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The 1st NFL Fantasy Football Draft: It’s Not For The Meek!

The Fantasy Football Draft

We had our official ‘Fight Club’ NFL fantasy draft last week. In my league, we have four people playing from our editorial staff. The first two are the Founding Fathers, Mike Essrig, a brilliant inventor and engineer and Larry Pollack, a world class doctor and surgeon. Both are complete newbies to the world of fantasy football (if I had any doubts, I didn’t after the draft).

The second two staffers playing are David Meeks, a 2-time Pulitzer Prize winning writer who served as managing sports editor for USA today, and me, Marc Serota, an award-winning sports photographer and the ONLY one of the four of us who will be prowling NFL sidelines this season.

Our Live Fantasy Football Draft

I had 6 of the 10 players in our league at my home, participating in a live draft together. Our league includes my wife (a two-time Fantasy Football Champion), my son, and two of his friends. Mike, Larry and Dave drafted from their homes across the country. Having a live draft party is awesome because you can create your own little war room and play off each other‘s moves. And with a two-minute shot clock, it gets loud and intense.

Larry did extensive homework (he actually he just read all of my articles over the past couple of weeks and printed them out as a draft bible). Mike did no homework but used me as a sounding board on Facetime throughout the draft. David Meeks went completely on instinct and guts and will probably win the entire league if he doesn’t get crushed by one of our college or high school kids who are playing in the league.

Technology Struggles Of A Live Fantasy Football Draft

The draft started out great except for one hiccup. One of our players (won’t mention who) couldn’t figure out how to get off auto draft (all you have to do is click a button that says ‘Return to Live Draft’) and was bitching and moaning throughout the first four rounds of the draft. He was so aggravated and disheartened that he was ready to drop out of the league and give up his team before the draft was even half way over. He hadn’t even realized that he got one of the top quarterbacks, top running backs and a damn good receiver simply by letting the computer choose for him.

Crybabies In Our Fantasy Football Draft

I will share with you some of the “waaaa waaaa” text threads:

It is especially hysterical when you take into consideration that the following morning the first thing he said to me was, “I wasn’t in a great mood last night. I might have a few good players so I’m going to play with the team that I have and I’m going to crush you all.”

This particular Fantasy Football Draft player had a draft rating of A-. Only one other player equaled him in the analysis. It is true that auto-drafting in the first four picks (I think he really did it on purpose) will have the computer thinking you did really well. Even that rating tidbit of information is qualified by the fact that they still have to play the games, endure injuries and that shit happens throughout the season.

The Frustrations Of Fantasy Football Drafts

That’s how football fantasy drafts go. They are frustrating and nerve-racking and you never ever get the players you chose in your mock drafts or in your research and notes. The good thing is that there are always top players that you didn’t think you would ever see fall to you. The whole idea of having a fantasy draft in the first place is to have fun! You get to be the team owner, the general manager and the head coach. Fortunately you don’t ever have to step out on the field, play, or get your brains beat in.

Have You Already Had Your Fantasy Football Draft?

For all of you who have already had your fantasy drafts and don’t like your current team, fix it on the waiver wire. You’ll have plenty of opportunities for change in the first couple of weeks. Starters and sitters become obvious, players come out of nowhere and injuries begin to pile up. If you love your team then don’t get too excited because other players are going to emerge and injuries are going to rack up.

Don’t pay too much attention to the projected point matchups and get cocky about whether you’re going to crush your opponent or not. Strange things happen during an NFL football game, especially in the closing moments. As soon as you think you have it in the bag, some team gets a safety on the final play of the game and you lose by half a point. That’s fantasy football for you!

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About The Author
Marc Serota
Marc Serota
As a Portrait photographer Marc Serota has lensed iconic athletes and celebrities for CORBIS and GETTY as well as major brands such as Sports Illustrated, ESPN, the NBA, NHL and the NFL. Serota is a renowned award winning photographer having logged 25+ years with news agencies such as REUTERS, Getty Images, The Associated Press and UPI shooting the biggest entertainment, news and sports stories from the early 1990’s to the present. Marc has covered numerous Super Bowls, Olympic games, NHL Stanley Cup’s, NASCAR races, ATP and PGA events. Visit Marc's website: Follow Marc Serota @G_O_A_T_shooter on Twitter and @marcserota on Instagram.
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