Sunday, July 25, 2010

Top 10 ways to pad the page count of a fantasy football annual

10) Write an introduction. This one's easy. Just cut and paste some other blowhard's observations on how big fantasy football has gotten, add in an aside over how your clueless old relative now has a team, then finish with a ton of thanks to people on the masthead. These practically write themselves!

9) Sniff a jock. Call any young running back or non-star wideout, ask him the same ten questions that everyone always asks, and voila... instant five page spread with photos. You're already deep into the page count!

8) Big photos. What do fantasy sport neds and number junkies need more than anything? Right -- big, big color photos. And lots of them! Preferably cut together in a way that shows your graphics designer uses drugs!

7) Have an "expert" draft. As there are over five million fantasy sports Web sites, and no one can be sure who is legit and who isn't, it's easy to crank up a dozen fake names and URLs and go to work. Make sure to have lots of bizarre and indefensible decisions to show the world just how expert they are!

6) Add some wildly over-enthusiastic rookie profiles. The only people who fluff these guys more are their agents or the mouth jobbers that host the draft show. Just remember, if only half of the guys hyped make it, the NFL will have to expand by a half dozen teams.

5) Pull some strength of schedule predictions out of your... For sheer Ouija board work, little beats the concept that you can ensure that your team isn't just going to qualify for the playoffs, but be set up to win once you get there. And since there's just enough in this to affect a decision, it's absolute catnip to players. Catnip made from bull product.

4) Repeat your themes. Did you know that wideouts in their third year tend to have their crossroads year -- either breaking through to production or fizzling out to irrelevance? Well, now you do, which means that you should have it pointed out to you for every third year receiver in the league, no matter how trivial or meaningless the distinction might be. (Yes, by all means, DeSean Jackson is just primed to do good this year, because it's his third year. Ye gads.)

3) Dream up some survivor league tips. Want a tip on how to win a survivor league? Don't play, or arrange to have everyone else who joined the league killed. Otherwise, this is the fantasy football equivalent of playing Powerball, and subject to the same need for "tips."

2) Talk to the Big Money League Winner. This one just screams out paid placement from a sportsbook, as there is just no other reason to imagine why anyone, with the possible exception of the winner and his immediate family, wants to hear how some random guy took down a pot. Nothing quite says useless like hearing how some fat pantload won five figures last year with Sidney Rice, and how it is life-changing money for him and his spawn, in that they can now afford the double-wide. This helps my draft lots!

1) Take kickers seriously. Nothing quite says thorough like a paragraph or two on the interchangeable last-round fodder that is the kicker position. Make sure to forecast how many over 50 yard field attempts will happen, too. That's quality padding!

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