Oct 16,2012

Go with your GUT

Whether you’re new to the world of fantasy football or you’ve been playing for years, there are a few pitfalls we can all fall victim to. Now, I’m not talking about forgetting to set your line-up before the Thursday night game or not remembering to pick up a kicker when yours is on a bye. That’s all pretty standard stuff. Rather, as the half-way point of the season approaches, I’d like to warn fantasy owners against placing too much value on numbers… and not enough on intuition.

Of course, looking at match-ups and reviewing a player’s stats are essential to setting your line-up each week. That being said, they’re not the only things to take into consideration. In my opinion, part of a fantasy owner’s “homework” includes researching what players are doing off the field, how they’re conducting themselves privately, and what’s going on in their personal lives. This information is available everywhere. The next time you’re checking Facebook, playing cheeky bingo, or trolling You Tube, go ahead and Google a player’s name. More times than not, a personal interest story will appear. Additionally, I advise following your fantasy players on Twitter. It’s a great way to engage with these professional athletes and begin to understand where they’re coming from.

It’s difficult for anyone, not just athletes, to separate the personal from the professional. It makes sense then that what’s going on in someone’s private life may affect their performance on game day. For example, in Week 5 the Indianapolis Colts upset the Green Bay Packers after learning their coach, Chuck Pagano, had been diagnosed with leukemia. The team was united in their determination to make their coach proud and played lights out football as a result. Obviously, every players reacts differently to adversity, strife, or even the arrival of a new child, but having a clue about how they live life after their pads off can give you an edge in trying to predict their performance from week to week.

So if you’re feeling overwhelmed by percentages and rankings, just take a deep breath and go with your gut. None of us own a crystal ball, but often a “hunch” – based on an interview or off-handed comment – can be the difference between making the playoffs and winning your league’s Super Bowl. Good luck and win big!