Fantasy Sports as a Hedging Instrument

15 09 2008

One of the main reasons I enjoy fantasy sports is that it allows me a certain amount of control over the emotional impact of a game.  The result of a Bears game affects me emotionally, but I have no control over whether the Bears win or lose.  Following a tough loss, I can’t say “yeah, I guess it’s my fault.  I should have tried to upgrade at quarterback in the offseason.”  Fantasy wins and losses also affect me, but in those cases, I have some, but not complete, control over my team’s performance.  This makes my fantasy team feal more real than my real team.  It’s a fantasy to think that the Bears are mine in any real sense, but it’s a reality to think that my fantasy teams are mine.

Nonetheless, I do have favorite sports teams and I am emotionally affected by their performance, which is annoying, since it’s completely beyond my control.  One way to reduce this effect, or to hedge my emotional sports risk, is to deliberately avoid drafting players on my favorite teams and seek out players from my least favorite teams.  It’s not a strong factor in my decision-making process, but when a marginal decision arises, it can come in to play.

A good example came in the late rounds of a fantasy football draft.  I picked up Aaron Rodgers, of the hated Green Bay Packers, with the 191st pick of the draft.  It was a good value pick for that spot in the draft, but also a good hedging pick, for a few reasons:

  • It’s a late pick, so it’s relatively costless
  • Rodgers’ play is highly correlated with the success of the Packers
  • The Packers are a particularly hated rival
  • As Brett Favre’s successor, having Rodgers on my team provides me extra opportunities to make Brett Favre jokes

Anyways, two weeks later I’m watching the Bears get overwhelmed by Jonathan “The Daily Show” Stewart, while Rodgers leads the Pack to victory over the woeful Detroit Lions, thinking damn, the Bears probably won’t win this division, but whoa, that Rodgers pick was really solid.  Without that hedge, I probably would been depressed enough to get drunk and puke all over my bed.  But since Rodgers was on, and starting for my fantasy squad, I was only depressed enough to get drunk and throw up on my roommate’s bed.




4 responses

18 09 2008

This blog post has powers! Childress has finally benched Jackson…. not that Frerotte is any better. Seriously, why do stiffs who’ve spent time in the league as a backup all of the sudden gain value as backups because they’ve been a backup for their entire career. Signing a lifetime backup qb to be the backup? THAT’S a hedge if there ever was one.

30 01 2009
Superbowl Pick « you like a da juice?

[…] Superbowl Pick 30 01 2009 I’m taking the Steelers.  To beat the spread, to win the game.  Even though that means a more boring game.  Actually, because it means a more boring game.  See, it’s a hedge. […]

26 03 2009
Well-Hedged Hockey at United Center « you like a da juice?

[…] Well-Hedged Hockey at United Center 26 03 2009 I attended the Hawks-Sharks game last night, which worked out nicely because I could enjoy the game without being too nervous over the result.  I’m a Blackhawks fan, so I liked them to win, but my playoff fantasy hockey matchup this week has me started Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabakov and my opponent starting Hawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin.  It’s a perfect example of using fantasy sports as a hedge, something I discussed in an earlier post. […]

26 05 2009
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Joe Mauer « you like a da juice?

[…] of winning when down 12-0 is essentially the same as when down 14-0 or 16-0: 0%.  There was no hedging going on; sitting in the White Sox’ home park, my grandparents’ seats just down the […]

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