The end of the fantasy football season often leaves owners in one of a few states of mind: thrilled and proud; frustrated and disappointed; playfully indifferent and amused; or numb and disenchanted. Whatever the state and the circumstances, most owners will leave it there until the next season. No reflection on the way the previous season went down. No detailed analysis of what contributed to their failures and successes. No thoughtful conclusions as to how to improve their game next year. Instead, we tend to make blatant dismissive statements about why one owner was lucky enough to win and passing lame excuses for why we didn’t. End of season, end of story.
Now, to be real, fantasy football is just a game. And if you simply like to play each season and move on, by all means do. It’s the fun and the camaraderie that really count. But for those who take the game more seriously, when was the last time you perform a detailed review of your season to figure out what really took place? When have you ever looked into which of your mistakes were temporary in nature, and which were more indicative of a systemic problem in your Game? When was the last time you looked at the real reasons behind your fantasy failures and owned them?
No one likes to look at their own mistakes and failures. It can be somewhat painful and quite disconcerting at times. But if you want to be a real student of the Game, then it behooves you to go down this arduous path at the end of every season to note your flaws and learn from them. You should already be taking the time to do this each week during the season. But certain patterns and consequences cannot be adequately perceived without a more holistic view of what’s taken place. And without that type of study, you are bound to continue those patterns into the next season.
So what should you be looking for during your post-season reviews? For starters, take a look at your draft. Go through each choice and ask yourself in retrospect why you made that decision and what may have kept you from making a better decision. This means looking at the draft as a whole and finding all the missed opportunities you had. Yes, it will take time to do this – but you must. Next, go through your roster on a week-to-week basis and analyze the decisions you made on who to start and bench. This may take a little extra digging through news articles to remember what injury reports may have influenced your thinking back then. The same goes with your weekly waiver wire and free agent pickups. Get to the heart of the matter so that you not only realize what you should’ve done, but that you actually recognize what caused you to go down that path so you can correct the mindset itself.
What’s important in your post-season analysis is to make a thorough review of your decision-making so as to find your mistakes and own them. Until you actually take responsibility for what you really did to contribute to your fantasy team’s demise, you will be prone to making the same mistakes. Now is the time, between the Super Bowl and the upcoming NFL draft, to sit quietly in front of your computer and assess yourself. Make it a habit, not just in fantasy, to discover and own your flaws. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you begin to improve and surge past your peers and competitors in whatever endeavor matters to you.