I am sitting here at home on a lazy Monday afternoon, my Saturday as this work week has played out, currently watching the Rangers/Rays baseball game as I wait for tonight's THRILLER between the Indianapolis Colts and the Tampa Bay Bucs. When I talk to people who are not very familiar with fantasy football, tonight's matchup is one of the textbook examples of a reason that I give endorsing the popular pastime. For those of you who are not very familiar with fantasy football, it is actually a pretty simple game to play. I will admit, the first time that I ever heard the term 'FANTASY fooball', I reacted with a roll of my eyes and a "huh?" How the game works is that you build a team by selecting players from any of the 32 NFL rosters. In standard leagues, you will select 16 players total - each week you will start 9 of those 16 players, having a 7-player bench. Your team scores points based on how your players perform in the ACTUAL NFL games, accumulating points for positive plays (gaining yardage, scoring touchdowns, kicking field goals, etc...), while losing points for negative plays (fumbles, thrown interceptions, etc...). Each league has its own specific scoring system, determining how many points you will receive or have deducted for these outcomes. Each week, your team is matched up against the team of someone else in your league, and the person whose players score the most points wins. One of my favorite things about fantasy football is that it makes normally uninteresting games worth watching, because during most games each week, you will either be rooting for one of your players who is playing in a game, or you will be rooting against one of your opponent's players. When the NFL made tonight's schedule, a Week 4 matchup between the Colts and Bucs looked pretty attractive (the 'Dungy Bowl', if you will, both teams having been coached by Tony Dungy). The Bucs played very well last year, and are a team that is on the rise. The Colts have been one of the most interesting teams to watch in the league for a while now, scoring tons of points each year, with superstar Peyton Manning at the helm. Fast forward to today, and Peyton Manning has not taken a single snap this year due to injury, and the Colts are winless. HOWEVER, the game has a huge impact to me personally in fantasy football, as most Monday night games seem to. Monday night games are set to feature meetings between the better teams, who have the good players that fantasy football owners want on their own teams. My 9 players have finished playing for the week, and I hold a 16-point lead over my opponent, but she has Colts' running-back Joseph Addai on her roster, so I will be watching an otherwise meaningless game with A LOT of interest tonight. I am playing in two leagues this year, and I will have two teams with 3-1 records if Addai scores less than 16 points tonight. One of my teams is just like the Houston Texans right now, sitting at 3-1 but with an injured Andre Johnson on the roster... That team is in a random online league that I joined, a league in which I got the Baltimore Ravens defense in the 9th or 10th round. In this league, points ARE NOT deducted from a team's score when the defense allows their opposition to score, and the Ravens have scored more than 20 points for me in all 3 of my wins. In the league that I'm playing in with a bunch of friends (where I'm facing Addai tonight), my 1st 2 picks were Tom Brady and LeSean McCoy, and they have been leading the way. Being a Boston Red Sox fan, I cannot wait until this Rangers/Rays game, this..., filler, is finished, so that I can watch a game that actually means something. :) Have a good one everybody!