The Complete Correspondence
As I wrote in my column at the end of July,
fantasy football players routinely lure the incompetent, the clueless,
and the hopelessly befuddled into their leagues. Sure, it all seems
like harmless fun-with insults flying and money changing hands.
But your dupes must turn somewhere for guidance, and in ever increasing
numbers they are turning to those of us who made the mistake of
becoming the fantasy football columnists. Please read on, and consider
the sort of cyber-epistolary torture that we are put through by
people who have no business becoming involved with fantasy football.
(Those of you who already read July's installment of this column
will want to skip to the message dated September 25th.)
09/04/02 12:02 p.m. Sender: Lionsfan_gobarrysandersgo@hotmail.com
I love your column. I read it every day. Thanks for all the really
great advice. Anyway, who should I start, Fred Taylor or Corey Dillon?
Thanks in advance,
09/05/02 08:32 a.m. Sender firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your kind words concerning my column, but I don't
think you benefit very much from reading it daily, as it comes out
only once per week.
As for your question, I am afraid I can no longer respond to requests
to select team rosters for my readers. You might try asking someone
else (I recommend MikeKrueger@fftoday.com), but you will probably
want to include the scoring system for your league with your question,
as it is often difficult to know which player to recommend without
understanding how player performances are scored.
09/11/02 12:02 p.m. Sender: Lionsfan_gobarrysandersgo@hotmail.com
Sorry for leaving out the information. Our league plays 1QB/2RB/2WR/1TE/1K/1D.
I don't know what it means, but I pasted it directly from the website,
so I'm pretty sure I have it right. Now can you please tell me who
I should start between Fred Taylor and Corey Dillon?
Thanks in advance again (though I shouldn't have to thank you again,
since I thanked you in advance last time and you didn't answer my
09/12/02 08:32 a.m. Sender: email@example.com
That isn't the sort of information I was asking for. In fact, I
wasn't asking for any information at all. I recommended that you
take your question to Mike Krueger, but I wanted you to know that
you should be able to tell him whether you are in a yardage league
or a scoring-only league, whether you are penalized points for fumbles
or not - that sort of thing.
The information you provided concerns roster composition, which
is an entirely different ball of wax. It specifies how many players
you start at various positions, but since it seems to mean that
you can start two running backs, I'm curious as to who your third
running back might be. It must be nice to choose between Taylor
and Dillon for your second RB.
09/18/02 12:02 p.m. Sender: Lionsfan_gobarrysandersgo@hotmail.com
I don't understand why it's so hard to get a straight answer out
of you stupid writers. I have asked you a simple question twice,
and you have blown me off both times. Now, for the third time, I'm
going to ask you a simple question: Should I start Fred Taylor or
Corey Dillon this week?
Waiting patiently for one of two advance thank-yous to be collected
09/19/02 08:32 a.m. Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org
My apologies if my first response to your first query was unclear;
I was merely attempting to let you know, as politely as possible,
that I do not have time to think through the roster decisions of
any stranger with an email account who claims to have read one of
Fortunately, however, I will be happy to answer your question this
week, as the Jaguars are on a bye. Since Fred Taylor won't be playing
on Sunday, I'm giving you a gigantic green light on Dillon.
Even so, I recommend that you review your league's scoring system
and explain the system to whomever it is that you decide to take
your roster quandaries to in the future.
Thanks in advance for emailing all future questions to Mike Krueger,
09/25/02 12:02 p.m. Sender:
I'm sorry I came off like such a sourpuss last week, but I was
really getting frustrated. Anyway, I can see now that you really
gave me some good advice about not starting Taylor 'coz he was on
But I thought it over, and my gut instinct told me that Taylor
was due, so I started him anyway.
I just wanted to let you know that I appreciated your advice even
though I didn't take it. Next time, I'll listen. I promise. I think
this 'bye' strategy of yours might even have some applicability
to some of my other players; perhaps you could use one of your columns
to explain how we can avoid drafting players with bye weeks.
Oh, and last but not least, who do you like this week-Taylor or
Thanks in advance for the column (but you still owe me a pick),
*** Dear email@example.com - Part 2 ***
09/26/02 08:32 a.m. Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org
I wouldn't hold my breath for that column explaining the bye if
I were you. It's not as if some players get one, while other players
don't. All teams in the NFL get one week off each season. Byes are
scheduled in advance (just check the sports section of your local
newspaper), so there really wasn't anything impressive about my
prediction concerning Taylor last week.
In fact, my predictions are always bad, which is why you should
definitely take your questions about Taylor and Dillon to Mike Krueger.
10/02/02 12:02 p.m. Sender: Lionsfan_gobarrysandersgo@hotmail.com
I looked at the newspaper like you said, and it said that Corey
Dillon will have a bye week later this month. I think you may be
right about all of the teams in the NFL taking a week off in the
middle of the season. I think the public has a right to know about
this sort of thing. But more importantly, I would like to know why
no one in my fantasy league told me, when I drafted Taylor and Dillon,
that I was getting damaged goods.
I'm not a lawyer, but I think I have enough evidence to sue my
commissioner for withholding information. I think I'm entitled to
a refund--if not the entire pot for our league. What do you think?
And what about Taylor and Dillon this week? Which one would you
Thanks in advance for the legal advice (and since you're not going
to write that column I already thanked you for, please convert that
advance-thank-you to a second thank you for a player pick, which
means you owe me two weeks of player picks and one piece of legal
10/03/02 08:32 a.m. Sender: email@example.com
Hey Stuart, is that you? I never in a million years would have
guessed that the guy I've been getting notes from every week is
actually from my own fantasy league. But it all came together for
me when the commish forwarded a crazy email from the owner of Detroit
Demolition about suing us all for not mentioning bye weeks.
That's a pretty good joke. You had me going there.
Good luck this season, and I see from the league stats that you've
been starting Taylor and Dillon all season long. You really should
have used a back-up on Taylor's week off, but we all make mistakes.
10/09/02 12:02 p.m. Sender: Lionsfan_gobarrysandersgo@hotmail.com
You have picked the wrong guy to harass over the internet, buddy.
I know you think I must be pretty gullible, but I'm not gullible
enough to believe that the Mike Davis who works down the hall from
me is the same as the Mike Davis who writes for FFToday. Obviously,
you hacked your way into our league website and pretended to be
the Mike Davis down the hall.
I think that's invasion of privacy plain and simple. Maybe I won't
hire a lawyer to sue my league. Maybe I'll hire a lawyer to sue
It's funny how you say you don't have the time to tell me whether
to start Taylor or Dillon, but somehow you find the time to worm
your way into my computer.
Well, I'll tell you what, I'll forget all about it if you just
agree to tell me when to start Taylor and when to start Dillon for
the rest of the year.
10/10/02 08:32 a.m. Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Lionsfan--aka Stuart,
Look, it's really me: Mike Lee Davis. I work thirty feet down the
hall from you. I just walked past your office and said, "Stu,
heads up, I'm about to send you an email."
Here's the proof I'm in your league. I own the team Whiny Crew,
and I have just proposed two trades on our fantasy website. I'm
offering Johnnie Morton and Charlie Batch (two former Lions) for
Corey Dillon and Fred Taylor.
P.S. You really don't need to keep asking me about Taylor and Dillon,
as you have been starting them both all season long.
P.S.S. The deals I am offering you are completely to my benefit.
Don't accidentally authorize them on the website. I just made the
offers to prove to you that we're in the same league.
10/16/02 12:02 p.m. Sender: Lionsfan_gobarrysandersgo@hotmail.com
I just talked to Mike Davis down the hall, and he is the one who
offered me Morton and Batch. You had me thinking that you had hacked
into his team and offered the trade for him, but he told me himself
that he proposed the trade. He also said he was you, but I figure
you put him up to that. The more I think about it, the more it seems
like you have time for everything in the world except telling me
whether to start Taylor or Dillon.
Anyway, the Mike Davis at my job says I would be a fool to take
his offer, but I don't trust him. What do you think? Were you joking
when you said I shouldn't take the trade?
If I do take the trade, should I start Batch or Morton? And if
I don't, should I start Taylor or Dillon?
Hoping that you will collect on your advance thank-yous like an
10/17/02 08:32 a.m. Sender: email@example.com
Listen to me. It's me--Mike Lee Davis. I work down the hall from
you. I was there when you killed the office Christmas party two
years ago with your karaoke version of "Thick As a Brick"--the
forty-minute version. Satisfied?
I absolutely do not advise you to take the Morton-for-Dillon or
Batch-for-Taylor trades. I just picked them because they're the
only two former Lions on my team. Please understand that it wasn't
even a serious offer. I'm not trying to take advantage of the trust
you put in me as a neutral party because I am not a neutral party.
I am in your fantasy football league, and if you authorize those
trades, you will be screwed for the rest of the season.
As for Taylor and Dillon, start Taylor as this is Dillon's bye
week. Check the paper again to confirm, and then be sure to start
one of your backup RBs in Dillon's place, okay?
Even if you don't believe I am who I say I am, believe me when
I say that Dillon will get you no points this week.
10/23/02 12:02 p.m. Sender: Lionsfan_gobarrysandersgo@hotmail.com
That karaoke story proves nothing. Just tell me who hasn't done
a karaoke of the forty-minute version of "Thick As a Brick."
Well I guess I outsmarted both you and the guy I work with. I'm
no dummy, and since Dillon was taking the week off anyway, I authorized
the trade for Morton. I'm pretty sure it was a good idea, but the
stupid computer wouldn't let me start Morton instead of Dillon.
Anyway, thanks for the heads up on Dillon, since I don't need a
shirker like that on my roster anyway. Imagine if everyone at my
job waited until the middle of our busiest season and then just
took a week off. It's really embarrassing what these overpaid players
think they can get away with.
As for this week, who should I start--Taylor or Morton?
Tired of doling out advance thank-yous as if they grew on trees,
10/27/02 08:32 a.m. Sender firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Stuart aka Lionsfan aka Dillweed,
Look, I already explained things to the commissioner, and he understands
that your decision to trade a premier running back for a receiver
who is a bust in Kansas City was just a stupid rookie mistake. He's
going to reverse the trade and waive the transaction fees, but please
don't play around with trades in the future. They can really make
or break a season.
I checked your lineup on the website for the week, and you did
in fact start Johnnie Morton. But the computer assumed you wanted
him as a wide receiver because, well, that's what he is. Anyway,
the important thing is that you're going to get Dillon back and
everything will be back to normal.
In the meantime, keep starting Taylor, and be sure to use a backup
RB if you have to play again before the commish can get Dillon back
on your roster.
10/30/02 12:02 p.m. Sender: Lionsfan_gobarrysandersgo@hotmail.com
So it seems like that guy down the hall from me, Mike Davis, went
crying to the commissioner about how I screwed him out of Johnnie
Unfortunately for me, the commissioner and Mike go way back, so
the commissioner forced me to take Corey Dillon back for Johnnie
Morton. It all happened before I could call my lawyer. I had no
say at all. It's outrageous the way grownup people behave!
Well, I got 'em both good. I went ahead and authorized the Batch-for-Taylor
trade, and I'm going to keep Batch hostage now until I get Morton
back. I've already talked to my lawyer about it, so it looks like
the guy down the hall will just have to keep Fred Taylor until the
commissioner puts Johnnie Morton back on my squad. In the meantime,
he'll have to do without Charlie Batch.
And who should I start between Dillon and Batch?
11/01/02 08:32 a.m. Sender: email@example.com
Stuart you freakin' idiot!
That last trade you made is permanent, and it's going to get us
both in trouble with the commissioner.
According to the rules of our fantasy league (the one that I, MIKE
DAVIS, THE GUY WHO WORKS DOWN THE HALL FROM YOU, belong to), all
trading must come to a stop on the Wednesday prior to the games
played in Week Nine. This is to prevent unsuccessful owners (like
you) from trading top-flight players (like Taylor) for benchwarmers
(like Batch) to successful owners (like me) so that I can advance
to the fantasy championship and split the pot with you.
It's called collusion, and it only works if it comes in under the
radar of the rest of the league, which definitely isn't the case
here. The commish just walked into my office (THE ONE THAT IS THIRTY
FEET DOWN THE HALL FROM YOURS). For your information, he looks pretty
Why don't you join us in my office for this meeting?
11/06/02 12:02 p.m. Sender: Lionsfan_gobarrysandersgo@hotmail.com
Oh boo hoo hoo. What's the matter? Momma didn't love you? Is that
why you go on and on and on about how upset you are when all I needed
to know was whether I should start Dillon or Batch?
I have been thinking over your proposal concerning collusion, and
I even had a brief discussion concerning the matter with the guy
down the hall and the commissioner in my league, but I think I'll
pass on it. It sounds kind of underhanded to me.
So who's hot this week--Dillon or Batch?
No more thank-yous after all your whining,
11/07/02 08:32 a.m. Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Stuart aka Lionsfan aka ****-for-brains,
Why are you asking about choosing between Dillon and Batch? You
don't need to choose between Dillon and Batch for more reasons than
I can think of. The first reason is that Batch is a quarterback
and Dillon is a running back. The second reason is that Batch is
riding the pine while Dillon is the star of his franchise. The third
reason is that Batch isn't really yours to start anyway, since he
should never have left my roster. The fourth reason is that you
no longer need to submit lineups. Don't you remember standing in
my office a week ago while the commissioner called us a couple of
sorry amateur swindlers and threw us out of the league? What don't
you understand about being thrown out of the league? Our seasons
are over, you moron. Haven't you noticed that the password to your
account on the league website has been changed? Haven't you noticed
that everyone around the office keeps calling us "cheaters"
and throwing cheese danishes at us? What will it take for you to
understand that there is no reason for you to keep pestering me
about your fantasy team?
11/13/02 12:02 p.m. Sender: Lionsfan_gobarrysandersgo@hotmail.com
I don't know anything about hacking into fantasy league websites,
but I assume it's pretty easy if you know what you're doing. So
you changed the password on my account. Big deal. That doesn't scare
me. But what does scare me is that you seem to have installed bugs
and hidden cameras around the office. How else would you know what
people were calling me and throwing at me?
I have to say that my interaction with you has been deeply dissatisfying.
You pose as some kind of fantasy football expert, but all you do
is get me more confused than ever about Taylor, Dillon, Morton and
Batch. And then you get me in trouble at work.
I think that whatever process you have to go through to become
a fantasy football columnist is deeply flawed. And you, sir, need
to stop meddling in other people's personal lives.
I have explained all of this to my lawyer, and he has secured a
court order requiring you to stay at least 500 feet away from me
at all times pending our lawsuit. You really shouldn't have signed
off with a death threat in your last note. The legal system does
not take such things lightly.
Until we see each other in court, please cease all further correspondence
Oh, and just so you know, once I figure out what you changed my
password to, I'm definitely starting Batch.
11/14/02 08:32 a.m. Sender: email@example.com
The boss is here with a moving crew. They're transferring me to
another branch to satisfy that court order of yours. It's going
to be a two-hour commute for me each way. Please explain that it's
all a mistake.