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Fantasy first-timer: Channeling Darth Vader, Thor and The Beatles

amar angry first timer

Our Digital Features Editor, Amar Shah, has never played fantasy football until this year. He'll chronicle his adventures here.

Fantasy Mind Tricks

Perhaps, I shouldn't troll Hall of Famers.

For the entire week I'd been goading Senior Fantasy Editor Michael Fabiano, hoping to elicit a response. After all, I'd lost three straight weeks, so what did I have to lose?

Well...I should have remembered he's a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame. Yes, there is such a thing.

week 6 - fabiano loss score
week 6 - fabiano loss headline

Even after being humiliated, I wasn't going to back down. I was going to channel "Star Wars."

Michael Fabiano crushed me in our initial battle, but as Darth Vader tells Obi-Wan, "I was but the learner; now I am the master." Be warned, Fabiano. Be warned.

I was the Young Padawan being schooled by the veteran Jedi.

Everybody Tells Me So

At the start of the week, I thought the advantage was in my favor. Fabiano had to bench a number of players due to bye weeks, offering me an open door to get ahead. Do you actually think a wide-recieving corps of Austin Pettis and Denarius Moore could cause much damage? I had Anquan Boldin and Randall Cobb.

He also started Eli Manning. I had just picked up Sam Bradford again. He was playing the Jacksonville Jaguars. I also had Cam Newton. My friend Matt messaged me on Facebook a few nights before to catch up:

matt fb convo

Well, I didn't listen. I started Cam. He threw three picks and scored 6.82 points. Sam Bradford had 21.28 points.

Bradford's beginning to hover like some phantasmagorical spectre haunting my line-up. He's my fantasy curse.

Even with my new acqusition of Lamar Miller, my running backs also failed me once again. Hence, another friendly reminder from my friend and NFL co-worker, Heather Pink.

Thank you, Heather. I'm reminded of it every week when I realize all my running backs play in the state of Florida. I grew up in Orlando. Not by choice. This is my punishment. I can't help but hear the lyrics of a classic Beatles song in my head.

"What have I done to deserve such a fate/
I realize I have left it too late/
And so it's true, pride comes before a fall/
I'm telling you so that you won't lose all/
I'm a loser"/

Gator Bait

There aren't many fantasty football first timers at the NFL, and a Florida Gator on top of that. NFL Network's Jenn Brown and I were in Gainesville during the Rex Grossman era. We chat about our mutual fantasy football experiences, which includes complaining about Michael Fabiano.

She's done well. Can't say the same thing for me. Perhaps, I should channel former Gator coach Urban Meyer. You know, take a leave of absence and quit.

Fantasy Dark World


I've been destroyed three weeks in a row. I've scored the least amount of total points, and have had the most points scored against me. I'm in the cellar of our league, but I still have company. Dan Hanzus's Team Alison Brie is also 1-4. I thought we could share a mutual moment of empathy due to our similar circumstances. Not really, especially when you drop Marvel characters as references.

Apparently, my fantasy analogy fell short for fantasy football. My nerdom has no bounds.

Cry Me a Rivers

I dropped Bradford again, but did pick up Philip Rivers on waivers. Also, added Terrance Williams and Harry Douglas. If Maurice Jones-Drew doesn't respond this week, I'm throwing him on the trading block. I need a solid No. 2 running back and he, nor Lamar Miller, fill the role.

But the biggest question remains. Start Cam or do I give Rivers the green light? I asked Jason Smith.

Seems obvious. Rivers is fantasy gold. For full confirmation, I ask my wife. She says Cam.


Next Week: I discover the secrets of going undefeated, Hall of Fame advice and the wife intervenes.

Amar Shah is the digital features editor at He writes weekly about his first-time fantasy adventures throughout the season. You can reach him at @amarshahism. If you have trade or marital advice, let him know.

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