Fantasy Football: How Early is Too Early?

It is that time of year when you start peaking at the position rankings and have those “I didn’t realize player X signed there…” moments. It’s when you begin thinking through strategies thanks to a dearth of A-list running backs or an abundance of quarterbacks. It’s when you begin thinking about mock drafting with the other crazies neglecting their families or killing time while we suffer through the sports wasteland of July…it’s fantasy football season, or is it?

As I will hopefully try and cover in the coming months, I enjoy fantasy football, but, more than that, I LOVE the preparation and process that goes into drafting a team. There is no combination of excitement and absolute disappointment quite like draft day. All your preparation and research will come crashing down when you panic and reach for Giovani Bernard because your friend is “jerk bidding.” I always end up in a couple leagues, but there is that one which means a little more (my wife would argue…too much). No money ever changes hand, but there is an amount of pride on the line most would find embarrassing considering we are grown men with families playing a fake game. A few years ago we switched to an auction style draft, which really ups the tension on draft day as a much greater level of focus is required. I can’t recommend this draft style enough, especially if it is a league you are in with a close group of friends. It requires everyone’s complete participation and removes that luck factor inherent in a conventional draft. The draft only works if you have the majority of owners in one central location. I have lived outside the Olde North State for the last two years, but found a way to make it back for the draft. I missed wedding, birthdays, Christmas parties, but I did not miss our draft. With only 44 days until the start of the season and only a matter of weeks before most leagues get going, remember, it is never too early to begin; in fact, I would argue, why did you ever stop?

Photo credit: Erin Hull / Daily Tar Heel