Categorized | Football, NFL

The 5 Spooky Fantasy Football Curses of My Auction League

1 Auction gavel

A curse is a streak of luck which affects me in a negative way. Instead of blaming the law of averages, calling it a curse allows me to blame mystic, sinister forces. Now that we’ve established this, let’s look at some fantasy football curses that have been plaguing my auction league, lately:


2 Roger Maris Plaque

1. The Maris Curse

This curse actually has nothing to do with Roger Maris, except for his number (61). But that’s how curses are, they just fall upon you because you happen to be tangential to something bad. Like I’m just minding my own business, digging up an Indian burial ground to smoke a pig, and BAM, next thing I know everything I eat or drink tastes like week-old Del Taco.

But “the Maris” Curse is way catchier than “the 61 curse,” which is as follows:

No one who bids $61 or more on a player wins the league, that year. This streak is at least five years old, which is as far back as my records go because CBS sportsline deleted our old league records. It’s just as well, in my mind time didn’t exist before I won the league, five years ago.

A possible non-ephereal reason for the curse? A balanced team is better equipped to go the distance than a team which put 33+ % of it’s eggs in one basket. Drafting two running backs that are predicted to finish in place 13-24 is far superior than drafting a running back expected to finish in the top 5, and they cost almost the same.


3 Smiling Monkey

2. The Points Against Curse

Last year he had the second-lowest points against, only 8 points more than the team with the least

The year before, he had the lowest points against, a whopping 21 points less than the next lowest team

The year before that, he was tied for fifth lowest, but still only about 17 from the second lowest. The team that had the most points against had 151 more points against than M, and still made it further in the playoffs


4 Drunk Person

3. The Drunk Guy Curse

Our league has a lot of sharp players. People who know their way around mathematics, football, and financial auction systems. As such, we’re all looking for some sort of advantage at the draft table. Which is why the draft table is always littered with bottles of alcohol. We all want everyone to drink up, so we bring a few bottles of whatever (in my case it’s beer straight from Stone’s tasting room).

We also have a strict rule that, if the majority of the room thinks an owner made a severe overbid, that owner must take a shot. This creates a spiral effect, as the more shots you are forced to take, the more likely you are to overbid.

Last year, one guy at our table took a pre-emptive shot, then bid 20 on Tom Brady. He was valued at about 6. We all laughed super hard at this owner’s funny delivery, except one owner who BID FREAKING 21! The room went nuts, the high bidder had saved the original nominator from theimselves. Or so we thought, until the original nominator BID 22! Needless to say, that guy was pretty useless the rest of the draft (not that he was doing particularly well before this incident.)

The year before, I got inordinately hammered. I like to drink, and I had recently dropped 35 pounds and hadn’t quite adjusted to the decreased alcohol tolerance that came with big weight loss. I mentioned this story in my column from earlier this week so I’ll just summarize: I finished my beer, and flung it at the dumpster on the other side of the auction table. But I actually had only finished about half of my beer, and as it flung end-over-end, beer flung onto everyone present and their laptops.

The year before that, the drunk guy was a lady. She was so hammered she could barely speak, and we were wondering which would exhaust first: Her budget or her consciousness. She managed to spend all her money, but only because she spent it all by the midpoint of the auction. The kicker? She made the playoffs!


5 Cat idol

4. The Forbidden Idol Curse

This one happens to affect me, and only me. At least three of the past four years (and maybe all four, but I was too drunk to remember much that one year), I’ll go toe-to-toe with another owner for a player I want. That player is like a forbidden idol: It looks amazing but bestows horrible tragedy on whomever claims it. Not only that, the person who doesn’t get it seems to do amazing.

Four years ago, Jamaal Charles was the last “Tier 1” running back on the board. I went into a bidding war with another owner, eventually securing Charles for $69. Charles soon went down with an out-for-season injury, dooming my team. The other owner? Won the league.

Two years ago, I wanted Doug Martin, utterly ignoring that like half his previous year’s production came in two games. Another owner was after him, as well, but passed when I bid $60. Doug Martin was one of the biggest fantasy busts of 2013. That other owner? Won the league.

You’d think this would be a curse I could use to my advantage, and so did I. Which is why, last year, when a bidding war with another owner over Jimmy Graham was nearing $50, I decided to not take the cursed idol and passed. Everything seeemed to go according to plan week 4, when Graham went down with an injury and scored only 3 points the next 3 weeks combined. But, nope, Graham came roaring back, finished as the third best fantasy tight end, and the other owner made the league finals.


6 Harrison Marvin

5. The Curse Where I Overpay for a Tier-1 Receiver Who Tanks

Okay, maybe this is a self-fulfilling curse, in that I should stop paying top value for a tier-1 receiver. Ever since I spent too much on Marvin Harrison, the year he was overtaken by Reggie Wayne, I just can’t get my RB1 straight. I picked Steve Smith for $32 the year after his 100+ catch season (we roll PPR). He tanked. I paid $40 for Larry Fitzgerald the year he chose to fall off the map. Last year, I thought I got a player for a steal at $38 of my $200 budget. After all, he was a veteran all-star with two consecutive 100+ catch seasons. Nope, Brandon Marshall Tanked. In 2013, I had Randall Cobb (injured) and Victor Cruz (super injured). No problem, I thought, I had secured a rising star as a backup for a cheap price, and he never got injured. And, to be fair, Justin Blackmon never did miss a game due to injury in 2013, all he did was miss half the season for drug violations.

I hope these curses help you spot some of your own, and do whatever exorcist voodoo ritual is needed to cleanse youself of them. Because, none of your curses are your fault, just like none of my bad luck is my fault. Except, maybe, all of it.


For more great galleries, click these links while standing in a pentagram during a full moon:

20 Key Tips for Your First Fantasy Football Auction

25 Fantasy Football Players that Are Priced Way Too Low

Top 5 Three-Way QB Controversies of All Time

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