Our digital features editor, Amar Shah, has never played fantasy football until this year. He chronicled his adventures this season.
It's done. No more games, line-up changes or trash-talking. No more driving my wife crazy or annoying my co-workers. Although, I will continue to annoy Michael Fabiano, as it has become my life's goal to dethrone him in fantasy. I feel a tinge of melancholy this week with no fantasy football to look forward to. It's become a microcosm of life itself, a mini-laboratory of analysis, decision-making, regret and epiphany. Frankly, an obsession. I became Captain Willard from "Apocalypse Now." My Colonel Kurtz becoming the fictional fantasy trophy I would win. But the season was no horror. Finishing third came close.
Initially, before I started this entire endeavor, I thought winning at fantasy football was like winning a raffle at a fair. A lucky draw of a line-up. Sure, there was a little of that, but mostly, it became about looking at the cold-blooded, objective stats and then making a gut-wrenching decision that you'd likely question days after. Here's a quick recap of the lessons and regrets I learned from this year. Hopefully, I'll be back for a second go-round. We'll see.
Martin injured his labrum in Week 7 against the Atlanta Falcons and missed the entire season. He was a consensus choice for my #2 slot in our fantasy draft, but I can't help wonder how well I could have done with Jamaal Charles or Marshawn Lynch. I also lost Randall Cobb in Week 6. He was my third round pick. Well, as in life, things happens. You deal with it.
2) Trading for Percy
Easy to admit now. But I traded for Percy because I was blinded by collegiate loyalty. There was a smidgen of hope he would be healthy, but I basically gave away Chris Johnson and Martellus Bennett to my nemesis Team Alison Brie for one reception for 17 yards. He was as productive as the 4-8 Florida Gators.
3) Subjecting my wife to my whims
I've been married nearly nine years. I consider myself a good husband, but these last four months, I've not been as attentive and understanding as I should be as a spouse. Fantasy took over time that should have been spent listening, cuddling and contributing around the household. I admit I did enjoy the convenient excuse of using fantasy football as a work related "get out of doing the dishes" card.
Somewhat Solid Moves:
3) Listening to your elders
I sought the advice of every person and object I knew for fantasy advice. Sometimes, I spoke with fantasy experts like Adam Rank and Dave Dameshek. Other times I sought advice from inanimate objects who whispered wisdom into my ear. Or maybe, I just need help. But that five minutes, before your rosters lock up, you have to decide and filter through all the chatter and make that decision. Then you regret or celebrate.
The Bigger Lesson
*Amar Shah is the Digital Features Editor at NFL.com. He's taking 2014 fantasy advice and is looking for the proper apology gift for his wife. You can reach him at @amarshahism.
Previous articles in the Series:
*Fantasy first-timer: Here's why I decided to play*
Fantasy first-timer: My First Draft
Fantasy first-timer: Week 1: My First Week
Fantasy first-timer: Week 2: First loss, marital strife, advice from who?!
Fantasy first-timer: Week 3: Breaking Bradford
Fantasy first-timer: Week 4: Losing Streaks and Sean Connery
Fantasy first-timer: Week 5: Channeling Darth Vader, Thor and The Beatles
Fantasy first-timer: Week 6: The Cam Newton Conspiracy
Fantasy first-timer: Week 7: Fantasy first-timer: Dwight Shrute, "The League" and Aloo Gobi
Fantasy first-timer: Week 8: Fantasy first-timer: Week 8: Epic Upsets and Molly-whopping
Fantasy first-timer: Week 9: Jerry Rice, Warren Sapp and back in the playoff chase
Fantasy first-timer: Week 10: LL Cool J, Percy Harvin and American Pie
Fantasy first-timer: Week 11: Champ Kind advice, trade deadlines and Gandalf
Fantasy first-timer: Week 12: Anquan Boldin, Alison Brie and Playoffs
Fantasy first-timer: Week 13: Home Alone and Playoffs
Fantasy first-timer: Week 14: Grudge Match*
*Fantasy first-timer: Week 15: The Cinderella Story Ends