Take It Easy; Enjoy The Playoffs
Posted Jan. 03 at 09:54 PM
In fantasy football, fantasy owners and football players are rarely on the same page when it matters most. In weeks 15 and 16, when the fantasy playoffs are in full swing, many players are already thinking about golf, contract negotiations and maybe a paid vacation to Hawaii disguised as the Pro Bowl. They still play the game, but they have other things on their mind.
That's understandable, since the season takes a toll on their bodies and most players have some kind of injury or ailment. What they really need is a bit rest and some time to focus on other things. And that's exactly how you should treat playoff fantasy football.
There's no reason the fantasy season has to end in week 14, or maybe week 16 if things go your way. Finding a fun playoff fantasy game is a good way to play a little longer, brag a little louder, earn a little more and enjoy what's left of the NFL season. But while the players are excited about the post-season, you should treat it more like the Pro Bowl: A tiny bit of competition surrounded by a lot of celebrating and fun.
For football fans, the playoffs should be like a Hawaiian getaway. No more brutal Jets/Titans match ups on national television, no more embarrassing Eagles or Cardinals games to watch and no more Kansas City anything until summertime. Nothing but the league's best teams, players and stories. Fantasy football can be a part of that, but it shouldn't be the biggest part.
Even if your favorite team isn't playing (or is one of the aforementioned franchises trying to improve), there should be enough compelling stories to keep you interested in the games themselves. You don't really need to have Robert Griffin III or Andrew Luck on your team to salute their accomplishments. Beast Mode is fun to watch even if it gets you zero fantasy points. And if Tom Brady and Peyton Manning renew their playoff rivalry in Denver, wouldn't you be interested regardless of fantasy implications? Just three of the 12 remaining quarterbacks have ever been to a Super Bowl; half are starting their first playoff game. Half.
This is another chance to see Adrian Peterson in the NFL playoffs. It's the first time anyone has seen this crop of rookie quarterbacks-- Griffin III, Luck, Russell Wilson-- compete at an even higher level of pressure. It might be the best-- and last-- chance for Tony Gonzalez to earn a ring. And we get to see Minnesota and Green Bay battle it out in the cold. Fantasy football can make the Jaguars and Cardinals interesting, but these games won't need any help. These are the good ones.
That doesn't mean you can't play at all. Have fun with your buddies, avenge a tough season (or cap off a winning year the right way) and earn a few, last bragging rights before the season ends. But make sure you don't get caught up in the statistics of these meaningful games. Don't focus on who caught a pass or got a short-yardage touchdown. Enjoys the plays for the plays themselves, not the numbers they produce. Sometimes the players don't go all out during the fantasy playoffs. Now, the players are the ones giving it 100 percent and we should be the ones to kick back and enjoy the atmosphere. Enjoy the games.
YouTube Clip of the Week. This is the kind of stuff you can enjoy regardless of what players you have on your team.
How do you handle playing fantasy football during the NFL playoffs? Do you take it as seriously as you do during the regular season? Share your thoughts below.
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