It's nearly the end of August. You're sitting at your desk. It's 2:30 in the morning.
Your shirt is drenched in sweat. You haven't shaved in days - in fact, you don't even know what day it is. You have 49 unread text messages and 21 missed calls, but you're too focused to care. Why? Because it's Draft Day tomorrow.
If this reminds you of yourself, you probably fall into one of two categories: one, you're a hardcore fantasy football player who is squeezing every last minute out of the last few days before your big draft - or you completely forgot to prepare and are cramming at the last minute.
The draft clock countdown finally hits zero. No matter what pick you had in your draft, you were guaranteed an elite player in the first round. You pick up some solid plug-and-play guys in the next few rounds. You snag someone who dropped in Round 5 and celebrate with a fist pump. You're able to get an elite defense by Round 10 and your two QB's are top-10 options, but you didn't have to reach for them. You get two sleepers that you highlighted and circled on your draft cheat sheet in the later rounds, and you get a premier kicker with your last pick.
You're singing to the heavens - your roster is stacked...this might be the year.
Week 1 rolls around, and you lose because the other guy's top wide-out exploded. He got lucky. Week 2 will be better - except it isn't. The injury bug hits early, often, and hard. You're starting to worry. You go through the free-agent list over and over, trying to find the next hidden gem. You get a notification on your phone saying a top RB is out for a few months, so you pick-up his backup... turns out the third stringer got more carries, and poof, your Week 3 hopes are dashed and you're looking at an 0-3 article. Maybe you were looking forward to playing a team with a hobbled Jamaal Charles in week 4, and then he exploded so you're 0-4 and depressed.
Someone out there reading this article knows these feelings too well. Every league has one or two victims each year; it's the nature of the beast and the beauty of the sport.
Without further ado, here are the top 20 reasons your fantasy team has gotten off to an absolutely atrocious start to the 2014 season.
*All point totals taken from Yahoo! Fantasy Football
20 20. The Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice Sagas
19 RG3 Got Hurt...Again
18 Eddie Lacy Forgot How to Score Touchdowns
17 You Played Against Allen Hurns in Week 1, Delanie Walker in Week 2, and Kirk Cousins in Week 3
16 Jamaal Charles Hasn't Fit His Billing
15 You Lost Because Cody Parkey Kicked A Game-Winning Field Goal on Monday Night Football
This might be the worst way to lose a game, in all facet of sports. It's bad enough when it happens to your NFL team, but when a measly 15th round pick kicker nails a field goal as time expires to give your opponent a victory by less than one single point...well, suffice to say that if you saw computers flying out of windows after the Eagles beat the Colts a few weeks ago, you now know what happened.
14 You Drafted Tom Brady
Let's go back to the theory we proposed earlier regarding RG3: take a QB later on, so as to stock up at RB and WR, instead of wasting a high pick on Rodgers or Brees (Manning, you take all day, in my humble opinion). So you're going through your draft and you have Phillip Rivers in mind. Maybe Cam Newton if you're lucky. You head over to the QB page and are stunned to see Tom Brady sitting there. A chill of excitement runs down your spine and you draft the Golden Boy...then you remember he has no one to throw the ball too besides a smurf named Julian Edelman and a limited Gronk.
13 You Wasted a Top Pick on Aaron Rodgers
OK, so A-Rod might have won you Week 4...but where was he for you during the first three weeks?
12 You Thought Doug Martin and Trent Richardson Would "Bounce-Back"
11 The Injury Bug Turned Into the Injury Plague in Week 2
Injuries are the bane of fantasy football. You know they are going to happen, but some weeks they hit harder than others.
And then there was Week 2 of this season. If that Week was a hurricane, it would be a category 5. The injury "bug" (more like monster, or evil demon) ripped through the ranks of superstar fantasy players like many had never seen before.
10 You Didn't Draft DeMarco Murray
9 You Tricked Yourself Into Thinking MJD and Bishop Sankey Was a Solid RB Duo
So you signed up for a fantasy football league that happens to offer more point for success in the passing game, similar to the actual on field product which is slowly but surely moving away for the ground and pound mentality. So you focused on wideouts and tight-ends, and maybe a QB, in the first few rounds, and suddenly you looked at your roster and noticed something alarming: your RB slots we're still empty. You scrambled back to the player list...there are slim pickings left at RB - but then you see a familiar name.
"Maurice Jones-Drew is still available? He's so good! I'll take him and I'll own this league!"
8 You Fell for Ben Tate and the "New" Cleveland Browns
All offseason, the Cleveland Browns we're getting propped up as the "breakout" team - Johnny Manziel was going to scramble in and around defenses, Jordan Cameron was going to put up Jimmy Graham type numbers, and Ben Tate was going to lead the league in rushing with Joe Thomas and Alex Mack plowing highways for him.
7 You Picked up Kirk Cousins and Proclaimed Him The Second Coming of Jesus Himself
Kirk Cousins was supposed to be the Washington Redskins savior, the way RG3 was a few years ago - only he wouldn't get injured every six plays. Cousins relieved Griffin in Week 2 and looked solid. He tore up the Eagles defense in Week 3, so everyone and their grandmother was salivating at the thought of what Cousins would do to a less-than-stellar Giants defense this past week.
6 You Went for Old-but-Gold Names, But They've Just Been Bronze
5 You Ignored Rookies
4 Your Cellular Service Provider Sucks
3 You Fell For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2 You've Been Unlucky
1 You Suck At Fantasy Football...But There's Still Hope
If you just drafted a horrible team, and you can't seem to figure out why your team always finished dead last in weekly points, here's the straight answer: your team sucks, and you aren't very good at fantasy football. Someone had to say it. There's a certain amount you can control while playing this game (mostly through drafting and free agent pickups), and if you aren't good at either of those, then it's on you.
There's still hope, though: the season is but four weeks old. Maybe with some astute moves you can make a late run at a final playoff spot. The hole you're in right now, though? You probably dug most of it.
Start climbing, friend. Start climbing.
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