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How to enjoy the fantasy season if your team stinks

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Whether because of injuries, bad drafting or just plain bad luck, you're out of the fantasy playoffs and for all intents and purposes, your fantasy season is over. And it stinks. You've invested time, energy and thought into putting together the perfect fantasy lineup only to watch it fall apart and burst into flames like Dr. Zoidberg's slinky. But, even if your season is over, that doesn't mean you can't still have some fun. Here are six ways to enjoy the rest of the fantasy season if your team stinks.

6) Start preparing for the 2015 season

It's never too early for fantasy football preparation. If you're already out of the playoffs, now's the time to grab a subscription to Game Rewind and start diving into the game film to find your sleepers for next year. Most of the fall TV shows are heading into their winter breaks, so how else are you going to spend your time? That's what I thought.

5) Play Perfect Challenge and Playoff Challenge

What? Did you honestly think that the same shadowy league figures that police the "Around the NFL" crew would let me write a column like this without a little shameless self promotion? Well, you were right! I have been playing Perfect Challenge all season and have yet to win the $1 million (was it that obvious?), while Playoff Challenge will kick off in a couple of weeks. Both games are simple, will still keep your fantasy muscles sharp during the waning months of the season and offer sweet prizes. So what are you waiting for?

4) Own the message boards

Depending on your league, there's probably already a fair amount of trash talk bouncing back and forth via email, text messages and/or on the message boards. Well, if your season is in the tank now is the time to take control and become the undisputed king or queen of trash talk. Rather than spending time researching who to claim off the waiver wire or who to start/sit, stock up on the perfect memes, GIFs and images to make your leaguemates laugh, cry or never want to talk with you again. Regardless of how your fantasy team is doing, at least you'll be enjoying your role as league troll.

3) Play daily fantasy football

I've recently taken a dive down this wormhole, and I can say it's quite fun. I only slapped together a few rosters mere minutes before kickoff on Sunday to see how it worked, but I can safely say I'll be going back again this week with a better strategy and more thought in place. For those of you new to this style of play, you're given a set budget and have to pick players who are all assigned various values based on their fantasy potential. So Aaron Rodgers is going to cost you a lot more than Brian Hoyer, and so on. Give it a whirl at either Draft Kings or FanDuel.

2) Try "leasting"

I put this at No. 2 because it involves you being creative, having fun (hopefully) and not sabotaging the rest of your league outright (like if you dropped all of your best players). What this entails is trying to put together the optimal lineup that will score you the fewest fantasy points in a given week. It's like golf, but for fantasy football. Make up the rules yourself, but just don't drop your studs to pick up scrubs, that's the only stipulation.

1) Quit crying and enjoy some football

So your fantasy team didn't make the playoffs. Big deal. That's why it's called fantasy football. Hopefully your real team is still in playoff contention, and even if they aren't you still need to stop crying! Realize that you've just been given the greatest gift possible by the football gods -- stress-free football viewing. That's right, you can now sit back and relax on Sunday without sweating over your lineup or your team's playoff future and just enjoy football. Believe me, after a couple weeks of watching football this way, you'll feel as right as rain.

-- Alex Gelhar is a fantasy and features writer for NFL.com. Tell him how you're enjoying the end of your fantasy season, or ask him for fantasy advice on Twitter @AlexGelhar.

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