Fantasy Football Etiquette

When it comes to Fantasy Football, make sure you remember: it's not a pro sport.

Richie Frieman
5-minute read

In my tenure as Modern Manners Guy, I’ve covered improper sports etiquette of all kinds, including Sports Event Etiquette and of course, the unmannerly realm of Office Sports. However, there’s one area of sports etiquette I have not journeyed into: the insanely popular world of Fantasy Football.

In some cases (not all) players’ behavior can make managing a real life professional team seem downright calm. So, before you end lifelong friendships over a running back trade, or curse out the commissioner, check out my top three quick and dirty tips on Fantasy Football Etiquette.

Tip #1: It’s Not a Sport, It’s Fantasy!

If you regularly listen to my Modern Manners Guy show, you may already know about my tenure as a professional wrestler. So, I totally understand playing “fantasy” in sports. I mean, pro wrestling is more Broadway than Olympics. However, the difference between what I did and what others believe they’re doing with the world of “pretend,” is this: I knew my gig wasn't real. Granted wrestling takes skill and a heck of a lot of guts, and Fantasy Football does indeed take intelligence and time, but in the end, it’s all make believe. Now, some of you may say, “Well, I have money riding on it, so it’s very real to me.” And I get that. Most Fantasy Football leagues have tremendous winnings involved, or “friendly side bets.” However, like I talked about "How To Be A Proper Video Gamer," when dealing with an environment of fantasy, if you let false-reality become your everyday life, you may improperly cross the line from having fun to taking things too seriously.

Again, I’m not mocking those that play Fantasy Football—after all, I play too—but my real concern is when someone believes that what they’re doing on a computer screen makes them a real-life coach or professional team owner. Sure you may rule your fraternity alumni league or office pool, but it’s rude to actually see yourself as a “mover and shaker” in the world of sports because you “called” Adrian Peterson on having an amazing season. This type of improper thinking carries over a bizarre bravado that can inflate someone’s ego to crazy levels and interfere with other (real) areas of your life. They do call it fantasy for a reason. You’re not getting comped at some steakhouse because you won last week, like pro athletes may. And that trophy for winning the league, was bought online for $15 … not made with diamonds and gold like NFL Super bowl rings.