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Wednesday December 1st

Lions Fantasy World 3/20/13

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Nothin’ But Net

Every week, hidden in the depths of my computer, sits a list. It’s a very short list, usually no longer than a single bullet point. What that list contains is the idea for this column. All it usually says is Fantasy League, which means I’ll actually write about what’s happening in The Signal's fantasy league.

You may have noticed that I never end up writing about that.

The reason for this is simple — something interesting always pops up. So every week that little list of mine grows by one bullet point, and the column ends up being about that.

This week there weren’t any other bullet points. Nothing particularly interesting or absurd had caught my eye. So I was all set to actually, finally, write something about this fantasy league.

But that’s the thing about sports — if you wait long enough, something interesting or absurd always pops up.

What sprang forth this week is the news that Tiger Woods (you may have heard of him, he’s kind of famous) is officially dating Lindsey Vonn (she’s a skier, also somewhat famous).

That in and of itself isn’t very interesting. Not even absurd. You can’t possibly think of a link between that and fantasy basketball, or fantasy sports in general. (Is there a fantasy golf league? Or fantasy Winter Olympics? How would the points systems work? I’m assuming there would be yelling bonuses for both.)

Allow me to explain.

See, we care about who our sports figures are romantically linked to. Sports fans (or at least the fanatics) are consciously aware of who our favorite athletes are, to put it delicately, coming home to at night. We know Tom Brady is with Giselle. We know Andy Roddick married Brooklyn Decker. We know Melo is married to LaLa.

We know all this because sports players’ careers are often linked to their significant others. Who can forget how bad Tony Romo was when he was vacationing with Jessica Simpson? Who else remembers the monstrous streak Kobe Bryant went on when his wife was filing for divorce (even though they stayed together — we know that too)? And isn’t Anthony only on the Knicks because LaLa wanted to live in NYC?

And that’s the connection between Tiger Woods dating Lindsey Vonn and fantasy sports. When an athlete changes relationship status, something interesting always happens on the field, court or sprawling hills he plays on.

So be mindful of your fantasy players and who they’re dating. Pay attention to if that changes, because something interesting — could be good, could be bad, but definitely a change from the usual — is about to happen with that player.

You just never know whether to start them or drop them.

Maybe next week I can write about this league. My list is down to a single bullet again.

I May Be Wrong, But...

Here are the moves I would make in Fantasy Basketball this week:

Add: Well, Spencer Hawes certainly comes to mind. He’s been phenomenal lately, and a lot of leagues could still have him available. Other than that, I’d say add rookies on lousy teams, as the regular season wears down and the lottery tanking begins, they’ll start to see big minutes and therefore big numbers.

Drop: The most obvious one is Kyrie Irving, who is out for the season with an injury. That’s also the saddest drop, since Irving sure looks to be the kind of superstar Cleveland hasn’t had since … well, that other guy. You might also want to let Carmelo Anthony fall, he’s missed several games with injury and played poorly in those games he didn’t miss.

Look Out For: The MVP candidates. LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and Kobe Bryant are running out of time to really distinguish themselves from the rest (there are arguments to be made for each), so they’ll use the final month of the season to put on the best shows they possibly can. I’m excited.

Be Cautious Of: Anyone on a frontrunning team. Once the Heat streak ends, there won’t be much reason for Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh to play big minutes, so they might start resting. Anyone on the Spurs might sit on any given night, and no one except Durant is a sure thing to play all too much for the Thunder.


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