head against ones shoulder, along with a gentle whispering murmur that is driving you and everyone else crazy. Apparently, the decision-making partner is at home because 1) his wife won’t let him out; 2) he couldn’t find a babysitter (bringing the baby is NEVER allowed); or 3) he is waiting for a repairman. Should have brought Habib’s brother into the league.
Mr. Completely, And Unjustifiably, Enamored By His Roster - Every time this guy picks a player, he loves it. He can’t do wrong. He thinks he had the perfect draft...after pick 1, pick 2, all the way until the end of the draft, and even until the first weekend, when his "awesome" team scores 14 points in the most lopsided loss your league has ever witnessed. You’ll notice that this guy is constantly looking at his roster...he’ll write the name of the most recent draftee on his paper and then just look at it as if there is a picture of a naked Girl-From-Transformers-the-Movie on it.
Serial Killer (a.k.a. Silent but Deadly) - Be careful of the quiet guy. The guy who doesn’t smile when someone at the draft cracks a joke. If you catch a glare from this guy at the draft, you need to enter the witness protection program. At the draft, you’ll see him write down his drafted team in one column, and names of people he is going to kill in another column. Don’t be surprised if his draft attire includes a stuffed back pack, a long black trench coat (in the middle of the summer no less) and ultra dark shades to cover his crazy eyes.
In It To Win It Guy - Winning is now - that’s this guy’s mantra. He doesn’t care about next year. His time is now. Maybe he needs to pay off his bookie, or his nearsightedness is overwhelming his brain...but no matter what, he is looking for this year’s team. Sure, he may overpay for everyone on his roster, making keeping them next year impossible. But, if he doesn’t win this year, then all the time spent in the league was worthless. No rookies on this team. If your league has rookie draft picks, this team will have traded them three years ago - this team is the reason why trades cannot include conditions that bind teams for years down the road, e.g., "I will trade you Peyton Manning, for my first round pick every year this decade."
The Guy Who Invests In Municipal Bonds - As the name suggests, this guy is into long term, unforeseeable value. He is drafting with an eye towards the future, and only the future. Who is going to be good five years from now...that’s who this guy wants (even if the keeper rules prohibit him from keeping a player longer than 4 years). The roster is made up of recent college grads...and guys who played one or two big games the previous year.