I'm not sure why I'm writing this, but perhaps this will provide some food for thought for someone new to the game or vaguely amuse an old hand.
One of my leagues is a 14 team, 1 point per reception, 1 point per 10 yards return for the player, with a RB/WR/TE flex. My draft fell to me in such a way that I got several running backs who see a lot of balls thrown their way and I feel reasonably good about it, but my WR corps is not particularly strong as a result. The return yardage aspect of this league is not the easiest thing for me to wrap my head around - first time I've played in this format and it's not as easy to find information about returns as it is other statistics.
Earlier this week, I went ahead and grabbed Jacoby Jones off of the waiver wire and threw him in my lineup. I had my doubts that he would be worth having when we got to our draft, because I was more focused on the PPR aspect rather than the return yardage. It simply didn't seem likely to me that he would get enough receptions during the games to make him worth rostering, and had talked not only myself but my wife out of picking him up. However, after seeing him get regular work in the preseason and underwhelmed with the option of playing James Jones against the 49ers this week, I talked myself into picking him up and playing him, knowing that he'd probably put up decent return yardage, if nothing else.
The first quarter ends and I glance over at my game score, which is not particularly promising. None of my three players have done much of anything yet, but I notice that Jones has 3 receptions already and I'm starting to think that this might work out after all in the long run.
The next thing I know, some undrafted rookie from his own team is steamrolling the Raven's three million dollar kick returner while he's trying to make a fair catch on a punt. I can only assume that he was attempting to field the punt for some reason. Jones is flattened. He's obviously disoriented and limping around to top it off, and looks no better when they take him to the locker room several minutes later. The early word is 'sprained knee', which can mean a number of things but none of them good.
5 points from Jones and his night is done, my gambit is in shambles and (more importantly) the early signs look bad for Jones and his year.
One quarter, and I'm already (safely) assuming that my first game is going in the loss column. Such is fantasy football.
A couple hours later, I watch Manning dump off a pass to Demaryius Thomas for his seventh touchdown pass of the night, tying Y.A. Tittle and a handful of other guys from 40 to 60 years for the most touchdown passes in a single game, and putting up 60 points for my team in the process.
To put this into perspective for those who are new, 20 points is about what you can reasonably expect out of a good quarterback. 25 is a good game, and 30 plus is great. 60 is some sort of nightmare - for the other team.
I suppose the moral of this little tale, if there is one, is that this is why football is a beautiful game, both the real and the fake kind. Through all of the nonsensical horse manure over cities taxing citizens to build stadiums which the majority of the people will never see a game in to the drug scandals and overpaid, overprivileged players and all of the ugliness in between, it's games like this which keep me interested and enraptured.
You never know what will happen. You will spend far too many hours laboring over decisions which in the end could just as well be settled by a coin flip. Your heart will be broken when some bizarre, fluke thing strikes down what looked like your lucky break. You'll be enraged when a player who should be a stud gets ignored by the play callers. You'll have weeks with agonizing 1 point wins and losses which are decided by garbage time in the 4th quarter of the game Monday night. The pure randomness of who does well and who does poorly from week to week will boggle your mind. And occasionally, someone will come along and do something amazing and make the pain go away.
But in the end, it's a hell of a lot of fun, win or lose. Welcome back, football.