Fantasy Football

Hard Knocks with the Cleveland Browns and your fantasy football draft

HBO’s Hard Knocks might impact your fantasy draft and entire fantasy season. It could give you an edge or end up burning you, just depending on how you understand it and apply it as you’re drafting.

From the guy/girl who proposes more asinine trades than the rest of the league combined, to the person who studies for the draft like he’s trying to pass the bar, to the person who holds onto a draft pick while the player hasn’t accumulated a stat, just to keep from having to admit or face the reality of being completely wrong on a sleeper — nothing brings out irrationality in a particular co-worker or buddy from college like fantasy football.

In most cases, it isn’t creating or leading to irrationality, just revealing it. There are however, a few circumstances that can trick even the most level-headed among us into blindly making irrational decisions. It’s happened to me more than once so I am writing this in hopes that others (outside of my leagues) learn from my mistake and avoid putting too much of what they see on Hard Knocks into how they value and perceive certain players in their fantasy drafts.

Watching Hard Knocks, it’s easy to become so enthralled that you lose sight of the fact that it’s a reality TV show. And like all reality shows, it may or may not always reflect reality, even it gets by on the technicality of being unscripted.

Lucky Charms cereal might be part of a balanced breakfast with its 12 important vitamins and minerals. You can get distracted by the leprechaun or talk yourself into the 10-percent of daily recommended Vitamin D and Zinc. But you’re still eating marshmallows and sugar-coated letters of the alphabet. Lose site of that and it’s probably going to create some problems for you down the road.

Instead of a cartoon Irish stereotype Hard Knocks lures you in with world-class cinematography, rousing and poetic narration from Liev Schreiber, and dramatic, horn-driven scoring. I know exactly what’s happening but still, thirty seconds into almost any episode, I find myself watching a practice field getting watered in slow motion and I’m trying to decide if that sprinkler head is worth a fourth or fifth-round pick. All the camera work, the compelling stories, the “inside look” you feel like you’re getting and the fact that they can show you whatever plays they want can all be misleading you.

Here’s what to keep in mind watching Hard Knocks and making fantasy picks and the historical numbers to back it up.

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