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- BREAKOUT WEEK 16: Be Humble in Victory and Defeat
As the Fantasy Football season winds down, champions in each league are crowned. Every manager sets out to win it all, but only one ends the season as the winner. That means the majority of the league deals with the pain of defeat and the realization that their team wasn’t good enough to win the championship. We all think we’re going to draft an unstoppable team and win every game, but at some point, most managers are humbled by the truth that we aren’t unbeatable. We understand that so much is out of our control, and we must admit to the wrong choices we made. We also have to come to grips with not knowing as much as we thought we did. Fantasy Football is a humbling game because nobody wins every week or wins the championship every season and we come up short more often than not. Hopefully, the humbling process doesn’t destroy us to the point of giving up and not playing Fantasy anymore but rather causes us to let go of our prideful attitudes as we aim to get better next season. On the flip side, it’s easy for this year's Fantasy Football champions to be filled with pride and arrogance for the way they finished the season and in some cases dominated their opponents. By winning, they can be misled into thinking they have all the answers and relish in the fact their team is better than the rest of the league. They might brag to league mates and tell others how great they are at Fantasy. They want to garner attention, take all the credit, and make sure everyone is reminded they are the champs. They like to rub it into the managers they beat throughout the playoffs, all the while forgetting, that they never laced up their cleats or put on a helmet! Undoubtedly, winning at Fantasy is fun and exciting and worth celebrating, but it should be done with humility, knowing that so much is out of our control. Winning is what we want to do, but how we win matters. We have to choose to be humble and thankful instead of prideful and arrogant, knowing that next season might look a lot different. Humility is a virtue that goes beyond Fantasy and one that we want to pursue in all areas of life. However, it’s challenging to remain humble. There are times when things are going well for us at work or with our family and it’s easy for pride and arrogance to take over. We can quickly get caught up in bragging, garnering attention, and making sure people know how great we are. Yes, it’s fun to celebrate cool things that happen in life, but when we take all the credit and direct the focus on ourselves, we can get caught up in the dangers of pride. We are warned in Proverbs 11:2 (AMP): “When pride comes [boiling up with an arrogant attitude of self-importance], then come dishonor and shame, But with the humble [the teachable who have been chiseled by trial and who have learned to walk humbly with God] there is wisdom and soundness of mind.” Jesus says in Luke 14:11 (NLT), “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Humility comes when we realize that every breath, heartbeat, and blessing are gifts from God. We may accomplish amazing things, but we must acknowledge He is the source of life and the One empowering us to do what we do. Ultimately, humility is what enables us to surrender to Jesus in the first place when we acknowledge we are sinners in need of a Savior. Then as we follow Jesus, we must walk humbly with Him as we look to His example of humility. The truth is, that so much is out of our control, and we are limited and desperately in need of God every moment of every day. When we grasp that and place ourselves under the authority of the One who created us and now guides us, we can’t help but be humble and thankful. Philippians 2:13 (AMP) tells us, “For it is [not your strength, but it is] God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure.” The other reality to consider is that oftentimes in life, our circumstances humble us even more. Just like when we lose in Fantasy, we face losses and challenges throughout our journey that remind us of our brokenness, weaknesses, and inability to be undefeated. Hopefully, these times don't cause us to give up, but rather bring us to our knees in humble surrender as we trust and depend on Jesus, knowing how much we need Him. In all cases, humility is to be valued and pursued as the fruit of living a humble life. As Proverbs 22:4 (AMP) explains, “The reward of humility [that is, having a realistic view of one’s importance] and the [reverent, worshipful] fear of the Lord Is riches, honor, and life.” David writes about God in Psalm 25:9 (ESV) saying, “He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble His way.” Congrats to every league champion, but stay humble…that’s how we really win! 1. What are you most proud of from your Fantasy season? 2. What player were you feeling great about after his big performances and then his injury humbled you? 3. What were you most wrong about this season? 4. How is playing Fantasy Football a humbling experience? 5. In life, what causes you the most pride and arrogance? 6. In what ways have you been humbled by challenging situations? 7. How has growing in your faith caused you to become more humble? 8. Why is humility such a valuable character trait? 9. Why is pride so destructive? 10. What are practical ways to live humbly? "Humility comes when we realize that every breath, heartbeat, and blessing are gifts from God. We may accomplish amazing things, but we must acknowledge He is the source of life and the One empowering us to do what we do." ― Bryce Johnson, Fantasy Football Fellowship According to ESPN, the NFL players represented on the highest percentage of Fantasy playoff rosters in 2023 are Christian McCaffrey, Tyreek Hill, Keenan Allen, CeeDee Lamb, and Josh Allen.
- BREAKOUT WEEK 15: TALKING ABOUT FANTASY FOOTBALL
If you’re like me, you love playing Fantasy Football, but you also love talking about it! It’s fun to tell other people about our team, how we did in our most recent matchup, and discuss the players who contributed to our team’s success. We especially get excited when we bring up how bad our team was to start the season and how we turned things around. We’ll talk about Fantasy Football with other Fantasy managers in our league or friends in other leagues, and sometimes even with strangers because there are plenty of aspects from the season that we can relate to. We speak the same language, know what it’s like to face the same injuries to star players, and understand how exciting it is to experience a close win that was clinched during Monday Night Football. As easy as it is to have Fantasy conversations with other people who play Fantasy, it can be challenging to bring up the topic with people who don’t currently participate. Sometimes people are hostile toward Fantasy Football because they don’t believe it’s something they would be interested in...or other times people have no understanding of what it’s all about. However, in these situations, we get to passionately tell them why we love Fantasy Football, why it’s been so important in our lives, and why it’s worth the commitment. It might sound foreign or foolish at first to those who don’t play, but we can help them comprehend it so they're no longer confused. We might also find out that the reason they don’t play is because they’ve never been invited to a league or they've had a false understanding of what Fantasy Football is. These are opportunities to encourage more people to play Fantasy and experience the same joy we have from our involvement. We can explain to them all of the reasons why they should play and be a part of the Fantasy Football community. We have to help them realize how it will give them a new perspective on the NFL and how being in a Fantasy league will provide worthwhile relationships. We need to do our part in making sure people don’t continue missing out on everything that Fantasy offers. This approach to spreading the word about Fantasy Football will hopefully get us thinking about what’s much more important to tell others about, and that is Jesus! If we love Him, then we love talking about Him. Our gratitude and love toward Him give us the desire to share the Gospel. It's the Good News that Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection make a way for us to be saved from our sins and given eternal life through faith in Him. As much as we love talking about Fantasy Football, do we love talking to others about Jesus? What if we got excited about sharing the many ways we once “had a bad team” and how He helped us turn things around? We’ll most likely talk about our faith with other believers in our church or from other churches because we speak the same language, face similar “injuries,” and have plenty of other aspects we relate to. These conversations might be easy, but we know how challenging it can be to bring up the topic of Jesus and the Bible with people who don’t currently follow Him. Sometimes people are hostile toward God because they don’t believe in Him, aren’t interested, or don't understand what being a Christian is all about. Romans 10:14-15 (NLT) says, “But how can they call on Him to save them unless they believe in Him? And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, 'How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!'” We get to passionately tell others who Jesus is, how He loves us, why we love Him, why He’s been so important in our lives, and why it’s worth the commitment to follow Him. People see something different about us because He lives within us, so we must always be ready to talk about Him. 1 Peter 3:15 (AMP) tells us, "But in your hearts set Christ apart [as holy—acknowledging Him, giving Him first place in your lives] as Lord. Always be ready to give a [logical] defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope and confident assurance [elicited by faith] that is within you, yet [do it] with gentleness and respect.” What we might find out is, that sometimes the reason they don’t believe is because they’ve never been invited to a church or because they had a false understanding of what Christianity is. It sounds foreign or foolish at first to those who don’t yet believe, but we can help them understand what it truly means to know God and be forgiven, so they're no longer confused. These are opportunities to encourage more people to trust in Jesus and experience the same joy we have from following Him. We can explain to them all of the reasons why they should turn to Him and be a part of the family of God. 2 Corinthians 5:20 (ESV) explains, "Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, to be reconciled to God.” We have to help them realize how it will give them a new perspective on life and eternity, and how being in a local church will provide worthwhile relationships. We need to help make sure people don’t continue missing out on everything that God offers us - Himself, His love, grace, mercy, and peace. We get to play a role in other people coming to faith in Christ as we tell them about the truth of God’s Word, the transformation He’s made in our lives, and how we’ve experienced His presence and power. But ultimately, the Holy Spirit’s work changes hearts and minds and empowers people to surrender their lives to Jesus. The reality is, when we consider how He’s worked in our lives, how could we not talk about it? As Psalm 105:1-2 (NLT) puts it, “Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim His greatness. Let the whole world know what He has done. Sing to Him; yes, sing His praises. Tell everyone about His wonderful deeds.” 1. What do you love most about Fantasy Football? 2. What kind of conversations do you regularly have with others about Fantasy Football? 3. How hard is it to talk to people about Fantasy who have never played before? 4. What do you think Fantasy outsiders have the toughest time with when it comes to understanding Fantasy? 5. Have you ever invited someone to play Fantasy Football for the first time? 6. How often do you tell others about Jesus? 7. What kind of responses have you received when sharing your faith? 8. What hesitations do you have about bringing up your faith with nonbelievers? 9. When you tell others about how Jesus has changed your life, what do you share? 10. In your own words, why should people follow Jesus? "People see something different about us because He lives within us, so we must always be ready to talk about Him." ― Bryce Johnson, Fantasy Football Fellowship “Continuing a record-setting 2023 season, ESPN Fantasy Football, the No. 1 Fantasy Football game, set a new all-time mark with more than 12 million people playing the game for the first time ever, up nearly 10% YoY.” ― ESPNpressroom.com
- BREAKOUT WEEK 14: DEALING WITH TEMPTATION
As we discussed in Week 1's "Breakout," Fantasy Football is all about decision-making. Throughout the season we are presented opportunities and are always considering the different choices we have in front of us. Another way to look at it is, that we often experience temptation as Fantasy managers. When certain trade offers are on the table or players are available to pick up, we can find ourselves saying out loud or thinking to ourselves, “Ah, it’s tempting,” but we know deep down it could be costly to us. When we're enticed to trade away a key veteran player for the "hot rookie", we must consider the consequences of giving in to such a temptation! Here are some examples of other temptations that are all around Fantasy managers: During the draft, we are tempted to… Reach for a player that is ranked much lower. Draft the player who has proven to be injury-prone throughout his career. Draft a player who was bad for our team last year, but think this year will be different. During the season we are tempted to… Drop a player after a slow start to the season. Trade a very talented player, but underperforming. Add a mediocre player who has an easy schedule coming up. Start a player who has one big game...and bench another player who had one bad game. Add a player off waivers who we think will go off (but hasn't yet) and start him right away. Make a trade we know deep down is lopsided. Give up on the season after we lose a few games or have multiple injured players. There are countless decisions we are presented with and, often, they are temptations that if we choose to give in to would hurt our team in the long run. As we learned in Week 11's "Breakout", Fantasy Football is extremely unpredictable. It’s very challenging to figure out the best decisions to make. However, the more we play Fantasy Football, we learn from past mistakes and begin to understand how to say no to the temptations we realize will derail our season. The more we experience the ins and outs of Fantasy, we're likely to choose the right players, see more clearly when a temptation pops up, and have the confidence to not give in. When it comes to life, temptations also surround us. We are tempted by others, the culture, our human selfish nature, and ultimately, by the devil and the evil forces of this world. We are tempted by lies and temporary pleasures, and if we choose to give in, will hurt our lives in the long run. That’s why 1 Peter 5:8 (NLT) warns us to, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” James 1:13-15 (AMP) tells us, “Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am being tempted by God' [for temptation does not originate from God but from our own flaws]; for God cannot be tempted by [what is] evil, and He Himself tempts no one. But each one is tempted when he is dragged away, enticed, and baited [to commit sin] by his own [worldly] desire (lust, passion). Then when the illicit desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin has run its course, it gives birth to death.” Thankfully, as followers of Jesus, instead of giving into temptation, we can ask God to give us the strength to resist and show us a way out. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT) tells us, “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure”. The more time we spend in God's Word and experience His guidance, the more easily we can recognize when we're being tempted to sin and do the wrong thing. If we memorize scripture, we're more equipped to powerfully respond well to temptation as the Holy Spirit helps us recall God's truth. As we continue to follow Jesus, He helps us grow in our ability to say no to temptations and we learn how to avoid certain temptations. As we trust Him for His help, we recognize that He was tempted while here on earth and understands what we are going through. Hebrews 4:15 (AMP) says, “For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize and understand our weaknesses and temptations, but One who has been tempted [knowing exactly how it feels to be human] in every respect as we are, yet without [committing any] sin.” Whether in Fantasy or life, the temptations will always be there. But instead of falling into traps and giving in when tempted, let’s resist and do what we know is best. Let’s choose to obey God, and make wise decisions. Even when temptation is strong, let’s know He is stronger and will give us the strength we need to overcome. 1. In what ways have you been tempted this Fantasy season, but didn't give in? 2. In what ways have you been tempted this Fantasy season, but did give in and are dealing with the consequences? 3. How do you identify a Fantasy temptation? 4. How often are you tempted in Fantasy to make decisions that benefit you short-term, but can cause future consequences? 5. In what ways are you most often tempted in life? 6. How do you normally respond to temptation? 7. What are the strongest temptations you struggle the most to not give in to? 8. What used to be a major temptation that you are no longer tempted by the same way? 9. How have you learned to rely on God when temptations pop up? 10. How have you learned to avoid certain temptations that are avoidable? "Let’s choose to obey God, and make wise decisions. Even when temptation is strong, let’s know He is stronger and will give us the strength we need to overcome." ― Bryce Johnson, Fantasy Football Fellowship Kellen Winslow has collected the most PPR Fantasy points by a tight end in a game, with 57.4 points versus the Oakland Raiders on November 22, 1981. ― Statmuse.com
- BREAKOUT WEEK 13: IT'S NOT MY FAULT
Most Fantasy Football managers who have played for a while are confident they can draft a strong team, put together successful weekly lineups, and make the right moves throughout the season. However, sometimes the players we thought would be great turn out to be disappointments. Oftentimes, despite our high hopes, our Fantasy team ends up losing a lot more games than we thought they would. When this happens, we complain about our bad Fantasy season and quickly shift the blame for why we lost certain matchups and make excuses for our poor decision-making. We tell ourselves or others, “It’s not my fault” and instead… Blame the actual NFL player for not being a more productive player on our Fantasy team. Blame all the injuries our Fantasy team dealt with. Blame the coaches for not calling enough touchdown plays for the players on our Fantasy team. Blame the Fantasy analyst who told us to start that player and he ended up with one Fantasy point. Blame the refs for not giving our player the catch he deserved, which made our team lose by one point. Blame the Fantasy schedule for always having to play the highest-scoring team of the week. Blame our loss on having too many players on a bye. Blame our bad draft on our draft position and having the 8th pick. Blame our close loss on our opponent being lucky. We can come up with excuses and people to blame all day long and, yes, there may be legitimate reasons to complain about how our season has turned out. But what we really need to do is be willing to own our mistakes since we're the ones who drafted the players, made the lineup decisions, added and dropped players on the waiver wire, and accepted and rejected trade offers. After all, we're responsible for our Fantasy team, and although so much is out of our control, it doesn’t give us the green light to blame, complain, and make excuses. We must acknowledge that we chose the wrong players, made foolish lineup decisions, and shouldn’t have rejected that trade offer. Sometimes, it’s just not our season, and we can either say, “It’s not my fault” or we can say, “I’m the manager, it was my bad and I just didn’t choose the right players this year.” When it comes to our own lives, we can find ourselves in a tough spot and can be quick to blame others. We can make excuses for our behavior or our current circumstances and complain about our parents, our job, or our spouse. Yes, so much is out of our control and there may be legitimate reasons to complain about what’s happened to us. However, the reality is, that we all make choices and sometimes make the wrong ones. But when we do make mistakes and blow it in some way, are we willing to take ownership of our actions...or do we just point our fingers at someone/something else? When we lose in life, the sooner we’re willing to go from “It’s not my fault” to “It’s my bad,” the quicker we can evaluate, learn, and move forward. 1 John 1:8-9 (AMP) tells us, “If we say we have no sin [refusing to admit that we are sinners], we delude ourselves and the truth is not in us. [His Word does not live in our hearts.] If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just [true to His own nature and promises], and will forgive our sins and cleanse us continually from all unrighteousness [our wrongdoing, everything not in conformity with His will and purpose].” We must acknowledge we are sinners and admit when we sin. As we surrender our lives to Jesus and follow Him, confessing and repenting is something we must be willing to do as we rest in God’s grace, mercy, and forgiveness. Proverbs 28:13 (NLT) says, “People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.” We can echo Psalm 32:5 (ESV): “I acknowledged my sin to You, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.” It’s hard to admit when we’re wrong or when we sin. We’d much rather make excuses, blame someone else, and complain about the bad things that have affected us, but ultimately we are responsible for our behavior, mindset, and choices made while on this earth. Paul reminds us in Romans 14:10-12 (TLB): “You have no right to criticize your brother or look down on him. Remember, each of us will stand personally before the Judgment Seat of God. For it is written, ‘As I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee shall bow to Me and every tongue confess to God.’ Yes, each of us will give an account of himself to God.” We won’t blame then, so let’s not blame now. Prideful people are unwilling to admit when it’s their fault, so we must choose humility and embrace the grace available to us through Jesus as we turn to Him and say “My bad” and “I need You.” Let’s be encouraged this week by James 4:6 (AMP): “But He gives us more and more grace [through the power of the Holy Spirit to defy sin and live an obedient life that reflects both our faith and our gratitude for our salvation]. Therefore, it says, 'God is opposed to the proud and haughty, but [continually] gives [the gift of] grace to the humble [who turn away from self-righteousness].'” 1. If you have had a bad Fantasy week or season who have you been blaming? 2. What are your excuses for not having a better Fantasy season? 3. What have you been complaining about the most this Fantasy season? 4. In life, are you more likely to blame, make excuses, or complain when things aren't going the way you want? Anything recently? 5. Why is it so important for us to take ownership of our decisions instead of blaming something or someone else? 6. What area of your life is it hardest to admit when you've made a mistake? At home, at work, with friends? 7. What does confessing and repenting look like in your life? 8. What role do humility and pride play in blaming and making excuses? 9. How does your understanding of God's grace, forgiveness, and mercy factor into your willingness to confess your sin? 10. Is there anything you need to confess to the league today? "Prideful people are unwilling to admit when it’s their fault, so we must choose humility and embrace the grace available to us through Jesus as we turn to Him and say 'My bad' and 'I need You.'" ― Bryce Johnson, Fantasy Football Fellowship The original Fantasy Football scoring system “rewarded 25 points for a touchdown pass, rush or reception, 25 points for a field goal, 10 points for an extra point and 200 points for a punt, kickoff or interception that was returned for a score.” ― NFL.com, Michael Fabiano
- BREAKOUT WEEK 11: IT'S SO UNPREDICTABLE
When we draft our team each Fantasy Football season, we pick players based on our guesses that they'll have a successful season. We also rely on the Fantasy experts to tell us which players they think will have better seasons than other players. Back in the summer, we expected certain running backs to emerge as the workhorse backs and predicted specific quarterbacks would ascend to the elite level. Oftentimes, there's a consensus about particular players and everyone seems to predict the same type of season from them. Well, here we are ten weeks in, and we're reminded just how unpredictable Fantasy Football is! Many of the players leading in Fantasy points are surprising and many players we were counting on haven't come through like we thought they would. Granted, some NFL teams and individual players are performing at the level we anticipated, but so much of what we're seeing is totally unpredictable. This is true when looking at the entire season, but also when taking it week by week. Some weeks we expect the NFL matchup to benefit a player on our Fantasy roster so we put them in the starting lineup. Then the game goes a completely different direction and our player didn’t deliver the Fantasy points we planned on. There are other times we experience a player having a better game than was projected while many players this season are outperforming their average draft position while exceeding expectations. Also, now and then, we win our Fantasy matchup when we don’t think we will and lose when our team is the clear favorite. Throw in the countless unplanned injuries, and other surprises across the NFL, and unpredictability is everywhere. I’m sure you can relate to saying something along these lines at some point this year… "I thought he was going to have an awesome season, but he’s not doing anything." "I thought his NFL team was going to be terrible - I misjudged his situation." "I didn’t see that coming." "I never expected that." "How in the world did that happen?" "That is shocking." "I didn’t plan for that, what am I supposed to do now?" Many of our predictions at the start of the season, and the ones we make each week, are sure to be wrong fairly often because ultimately what adds to the intrigue of Fantasy Football is how unpredictable it truly is. Sometimes the surprising performances are good and sometimes they’re bad, but either way, it’s so hard to control and completely plan for what’s going to happen throughout the Fantasy season. As we know, the same is true in life - it’s so unpredictable! Our circumstances can turn out to be very surprising, and not at all what we planned for or expected. The things that are better or worse than we thought they would be lead us to say or think: "I thought that was going to be an awesome situation, but surprisingly it wasn’t." "I thought that was going to be terrible, but it wasn’t - I misjudged the situation." "I didn’t see that coming." "I never expected that." "How in the world did that happen?" "That is shocking!" "I didn’t plan for that, what am I supposed to do now?" As followers of Jesus, how can we best respond to the unpredictability of life and properly deal with the reality that we can’t control everything or expect every situation to turn out according to our plan? It's simple yet so tough to do, we have to surrender and trust. We must submit to God's purposes, follow His lead, and trust He will work everything out according to His will. Proverbs 19:21 (NLT) tells us, "You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail." Proverbs 16:9 (NLT) explains, "We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps." Romans 8:28 (AMP) says, "And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.” Life is filled with surprises (some we like and some we don't like), but we praise God and thank Him for each one because He knows what He's doing and knows what's best for us. It might not always make sense at first and it might be unexpected and not line up with our plan or projections, but we can embrace the unpredictability of life as we follow what it says in Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT): "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.” What players have been a lot worse than you expected? What players have exceeded your expectations? What has been the most unpredictable storyline in the NFL/Fantasy season? What has been the most unpredictable one-week performance of the season? What predictions do you have for the rest of the season? What are some situations in your life that have been the most unpredictable? What are you facing currently that you weren't planning for? How have you seen the promise of Romans 8:28 play out in your life? In view of Scripture and the unpredictable nature of life, what should our approach be to planning? In what ways do you need to trust God more and surrender to Him? "We must submit to God's purposes, follow His lead, and trust He will work everything out according to His will." - Bryce Johnson, Fantasy Football Fellowship Arian Foster was an undrafted running back in 2009 who had a total of 350 yards from scrimmage in his rookie season. However, in his second season with the Texans, he burst onto the Fantasy Football scene with one of the most unpredictable and surprising years ever. Foster finished the 2010 season with 2,220 total yards from scrimmage and 18 total touchdowns...and with 381 PPR Fantasy points as the top running back, 96 points ahead of the second-highest scoring running back, LeSean McCoy. - footballdb.com
- BREAKOUT WEEK 10: YOUR TEAM IS SO GOOD
One of the main reasons we love Fantasy Football is the competition that takes place while attempting to win our league. Along the way, we must draft a better team, make wiser lineup decisions, and have savvier waiver wire pickups than our league mates (friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors). Not only do we set out to have the best team and beat our opponents, but if we’re honest with ourselves we also love when members of the league acknowledge our strong Fantasy accomplishments. These are some of the comments and compliments we long to hear: “That was a great pick - I wanted that guy!” “Awesome pickup on waivers - I tried to get him too!” “Your team is so good - it’s ridiculous!” “Amazing trade - I can’t believe you pulled that off!” “You got the steal of the draft!” “Your ability to identify sleepers that break out is impressive!” Part of our motivation in playing Fantasy Football is to prove to others we're skilled and knowledgeable managers. Gaining the approval of our league mates is very rewarding, as we get to enjoy their applause and recognition. However, in the end, it's not about the applause we get along the way, but the glory of winning the Fantasy championship! When it comes to our lives beyond Fantasy Football, don’t we also love receiving compliments, approval, applause, and recognition? It’s great to hear comments about how good we are at our jobs, how wonderful our kids are, or acknowledgment of our accomplishments and the nice things we do. Yet, there's a challenge in what we do with the compliments. Ultimately, whose approval are we pursuing and what motivations are behind it? In the Bible, the apostle Paul asks, “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ" (Galatians 1:10; ESV). John 12:42-43 (AMP) speaks of the religious leaders in Jerusalem saying, “Nevertheless, even many of the leading men believed in Him [as Savior and Messiah], but because of the Pharisees they would not confess it, for fear that [if they acknowledged Him openly] they would be put out of the synagogue (excommunicated); for they loved the approval of men more than the approval of God.” What about you and I? Do we believe in Jesus, but we’re worried more about what others think than what He thinks? We need to consider whether or not we're chasing after the approval of others more than God. Are we trying to accomplish what the world deems important and for selfish recognition driven by pride...or are we living to please God in service to Him? Colossians 3:23-24 (AMP) tells us, “Whatever you do [whatever your task may be], work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as [something done] for the Lord and not for men, knowing [with all certainty] that it is from the Lord [not from men] that you will receive the inheritance which is your [greatest] reward. It is the Lord Christ whom you [actually] serve.” If we desire to live holy lives, impact others, and do good things for the sake of Jesus, we will stand out and there is no question people will take notice. Yet, we have to ensure that the motivation for our good deeds isn’t for the applause of others. Matthew 6:1 (AMP) implores us to “Be [very] careful not to do your good deeds publicly, to be seen by men; otherwise you will have no reward [prepared and awaiting you] with your Father who is in heaven”. We may receive recognition at times, but can do so with humility as we give all the glory to God. Matthew 5:16 (AMP) encourages us to “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and [recognize and honor and] glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Psalm 115:1 (ESV) declares, “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!” While we journey through life as followers of Jesus who desire to live for God’s glory, we still want to be the type of people who regularly encourage others, and also get encouraged along the way. The key is encouraging people in the Lord, complimenting them for the gifts God has given them, and pointing to the truth of who He is and who we are in Him. 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 (NLT) says, “For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. 10 Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. 11 So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” So let’s not hesitate to encourage each other in Fantasy, and more importantly in life, but let’s do so with the proper perspective, motivation, and humility. In the end, let's remember it's not about the applause we gain along the way, but it's all about the glory of God and the victory we have in Christ. In what ways have you been encouraged or complimented throughout the Fantasy season? Who have you complimented or encouraged this Fantasy season? Who can you encourage about a recent Fantasy move they have made? How hard is it for you to encourage others, in Fantasy or in life? Why? How important is the approval of others to you in Fantasy or in life? What is the difference between needing encouragement and chasing applause? In what ways do you consider yourself a people pleaser? What is the difference between living for the approval of God vs. the approval of man? How does your perspective change when you're living for God's glory? Why is it so important to check our motivation for why we do "good things" based on the verses above? "Do we believe in Jesus, but we’re worried more about what others think than what He thinks? We need to consider whether or not we're chasing after the approval of others more than God." - Bryce Johnson, Fantasy Football Fellowship The 1984 Seattle Seahawks' defense scored 288 Fantasy points for the season. That is the most for any defense in Fantasy Football history. - sportskeeda.com
- BREAKOUT WEEK 9: MAKING THE LEAP
Every year we draft Fantasy players who are proven veterans we can count on to produce when healthy. These are the studs who have a consistent track record and have shown what they're capable of on the field. They don’t necessarily start that way but begin their career as young, inexperienced, and unproven. It takes time for players to become elite. That means much of the roster we draft ends up being the players we're anticipating will make a jump and become those who produce Fantasy points for us. Sometimes these players are heading into their second or third year and we expect them to take the next step in their development by going from a so-so wide receiver to the quarterback's go-to guy. Sometimes it’s a running back who has shown glimpses of his skills and abilities and we know he’s poised to break through as an elite back. We're also likely to draft rookies, but oftentimes these are the ones we have to be even more patient with because they're transitioning to their new life in the NFL and trying to figure out what their role is. It takes time to adjust and adapt to the next level. However, there comes a point when they’ve been around long enough that they should start contributing and showcasing their development. In all of these situations, we get excited when our players show progress week after week, and by mid to late season we see them become who we drafted them to be. No player ever becomes perfectly consistent every week, but one of the joys of a Fantasy manager is seeing our players make the leap from being inexperienced or unproductive to becoming key contributors. We can see their growth and maturity and the Fantasy points reflect it. They go from being a bench player...to the flex spot...to a locked-in starter. On the flip side, we often draft players who never seem to take the next step or make the leap we anticipated when we drafted them. It’s hard to know exactly why that happens but they just remain the same player - limited to only a few catches or carries a game without increasing their impact on the field or producing more Fantasy points. When it comes to our own lives, we are all at different points in our faith journey. Some of us are rookies who have just taken our first steps as followers of Jesus and others of us are veterans. Either way, we must consider whether we're experiencing growth in our lives or are remaining stagnant without making a leap forward. Are we seeing progress, impact, and fruit...or are we remaining the same? 2 Peter 3:18 (NLT) tells us, “Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All glory to Him, both now and forever! Amen.” We have the opportunity to continually grow in our faith, character, and knowledge of God as we seek Him and learn His Word. As we follow Jesus and invite the Holy Spirit to change us from the inside out, we’ll be able to look back and see how we’ve become more and more like Jesus. God transforms us and develops us as our faith deepens and we progress in holiness and living the way He designed us to. Ephesians 2:10 (AMP) says, “For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us]." Unfortunately, many of us remain stuck and immature in our faith and don't make the leap forward. Yet, instead of living like we did at the beginning, there comes a time for us to contribute in significant ways, such as teaching others, so we can “showcase” our growth and development in order to help them. Hebrews 5:12-14 (NIV) explains, “In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” 1 Corinthians 14:20 (AMP) tells us, “Brothers and sisters, do not be children [immature, childlike] in your thinking; be infants in [matters of] evil [completely innocent and inexperienced], but in your minds be mature [adults].” Just like Fantasy managers can see growth and maturity in a player as the Fantasy points reflect it, there will be evidence as we grow and mature in Christ by the way we live our lives and the fruit produced. Let’s be encouraged to pray this prayer for ourselves and others found in Philippians 1:9-11 (NLT): “I pray that your love will overflow more and more and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.” What player did you anticipate making a leap this year and he did? What player are you surprised has really grown and developed into a productive player this year? What player did you expect to make a leap, but he hasn’t? What do you think is the difference between players who make the leap and progress throughout their career and those who don't? Where are you at in your spiritual journey - rookie, veteran, or somewhere in between? From a personal standpoint, in what ways have you matured over the years? From a spiritual standpoint, in what ways have you grown and developed? Along with the Holy Spirit, what has contributed to helping you grow in your faith? What are some areas of your life you’d really like to grow in? If you feel stagnant or stuck, what are the reasons for that? "Just like Fantasy managers can see growth and maturity in a player as the Fantasy points reflect it, there will be evidence as we grow and mature in Christ by the way we live our lives and the fruit produced." - Bryce Johnson, Fantasy Football Fellowship Jerry Rice’s best Fantasy performance was on 10/14/1990 when he scored 52.5 points. He had 13 catches for 225 receiving yards and five touchdowns. - sportingnews.com
- BREAKOUT WEEK 8: Worried About Your Lineup?
Every week of the Fantasy season, our most important role as Fantasy managers is submitting the best starting lineup we can. Oftentimes, this means we agonize over the choice to play either this running back or that running back. We debate with ourselves about which player to put in our flex spot. We weigh our options based on matchups, previous performances, and the health of each player. It becomes stressful when we have two players who are very close from a rankings, projections, or point-per-game standpoint and we know we can only put one of them in our lineup. As it gets closer to kickoff, we feel the pressure of having to decide which player to go with and go back and forth trying to convince ourselves what’s the best thing to do. We start to play the what-if game in our head as we consider all the different possible outcomes for each player. What if our running back’s team decides not to run the ball as much today because of their opponents’ stout defense? What if his injury is more serious than they are letting on? What if I bench the wrong guy and he goes off for a huge performance and is sitting on my bench? The questions are swirling around in our heads as we ask, what should we do? We want to have an awesome starting lineup every week and not make mistakes with what guys to put in there, but at the same time, we can’t perfectly predict the future or control the outcomes! Because of this reality, it’s easy to get worried, fearful, anxious, and concerned - especially as we approach kickoff and even more so as the season goes along. Each Fantasy matchup becomes more intense as we fight for a playoff spot and realize how many points we’re trailing the guys ahead of us in the standings. The more on the line for us, the more we analyze and second-guess ourselves. We don’t want to miss the playoffs and know how critical each win is, so every lineup choice carries even more weight. Of course, this is part of playing Fantasy Football and what makes it so competitive, yet it sure can get stressful. So what do we do about it? We have to try and relax, be confident, and be at peace about making the best lineup decision we can with the information we know. We have to remember, that we can’t control what the players do out on the field and just need to get our lineup set and not let the process cause us to be anxious and worried. We can’t get so worked about our weekly lineup that it takes away the joy of playing Fantasy! Chances are, every day we face similar situations and feelings in our own lives. We have tough decisions to make, and unanswered questions about our future, we want to control every outcome and don’t want to make mistakes. Because of this, we can often be worried, anxious, fearful, and concerned. Our minds can be filled with negative thoughts as we go back and forth in our head about potential outcomes as we play the “what-if game”. Oftentimes we don’t know what to do, but feel the pressure and stress that we have to make a decision and fear things won’t turn out the way we want them to. When it comes to big life choices, the intensity especially increases and the weight can be very heavy because we know what’s on the line. However, as followers of Jesus, we can relax, be confident, and be at peace about whatever we are facing as we place our trust in Him, His plan, and His character. Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT) tells us, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” We also have to remember, that we can’t control everything and can’t let the process of decision-making and seeking God for clarity cause us to be anxious and worried. Instead of being worked up about our situations that aren’t totally clear yet, we have to continue to experience the joy and peace we have in Christ! We must continue to seek Him and keep our eyes and minds fixed on Him. We can declare Isaiah 26:3 (AMP): “You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both inclination and character], Because He trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation].” We’ll also be able to repeat Psalm 34:4 (NLT): “I prayed to the Lord, and He answered me. He freed me from all my fears.” Lastly, in Fantasy Football, we’re better off when we enjoy it and delight in playing it. When we do, we’ll be less worried and stressed about every lineup decision. Likewise, in life, we must continue to enjoy God and delight in Him. Even more than seeking Him just for answered prayers, we need to seek Him because we love Him. When we do, we become aligned with Him and His desires...and ultimately, find peace. As Psalm 37:4 (ESV) says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” What Fantasy lineup decisions have recently been the toughest? How stressed and worried do you get about making weekly lineup choices? Do you get more stressed about trades, the waiver wire, or weekly lineups? In life, what decisions are you currently facing? What areas of life are causing you the most stress, worry, or concern? How do you respond when you’re feeling anxious and overwhelmed? What does it mean for you to delight in the Lord? What is the difference between seeking God vs. seeking God for answers or clarity? "Even more than seeking God just for answered prayers, we need to seek Him because we love Him. When we do, we become aligned with Him and His desires...and ultimately, find peace. " - Bryce Johnson, Fantasy Football Fellowship Only two players have scored six touchdowns in a game since Fantasy Football started in 1962: Alvin Kamara in 2020 and Gale Sayers in 1965. Kamara finished with 56.2 Fantasy points and Sayers totaled 58.2. - StatMuse
- BREAKOUT WEEK 7: Where Are You Weak?
Every Fantasy season we do our best to construct a well-balanced, dominant roster that's filled with elite players at every position. As we know, what usually happens is our team ends up with weak players and/or roster positions that are weaker than others. What is your pain point? What is your team’s weakness? Right now we may be weak at the running back position because we’ve faced multiple injuries to key guys. Many of us may look at our team and realize how weak our wide receivers are because our guys just aren’t getting the targets we anticipated or scoring the touchdowns we had hoped. We know how hard it is to find consistent production at tight end, so chances are unless we have Travis Kelce, we’re weak at that position. The quarterback position tends to have enough solid starters to spread across the league, but if you ended up waiting too late in the draft to snag a QB, chances are it’s a glaring weakness for your roster. Hopefully, most of us just have one weak position, but then we are strong at other positions. That allows us to be aggressive on the waiver wire to pick up players at our weak positions in order to strengthen our team. We may also be strategic in proposing trade offers that help us in our weak areas. Unfortunately, for some, our whole team is weak and we’ve had one of those seasons where half our team is injured and the other half is underperforming. It may seem like nothing is going right. This may be a result of disappointing circumstances or if we’re honest and humble, it’s because we haven’t been managing our team very well. Either way, when it comes to our weak position, weak teams, or weak managing skills, we have a choice to make. We can either complain, blame, give up, and stop playing...or acknowledge how weak we are and admit we need help to strengthen our team. In our own lives, we also encounter weaknesses and hardships that challenge us physically, spiritually, emotionally, or with temptation. There are certain “roster positions” we're having a tough time with and we have a choice to make. We can either complain, blame, and give up, and not do anything about it, or acknowledge how weak we are and admit we need help and strength. When we truly humble ourselves, are honest, and acknowledge that we can’t move forward in our own strength, we can turn to God for help. Isaiah 40:29 (NIV) tells us, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” With open hands and an open heart, we can embrace our weaknesses because they allow us to experience His strength, grace, and power. Sometimes He’ll remove our pain points in life, but sometimes He has a purpose that's accomplished by letting our weaknesses remain. In 2 Corinthians 12 (NLT), the apostle Paul shows us what this looks like and gives us a great response to our weaknesses. He was given a thorn in his flesh to keep him humble and begged the Lord to take it away, but God told Paul each time he asked, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” Paul then writes in verses 9-10, “So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” The Amplified Bible translates 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, “...but He has said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.' Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me. So I am well pleased with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, and with difficulties, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak [in human strength], then I am strong [truly able, truly powerful, truly drawing from God’s strength].” The Living Bible translates it this way: “Each time He said, ‘No. But I am with you; that is all you need. My power shows up best in weak people.’ Now I am glad to boast about how weak I am; I am glad to be a living demonstration of Christ’s power, instead of showing off my own power and abilities. Since I know it is all for Christ’s good, I am quite happy about ‘the thorn,’ and about insults and hardships, persecutions and difficulties; for when I am weak, then I am strong—the less I have, the more I depend on him.” Our weaknesses remind us that we need Jesus and provide us an opportunity to trust Him. By realizing how limited we are on our own, He uses our weakness to do incredible work in us and through us as His strength and goodness shine through. It’s true when we are weak, we end up being even stronger because we’re totally dependent on Him. What has been your weakest position this year in Fantasy? Who has been your weakest player? What is your weakest part of being a Fantasy manager? How have you strengthened your weakest positions? In life, in what ways do you feel weak today? What area of your life seems the weakest right now? How do you normally view your weaknesses? Over the years, what has been your most common pain point? How has God strengthened you when you’ve been weak? Through the lens of sin and temptation, where are you the weakest? "It’s true when we are weak, we end up being even stronger because we’re totally dependent on Him." - Bryce Johnson, Fantasy Football Fellowship Chargers, QB Ryan Leaf has one of the worst recorded Fantasy performances by a QB in history, scoring -9.74 points in a 1998 contest. - ESPN
- BREAKOUT WEEK 6: I Forgot To Set My Lineup
Like any other activity or hobby, Fantasy Football is a commitment that takes time. It requires us to keep up with the NFL, monitor the health and status of players on our rosters, explore players available on the waiver wire, and evaluate trades with other managers. Each week, it’s up to us to set our starting lineup and maintain the best possible roster we can. Looking at each player’s stats, the matchup they face, and projecting how well they'll do in their upcoming game, takes time. We also consider whether one player is more likely to have a better performance than someone else as we decide who should start and who should be on the bench. These are the decisions and elements that make Fantasy fun, challenging, and competitive. The truth is, that time and effort are required to maintain and give the proper attention to a thriving Fantasy team. For some people, that’s the reason they don’t play Fantasy Football at all. But for the rest of us, we’ve decided it’s worth the time, and may even play in multiple leagues. (Thankfully Fantasy Football Fellowship allows us to play with purpose and meaning!) However, even those of us who truly love Fantasy Football can oftentimes get so busy with other things that we forget to set or change our lineup. We might overlook an injury or a bye week and leave a player in our lineup who isn’t active that week. Sometimes we may also have responsibilities pulling us away from Fantasy and forget to put in our waiver wire claims or neglect responding to a trade request from someone in our league. Getting distracted or caught up in other things results in missing out on opportunities to improve our teams. Busyness outside of Fantasy Football can cause things to slip through the cracks on our teams and affect how well we perform on the virtual gridiron. In addition, there may be certain weeks when we aren’t able to spend as much time watching the actual NFL games and miss out on having the proper perspective about players' performances on the field. Although we may see what their stats are, we don’t have the same context as we would if we watched the game. Ultimately, being a Fantasy manager is about taking care of our roster, spending time figuring out how to tweak and improve it, and gaining an understanding of what players will give us the best chance to win. Yet, there are times we don’t follow through because we're just too busy. Of course, most things should take priority over Fantasy Football, but by using the premise of being too busy for Fantasy Football, we can parallel how the most important things in life sometimes don’t get the attention they deserve. Let’s face it, life is busy - especially this time of year. There's so much on our plate, that we are always on to the next activity, and continually bogged down with distractions. If we aren’t careful, we forget to “set our lineup,” so to speak, and neglect spending time on key areas of our lives. As followers of Jesus, there's nothing more valuable than spending time with God. Every day it’s crucial that we read His Word, enjoy His presence, praise Him, and go to Him in prayer. Unfortunately, we allow our busyness to pull us away from these important disciplines and when we get to the end of the day, we say, “I forgot to set my lineup” or rather, "I forgot to spend time with God.” Too often we lose sight of our commitment to Him and need for Him, and get so caught up in our worldly affairs (dare I say Fantasy Football!) that we neglect to maintain and give the proper attention to our fellowship with God and His people, and obeying His Word. When this happens we realize how busyness leads to adverse effects on our perspective, relationships, attitude, and behavior. Instead of running all over the place and filling up our calendars, we must remember what it says in Psalm 127:2 (NLT): ”It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to His loved ones.” We must also be diligent about slowing down enough to be still before God. Psalm 46:10 (AMP) says, “Be still and know (recognize, understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth.” While on earth, Jesus demonstrated the priority of His prayer time as explained in Mark 1:35 (ESV): “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He departed and went out to a desolate place, and there He prayed.” While sitting (or better yet kneeling) before the Lord and spending time in prayer, He helps us to examine our spiritual health, and evaluate what changes He wants us to make, and He empowers us to make wise decisions. Ephesians 5:15-17 (ESV) tells us, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” As we study the Bible, we gain context and understanding of what is true and what is the best path for life, according to the Creator. We are then able to “put together a winning lineup” in life as we trust His leading and guiding. “The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you’” (Psalm 32:8; NLT). It’s easy to get busy doing other things, but we must prioritize the time we spend “with our roster each day,” or rather, the time we dedicate to focusing on our personal relationship with Jesus. After all, Jesus is what matters most, so let's seek Him first and above all else. How much time do you spend each week on your Fantasy team(s)? What is your weekly rhythm and strategy for maintaining your roster? What is your process like when setting your final roster before the games begin? Have you ever forgotten to set your lineup or to put in waiver wire claims? In life, how do you handle busyness? How often does busyness get in the way of spending time with God? What is your daily approach to connecting with God? How is your day different when you spend time with Him vs. when you don’t? Is Jesus your priority or what does your schedule reveal is most important to you? "As we study the Bible, we gain context and understanding of what is true and what is the best path for life, according to the Creator. We are then able to 'put together a winning lineup' in life as we trust His leading and guiding." - Bryce Johnson, Fantasy Football Fellowship Fantasy Football leagues have added unique wrinkles to their rules, including “Pirate Leagues,” which allow the winning team each week to take one player off the roster of the other team after they beat them. - TheFantasyFootballers.com
- Players That Are Making Us Panic
Every season there are players who enter the year with high expectations for fantasy production. And for as much as we might wish that every player would pan out the way that we hoped, we know from experience that is not how reality works. With that in mind, here are four players we are pushing the panic button for as we prepare to enter week five of the NFL season. Zay Flowers Flowers has by no means been a "bust" in his rookie season, but he has started to come back down to earth a little after a monster game in the season opener. Many people were hoping that Flowers would clearly establish himself as the top target for Lamar Jackson in Baltimore. That honor, however, seems to still belong to tight end Mark Andrews. The fact of the matter is that Jackson loves targeting the tight ends, which will always somewhat limit the production of his receivers. Flowers is absolutely a guy to keep on your fantasy roster, but he may not be a guy that you want to have as a starter every week. Breece Hall Despite being drafted in the third round of many fantasy drafts, Hall currently sits as the RB31 after four contests. Like Flowers, Hall had a good showing in the season opener, rushing for 127 yards on just ten carries. But since that great start to the year, has rushed for less than 90 yards combined over his last three contests. To make matters worse, Hall has not been much of a fact in the passing game, with only five receptions on the season. Given the Jets' current struggles at quarterback, it seems likely that many defenses will be stacking the box to stop the run in the weeks ahead, making it difficult for Hall to get anything going. Jaylen Waddle Much like the players mentioned above, Waddle's inclusion on the list is not at all to recommend that he is not worthy of a spot on a fantasy roster. He has by no means been terrible for the Dolphins this season. But what we have seen pretty clearly is that Tyreek Hill and Waddle are not 1-A and 1-B, as many people assumed. Hill has clearly emerged as Tua Tagovailoa's top target in the passing game. When combined with the emergence of many other playmakers in the Miami offense, Waddle's production has been a far cry from what many fantasy managers had hoped. He will definitely be a player to keep track of moving forward. The Pittsburgh Steelers Granted, this is not an individual player, but there is a lot to panic about with the Pittsburgh offense in general. Through four games, Pittsburgh's offense has gone three and out on 58 percent of its possessions. The league average is only 34%. If that weren't bad enough, the Steelers have only reached the red zone two times all season. As of right now, there is no player on this offense that you can trust to give you consistent production on a weekly basis. Not every Pittsburgh player is necessary of being released from a roster, but you should give some serious thought to how you handle them given the offensive woes of the team in general.
- BREAKOUT WEEK 5: Not Really Willing to Trade
It’s that time of the Fantasy season when trades should happen more often between managers. However, it’s really hard to pull off a deal because let’s face it, nobody wants to give up any of their great players. We want to make a trade where we get someone else’s best players while keeping all of our top players too. Since we know that’s not how it works (unless we find some new manager who doesn’t understand what’s going on), sacrifice is required for a legitimate trade to take place. So, before we send a trade request to get a deal done, we have to ask ourselves what we're willing to give up. We can’t expect to do a meaningful deal that doesn’t cost us something. To make our team better and enable us to acquire a desperately needed second running back, we have to be okay with letting go of our third wide receiver who we’ve loved having on our team. As excited as we may have been about the impressive waiver wire pickup we had after Week 1, when a manager asks to include him, that's what we have to do if we want to improve our overall roster and get the player he’s offering us. The majority of proposed trades don’t ever happen because too many managers refuse to include a particular player they're unwilling to part with. They don't agree to give up a player being requested, and necessary, for the deal to take place. In some ways, that can be positive, but I want to unpack the negative side of that and how it parallels our own lives and faith journeys. The good news is, Jesus has sent us an unbelievable trade offer that is completely lopsided in our favor. He went to the cross on our behalf and died to save us from our sins, and offers us His grace and eternal life with Him. Romans 10:9 (NLT) tells us, “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Hopefully, all of us have hit "trade accepted” and received Jesus as our Lord and Savior as we trade in our sinfulness for His righteousness. When we accept Jesus’ invitation to be His followers, we must be willing to give up everything necessary to follow Him. In Luke 9:23 (AMP) Jesus says, “...If anyone wishes to follow Me [as My disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests], and take up his cross daily [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me].” He’s called us into a new life that includes sacrifice. The apostle Paul puts it this way in Romans 12:1 (NLT): “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him.” In order to embrace life with Jesus both now and for eternity, we have to be willing to trade in our former life and let go of anything we love in this world more than Him. We can’t expect a meaningful life that doesn’t cost us something. We don't just "add" Jesus to our lives and keep doing what we've always done, but rather we lose that old life. Jesus explains in Matthew 16:25 (AMP), “'For whoever wishes to save his life [in this world] will [eventually] lose it [through death], but whoever loses his life [in this world] for My sake will find it [that is, life with Me for all eternity].'” 1 John 2:15 (AMP) gives us this plea: “Do not love the world [of sin that opposes God and His precepts], nor the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” Here are some important questions for us to consider today: What specific area are we holding on to and not willing to hand over to Jesus? What former mindset are we struggling to let go of to live the life Jesus has called us to live? Are we willing to trade almost everything, but there's one area of sin we just can’t seem to part with because we still love it? What do we need to give up today? Let’s not be like the Fantasy managers who would rather hold onto their current roster instead of making a trade to make their team better. Let's choose to open our hands and hearts, and willingly sacrifice anything necessary to enjoy all that God has for us. Let's trade our ways for His ways so we can experience the best life that's found in Him. What trades have you made this year? What trades haven't happened because someone wasn't willing to part with a player? What players are you currently unwilling to give up in a trade? What specific areas are we holding on to and not willing to hand over to Jesus? What former mindset are we struggling to let go of to live the life Jesus has called us to live? What do we need to give up today? What are we still hanging onto from our past? Are we willing to trade almost everything, but there's one area of sin we just can’t seem to part with because we still love it? What does it mean to be a "living sacrifice"? "Let’s not be like the Fantasy managers who would rather hold onto their current roster instead of making a trade to make their team better. Let's choose to open our hands and hearts, and willingly sacrifice anything necessary to enjoy all that God has for us." - Bryce Johnson, Fantasy Football Fellowship The leading scorer in the first season of Fantasy Football was George Blanda (QB and kicker), who scored 1,430 points under the original scoring system. - Fantasy Index