Contrary Opinion

Ten reasons why fantasy football is a waste of time

Why you should try to kick that statistical analysis addiction

Fantasy Football League

If you flipped from six to midnight when Cesc Fabregas bagged two goals and two assists this weekend, chances are you have a fantasy football team and the Spaniard is your captain. Bully for you.
Spoiler correspondent Ben Baker provides ten reasons why you’re obsession with your personal Premiership XI isn’t healthy… 

It’s time consuming
You’re at work, it’s lunch time and the sun is shining. You should probably get out for some fresh air, but first you will have a five minute tinker with your side to see if you can fit Lampard in. That five minutes turns into half hour, and that quickly turns into an hour. It isn’t long before that hour turns into a P45.

It’s more of a commitment than a mortgage and having children combined
Once you have committed yourself to the world of Fantasy Football, there is no escaping it. Constant ribbing from your friends will force you to soldier on. And if you miss a week then you will inevitably be out of the race. So don’t even think about going on holiday during the season.

It rewards individuals instead of team players
Javier Mascherano is arguably one of Liverpool’s most important players, breaking up opposition attacks and starting his own. But not according to fantasy stats – his contributions are paled into significance as he gets too many yellow cards and doesn’t score enough goals.

It changes the way you watch the game
Fantasy football takes away your ability to see the big picture, and what a result means in relation to league standings. Instead of caring about lateral thinking, you’ll be far too miffed that the ball fell kindly to Berbatov in the box, because you went with Rooney instead.

It makes everyone an expert
Fantasy football transforms the average armchair fan into a bona fide expert, lecturing anyone who will listen as to why you should have so-and-so in your side. We already have enough “experts” ramming their views down our throats.

It favours attack over defence
In reality, a solid defence wins championships. But in the fantasy game, defenders are bit players. Scoring defenders are seen as gold dust and are chosen over solid centre backs. There should really be points awarded for crunching tackles or goal line clearances…

Loyalties become blurred and confused
It’s not enough for some people to simply root for their favourite team anymore. Instead of hating their league rivals (as they should) some will actually be happy that Drogba has just scored a last minute winner as he was their captain for the weekend. It’s not right, dammit.

It’s Big Four-centric
The Premiership is quickly becoming divided into two leagues, with the spotlight shining brightly on the top four. The fantasy game is no different. Just make up your back four with players from the top teams, choose two strikers from the top four that will guarantee goals, and then fill your midfield with whoever you can afford from the rest of the league. Unsung heroes from middle tabled teams are eclipsed by bit part players from the top teams and deemed more expensive, simply because they play for a team in that ‘elite’ top four.

Little things become big issues
Yes your striker just scored a goal! But what is he doing now? Oh no, don’t take your shirt off! Great, that’s a point down the drain.

It affects your mental health

Paranoid? Stressed? Angry? Welcome to the wonderful world of Fantasy Football.

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6 responses so far
  • Nando // August 18, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Love fantasy football, its like betting without money!

  • David Allison // August 18, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    You could come up with 100 reasons, and I’d still let it consume my day-to-day life… ;oP

  • djsosumi // August 18, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    i’d like to start a ‘for’ thread here….

    1. it makes watching pointless games interesting.

    stoke vs. sunderland on the telly? pah. hang on a minute, i’ve got delap in my side… let’s get into this…

  • Dan McKeown // August 19, 2009 at 7:58 am

    You also get to know the players better. For example, Phil Orange-Brown was castigating Geovanni in the press last year.

    Well, I had ‘Vanni in my fantasy team and guess what? He was a perfect gent – great in the dressing room, always stayed behind for extra training, seldom drunk drove – I’d say that apart from Bellamy, he was my best professional.

    Admittedly, I have been accused of taking the “fantasy” element a bit far by my friends / doctor / the crowd of pixies under my pillow….

  • David Allison // August 19, 2009 at 8:19 am

    Plus, nothing as addictive as smack can be considered a waste of time…

  • David Allison // August 19, 2009 at 9:12 am

    I would also say that the Big Four-centric claim is unjustified, too. I think it’s picking the unsung heroes that get you those extra points. The mainstay of my team last season contained only 3 Big Four players and saw me come 1st in our private league with 1,876 points and 130,381 overall (not amazing, but within the top 10%). And pumping all your money into a Big Four back four (I would only use 3 in a 3-5-2, or 3-4-3 occasionally), leaves you with little money to effectively spread around the rest of your team. Arguably, the midfield is where your points are as you can get assists, goals and clean sheet points in this area.

    My team last season, on the whole, was:

    Vidic Hangeland Bosingwa
    Ireland Cahill Barry Modric Barry
    Arshavin Agbonlahor

    NB. I realise by posing this I have further validated Reason #5… ;oP

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