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there are a whole lot of similarities between fantasy football and the stock market. What I am doing right now is active management. Read on to find out.

My palms are sweaty, I’m pacing around my living room, I’m studying ratios and value-based rankings obsessively. Did I just make a major investment in a risky venture you might ask? Unless you consider $100 a major investment, the answer is no. I am actually two hours from my first fantasy football draft of the season. I needed something to do to kill nerves and time, so I decided to pen a quick post that tries desperately to find an angle to relate fantasy football to personal finance. I already wrote a piece last year on why hedge fund managers would make great fantasy football players, but I needed something better this time around. Then it came to me – what I am doing right now is active management.

You Know You’re a Nerd When…

For those of you that are new to this blog, I have an ongoing beef with the mutual fund folks, and to a lesser extent the people that think they can beat the market over an extended period of time. I think there are definitely people out there that can do this, but I’m extremely dubious as to just how many there are at this point. Check out my FREE ETF eBook for more information. Yet what I am doing right now? I’m listening to a Mathew Berry podcast (think a toned down version of Jim Cramer, but for fantasy football) looking up projections, comparing such minute details as strength of schedule, week 16 matchups, last year’s quarterly splits, and most of all, trying to find the best value picks at each position. The objective of a fantasy football draft isn’t to put the best theoretical team together, but to gather the most statistically superior players. The key to doing this is to determine which players give you the largest relative advantage at each position, thus deciding where undervalued gems can be found. If that sounded like the Warren Buffett Value Guide To Picking Something that’s because I stole a lot of the terminology from the Oracle himself.

A Cheaper Way To Prove Your Dumb

The truth is that there are a whole lot of similarities between fantasy football and the stock market. There are self-proclaimed experts around every corner who throw out vague predictions and are never held to them unless they are right. There is a huge edge for people with some experience and patience. A grasp of what metrics are useless and which ones can be used to predict outcomes is important. Finding value where others don’t see it, is the main strategy for really good players (usually referred to as “Sharks”… hmm, where have we seen that one before?). Perhaps the biggest similarity is that both stock picking and fantasy football are traditionally the domains of males who want to prove they are the Alpha dog and risk takers. The main difference there being that being a dumb testosterone-driven “maverick” can only lose you $100 in most FF leagues whereas a lot more damage can be done on the stock market. Trading with the other dudes in your league who are even more clueless than you are gives you a way better chance of looking smart than going head-to-head with hedge fund managers and supercomputers. All-in-all, if you’re looking for a creative outlet for all that pent-up masculinity you are bottling up because your investment portfolio just consists of boring old broad ETFs and mutual funds, I would recommend joining a league with some buddies. With a little trepidation my girlfriend even entered one league last year, and although she didn’t beat yours truly, she did have the best name – Emasculation Station.

Straight Cash Homey

If anyone is interested in starting an online personal finance fantasy football league, please comment below. I guarantee that I will put more work into researching that team then I do the stocks I choose for stock picking contests or even my actual portfolio for that matter. You see the beautiful thing about NFL stats is that there is no financial industry to suck up half of my picks’ production in the form of MER and/or transaction fees; therefore, indexing doesn’t look so attractive. Real men don’t prove their masculinity on Wall Street, they prove it by picking ridiculous team names, and then sacrificing quality family time in the name of pretending to be an NFL general manager for 16 weeks. The proposed league will be called “Straight Cash Homey” and if you don’t get the reference Google the term along with Randy Moss.

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Article comments

Squirrelers says:

Fantasy football rocks. The strategy and constant, active management is a lot of fun. Ironically, I’m more of a mutual fund person in the PF realm, with the occasional stock timing moves.

I do know about that “straight cash” phrase, a few friends and I probably overused it joking around a few years ago 🙂

Oh and as a Minnesotan, I am very aware of the “Straight Cash Homey” reference 😉

I would be interested, but what date/time were you thinking of having the draft? Would have to do it pretty soon.

I might be able to get the boyfriend in on one. Let me know if it happens! (I’d pick with all based on my emotions and lose my cash for sure.)

Echo says:

I’m in…but beware, I talk a lot of smack during the season. Especially when someone auto-drafts 3 tight ends and 2 kickers with the same bye week.

I’m in for a fantasy league.

I used to get that obsessive with my fantasy hockey. I’d come up with my own projections, sleepers, etc. Then I realized the arbitrary rankings on Yahoo were just as arbitrary as my own. Plus, you know, I need time to blog now.