In a little more than one week’s time, on Thursday, September 10th, the New England Patriots will host the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first game of the NFL’s 2015 regular season, and, for the tens of millions of fantasy football players nationwide, life will for five fleeting months be meaningful once again. In most fantasy football leagues, the season proper begins weeks before the NFL’s, when fantasy managers convene to select their players in the symbolically-loaded spectacle of “The Fantasy Draft.” As the industry of fantasy football rose around–and in some ways has come to rival–that of actual football, so too has the the fantasy football draft achieved levels of interest and scrutiny equal to those of its original referent. The man hours that the most devoted of fantasy drafters devote to their art recalls that of Talamud scholars, maybe justifiably. The quality of one’s fantasy draft bears an enormous, decisive influence on the quality of one’s fantasy season; the importance of drafting well cannot be overstated. To help everyone separate the signal from all the fantasy draft noise, I’ve compiled a list of the best sleepers, keepers, and bad mother-bleepers for the upcoming 2015 NFL season. May the fantasy football draft odds be ever in your favor, you pathetic losers.
My 2015 Fantasy Football Sleepers, Keepers, and Bad Mother-Bleepers
1. Your Girlfriend Wishes You Were Dead
The once-radiant sun of your relationship has long since burned off the last of its remaining energy, plunging the stale monotony of your days into a wintry, perpetual semidarkness. Your girlfriend had such high hopes, in the beginning, but her doomed desire for an attentive, mutually fulfilling union has, like so much wished-on dandelion guts, been cast futilely to the wind. With each passing week of the fantasy football season, she has the greater sense that she is living with a stranger, devoting the prime years of her life to a person who she will never deeply know. For her, the crushing spiritual vice of your relationship relents only at night, when she finally drifts off to anxious sleep, utterly unsexed, and dreams that some random act of karmic violence has erased you from the face of the earth forever. This is her sole, depraved happiness.
2. Your Dad Thinks You Might Be Gay, and He’s Right
Telling Dad that you play fantasy football is one of the hardest things you’ve ever had to do, but now that the truth is out there–finally, finally out there!–it’s like the story of your life can begin being told in earnest. You no longer have to live a lie. On some level, you suspect that Dad has always “known,” but speaking the words aloud, looking into his eyes, which are also your eyes, and saying this thing that has for too long been unsaid–it’s ten tons off each of your shoulders. All those years of Dad badgering you during your Little League at bats, the decades of psychological abuse that you’ve endured at his hands, which aren’t your hands, it all melts away in an instant…
3. You’ve Aged Horribly Since College
College may be five years ago for everyone else, but it’s 35 pounds ago for you. The slowing of your metabolism has engaged itself in a death dance with your quickening consumption of Bud Light, wreaking equal havoc on your waistline and your sexual prospects. Every morning, you look at yourself in the bathroom mirror and think, What is that old, fat, ugly dying bald man doing in my mirror? Then you realize that that man is you, that your face has become a living tombstone for all the potential you could never realize. In the process of becoming a somebody, you’ve somehow become a nobody. If it weren’t for the distraction of fantasy football, you would likely kill yourself.
4. The Inevitability of Death is Inescapable
Your girlfriend hates you, your dad knows your gay, and you’re chemically addicted to Funions, but none of those sad realities rends you psychically down the middle as your fear of death does. Though you can (and often times do) imagine every other person dying, you cannot imagine your own demise. The indifferent world spinning on without you, as it’s done to countless others your whole life, and will do for millennia after your own life has ended, how can it be? What was all this suffering for, then? What’s the point of experience, if it dies along with you? For whom is the twisted madhouse of human life fun? Not you. It’s all a tale told by an idiot, signifying nothing.
5. Marshawn Lynch!
What’s the only thing Marshawn Lynch loves more than Skittles? Putting up dank fantasy numbers, that’s what. Lynch has rushed for over 1,200 yards (and double-digit touchdowns) in each of the past three seasons, while greatly improving his ability to catch and create plays out of the backfield. The monosyllabic Seattle running back hasn’t missed a game since 2011, and the team’s improved receiving core should free up room for him to wreak some characteristic havoc. The rainbow, taste it.
1. Lamar Miller, RB (Miami Dolphins)
Stats: 1099 Yards, 8 TDs, Miami Dolphins, Super Bowl
2. Jameis Winston, Rapist (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Stats: Dodged Charges for Rape, Also Dodged Charges for Stealing Crab Legs
3. Greg Hardy, Domestic Abuse Specialist (Dallas Cowboys)
Stats: Successfully Bodyslammed Girlfriend on a Pile of Assault Rifles
4. Adrian Peterson, Child Beater (Minnesota Vikings)
Stats: Beat His Child Bloody with a Switch
5. Johnny “Football” Manziel, Hack (Cleveland Browns)
Stats: 5 Games Played, 175 Yards, 2 INT, 1 FUM
The Only Bad Mother-Bleeper in the Whole NFL
Aaron Rodgers was a living legend long before he beat a billionaire and an astronaut on Celebrity Jeopardy!. He is a Super Bowl Champ. He is a two-time NFL MVP. He was a sexual icon when he started dating Olivia Munn, and he became an American hero when he convinced her to penetrate him anally with a 24-inch translucent jelly strap-on dildo. He is the bisexual king of Wisconsin, and of our hearts. Go, Aaron. Go.