Everyone's into fantasy football these days-- even the players themselves
It has a certain
Marty McFly-in-Back to the Future-esque quality to it: What happens when NFL
players partake in fantasy football? Is it kosher to draft yourself? If you
draft a teammate, are you considered to be in possession of "inside
information?" And what happens when Redskins tight end Chris Cooley's
fantasy team faces an opponent who has ... Chris Cooley?
surveyed the NFL ranks to find out. Here's what we learned: For everyone who,
like Broncos safety John Lynch, simply has "no clue how fantasy football
works," there are a half-dozen fantasy addicts such as Shawn Barber. We'll
let him, and others, explain.
This will be my
fifth year in my league. I started it with nine friends who I grew up with in
Richmond. We call each other all the time and talk trash. I just go by
instinct, and I've won three of the four years. My only rule is that I can't
draft guys on my team. But once the season starts, if one of them becomes
available, I can pick him up on waivers. I ended up with LJ [ Larry Johnson]
last year [they were teammates on the Chiefs]. He was huge for me. But I never
told him I had him in my league. I was like, 'Nice game, LJ,' and inside I'm
thinking, I needed that one.
ask, 'Hey, man, should I draft you on my fantasy team?' I say, 'Hell, yeah, I
think you should.' You're always going to say yes. But there are people who
have told me, 'Hey, man, I drafted you last year and you sucked!' Every day,
all day, everywhere I go, I hear it. I felt sorry for people, the way I played
[32 catches, no TDs in '05]. People get real serious about it. It's their
I've always had a
blast playing. I try to have a couple of Internet teams, and my friends do a
league. I've been playing since I was a sophomore in high school. I lost in the
playoffs last year because I had such a good game against Dallas [for his
opponent's fantasy team]. I'd rather catch a touchdown in a real game than have
my fantasy team win!