Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fantasy Anti-Homerism

There are many illustrations to demonstrate my Viking homerism in fantasy football (that Tarvaris Jackson has ever been on my roster is a good starting point). The low point came last season in the euphoria of the Vikings' Monday Night win at New Orleans: I traded Calvin Johnson and Matt Forte for Bernard Berrian and Willis McGahee. To trade a top-5 fantasy WR for Berrian is ridicuous. To trade a top-5 fantasy RB for Berrian is absurd. To trade both is utterly insane: it's the action of a person barely concerned with actually winning the league. I think that was the final self-destructive homer move I'll make in fantasy football.

But I've got anti-homerism, too. In my life playing fantasy football, I can only recall a handful of instances when a Green Bay Packer was on my roster (and in every instance, it was "accidentally" during an auction draft, when I was trying to bid up with a Packer fan. Never, can I recall, has a Packer been on my roster by the end of the season (in 2002 a Packer fan in our league had his own self-destructive moment, trading me Ricky Williams and Rich Gannon for Ahman Green and an injured Kurt Warner: I finished first, he finished second).

Is this post a bout of narcisistic nostalgia? No, more of a confession. Because I think just as my Viking homerism has hurt my fantasy football prospects, so too has my Packer anti-homerism hurt me. The Packers regularly have a very good offense, with a lot of good skill position fantasy producers. Frequently, I barely consider drafting these players, probably taking a lesser player at the same position rather than draft a Packer (though the Hazelweird League is filled with Viking and Packer fans, so just as there are Viking fans to reach for Vikings, there are Packer fans to reach for Packers, so it probably hasn't been disastrous). I think this is the year to set real football emotions aside, playing fantasy football with a cold-blooded calculation, seeing individual players for a bunch of statistics, not for a jersey. I think it's time to leave homerism and anti-homerism behind.

How about you? Do you let your real-life football allegiances affect your fantasy football decisions, often to your detriment?

(Is this all a ruse to make the Packer fans in the Hazelweird league think I'm targeting their guys? Probably).


  1. Birdman8:24 AM

    As a Vikings fan, I never draft Packers. I have found that it isn't a big deal, since there are 31 other teams to choose from. I also tend to shy away from Vikings players, lest my homerism cause me to draft them too early. It also makes for less conflicted cheering during the season. Also, I keep in mind teams I think are due to decline or are Madden-crused and stay away from their players.

  2. I NEVER let homerism/anti-homerism affect my fantasy teams. Perfect example - I am reading your blog (which I like. Know your enemy). I often have Vikings, Lions, and Bears on my fantasy teams and seldom have Packers on my team unless they are proven commodities (I am a Packer fan). You can't play fantasy football with your heart and win. Maybe I am just a cold hearted competitive biatch.

  3. No, but maybe I should. Last year, I had the #1 overall pick and took LT. My brother picked second and took AP. Oops.

    (Then there was the 1999 draft...I picked Brett Favre with my first pick, 4th overall, and traded him in midseason because I'd taken Kurt Warner with a late pick.)

  4. The first year I tried fantasy football I drafted Culpepper. That was the year of the incredibly bad play and the knee injury that derailed a very good career. Since them I've been afraid of having Vikings on my team. The jinx fear is too strong!

  5. I drafted Culpepper that year. I remember it well. I remember it well.