Fantasy Football Culture: The Fantasy Football Sunday Timeline - Roto Street Journal
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Fantasy Football Culture: The Fantasy Football Sunday Timeline

You’ve been on both sides of the weekly fantasy football spectrum.  You’re either all fired up because your fantasy squad pulled out the W on Sunday Night Football, or you’re at the bottom of the proverbial fantasy pit because a garbage-time touchdown to the backup tight end just sunk your week. How does the cupcake or juggernaut squad get you to this point?

Here’s the Sunday legend that details the physical and mental states we navigate as fantasy football players:

Phase I: Fantasy Christmas Morning

You open your eyes, a little banged up from the night before when you were smack-talking your league-mates over a few too many adult beverages. You feel like a kid on Christmas morning, waiting to see what fantasy presents await this afternoon. It’s time to put the mobile order in at the coffee shop, and throw on the latest episode of the Fantasy Fullback Dive for a quick refresher during the drive to pick up your grease and caffeine. The entire fantasy Sunday buffet is ahead. Get ready to open apps, set lineups, and don your proverbial Cobra Kai Forbath fantasy jersey.

Phase II: Game on Thrones

Breakfast is finished, and it’s move to the throne with your phone and/or tablet in tow. While handling your business, you scroll through your lineups and available free agent pool one more time to make sure you have the correct streaming defense for the week. This is also time to check any player with the dreaded red Q next to their name on the lineup screen. You head to for the tenth time this week to review the rankings to ensure you’re confident with the squad you’re fielding this week. Once business in the throne room is finished, and flex locked in, it’s time to go to work.

Phase III: Earning Sunday Credit

Time to go through the house and fold every piece of laundry, empty the kitchen sink, and load/unload the dishwasher. You head outside to check the lawn, rake the leaves, and any other needed housework. This is your window. This is the time to hustle and ensure all of the “honey do” tasks are done. You’re freeing up the afternoon to do nothing but sit on the couch, crack a beverage, root for your troops, and taunt your buddies in the league chat every time your player highlights are shown during the league update.

Phase IV: Kickoff

It’s time. The early wave of games kicks off the fantasy Battle of the Bastards. The afternoon starts by throwing on your local teams’ broadcast, but can’t help to have the Redzone on “last channel” to ensure there isn’t a second wasted on commercials. You settle into your spot on the couch, crack a drink, and open the Doritos. This is the purest form of enjoyment you’ll have for the rest of the afternoon. All the games are still scoreless, and the afternoon is young. There are still so many things to be decided, and many story-lines yet to play out. This is the start of fantasy Sunday.

Phase V: The Early Score Check

You can’t help it. You’ve had football on for an hour and you need to see how your fantasy god-squad is doing. Time to open your league app, and see your RBs are on pace to outscore their early projections. YES! No way your opponent has a chance. Just then you head to the matchup screen and realize their DST has a sack/fumble touchdown. OK, so it’s not a runaway like you thought, but not time to fret yet. You’ve been following the Roto Street wisdom, so the afternoon wave of games reinforcements will save the day. There’s a lot of football left to be played, and box scores to fill.

Phase VI: Counting Cards

Hopefully, you survived the “witching hour” from 3-4 pm and your squad was the beneficiary of the 80-yard touchdown run in the early 4th quarter and not your opponent. Time for the 4 pm games to kickoff, so you head to the match-up screen again to see if your opponent actually has a shot at victory against your mountain of a team. You proceed to review how many players they have going in the late window of games and check their projection against the current score after the wrap up of the early slate. Many different scenarios start to play out in your head as you try to anticipate the outcome of this week’s match-up based on what is likely to happen in the late wave with the Cardinals, Seahawks, Raiders, and the other west coast teams that insist on being late to the kickoff party every Sunday.

Phase VII: Endgame

By now, you’ve sent numerous F bombs and S.O.B’s at Scott Hansen, and completely ignored your hometown teams’ real-life result, as it pales in comparison to being able to dog-walk your buddy in the group chat with a win for your squad. You’re up by 8, and your opponent has Russell Wilson leading a last-minute drive.  Every down seems to be a dump-off pass that goes for 15 yards, and you’re calculating points in your head to see if you’re still winning. The ultimate battle playing out in front of you, and it’s the last game on the slate until prime time. Then, it happens. The San Francisco defense rising up, as if to say I…AM…IRONMAN. Bang, an interception by Richard Sherman! Minus two for Russ! The lead is safe. You scream at the TV, the whole house looking at you, completely unaware this allows you to berate your opponent for the next seven days.

Phase VIII: Sunday Night Epilogue

Depending on the outcome of your week, you may want nothing to do with NBC’s portion of NFL Sunday. You comb through the match-up rosters again to make sure that the three-point win you so jubilantly celebrated a few minutes earlier is actually a win. You’re making sure there are no surprise kickers or TEs going for your opponent in the night-cap.  Nothing. Everyone on both squads has played for the week, and you can enjoy the prime time game with the W in the bag. Time to check any injuries, and review the waiver wire for week 3 to do it all over again.

Unless of course, you’re doing a captain mode DFS entry for the prime time game….


  • 80s kid and long time fantasy player. Survivor of the days of telling mom to stay off the phone so you can finish your draft on yahoo so you wouldn’t be kicked from AOL.

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