1. Step 1: Initial temptation
You were going to play one year, try it out. No biggie.
We’re all just some friends hanging out, enjoying some football, right? Wrong.
4. Step 3: Realizing you are in too deep.
Between love and madness lies an obsession… with fantasy football.
5. Step 4: Your addiction is so strong that you even try to get your fix with fantasy basketball and fantasy baseball in the off-season.
Both have too many games, and don’t quite fill the need.
7. Step 5: Admitting you have a problem.
Nothing is wrong with you, we’re in this together.
8. Step 6: Ignoring that nagging thought of quitting, because this year will be different than the last.
Last year’s record was a fluke. There’s no way you’re letting another Alfred Morris slip through your hands again.
9. Step 7: Inevitably taking on more than you can handle.
Multiple teams sound great, but eventually you start playing against yourself, and nobody wants that.
10. Step 8: Researching as if it’s your job.
You have piles of magazines like these, and you watch ESPN and the NFL Network non-stop. Nobody is paying you to do this, mind you.
11. Step 9: Going down the mock-draft black hole.
You spend hours practice drafting from every possible position, and in multiple formats. You still get Tony Romo as your quarterback.
12. Step 10: When the actual time comes, you instantly regret your first pick.
It’s fine. Knowing your luck, I’m sure taking Peyton in round one means he won’t get hurt week one.
13. Step 11: Gloating about your teams awesome, super-witty name.
“The Wes SkyWelkers” is not that impressive, but that’s not going to stop you from bragging about it.
14. Step 12: Signing up for phone alerts and constantly checking for updates.
FYI, Denver has not scored in the 6 seconds since you last checked.
15. Step 13: Being seduced into trades you have no business taking.
“Larry Fitzgerald for the David Akers? OK!”
16. Step 14: Then desperately asking for trades to fix your doomed team.
No one is giving you Adrian Peterson for Ryan Mathews and Justin Blackmon, so stop asking.
17. Step 15: Justifying drafting a player from your real-life rival’s team.
“Yeah, the Vikings are my team, but I drafted A-Rod in the first, so… Go Pack?”
18. Step 16: Dealing with the injury of one of your star players.
Or the incarceration, you choose.
19. Step 17: Yelling at the television in your underwear surrounded by Cheez-It crumbs.
This is not your proudest moment.
20. Step 18: Writing off people who say, “It’s just a game.”
At this point, all you can think about is fantasy football. So when someone says this, they’re dead to you.
21. Step 19: Experiencing the joy of finally winning a game.
Let the rush roll over you, validating every step you’ve made thus far.
22. Step 20: Experiencing the pain of not making the play-offs.
24. Step 21: Pretending to congratulate your friend when they win the league.
Just breathe, because…
25. Step 22: You’re fully addicted now. And the cycle of addiction continues. You’ll be back next year.
Quitting was never really an option, and next year you’ll auto-draft.