Financial Lessons From Fantasy Football

fantasy football draft kitOur personal finances mirror many things in life, and fantasy football is no exception. Wittingly or not, we apply many of the same tactics to succeed in both. At the risk of using way too many football analogies in one article, here it goes:

An Investment In Your Future

First and foremost, fantasy football is an investment. No, not gambling. Picking players is like picking stocks. We plunk down our league fees – and any debts from the previous year – knowing that if we choose just right, we could strike it rich with a big end-of-the-season payoff.

Just like stocks, the media hypes up players as the next big thing, and we bite, usually leading to disappointing earnings. The key is to find that diamond in the rough. The old veteran everyone forgot about is like a battered stock that reemerges to outshine the bigger stronger opponents, or the rookie is like the newcomer in the industry that defies odds with it’s new, fancy ideas.

The stock market isn’t the only area of similarity. We can also learn a few lessons about our everyday expenses and budgeting.

Show Up On Game Day

The biggest mistake you can make in fantasy football is missing a deadline. Leaving a regular starter on the bench because you were too busy with work and family can cost you a game. It’s like throwing away money on late fees. There’s nothing worse!

Plan Your Budget

Most leagues allot a certain number of free-agent pick-ups or you pay a fee for each one. Either way, you have to budget yourself. Every Tuesday morning, millions of fantasy football players everywhere are looking for the most valuable players that nobody has picked up yet. If you don’t budget correctly, you may be high and dry when you need it the most. Just because everybody else is buying doesn’t mean you have to.

Defective Merchandise

We’ve all bought something we wish we hadn’t. That pair of jeans that never fit right, the microwave meal that looked so much better on the box or the cell phone that never seemed to work right. The same can be said for some players. You positioned yourself just right in the draft to get that one player you had been eying all preseason. Injuries, off-the-field antics and just plain lackluster performances can turn what you thought was a brilliant pick into a dud.

When It Rains, It Pours

Sometime it seems like every financial decision you make is the right one, and money keeps piling up at the door. Other times you’d think every company you owe money to conspired to make your bills all due at the same time. When it rains, it pours. Fantasy football is no exception. Injuries pile up at inopportune times and every time you score 100 points, your opponent scores 101. There are also times when you find yourself playing all the right players at all the right times and the wins keep rolling in.

Playing for Pride

While money is the tangible reward of doing your homework and making the right picks, in the end it is all about bragging rights. What good is it building your nest egg or buying your dream house after saving for so long if you can’t enjoy it and show it off to people?

Make Giving A Priority

All the hope you had when making your initial “investment” at the beginning of the season can quickly turn your team into a non-profit foundation. For all the winners there are 10 times as many losers. That’s OK. Giving money to charity should be a part of everyone’s budget.

Image courtesy of droob

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