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Putting the “Fan” in Fantasy Football: Outcomes of Putting Team First in Fantasy Drafts

I’m an unabashed and unashamed Dallas Cowboys fan, but you probably already knew that. I’m also very into Fantasy Football, but you knew that too. For better or worse that means I can sometimes overvalue and undervalue certain players from the Dallas Cowboys when it comes to my fantasy football drafts.

Below are couple of stories where being a Cowboys fan most certainly helped me and also hurt me too.

When Being a Fan Helps

It is year two of a dynasty league I am in with some friends in Oklahoma.

Not long after the NFL Draft, I began the process to move up in the draft to get the top spot in our 2016 rookie draft. I wanted Ezekiel Elliott. And while I had to give up a king’s ransom to get the 1.01 pick and the right to draft him, he was worth every penny. The players I dealt in the trade, AJ Green, Eddie Lacy, and Zach Miller, combined to miss a total of 23 games during the regular season. And while I traded future picks as well, I received the joy of watching Elliott produce for my real team and my fake team at the same time. Completely worth it.

In June, during the rookie draft for that same dynasty league, I was able to buy low on Tony Romo. I thought he would make a great QB2 to pair with my QB1 Andrew Luck. If Romo returned to 2014 form, there was a good chance I could flip him for high future picks or to help add depth to my wide receiver core.

Then the fifth round of the rookie draft comes along.

I have three picks in the round and at this point I’m really digging deep into rankings, scouting reports, and going to Rotoworld to see player notes when a couple of friends suggest (in jest) that I should take Dak Prescott.

While trying to ignore their calls to take Prescott, I began to think, “why not?” With Romo’s age and injury history, there was a good chance Prescott could be the QB of the future in just a couple of years, and at the very least it gave me some insurance if Romo were to go down in 2016 (sad face). So I made him one of my three picks in the fifth round and Prescott, combined with Luck, helped lead me to the third seed in the fantasy playoffs.

With Dak Prescott in the fold and spending most of the season in the top-seven in quarterback scoring, I’m now looking to see what I can get for Andrew Luck. Prescott is a legit QB1 moving forward, in my mind, because he isn’t as reliant on rushing yards (though they are a bonus).

When being a Fan Hurts

Here it was, week three of the preseason during Tony Romo’s scheduled playing time, the Dallas Cowboys franchise quarterback took a hit and landed super awkwardly.

I remember seeing the hit and thinking, “whelp, here comes 5-11.”

Then news of Romo trying to get back in the game surfaced throughout the night. Video and pictures showed him pleading with the coaching staff to let him back in the game. It seemed at the time that the Cowboys might have dodged a bullet. Maybe the injury wasn’t as bad as it initially looked.

Then Saturday, August 27 came. I remember because it was my birthday and it was also the day of a live fantasy football draft. A keeper league that I’ve been a part of since 2007, commissioned by my former lacrosse coach.

We were about half way through when the news hit that Tony Romo would be out of action anywhere from 6-10 weeks with a fracture in his back.

Tony Romo had been drafted by a league mate just 30 minutes earlier.

Being in a room with many other Cowboys fans, I can’t help but voice my disbelief, sports sorrow, and again disbelief. Looks like 2015 is going to rear its head all over again.

The downside of sharing that news during the draft is that I also shared my thoughts on a certain rookie quarterback (fantasy analyst that I am). This prompted Romo’s owner to trade up in front of me in the 11th round to draft young Dak Prescott.

Again, disbelief.

This team was bad enough to miss the playoffs, but good enough to win the consolation bracket and the first overall pick. I blame it on not having Dak Prescott.

My extroverted, unfiltered mouth got the best of me and I let my fan side take the edge away from my competitive side. Lesson learned.

Going into 2017, I’m keeping my mouth shut.

What do you think?

John Williams

Written by John Williams

Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could.

Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.

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