As we publish this it’s just two short weeks until the start of the NFL season. Two weeks to go and already your hopes and dreams for Jordy Nelson to carry you to a 1st place finish in your fantasy league and your hopes and dreams for a fall full of uninterrupted football Sundays are both dead on arrival. The only things you can count on as locks this season are that Eddie Lacy’s amount of touches will equal your dirty diaper touches. Being a Relevant Dad and being in a fantasy football league are both full-time jobs that both require a lot of intricate attention and a lot of love. So how does one really find the time to handle both of these things during the season? We have some tips for you:
1. Draft Pro Quo – Unless your significant other is a fellow fantasy football player, chances are they will not love the idea of you being MIA for a few hours during your draft while they navigate the bedtime routine solo. Mitigate the draft time loss with your family by simultaneously planning a date night for you and your spouse and some extra play time with your kiddos.
2. Family League – Chances are you are in a few leagues already so what is one more, right? If your children are old enough, creating a family league is a great way to share one of your passions with them. David Gonos has some great suggestions for involving your kids broken down to different age ranges here.
3. Setting The Table > Setting Your Lineup – Family time should always come first on Sundays. So when it’s time to make a pile of pancakes for the family you need to trust that your RB3 will still be a game-time decision after the syrup runs out. Even Adam Schefter takes break once and awhile. We suggest making a routine of times you check and set your lineup. Saturdays are your best friend and Sundays around 12:45 are even better. Get things set once the kids are in bed Saturday night and do your last minute tweaks before the 1pm games kickoff.
4. Red Zone is Your BFF – There is zero chance you can lay on the couch eating a steak and cheese and drinking 5 beers with your buddies this year. That fantasy left the stadium when you saw that second line on the pregnancy test. However, there are plenty of ways to catch as much of the action as possible and still play hide and seek with your kids. Red Zone was probably the brainchild of a mom or dad. It’s probably the perfect parenting hack for football lovers. You can have the best of both worlds without having to neglect one of the other. Pro Tip: Hide and seek match + iPad + closet + Red Zone = #winning.
5. Listen To The Pros – Find a fantasy advice site and trust it. We love 4for4 as a good go-to site for rankings, breaking news on players, and advice. We asked John Paulsen for some ranking advice and for some advice on being a dad and playing fantasy football. We are keeping the ranking advice to ourselves (no mercy) but here are his thoughts going into the season.
“Being a father to a young child is a time-consuming and rewarding job and one could say the same thing about managing a fantasy team. In order to balance fatherhood and fantasyhood, I recommend new dads scale back their fantasy obligations once the baby arrives. Keep your most important league and get rid of the rest. The other option is to only play daily fantasy. There is less in-season management, and you won’t have to worry about injuries or waivers. Being a parent gets easier as time goes on. At some point your child can be left in a room and you can be fairly confident that they won’t find a way to kill themselves. Once you pass this important milestone, your free time will increase steadily. A second league can be added, or maybe you can play both season-long and daily. Finally, around age 6 or 7, your child may express interest in fantasy football. This is a great way to learn about math and reasoning, and to spend quality time with dad. Maybe you co-own a team. Or maybe you start a league with the neighborhood kids, so everyone can own their own team. Before you know it, they’ll go off to college and you can play in as many leagues as your better half will allow. Don’t spend their childhood scouring the waiver wire, it’s just not worth it. Play in one league to keep yourself sane, but stop there.” You can find John on twitter at @4for4_John and you can hear him on The Most Accurate Podcast on Stitcher.
6. Have Fun – If you watch FX’s The League you know that you want to be more Taco and less Ruxin. Just have fun, dad. These are the best years of your life. Enjoy your family and enjoy your football.