The NFL season kicks off on Thursday with the Packers and Seahawks and that means fantasy drafts are going on…possibly right now. Amid the pizza-and-beer–fueled marathon session in which small groups of judgmental fans figure out which players they’re supposed to care about for the next four months, you always see these same people.
The Absentee Drafter
Inevitably, there is someone in the league who lives at least 300 miles away and for some reason this person has never been able to correctly operate a webcam and is doing this all on speakerphone. After the fifth time of telling him Peyton Manning has already been picked, you should probably just hang up.
The Home Teamer
This person either doesn’t follow football or just doesn’t really care about anyone who doesn’t play for his team. He picked five Pittsburgh Steelers even though only three of them play and one of them is a kicker. But this is going to be their year. This is also the person who still decorates with Fatheads.
The Stats Geek
Admittedly, there are probably four of these at any given draft. They have printouts of every column Matthew Berry has ever written and spreadsheets five inches thick. If you want to send them running out of the room crying, pull three pages out of the middle of their stacks when they go to the bathroom and watch them try to figure out who the 19th-best running back is.
The One Everybody Likes to Have Around
This poor schmuck thinks a flex player is a workout machine from the ’90s. He may never win a single game in the league, but the first round is always on him, he never complains about the rules, and at the end of the season this is the only person left in the league that you don’t hate.
The Armchair Owner
Fantasy football is about pretending to run a football team. And the armchair owner wants to pretend that he can pretend to run your team better than you can. He rips into you for every pick and mocks your team name mercilessly. Meanwhile his own teams are perennial middle-of-the-pack-ers. You can also hear him muttering under his breath about how inappropriately high ESPN ranked the player picked before his turn.
If you aren’t familiar with the concept of Moneyball, it is a complicated way of analyzing underappreciated statistics so you can create a winning team of what appear to be mediocre players. It is also a Brad Pitt movie. The moneyballer has somehow figured out which third-string wide receivers are friends with their quarterbacks and are likely to score a lot of touchdowns.
The Friend of a Friend
Does anyone know where this person came from? Did he come with you? Because he didn’t come with us. Maybe he’s the absentee drafter’s buddy from college. If we hadn’t hung up two hours ago, we could ask. Can someone ask him to lay off all the pizza though, because there isn’t going to be any left for anyone else—whoa, he just picked my guy. Someone get this person out of here.