Happy New Year! As I wrap up my first year as a fantasy sports writer, I thought it might be fun to set fantasy sports New Year’s Resolutions for 2023. And then, a year from now, we can be amazed at how quickly I abandoned all of them.
Many people use New Year’s Day to take stock of their lives, set new goals, and/or nurse a hangover. A close friend of mine spends an inordinate amount of time curating resolutions that she never, ever fails to achieve. My wife and I often get donuts and Chinese food to celebrate the fact that we’re not starting any diets.
Everyone has their traditions. We’ll see if this starts one here at Fantrax. As always, I’m available on Twitter at @thewonkypenguin for thoughts, questions, light-hearted arguments, and making new friends.
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Fantasy Sports Resolutions for 2023
*Offer not valid for Packers fans until their team is eliminated from the playoffs.
1. I will not make fantasy baseball trades simply to be a “good league mate.”
I joined a fair number of fantasy leagues this year, many with people I did not know, and somehow got it in my head that one of the best ways to make an impression on my league mates is to trade with them. This is how I now have only even-round draft picks in one league, a constant reminder of my failure.
2. I will set my daily lineups.
While I don’t have the statistics, it certainly feels like the vast majority of MLB injury transactions occur on Tuesdays. This could-be fact is one of the primary reasons I try to avoid weekly leagues. It holds true across any of the major sports, but I resolve that I will set my daily lineups across the board. Especially the NBA. Because…
3. I will learn something about playing fantasy basketball.
I’m not sure why I’m so bad at fantasy basketball, but I’m bad enough to avoid it like couples avoid talking about an obvious relationship problem and hope it will magically get better. I just don’t get it. I used to have NBA season tickets because I love the sport. Of course, they were Timberwolves season tickets, so maybe I don’t actually know what an NBA team should look like.
4. I will continue to avoid drafting kickers early in drafts.
I mention this because my best friend’s favorite NFL player is Evan McPherson, and she drafted him in the third round of our 12-team standard draft to ensure he was on her team. She is now one Week 17 win away from winning the whole thing after having gone 11-3 and in first place in the regular season. My resolution is that I will not adopt this as a new successful strategy. No, sir, I will not.
5. I will continue to advocate for more fantasy NASCAR participation.
In my earlier life (say, 2017 and before), I never watched NASCAR because I always thought it would be really boring to only have ONE guy who was “your” driver. What happened when he crashed out with 258 laps left to go? You’re just supposed to watch a bunch of guys you’re not fans of? (Editor’s note: She asks this while being an avid Extra Innings viewer, no matter how many Pirates/Reds matchups that may be.) Fantasy NASCAR introduced me to being a fan of one guy while also getting to claim four other drivers in a race. The increased excitement level of caring about FIVE guys is worth it, not to mention it can be a fruitful DFS venture. Turning left can rule, you guys.
6. I will never roster Alvin Kamara in DFS again.
Kamara has done more to sabotage otherwise-fantastic DFS lineups in 2022 than any other player. I’m okay getting screwed over once in a while, but as Maya Angelou said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” This is the resolution that prompted this entire idea.
7. I will continue to pretend I am willing to roster anyone.
This is every fantasy analyst’s dark, dirty secret. I think we all have players on our No Roster List, but the company line is that “All players have value at the right price.” Wouldn’t it be refreshing if we each just listed the ones that we will always find a reason not to roster? So in a secondary resolution to be more transparent, here is my list:
- Byron Buxton: Not my fault! No league I play in has enough IL spots.
- Christian McCaffrey: Drafting him in 2020 somehow made that year even worse.
- Fernando Tatis Jr.: Until we get more case studies on how ringworm affects baseball players, I’m staying clear.
- James Harden: In those years with season tickets, absolutely no one was more infuriating and boring to watch than Harden. I went to get a beer once, and I think he drew nine fouls before I got back to my seat.
- Aaron Rodgers: Sure, it’s a Vikings/Packers game day which around here is an actual holiday, where we throw an extra bit of hatred and smack talk in with the cheese on our nachos. But Rodgers would have to be 15 years younger, get a haircut, and play for the Texans before I would ever consider hosting him on my precious squads.
8. I will pay more attention to non-goalies.
I’ve played fantasy baseball and football since the internet was invented and picked up fantasy basketball in the middle there. But I was very late to the fantasy hockey party, which is too bad because it is outrageously enjoyable and complex to play. Unfortunately, I mostly study and write about goalies, which has led to a slight obsession with them. And you don’t win fantasy hockey leagues while focusing only on goalies. I will learn this. Maybe.
9. I will finally end my love for and insistence that I roster Clayton Kershaw every season.
I know a lot of fantasy players like to tell you how we could have won our leagues in the same way fishermen like to tell you about the ones that got away, but I can mathematically prove that I would have won three different league championships if I had left Kershaw off my squad. Never you mind that it’s probably because I drafted him six rounds too soon. The point still stands. And 2023 will be the year it ends. I swear. He won’t be on my roster.
Oh well. It’s always good to have one resolution you know you’ll fail on. Perfection = pressure, and nobody needs that on New Year’s Day.
A toast to all of you. I wish you happiness, health, and a fun fantasy sports year. I look forward to being along for the ride.