Suzanne Tobias

Fantasy Football for beginners: I could win this thing

I decided to try Fantasy Football this year – just a low-pressure league with some guys in the office – because I thought it would be fun.

Eight weeks in, I’m starting to realize why people avoid it.

My team – I switched its name from “Suzanne’s Super Team” to “Suzanne’s Team” after Week 5 because the arrogance was unwarranted – is 3-4 and in the bottom half of my division. I’m the Buffalo Bills of our league, only less promising.

And it started out so hopefully.

On Draft Day, I made buffalo chicken dip, grabbed a six-pack of beer and hustled over to Oliver’s basement to make my picks and watch everyone’s roster fill up.

Within the first few minutes I drafted Kansas City running back Jamaal Charles and Denver quarterback Peyton Manning. How lucky can a rookie manager get, am I right?

I picked Cincinnati running back Giovani Bernard because I liked his name. I grabbed the New England defense because my son is a Patriots fan. I drafted Pittsburgh wide receiver Martavis Bryant, who faced a four-game suspension for failing drug tests, because I believe in second chances. I drafted Green Bay kicker Mason Crosby because he had a nice smile.

This really would be fun, I decided. It would pique my interest in random NFL games. I’d pay more attention at sports bars. And although the journey is more important than the destination, I looked at my roster and thought, “I could win this thing!”

Fantasy pride, as they say, goeth before a Fantasy fall.

As every Chiefs fan knows, Charles suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 2. Manning hasn’t played up to expectations. (Or maybe he has. It depends on who you ask.) For three straight weeks, I lost match-ups by three points or less, including one to a coworker who hadn’t won a game.

Before long I learned how to add and drop players, navigate bye weeks and browse the Internet for Fantasy advice and injury reports. I read “Start ’Em or Sit ’Em” articles. I surveyed knowledgeable coworkers.

Meanwhile, conversations with my husband are going something like this:

Me: “I picked up Charcandrick West after Charles got hurt. Hoping that’s a smart move.”

Husband: “Mmm-hmm.”

Me: “I also snagged LeGarrette Blount, but then he scored negative points for me. Can you believe that? Negative points.”

Husband shakes head sympathetically.

Me: “Now I need to decide whether to play Roethlisberger or Manning on Sunday. Big Ben is coming off that injury, but the analysts say he could be great.”

Husband: “You know this is pretend, right?”

True. This football gig is no different from the tea parties I used to host for my daughter and her American Girl dolls – except significantly more frustrating. Molly or Kirsten never fumbled a sandwich and ruined my day.

But my Thursdays, Sundays and Monday nights are a whole lot more interesting. And depending on how gloriously Roethlisberger returns, I could win this thing.

Meet me at the food trucks

The Wichita Eagle’s second annual Haunted Food Trucks event, which features food, trunk-or-treating and general Halloween fun, is Friday.

I and several Eagle writers – Denise Neil, Carrie Rengers, Annie Calovich and others – will be there, so plan to come by and say hello. It’s 5 to 8 p.m. in The Eagle’s south parking lot, off Rock Island between Douglas and Waterman downtown.

Costumes are encouraged (and appreciated!) but not required.

Reach Suzanne Perez Tobias at 316-268-6567 or Follow her on Twitter: @suzannetobias.