BY PETER HAILEY
In the NFL, there are 32 teams, and in charge of those 32 teams are 32 ownership groups. Excluding the Packers, who are a public company and thus are owned by thousands of fans who buy shares in the Packers stock, the owners, rich, famous, and passionate about the game, are all pretty similar to one another.
In fantasy football, however, there are thousands of teams, and in charge of those teams are thousands of owners who come from all over the world, follow the game with various levels of interest, and approach it in different ways. With that being said, despite being filled with all sorts of people and personalities, archetypes of typical fantasy football owners have emerged.
Because fantasy football is almost upon us, and because we want you to be ready for the types of owners who will inevitably invade your fantasy league this year (trust us, you may not know it yet, but someone from your family, friend group, or open league will fit these profiles), here is a list of five fantasy owners to watch out for when the season kicks off.
No. 5: The one who fills your inbox with unbelievable trade offers
A staple of every fantasy football league, this player often begins sentences with “Hear me out on this…” “This may sound crazy, but…” and “Before you write me a harshly worded email, unfriend me on Facebook, and shut your laptop angrily, what do you think about…”
Previous trade offers include asking for Jamaal Charles in exchange for an injured Percy Harvin, Stephen Gostkowski, and the Rams back up fullback “who’s a big time threat on the goal line, I swear.” The Inbox Filler lives by the motto “No question is a stupid question” and while their persistency is admirable, won’t be invited back to the league next year.
No. 4: The one who quits after six weeks and is never heard from again
While the Inbox filler is annoying, you can’t question their commitment to the league. The Week 6 quitter, on the other hand, couldn’t care less. There are a few symptoms to look out for that could indicate you’re playing with someone who is going to quit early and in turn ruin the league:
1) They constantly need to be reminded about when the draft is.
2) They then forget the time of said draft, instead opting to use the groundbreaking “auto draft” strategy.
3) And finally, once injuries begin to happen and bye weeks roll around, their starting running back has a torn ACL and their starting wide receiver is named Insert Player Here.
The worst part about the Week 6 quitter, however, is once you notice they scored 19 points in their last game and email them seeing what the deal is, they are long gone. They stopped checking their team weeks ago.
No. 3: The one who’s fantasy team bears a striking resemblance to their favorite NFL team
Identifying this owner does not take much time. In the first round of your live draft, they pick Adrian Peterson and you tell them they made a “great pick.” In round 2, though, they take Cordarrelle Patterson, which is met with some weird looks and quiet whispers. You proceed to think to yourself, “Hm, I mean, not what I would’ve done, but hey, he’s explosive and could do some things this year, right?”
But then, you start picking up on little things, and the picture gets a bit clearer. What's with the purple and yellow highlighters? And why does he keep yelling “You give me a choice of any state to live in in the northern United States and I’m taking Minnesota every day of the week and twice on Sunday”? And then, after going Christian Ponder and Blair Walsh back-to-back in rounds 5 and 6, it all makes sense: you’re playing with a homer, an owner who’s focused solely on replicating his real life football team in your standard 10-team fantasy league.
They don’t care that team’s bye week is an automatic loss; they simply feel fortunate enough to have drafted their favorite team’s top 3 quarterbacks, top 3 running backs, top 4 wide receivers, top 2 tight ends, kicker, and defense.
No. 2: The guy who values laughs over wins
The League's Funny Guy may rub some people the wrong way, or may actually make the league more fun. That depends on high how the tolerance level for off the (fantasy) field distractions is for the other owners.
These owners have team names such as I Pitta the Fool, Somewhere Over Dwayne Bowe, or Turn Down for Watt. They are often found on the league’s message board, talking trash, and can be identified by their team logos that feature the head of another owner’s mother Photoshopped onto the body of Vince Wilfork. Often times, the funny guy will finish at the bottom of the league standings, unable to use comedy to cover up for his subpar football knowledge.
No. 1: The one who’s only there because you absolutely needed him to be
A lot of us have been there; for those of you who haven’t, consider yourself lucky. It’s two hours before the draft and you and your buddies are ready to have a terrific season. Unfortunately, last minute, your friend bails because he just got promoted at work and can’t be distracted by fantasy football or something inexcusable like that, and now it’s scramble time. If that empty space isn’t filled quickly, the entire league folds.
Thankfully, right before the first pick, your friend’s wife calls her cousin from out of town and the slot is filled. But, everyone knows that the damage has already been done. Instead of a 10-team league made up of just your college buddies, you now have a league with nine friends and Awkward Stranger Guy.