Fantasy Island: A Meeting of Underperformers Anonymous
Each week, the Fantasy Island contestants will submit waiver wires detailing their recommended pickups. The best waiver column will be published and awarded points as part of Grantland’s ongoing contest to select our fantasy football writer. Get it? OK. We sorta do too.
What follows is a transcript from the latest meeting of Underperformers Anonymous (UA), the oldest support group in the country for underperforming fantasy football players. Names have not been changed, but some details have been omitted to protect the innocent.
Doctor: Welcome, everyone, welcome. I see a lot of faces here today — some old, some new. I’m Dr. Edwards, or Braylon, but most people here just call me Dr. B. I know what you’re all going through. I am living through my sixth year of underperforming, and my third year leading the groups here at UA. [Light applause in room.] Thank you. Our thanks once again to the Holiday Inn Paramus for letting us hold our events in the Springsteen Ballroom. This is an informal group, so whenever you feel like talking, you can. We just like to give everyone a chance to tell his story. Let’s just start clockwise from me, OK? [Nods to his left.]
Member 1: I’m Philip from San Diego.
Group: Hi, Philip.
Patient 1: In four weeks, I’ve averaged 225 yards passing per game. [Murmurs from group.] I have only six TDs to go with four INTs. I’ve tried to chalk it all up to a slow start — again — but it’s not working. Carson Palmer has more yards than I do. People are starting to notice. Friends of mine told me they heard people cutting me for Kevin Kolb or Andy Dalton. I even tried to speak to coach about it, but the only time he takes his eyes off the JumboTron is when he’s sleeping.
Braylon: Thank you, Philip. That’s a very good start. Next, our friend over here in all black.
Member 2: Hi, I’m Darren. From Oakland.
Group: Hi, Darren.
Member 2: This was supposed to be my breakout year.
Braylon: Been there.
Patient 2: I thought Week 3 was my moment — 113 yards and a TD against the Steelers has to be a sign of something. Then I ran for 34 yards last week against the Broncos. My TD against the Steelers was my only one of the year. Andre Brown has more fantasy points than me, and he’s only started one game. Jackie Battle has three more total TDs than me. Teams are starting to think about picking up Brandon Bolden to shore up their RBs. Oh … and the ghost.
Member 2: Mr. Davis still calls in third-down plays. [Room sits in silence.]
Braylon: [Deep inhale.] Well … thank you, Darren. Who’s next?
Member 3: [Raises hand.] I’m open, Doc. I mean I started the year with back-to-back 100-yard receiving games, but I only caught three passes last week.
Braylon: Sorry, your name?
Member 3: Steve from Carolina. I haven’t caught a TD yet this year. Now, I’m sure it has more to do with my regressing QB than being a 33-year-old no. 1 wide receiver, but some guy named Brian Hartline is outscoring me. Andre Roberts, who gets to run with Fitz, has four TDs this year. I’m stuck at zero. I might even start James Jones on my own team this week. He’s making big plays every week, and he’s gotten in the end zone three times.
Braylon: Thank you, Steve. I’m sure plenty of people here can relate. And here, the last of our new faces.
[Member 4 is silent, his eyes locked onto Philip.]
Braylon: Take all the time you need. [More silent stares.] Well, you know, not everyone has to talk their first time. Why don’t we just skip to …
Member 4: My name is Antonio from San Diego. I’m an All-Pro. I’m a playmaker. I’m on posters. Yet somehow, I have zero TDs this season. [Philip turns head toward the wall featuring a poster of a kitten clinging to a basket above the words “Hang in There.”] And I can only think of one reason.
Member 1: Here we go again.
Braylon: Philip, let Antonio get it out.
Member 4: I have 124 receiving yards this year. Some guy named Brandon Myers has 228 yards. Scott Chandler has 175 yards and four touchdowns. In Buffalo. Western New York, Phil. Jared Cook has double the fantasy points I do this year. Double. If things don’t change soon …
Member 1: Next week, man. Next week.
Member 4: You say that every week!
Member 1: Saints D next week. It’s a lock! [Silence.]
Braylon: OK, got all that out? Good. Next week, expect any and all Jets to be here. Chins up, winners!