INDIANAPOLIS --- Sometimes I have to remind myself there are still a lot of people who are new to fantasy football. Not everybody is addicted to it like me, playing it every year since high school, when Internet speeds caught up to allowing us to host leagues on-line.
My wife was a reminder of that this week. She was excited to play in a league with her new work friends and draft for the first time. She asked for my advice on draft rankings (another indication that I clearly married the right woman).
So I began marking values and sleepers and crossing out players to stay away from on her one-page rankings sheet, hoping to help her in this 14-team point per reception (PPR) league. Names like Andre Johnson, Ameer Abdullah, Larry Fitzgerald here marked, and injured players like Kelvin Benjamin and Arian Foster were crossed out…
The next day she texted me a picture of her roster:
Not a single player who is currently being drafted in the first three rounds...oh no! What went wrong?! It seems I skipped over putting marks/recommendations next to the top-10 players at RB and WR, assuming it was obvious to draft them first. She went with only players I put marks next to, creating this roster of sleepers.
At the end of the draft, her league put in the results and had the website create draft grades. No surprise, my wife was dead last. I felt terrible. Her first draft experience, and I was to blame for her not drafting a few NFL stars in the first three rounds.
Watch: my wife will probably still win this league (because she's the kind of person that won $300 the first time she ever pulled a slot machine lever), but it was a good reminder that as a fantasy football writer, I shouldn't forget those who are new to the game and want to join the fun.
In 2008, 27.1 million Americans were playing fantasy sports, with 75% of those playing fantasy football. Today, 51.6 million Americans participate in fantasy sports leagues. In 2008, only 3% of those playing fantasy were women. Last year, the Fantasy Sports Trade Association reported the number of women playing fantasy football had more than doubled since 2007, to 8.3 million. That's a lot of people relatively new to the game...not exactly my 11th fantasy year high school buddies crowd.
If you're like me and have played the game for a long time, let's welcome these rookies. Show them why we love it so much. For me, it's because fantasy football has kept me in touch with friends around the country, literally from Hawaii to Philadelphia, PA. Without fantasy football, we would have never stayed close.
If you're new to the game, WELCOME! Here's my gift to you for joining in on the fun. My fantasy draft rankings for the 2015 season (try not to skip the top-10 RBs and WRs):
**2015 COLTS.COM FANTASY DRAFT RANKINGS
2015 Fantasy Football Rankings powered by FantasyPros