Hello, boys and girls. My name is Nick Brown, the sports editor here at The Catalyst, and I am a  practitioner of the obscure religion known as Fantasy Football.

I started playing Fantasy a few years back and immediately became a huge geek for it. Since then, I have spent hours and hours poring over Fantasy blogs, doing mock drafts, and buying Matthew Berry pajamas.

If I can put all of that time to use in order to help you become a better Fantasy player—or just to get interested in the game at all—then in my mind they’ll be hours well spent. 

This year, I’ll be doing a weekly column about drafting, trading, players to pick up, players to drop, and general Fantasy know-how. The first part of this article will be geared towards new players, so for all of you jaded Fantasy veterans, just go away for the next couple of minutes. 

For all of you rookies, Fantasy Football is a game that lets people choose real-life players and put them on an imaginary team, whose success depends on how those players perform in real life. This team then competes against the teams owned by your friends, sometimes for money, sometimes just for bragging rights. 

The definition of Fantasy Football doesn’t answer why people like me are so obsessed. 

I think that part of the craze comes from the American fascination with points, whether those points come from credit cards, airline miles, or running backs that otherwise wouldn’t matter to you in the slightest. 

The truth of the matter is that you won’t really understand the addiction until you have spent three hours arguing about Arian Foster’s lower back, or screamed your head off as you watched your kicker score just enough point to put you in the playoffs. 

Until then, welcome to the game! It’s easy, it’s addictive, and it’s more popular than you think. 

If you like football, then you need to play it. If you don’t like football, then you should play it anyways. And if that doesn’t convince you then… what are you still doing here? 

Onto the meat and potatoes—I AM WRITING THIS ARTICLE TO SAVE YOU.  I can do this because I have made all of the mistakes that you are about to make, and I just love you too much to let you do that.

These two mistakes will be done by thousands of people across the country because they just lost their first fantasy game. If you just won your first game, then you probably aren’t too worried, and you can go back to making fun of your friends who drafted Jets players.

MISTAKE NUMBER ONE: You will panic, and trade one of your studs at low value.  I get it.  You have C.J. Spiller and Stevan Ridley.  They killed you last week.  Then Jerry over there starts waving a nice juicy Reggie Bush at you and you think…

NO! I wish I could reach out of my computer and slap you!  Stick with your studs; players have good weeks and bad weeks.  You drafted the guy a week ago; give him a chance.  Besides you never, ever want to sell low.  The time to trade your players is when their value is high.

MISTAKE NUMBER TWO: You won’t put in a claim for that cool guy on waivers.  You should always make a move for the big performers on the waiver wire.  The price you pay for them is just that guy on the end of your bench who wasn’t doing anything anyways, and the upside is huge.  

Sure, sometimes the players do nothing, but the ones that have produced results, even for just one week, have a much better chance of doing so again.  You don’t need that second kicker anyways—trust me.

That pretty much sums it up.  Keep your heads, kids!  Remember, the Fantasy season is just getting started!


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