FANTASY FOOTBALL MYTHOPOEIA
Fantasy Football is bullshit. It’s like 90% luck and 10% skill. The very idea that somebody can be “good at fantasy football” is truly a myth. But, still, it’s nice to believe that we actually have some control over this stupid game which is why mythopoeisis is such a vital practice for every successful fantasy player.
“Mythopoeia” is the act of making mythology or imbuing a narrative with mythological symbolism. It’s something a lot of writers and filmmakers do quite intentionally since mythical narratives tend to be psychologically satisfying for the audience.
Moreover, as we argued in The Ultimate Star Wars Theory, mythopoeia is also something most people tend to do everyday when they think about their own lives.
Everyone tells themselves a story about their own life, it’s one of the basic ways that people make sense of the world. We create a narrative wherein we understand the otherwise random events of each moment to be causally related to, or understood through the prism of, all the events before them. Everyday we write ourselves a story about where we’ve been in the past because it helps us see why we are where we are right now. The story is the meaning of our life.
Likewise, in fantasy, when we say “this guy’s a workhorse” or “that guy’s a sleeper”, those are narratives, they are fantasy football myths. We all know how random and unpredictable the game is, but we need to believe that what we’ve seen in the weeks and seasons before will have some bearing on what will happen next. So we construct narratives around players that explain their past performance and portend something about their chances of future success.
In this way, everything we do here at DYM - the premature assessments, the nonsensical characters, the made up statistics - should help guide you through the proverbial Thesis, Antithesis, and Synthesis of season-long roster management.
A fantasy football season is an ostensibly easy vehicle for a “Hero’s Journey”-type tale because There are exactly 17 steps in Joseph Campbell's monomyth formula and the last one is a victory celebration. Then in fantasy football there’s exactly 16 matchups to play and only one Hero who gets to celebrate in week 17.
The First Act of the season (weeks 1-4) is marked by confusion. At first, we struggle to understand each season’s fantasy landscape - what teams are good? Who has upside? Which players have particular roles in their offense? In this first stage we mostly imagine what our team might be as the statistics and storylines coalesce around us.
In The Second Act (weeks 5-12) we think about our team more rationally. We should make more informed decisions (eg better pickups and trades), but our minds often wander in the dog-days. So we also indulge in farcical characters and topics (like movie and food reviews).
In the Third Act (the playoffs) we must reconcile everything we’ve learned along the journey thus far. By playoff time we should clearly understand our teams’ strengths and weaknesses, and leverage this knowledge for maximum HOTNESS down the stretch.
So in this way, we try to conceptualize our season as a single cohesive narrative comprised of 16 seperate weekly plot points that we try to repeat every year.
But the 16 steps are essential. We have to play every week, so we will experience each of the steps at one point or another.
Our ultimate goal is to win weeks 14,15 and 16, so to win a championship it is necessary that we progress through the steps in the correct order. That's because not all of the steps are positive steps-forward, in fact there is only one place in The Journey where the hero has three consecutive successes, which just happens to be steps 14, 15, and 16. You don’t want to find yourself on “The Road of Trials” or in “The Belly of the Whale” at the end of the season, ideally you wanna get through those before the trade deadline.
Therefore, as it has been said many times before:
Dumpster Dives, Food Beef, Whos Hot?!
The three halves of DYM.
They coexist like the yin/yang.
For one cannot get HOT without first making moves, just as we cannot watch games without eating wings.
Over the years we’ve refined the format of our regularly scheduled DYM content to better synchronize it with the natural narrative arc of the season.
For instance - Power Rankings now happen only once and always in week 4 so that they represent the First Threshold, and the end of the First Act of the season.
The trade deadline naturally occurs in week 10 in our league, which appears in the image above directly across from week 1. Although we have 10 weeks to make trades, “Trade Season” actually comprises exactly half of the season’s journey and the trade deadline (week 10) is the polar opposite of week 1.
Since trades (and “moves”) are our primary focus at DYM, we used this same natural model for two other essential recurring DYM pieces: Food Beef and Whos Hot?!
”Whos Hot?! Season” always runs from weeks 8-16 as to occupy the second half of the season in its entirety.
We have Food Beef only from Week 3 until week 12. So “Food Beef Season” also comprises exactly half of the season’s journey. It's also significant that we chose weeks 3 and 12 for the non sequitur feature as Campbell’s third step is “Refusal of the Call” and the twelfth is “Refusal of the Return”, so these are (like weeks 1 and 10) coincident opposites. These steps are also known to be tense and fraught, making us prone to mistakes. It’s usually best to just not pay attention to football those weeks.
This season’s trade deadline was this past Saturday. So the dog-days of the season are over and there are only three weeks left until we cross the “Third Threshold” that is the playoffs.
Who among us has now reached Apotheosis and taken possession of The Ultimate Boon?
To find out, let’s take a look at WHOS HOT?!?!?!
Well, folks, Fox News’ Mike Tobin is a contender for real!!!!! He's now the second highest scorer on the season and 2nd highest over the last 3 weeks and he’s HOTTT!!! He’s also as good as clinched now after locking in that crucial 7th win in week 10. But there’s no time for Tobin to rest on his laurels because each of his next three games could all be playoff matchup previews: This week he’s got the juggernaut PAT, then 4th place Team Meh next week, and 2nd place DYM in the regular season finale.
MAN, we can't wait for that one.
Don’t know about Tobin, but we’re about to get trap-gamed the next two straight weeks cause we’re very much looking ahead to that Big Week 13 matchup.
AMERICAS GAME OF THE WEEK: Sharon Ertz vs Team Meh!!!!!!!!!!!
AGoTW Prediction Record: 10-4
One team looking for their 7th win, the other trying to avoid the dreaded 7th loss.
Team Meh’s “run it back” draft strategy is playing out just as we expected. 5 players from last year’s Team Meh are still on the roster now (Peterson, Robinson, Theilen, Thomas, and Rivers), but overall this has been a poor man’s version of 2018 Team Meh. Poetically, the second act of this season has, so far, had the same basic narrative as last year: In both seasons they put up big BIG scores early in the season before collapsing around week 7. The good news is their RB situation won’t be as dire as last year once byes are over; the bad news is that they still only have 6 wins, and all their remaining games are against playoff contending teams.
We like Rob here because Team Meh has 5 redlight matchups and Carson on bye. They’ve also had ZERO’s in the lineup two of the last three weeks, so the collapse is real.
Ertz Squad has some horses this week too: This could be a Fantasy Revenge Game for Sammy Watkins who could have been a keeper for Meh were he not dropped for Rapper/WR Cole Beasley in week 9. Also, DJ Moore is heating up lately, and Diggs has just gotta be due for a big game right about now.
Sharon Ertz is averaging over 30 points less than Team Meh. But Rob won this matchup in week 2, and outscored Meh in week 9, and he’s about 1% hotter so he’s gonna win this one too.
SHARON ERTZ WINS!!!!!!!!!!!
Pickle Ricks!! vs Bring It On Home
PR is finally back to full strength with Mahomes and Conner. Plus your old boy Jared Cook is back! Hey how bout that?
PICKLE RICKS!!! WINS!!!!!!!!!!!
Polk High Panthers vs 🔥 i has nothing 🔥
Doug’s starting Josh Allen this week!!! LETS GO!!!!!
DOUGGY TACOS WINS!!!!!!!!!!!
Paul’s Awesome Team vs Alvin & TheShitmunks
Tobin is hot right now and Paul is not.
But one of the few ways a cold team can overcome a hot one is if the hot team falls into a ... TRAP GAME!!!
PAULS AWESOME TEAM WINS!!!!!!!!!!
DefendYourMoves.com🥯 vs Ambassador of SaQuon
ITS THE SUPERBOWL REMATCH!!! The 17th meeting of Special Ed’s most storied rivalry. THE CLASH AT THE CREEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
DYM currently leads the alltime series 9-7, including the 2018 Superbowl. DYM Scholars know we treasure these games against the commish above all others. We’ve had this game circled in red on our calendar all year long. No fuckin WAY this is a trap game.
It's too bad that The Commish is eliminated right now, because this squad is hotter than it’s ever been right now. In fact their 1.23 HEAT INDEX is the hottest ever recorded on DefendYourMoves.com. Plus they scored a whole buncha points last week even though Saquon didn't do shit. This week his team captain is on bye but he could still roll out a 4 RB lineup which is scary.
DEFEND YOUR MOVES WINS!!!!!!!!!!!!
HAVE A GREAT WEEK EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!!!!