Sunday, April 2, 2017

Fantasy Sports Are The Worst

Punish, Sir, Punish
Not going to beat around the bush; it's a bad time for me. We're between gigs with no warning or even strong cause, getting the next one may or may not be pending and always takes a wildly longer time then you'd prefer, and keeping a positive attitude during all of that is, um, A Challenge. I spend about 100 hours a week doing work outside the home for a small percentage of my previous salary, and there's no medical benefits. This has been going on for about two months.

There are other issues at work here as well, but that's besides the point for this. Instead, we're going to talk fantasy basketball playoffs.

I know NBA hoop. It's pretty much all I've been watching, because working crazy hours usually involves passing out in front of the television for me when I am home, and changing the channel just seems kind of pointless. And in the midst of this waking nightmare, I've had one thing that has gone right: my fantasy basketball team.

I went all-in on Russell Westbrook this year; that's, um, worked out, with one of the best regular seasons in NBA history. I pursued a stars and scrubs strategy where every single guy that I went hard after (Rudy Gobert, Draymond Green, Goran Dragic and Blake Griffin) has played well over his career norms. I've surfed waiver wires to load up on under the radar multi-category guys who have logged more minutes than at any other points in their career (James Johnson, TJ Warren). I've stayed alert on injury news to grab next man up opportunities (Willie Cauley-Stein in Sacramento for Boogie Cousins, Tim Hardaway Jr in Atlanta for Kyle Korver). I've massaged my roster to make sure that I had maximum coverage for weekly success. It's been a great year.

This week, I've played against the third place team. I had a games advantage. If I were playing the other two teams on the other side of the bracket, I'd have won handily. With just one game left on the roster, my opponent needed a career game from an undersized rookie point guard to have any chance at all, and even if he got that, I had a guy in that game, too.

You know what happens next, right?

My guy (Warren) misses the game with flu-like symptoms. The PG (Tyler Ulis, from the Phoenix Suns; may he burn in hell for all eternity) faced a Houston Rockets team that had a half dozen guys out with injury and apathy issues, as Houston is pretty much locked into the third spot in the playoffs. Ulis is a 40% shooter for the year. Tonight, he shot 14 for 20. Ulis might be five inches taller than I am, and is facing a guy (Patrick Beverly) that's in the NBA for his defense. That's how little Houston has given a damn about this game.

Oh, and I've gotten to see every single second of it, because I'm fighting off a cold that's kept me from working today, and NBA TV has the game on as a special treat.

Final outcome? We tied in the playoff, thanks to one final make from Ulis. The playoff tie breaker appears to be the regular game matchups, which he won... 8 wins to 7, having tied once.

I'm out at least $120 from this, and maybe as much as $360.

From a single make from a rookie having the best game of his life, in a game that no one cared about.

Just. Freaking. Wonderful.

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