Why Your Fantasy Football Team Is Jinxed
I consider myself a very logical rational person, but I must confess that I believe in sports jinxes. I am not alone. A poll suggests that one in five sports fans say that they do things in their day-to-day lives to bring good luck to their team or avoid jinxing them.
I don't have a survey to support this, but I'm guessing that fantasy football fans believe in jinxes more than the general public. Sometimes when you are picking your teams and putting your rosters together, it seems like there are sentient beings watching your moves, waiting for you to violate one of the complicate set of jinx rules involving football, and especially fantasy football. Today, I'm hear to help you stay on the right side of the fantasy football gods by discussing the key jinxes.
I'm going to use the P&G Blogger Fantasy League (BFL) I'm participating in as an example of jinx-avoiding behavior. As you may recall, the BFL is a group of sports bloggers using the NFL.com fantasy platform competing to win from P&G a trip to the Super Bowl and $10,000 to a local children charity. If you give their "Take It To The House" Facebook page a "like," P&G may give you cool prizes too by letting you know about contests they are holding throughout the NFL season.
In any event, here are the main jinxes:
Thou Shalt Not Trash Talk
Let's say you had the good fortune to have the first pick and your team is a point-amassing battering ram. If you start junk-talking, you will lose the next week. Last week, Dan Shanoff of Team Old Spice wrote, "This will surely jinx the entire thing, but at this point, I have become convinced that my team this season is special."
And of course he thought his team was special. His team was a points juggernaut, destroying other teams even when those teams had big weeks. (Including mine) But after feeling good about himself, his team got destroyed by his Old Spice Teammate Phil Van der Vossen, and had one of the bottom three performances of the week. Why destroyed? Because Dan wrote, "Phil has so many injuries that I feel like trading him some of my bench, just to help him out. (And it is precisely THAT kind of talk that will implode my season in an epic jinx.)"
Some people think that acknowledging the jinx will defuse it. I think that works for some minor hexes. But it does not work for the sort of massive jinx that Dan brought onto himself and others. Trash talk is the worst jinx of them all. You thought Tom Brady had a two-interception day because he faced the tough Ravens defense? Nope, it is all Dan's fault.
(I would like the fantasy football gods to note that this blog entry is not intended to function as trash talk in any way. I am merely intending to inform the public on the nature of fantasy football jinxes, and have only used Dan's own words acknowledging his jinxing behavior. This disclaimer is not likely to avoid any jinxes that I am due for writing this, but hey, I tried).
Thou Shalt Not Get Cute With Your Roster
My Team Vicks' running back situation currently reeks because I have San Diego's Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert on my team, and they take up roster space, are point inconsistent, and still split carries. I picked up the Redskin's Ryan Torain and the Giants' Brandon Jacobs to give myself options. And then left Torain on the bench even though the Redskins were facing the Colts run defense. I deserved to lose this week.
I could make an entire blog post of members of the BFL getting cute with their rosters. I will not so as not to violate the first jinxing rule.
Thou Shalt Not Let Real Football Get in the Way of Fantasy Football
I picked up Cowboys wide receiver Roy Williams in the last round of the draft. I dumped him before the season started because Williams looked like garbage, and well, I really hate the Cowboys and hated the thought of having to root for any of them. Dan Levy of Team Gillette picked him up but then cut him after Williams looked like garbage and the entirety of the BFL mocked the pickup on email. Since then, Roy Williams has the 15th most points among all league wide receivers, which is rather handy in a format that starts three receivers.
Congratulations to Brian Bassett of Team Prilosec for picking Williams up. My team is facing his team this week, so the fantasy football gods will ensure that Roy Williams will have a huge week against my team. Williams will repeatedly do that Hook 'em Horns hand signal in the end zone (that he should have retired after college), and it will crush me because I'm a University of Texas alum. Dropping Roy Williams will likely plague me all season, especially when I started Devery Henderson last week as a bye-week replacement. ZERO points.
Thou Shalt Find 'Waiver Wire Gems' and Be Quiet About Them
I picked up Deion Branch last week as a free agent. While he was on my bench last week in New England's matchup against the Ravens, he managed to pile up almost 100 yards and a touchdown. According to the NFL.com site, Branch is currently owned in only 12.5 percent of all leagues. Now that I am considering starting him, he is going to stink.
Other potential week 7 waiver wire gems that may still be available in some leagues:
RB Brandon Jacobs (depending on scoring, had more points than Adrian Peterson last week; established as goal line option)
RB Thomas Jones (currently getting more touches than Jamaal Charles in KC's run oriented attack)
RB Chris Ivory (big back performance last week a sign of things to come?)
WR Robert Meachem (lots of targets for Saints makes one WR hard to pick, but Meachum is getting some targets now that he's healthy)
WR Lance Moore (most TDs of any Saints receiver, capable of long receptions)
TE Benjamin Watson (Upside: Browns only credible target. Downside: Browns only credible target).
Now that I've mentioned all their names, they are now doomed. My apologies.
The Higher the Stakes, the More Likely You Will Lose
I really would like to win this contest. This means that I am doomed. The more that you want to win something, the less likely it is that you will. You will kill in contests that pay out nothing and get skunked in ones that pay richly. Do you find that you do better in your fantasy leagues that have huge payouts?
I bet no one leaves a comment on their fantasy football prowess in high stakes leagues. Why? Because that would be an epic jinx and then you would be doomed.
I am sure that there are more fantasy football jinxes out there. Any you feel comfortable sharing?
The P&G Blogger Fantasy League (BFL) is a group of 12 digital sports influencers competing on the NFL.com fantasy platform for the chance to win P&G product, a donation to a local charity, and a trip to Super Bowl XLV, all furnished by P&G. The NFL Entities have not offered or sponsored the sweepstakes in any way.