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3 Ways to Involve Your Partner in Fantasy Football (2020)

by Jim Colombo | @WideRightNBlue | Featured Writer
Jul 23, 2020

Believe it or not, I’ve been in a committed relationship with a real-life woman for seven years. Mind-blowing, right?

We share the same interests, believe in the same sociopolitical ideologies, and have the same appreciation for The Band’s “Ophelia.” She’s smart and she’s beautiful and I love her. All in all, it’s a pretty chill relationship.

But you know what isn’t chill?

You know what she just can’t understand, appreciate, or care to acknowledge?

Fantasy football.

She hates it. She hates it so much.

That means from August to January (at least) — six whole months for half the year, every year — the old ball and chain’s got the good grace to roll her eyes, yawn in my face, or flat-out walk away from me any time I bring up fantasy football.

Sound like your wife or husband? Boyfriend or girlfriend? Roommate, best friend, or cherished loved one?

Well, I say, “No more!”

It’s time to build a bridge between our begrudging counterparts and find a way to meet in the middle. For the sake of our precious relationships — and for the sake of our sanity — we must find a way to make our stupid obsession as worthwhile to our partners as it is to us.

When we invite our partners to reap the rewards of our good efforts, we can create a world in which fantasy football is neither shamed nor shunned, but rather it is celebrated!

Read this now and thank me later. Here are some practical ways to help your partner participate in your fantasy football league.

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Share Your Victories

Is your partner annoyed at how much time you’ve spent mock drafting, scrolling through tweets, or listening to podcasts? Do you get harassed for reading articles, analyzing trades, and watching every single game on Sunday?

It’s time to validate these activities as time well spent. With the right approach, you can turn those aggravated eyerolls into hugs and kisses. All you have to do is share your victories with your partner. Here are three ways to do it.

1. The Weekly Winner Dinner
Did you win your week? If so, surprise your partner with their favorite meal, whether it’s home-cooked or store-bought. “Baby,” you’ll say, “this sumptuous feast is brought to you by the brain trust at [insert your fantasy football team name here]. Without your love, patience, and support, we wouldn’t have been able to bring home the W this week. On behalf of myself and our entire organization, thank you. I love you. This delicious dinner’s just for you.”

Be funny, stupid! Be loving. Be a good sport. This isn’t a Divorce Court we’re talking about, it’s your kitchen for crying out loud.

Now, it would be irresponsible of me if I didn’t say this plan could backfire spectacularly… so you’ll need to look at The Weekly Winner Dinner plan judiciously. Ask yourself, “Will this effort come across as incredibly stupid or potentially dangerous?”

In other words, know your audience.

Hopefully your partner will find it to be impossibly cute and charming. Who knows? It could be the first step to getting them to root for your squad on Sundays.

Related: Married couples go head to head in unique Fantasy Football league

2. Pick a Player. Win a Prize.
No matter what platform you use to host your fantasy football league, you probably get weekly point projections for your players, right? This is your opportunity to engage in a dialogue that accentuates the mutual benefits of your fantasy football investment. Here’s what to do.

Say something like, “Hey, I know you don’t like fantasy football, but I thought of a fun way for us to share it together. What do you think?” If you get the slightest hint of interest, BOOM! Hit ’em with the Pick a Player Win a Prize proposition.

Show your partner your team and introduce them to three or four fantasy players who could easily outscore their point projections for that week. Then assign a small prize to each of those players. Then say, “If your players exceed their projections this week, I’ll make it worth your while!”

You can structure this conversation so your partner’s input is only as involved as their comfort level allows. In Week 1 you might be saying, “Pick a player and win a prize,” but by Week 8 you could be working together to break down every single factor of the upcoming matchup.

Based on the degree of difficulty for each player, you could scale the prizes up and down at your discretion. For example, if your partner picks Travis Kelce to outscore his projection in a favorable game, at home, against a lousy defense, you could celebrate that win with a relatively commonplace yet much-appreciated prize, such as completing an annoying household chore. Does your partner hate cleaning the kitchen? Are you notorious for never folding the laundry? These are reasonable places to start.

On the flip-side, you could up the ante for more unlikely victories. If Kyle Orton comes out of retirement and explodes for a million points against the NFL’s best defense, set that bar high.

From dustbins to diamonds — it’s your call.

Now, folks, I can’t stress this enough: You should be actively doing household chores already, okay? If fantasy football is the only way for you to water the plants, you might be dealing with more than fantasy football frustration from your partner.

But the point remains the same: If you can give your partner some stake in the game, you give yourself a chance to share the benefits together.

Related: How to Keep Fantasy Football from Sacking Your Marriage

3. Stop ‘n Swap.
How many hours do you clock watching football each week? Consider compensating for that time alone or out of the house by committing yourself to other activities with your partner. Watch something they love (even if you hate it). Go do that thing your partner loves (especially if you hate it).

Think of it this way: Apple-picking with your in-laws on Saturday could mean a peaceful day of fantasy indulgence on Sunday. Were you up late watching Monday Night Football, celebrating a last-second victory against your fantasy rival? Sacrifice some time to watch “The Big Bang Theory” or “CSI: Milwaukee” on Tuesday. Go for a walk in the park on Wednesday. Or, better yet, create an opportunity for your partner do their own thing with their own friends.

I’m no relationship expert, but I’ve learned that healthy relationships are predicated on reasonable compromises. This fantasy season, stay happy and healthy with the Stop’n Swap option and other ways to share your fantasy season. Good luck!

Related: The Fantasy Football Guide for Married Couples

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Jim Colombo is a correspondent at FantasyPros. For more from Jim, check out his archive and follow him @WideRightNBlue.

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