Losing your fantasy league is as easy as this


You know you're not going to win your NFL fantasy league when ...

• You select Cooper Manning with the No. 1 overall pick.

• In the second round you take Josh Scobee because, "The dude doesn't miss extra points, man.''

• Your roster is filled with players from the now-defunct NFL Liechtenstein.

• You let your pet monkey consult on draft strategy.

• You take LaDainian Tomlinson off your draft board because his quarterback rating fell from 153.1 in 2005 to 125.0 in 2006.

• You're convinced Michael Vick will be back by Week 4.

• You take Adrian Peterson from the Chicago Bears instead of Adrian Peterson from the Minnesota Vikings.

• You reek of tequila and Schlitz.

• You can't believe Tiki Barber is still available in the third round.

• And that Ricky Williams is still there in the 10th round.

• You're so desperately ill-prepared for your draft that you promise to name your first born, "Karabell,'' if the ESPN fantasy guru helps you find a No. 2 wideout.

• You refuse to select T.J. Houshmandzadeh because you can't spell or pronounce his last name.

• You pass on Reggie Bush because you're worried about the "ongoing" Pac-10 investigation.

• When an opposing owner compliments another owner on a draft choice, you snarl, "If you want to crown them, crown their ass!''

• You think Matt Millen is a football genius.

• You don't believe in the Madden Curse.

• You think a mock draft is when someone makes fun of your picks.

• You offer to tease and comb Mel Kiper's hair if he'll help you with your late-round choices.

• You can't decide between Carson Palmer and Gus Frerotte.

• Eleven of your 14 draft picks have Week 6 off.

• You didn't know there was an AFC and an NFC.

• You would have taken Mario Williams over Reggie Bush, too.

• You're not sure you can stay for the whole draft because "High School Musical 2'' is on at 8 p.m.

• You're convinced Jake Plummer is a sleeper pick.

• You don't understand why more owners don't use Game 1 preseason stats.

• You draft Jimmy Clausen.

• You take both Brodie Croyle and Damon Huard of the Kansas City Chiefs because, "Hank Stram knows how to coach-up quarterbacks.''

• You load up on punters.

• You believe NFL.com analyst Pat Kirwan's 2007 prediction that Detroit Lions quarterback Jon Kitna will do what only one other QB has done in the history of the league: pass for 5,000 yards in a season. You also believe in Lord Voldemont, a democratic North Korea and an injury-free season from Fred Taylor.

• You draft players based solely on Wonderlic scores.

• You draft Vinny Testaverde for your keeper league.

• You think Steve Smith lacks "measurables.''

• You're positive this is the year Denver's Mike Shanahan sticks with one running back.

• You have to take an urgent phone call during the draft, so you ask your wife to make the next pick for you based on your cheat sheet. Instead, she chooses New York Giants free safety Will Demps because, she says, "he's a hottie."

• You agree.

• You keep picking Dolphins players because a little voice tells you Nick Saban is going to turn it around in Miami this season.

• Your fellow owners always send a limo to pick you up for draft night.

• Your draft motto: "You can never have enough Oakland Raiders!''

• You laugh hysterically when another owner takes Steven Jackson in the first round.

• In the 13th round, you ask, "Has Shaun Alexander been picked yet?''

• As a general rule of thumb, you like to take at least four players from your alma mater, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

• You've never quite figured out the scoring system.

• You draft Dominic Rhodes as Joseph Addai's backup.

• You choose players based on how they look in alternate jerseys.

• You have a strict, no-rookies policy.

• You once traded down to the 15th round, even though your draft was only 14 rounds.

• Last year you took Albert Pujols with the first pick.

• If everything goes exactly as you plan it, you'll get David Carr, LenDale White, Jay Feely and the Tennessee Titans defense with your first four selections.

• Your "sources" tell you Priest Holmes will have a bigger year than Larry Johnson.

• You take three H-backs in a row.

• You've never heard of Terrell Owens.

• You call a 1-900 number for fantasy advice.

• You giddily draft Dallas' Clint Dolezel because he threw for 107 TDs last season. Afterward, you realize he plays for the AFL's Dallas Desperados, not the Cowboys.

• Your pet monkey jumps to a different ownership group.

Gene Wojciechowski is the senior national columnist for ESPN.com. You can contact him at gene.wojciechowski@espn3.com.