Rant: I Hate Fantasy Sports. Because of the People.

I’m in a fantasy basketball league and the commissioner is not really the sharpest tool in the shed. He set up the league’s scoring so that it’s almost all counting stats like points and rebounds, and with unlimited daily roster moves/changes.

Now, with unlimited roster moves and such a heavy emphasis on counting stats, your path to victory is clear–you’ve gotta stream out those bench spots every day. I don’t see anything ethically wrong with streaming like that. Anyone in the league can do the same thing, it’s within the rules, and even if you don’t want it for whatever reason, fine. It’s easy to combat. Make more of the scoring categories rate stats (which as a streamer, I consistently lose), or negative categories like turnovers. But DO IT BEFORE THE SEASON.

I’ve been riding my strategy to the top spot in the standings. I’ve never talked trash (haven’t talked much at all, actually), I’ve never broken any rules, nothing, and today the commissioner tells me that everyone has complained, the entire league “hates” me (really), and so he’s changing the rules midseason to cap weekly moves at a limit which will hurt me but not affect anyone else.

Aside from the obvious unfairness of changing the rules midseason to hurt just one single team, especially when I drafted with this strategy in mind, I am so fucking sick of these tired arguments, like “oh, we don’t have time to do all that work” as if it’s so damn hard to spend 5 minutes less time on Facebook out of the half-workday they spend on there to click “Sort by Stat” and pick the best guy in a deficient category who looks like he’s been getting consistent minutes.

But the kicker: “We’re playing to have fun, and you’re obviously not.” What? Winning isn’t fun? This league is full of morons that plug in one lineup at the beginning of the week and never change them. One guy is still starting Allen Iverson! If you have that much “fun” while not even trying and absolutely getting your teeth kicked in, you deserve every worthless second of your mediocre life.

I dropped my entire team, quit that league and left some choice parting words. Vindictive, I know. But I am livid.

Rant over. Sorry for that 5 minutes of your life you’ll never get back.

Funny, I hate fantasy sports because of the people also. You know, the people that go out to watch the game, sit in front of 5 different television sets, cheer only when “their guy” earns them points, curse “their players” that don’t, and sit there with a sheaf of papers in their hands shuffling them around rather than enjoying the games.

Half of these clowns don’t even have a favorite team. And what’s worse, these flavor-of-the-week bandwagon jumping morons always want to turn and talk to me about their damn leagues when I am watching the game. I don’t care if you have Baltimore’s defense. Wait, aren’t you a Steelers fan? Get out of my sight, you damn traitor.

Take some of your winnings… oh, wait, you don’t ever win. Anyway, buy the NFL Ticket and stay home. Barring that, stay away from me. I don’t give a crap about fantasy football. Pick a team and stick with it.

Personally, I don’t mind if Browns fans want to use fantasy football as a reason to root for other players in the league. They have received so little in this life, after all.

ReticulatingSplines, you broke Rule #1 of fantasy sports: Don’t join a league where the commish doesn’t know what he’s doing. The first clue was him creating his own categories. The second clue was him picking just counting categories in basketball.

I hate it when a coach gives up mid-season, but I’d have no beef with what you did. I’d have been streaming in such a league as well, and would have done the same if the commish locked up transactions. That’s a bush league move - you just don’t change things mid-season. Let everyone “compete” for 2nd place since they didn’t put 3 minutes into figuring out the repurcussions of those categories.

I know, you’re so right. I had a bad feeling about this from the start, but I was too busy salivating over the stream-friendly scoring settings to follow my gut. Sigh.

I had the opposite happen to me a few years ago in fantasy hockey. They set it up so there were only a limited number of games per position. A couple of teams did the streaming method, running way ahead of other teams, only to quickly realize they’d be out of position games by like, December. At which point the commish decides to remove the position limits and screwing anyone who’d been playing in mind of the rules, since there was zero chance of catching up. When I pointed this out, I was told I was whining.

This is why I only play Fantasy Football now.

I am an avid Fantasy Football player, but I have never understood the point of playing fantasy anything else. Gauging which of my players have the best matchup for their given opponent each week means you actually get a deeper appreciation for the individual skills of each player. My team is the Jets. I bleed green and white. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t appreciate that they suck, and not play their players on my team.

Just my 2cents.

I hate fantasy sports because of the abstractions like these. I’d only play in a sim league, where you actually play out the games yourself in their own universe.

If depth is what you’re looking for, then fantasy baseball is the answer. There is no greater opportunity within fantasy sports to completely and totally immerse yourself into playing the matchups, the home v. away factor, the lefty v. righty factor, the night v. day factor, the I beat the shit out of this pitcher but am in a slump factor, etc. Plus, there’s still a HUGE amount of luck involved in a fantasy football season that even girls can win (j/k) - fantasy baseball has a lot of luck on draft day, but there is much more that can be done during the season than could ever happen in football.

Agreed, I think baseball is the deepest of the fantasy sports by far, and given the long amount of time per season for performances to regress to the mean, the fluke factor is rather low (provided it’s a roto league). Of the championships I’ve won, the baseball ones have been the most satisfying because I feel like I’ve earned them. Looking beyond the traditional numbers, there’s a wealth of information to exploit.

What is streaming?

David Sirlin, professional videogame champion, from his book Playing to Win:

You joined a league of scrubs.

Since baseball and basketball have games every day, it’s taking players out of the free agent pool who have a game that day (in baseball, this is typically done with pitchers, since they only play every 5 games). You’re continually streaming out players with favorable matchups, but who aren’t necessarily good enough to be on anyone’s full time roster.

Yeah, but Sirlin thinks anyone who isn’t a PvPer is a scrub. He also insists that all PvP be at the utmost champion level. He’s a huge fan of Darkfall. And can’t understand why all games aren’t like it.

Sirlin is no scrub, but there’s a small fuckload of things he doesn’t understand. And I’ve made the point a few times to him.

Not that he listens.

All leagues are scrubs, except for those to whom it is a full time engagement. And they’re just too darn good for anyone else to join because any newbie will be trampled. Go fig.

Not to pick a fight, but I’d like to fight a little ignorance on Airman’s part. this post only addresses fantasy football.

And how is that any different or less enjoyable to that person than the gambler who has money riding on a game ‘his’ team isn’t in? Or a guy who just likes football and gets into every game? I’ve been around many fantasy players, and have watched many games with them. Not a single one sat there and shuffled papers to the exclusion of enjoying the game. I think you have an image of fantasy players that doesn’t really exist.

First of all, half don’t have a favorite team? Actually, I’d bet close to 100% of fantasy football players have a favorite team. I do. Everyone in my league does. Every player on every message board I’ve ever engaged does. I’d bet everyone here who plays does. Just because you don’t like to play fantasy football, or you hate the notion of rooting for individual players, it doesn’t mean the people who play are ‘flavor-of-the-week bandwagon jumping morons.’ We’re just having fun with games that we’d probably be watching anyway.

My league has a pretty hefty set of cash prizes at the end of the season, but I like to play more for fun. Just like I watch the games for fun. Just like I root for the team I picked (stupid Jets) for fun. Just like you go nutso for the Black & Gold every week…for fun.

I will say that if you’re not into fantasy, and fantasy players bug you while watching your game, that does indeed suck. But please remember that most of us fantasy football players are just as insane of football fans as you. I tailgate, drink beer, cook insane quantities of meat on gameday, point out the lack of football knowledge to the guy at the bar, yell at my QB when he throws more than 3 INTs in a game, I’ve got pictures of young me with Richard Todd (My dentist was the Team dentist for the Jets), I cried with Keyshawsn when Vinny Ankle just disintigrated, If I ever meet Tom Brady–I’ll punch him in the gut, I still have nightmares about Herm freakin Edwards telling the team to take a knee to actually LOSE yards during the closing seconds of a tie game making EVEN HARDER to hit a game winning field goal against the flipping Steelers in the 2004 playoffs. Damn you to the darkest pits of Hell, Doug Brien!!!

I’m like AndyPolley, only for the other team that plays the Meadowlands…you know, the one the stadium is named after.

In fantasy, I go so far as to avoid taking players on Cowgirls and Iggles as much as possible, while tending to pick too many home players (bad on bye-weeks, and bye-seasons, like this one). I find that having a mix of players has made me more interested in the league as a whole, as I’ll want to know who matches up against whom, who has the advantage, who is injured, etc. Prior to playing fantasy, I only cared for my GINTS and their opponent for that week.

P.S. I can never, ever like former Iggle Herm ‘freakin’ Edwards for his part in the infamous Fumble. Not that he did anything wrong, other than being in the right place at the right time, but he is forever tainted as part of the quartet that made that play.

It’s really simple. The way the OP was playing was keeping the other people from having fun. They tried to explain this to you, to get you to change tactics, but you didn’t. So they had to escalate to an ultimatum.

You may think you won, but they got what they wanted. Now each of them actually has a chance to win. Before they were all going to lose. And as you pointed out, losing isn’t fun.

And it is your fault. If you want a cutthroat style competition, find people that enjoy playing that way. Playing in that manner in a group that wants to be more laid back is tantamount to trolling.


The way the OP was playing was a strategy that should have been apparent to everyone before the season started. And while his path to winning was clear of any obstacles, it didn’t prevent a single person from having fun - as they should have realized they screwed up and resigned themselves to playing for second. People who play “to have fun” should be capable of that, no?

There’s nothing “cutthroat” about streaming players. And in fact, there’s nothing “fun” about setting up a fantasy league with bullshit categories that no one knows anything about - it takes every element of strategy or intrigue (competitive or not) out of it.

Creating new categories doesn’t help anybody out, especially casual players who may be new to fantasy sports. It takes them completely out of the loop in any discussion outside of that league. The “Fantasy Focus” segment on ESPN is now irrelevant, because they’re talking about strategy for a completely different set of rules/categories. Fantasy magazines are worthless for the same reason. It would be like trying to learn German with a Spanish textbook.

Fantasy baseball is really the only one I enjoy anymore because it’s the only one where it’s possible to salvage a bad draft pick or two with free agents and waiver pickups. I decided not to do fantasy football this year because it honestly detracts from my enjoyment of simply watching the games, not to mention that just one bust pick pretty much sinks you.

Way to put words in my mouth.

Nothing was ever “explained” to me. Not that I would have changed tactics anyway, but nobody ever gave me the option of changing my strategy. It was “we’re changing this, because of you,” completely out of the blue.

But seriously, at what point is adding players “trolling” and when is it okay? Nobody would ever look down on picking up a player for Saturday night when you’re down 1 rebound. Where do you draw the line? There’s nothing “cutthroat” about it. It’s not like I’m cutting their internet cables so they can’t make roster moves. If they’re too stupid to realize that it’s the best viable strategy and too lazy to do the same thing, that’s not my fault. I even suggested implementing turnovers and 3P% prior to the season and I was ignored.

So for you to be the judge of what’s “right” and “wrong” and “cutthroat” is completely missing the point. They set the rules, I followed the rules, end of story. I even said in my post, for whatever reason, you want to oppose streaming, fine, but do it BEFORE THE SEASON. That’s what rules are for.

If you don’t care about winning, why keep score? Get the fuck out of fantasy sports and slurp each other’s balls via Facebook. I personally don’t value a win unless I know that my opponent did everything in their power to be competitive.