Okay, so things didn't work out this season. David Johnson got hurt. Odell Beckham, Jr. got hurt. We're not exactly sure what happened to the Buccaneers. Or maybe you just ran into the wrong team for too many weeks.
It doesn't matter, really. You're out of the playoffs. No Cinderella story will unfold this year. But you still have one more role to play, and it's an important one.
Look at your final opponent on the schedule. You might see a team that needs a win, and they'll expect you to provide it. After all, you have no reason to keep trying. You're going to roll over, score a few dozen points and fade away.
That's what they want to happen, anyway. But that's not you, is it? You understand the value of the spoiler role, and you're going to milk it for all it's worth.
The best thing in a fantasy season is winning the title. The second-best is making the playoffs. But third? I think the bronze medal goes to keeping a buddy out of the playoffs. Misery loves company, and you're having a friend over this weekend. It's time to win one for the sheer satisfaction of throwing that victory in someone else's face. Just because you can.
It's not a small consolation prize, either. If it's a real friend, you win an entire off-season of trash talk. How many times can you use that? Hundreds? Thousands? Depends on how creative you are.
But wait; there's more. Make sure you use the waiver wire this week. There are players who just might help someone win a title. So why not deny them? You probably have waiver priority, so imagine their frustration when they see you sweep in and improve your team. You could upset several owners in just one night. Think of how angry they'll all be. Isn't it wonderful?
Maybe this sounds a bit petty, but in reality you're making your league better. Teams should earn their way into the post-season. They shouldn't get an automatic win, especially when other teams might need them to lose for their own shot at the playoffs. What could be a thrilling week in your league becomes a coronation because an opponent doesn't even try. By doing your best, you're also doing your job as an owner.
And if you believe in karma, it's also the right thing to do. Next year you might need another team to lose to make the playoffs. Would you want their opponent to try their best, or mail it in? Do unto others, right? So win your game.
Besides, if you don't, you're just cheating yourself. The fantasy season is short enough. Why bail on an extra week? I know it's not the same as having your own playoff aspirations, but you could still win and make someone else sad. Very, very sad. If that doesn't put a smile on your face, you don't understand fantasy football. And I know you do.
Finally, this is part of your job as a decent owner. Pay your league fees. Take bye week players and injured guys out of your lineup. Start your best players. Don't tank. Don't abandon your team. Don't dole out easy wins. Simple, right?
Well, maybe it's harder when you're disappointed at how the season turned out. I understand. We've all been there. But I've also kept a friend out of the playoffs. It's pretty sweet. And you can end your season on a high note, knowing a friend will end on a low one. So finish strong and make a buddy look weak. Good luck!
Any fun spoiler stories to share? Tell your story below.