Fantasy Football Draft and the Ego
By: Robert Kirlin Aka: The IDP Guru

July 1st 2009
Most of you who read my articles have come to know me for my interest in the defensive side of the ball, in particular, the fantasy football individual defensive player or IDP. I write them because it’s a subject that is not often touched on as with fantasy and real football, all the glory usually (and rightfully so) goes to the offensive side of the ball.

Today I’d like to touch on something that each and every one of us struggles with, and that is our own ego. Now I am not a psychologist or a self help guru, I’m speaking from the heart in hopes to help you draft a better fantasy football roster and avoid the same mistakes you and I may have made in years past, so in essence, I’m putting down in words for not just you, but myself as well. There are many books, websites and TV shows out there that tell you the best ways to conduct your fantasy football draft such as “You must take a running back early, or you must take a running back first”. Or others that are advocating straying from the norm and grabbing a wide receiver first or not to take Tom Brady, or Peyton Manning until the second round at the earliest and if someone else take him early, they’ve made a mistake. Look, we can second guess our picks until we’re blue in the face, there are only so many “sure things” to go around, after that, we have to research, consult charts, break out graphs, consult voo doo doctors… WHATEVER!

All this comes from the ego, and your ego is telling you that with the right pick in this particular situation, the mere thought of the regular season is but an afterthought, that your fantasy football team has already won the championship based on your great forethought and keen insight, there is no one who can even approach your mental prowess so this is the spot where you shock everyone by taking …fill in the name in this spot. There goes your football IQ right out the door! Look, you have a chart in front of you, you obviously have spent some time putting a fantasy football draft plan together and due to our “EGO” we feel, that even though a solid player which you’ve pegged for this draft spot is still on the board and you should take him, this little voice in back of your head says “Jonathan Stewart is still on the board, and even though I have him picked as a number 3 running back, I’m taking him ahead of Steven Jackson because I believe he is really going to step up, and also, if I don’t take him now, he will be gone by the time the draft comes back around to my turn, and I need a #2 wide receiver or Antonio Gates is still there and what a coup I would pull if I got him before everyone else, (just listen to the air go out of the room when I grab him)…

I see myself, even right now going through the same scenario in this years fantasy football draft, I fight it each and every year. And what about “fantasy football Sleepers”, oh they’re the worst, all because your ego once again chips in and says, sure we need to grab Steve Breaston in this spot, he had such an awesome year last year even with Boldin in, plus Boldin is really unhappy and won’t perform so Breaston has got to be my #2 wide receiver even though a guy like TJ Houshmandzadeh is still on the board. WHAT ARE WE THINKING???

In the business world there is a phrase, “Plan your attack, and attack your plan”! In my view, this is sound fantasy football advice for those of us in the fantasy draft room, we need to stick to the course that we’ve laid out, ignore our ego and stick to our original plan. Sure the other owners in the league are going to throw us a curveball and take a player that we’ve had pegged for that next position just before we’re about to pick him. “NEVER FLINCH”! You have your plan in front of you, that player is gone, who is next on my board, the go with it. You can then build your best fantasy football team possible.

And as you sit there in your draft room, and watch other fantasy GM’s/so called owners “reach” for a sleeper much too early, you chuckle to yourself about the mistake that they just made and how “your” keen insight allowed you to stick to “your” plan and how superior “your” mental prowess is to theirs’, and that this season is but an afterthought and…. STUPID EGO…