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8 Dating lessons fantasy football taught me

I started writing a short read sports blog for the busy career woman who wants to join in the conversation at work. It's like theSkimm for sports.

What I learned about relationships by playing fantasy football

We are halfway done with the regular NFL season, and I have my lessons learned from my first go round in fantasy football ever. I want to share my mistakes and lessons learned so that they can be applied to the remaining season. As I thought about these lessons/mistakes it started to make me think about how a lot of the lessons related to dating and relationships. Fantasy football and my team are an investment and I want to see it grow!

If you don't have a fantasy football team, consider playing next year. I think every girl should play fantasy football! So, how does fantasy football relate to dating?

I tried to pick the best team based on statistics, their backgrounds and reputation. Now that the team is picked, it's time to pay attention because it is now where things can change around for a better ending. Early on, it's easy to let things ride because you don't want to give up so easily on players. Then, the honeymoon phase ends and things like injuries and bye weeks start popping up.

Football injuries are just like relationship speed bumps

Injuries: ACLs, MCLs, lacerated kidneys and broken bones. The question you have to ask yourself: Is this an injury that will heal and deserves only a benching to play another day or is this a season-ending injury, which means it's time to find another player who can do the job?

Le'Veon Bell, Steve Smith Sr., Jordy Nelson, Jamaal Charles and Keenan Allen are all fantastic players who suffered season-ending injuries.

Marshawn Lynch, Dez Bryant, Ben Roethlisberger and Tony Romo are players that were injured this season but will likely be back in the game for another play. I forgot to switch DeMarco Murray out once because of an injury and lost that week. So, pay attention to these things!

My recommendation for season-ending injuries — aka deal breakers in relationships: look for a backup and pick him up. Already taken? Find the next backup.

If the relationship speed bump isn't a deal-breaker? Let the injury heal and see what he can do when he's healed.

Your first fight is like a bye week in football — a relationship time out

Bye weeks can kill you in one week, but they're over the next week — kind of like a fight. You can get rid of a player who has a bye week, but you need to ask yourself: Is the player you have too valuable to let go of for that bye week?

My recommendation for a bye week — aka a fight: If the player is really valuable, let him sit on the bench and let the bye week blow over. If the player isn't that great and you need another player for your team, drop him and pick up someone else. Just remember someone else may pick up the player you're letting drop.

Some players — and relationship partners — look perfect on paper but don't work with your team

Did you draft a player who looked great on paper but has not been quite living up to your expectations? Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson are some notables in the category. Could they be having an off first part of the season but will come through when you really need it? You need to decide if you're more focused on potential or performance — both on the football field and in your relationships.

My recommendation: If you drop that player, make sure you know you are picking up someone better.

Players will outperform your expectations

Is someone on your bench having monster games, more than two in a row? You might want to start putting him in the starting lineup. Notables this season: Willie Snead, Gary Barnidge, Ronnie Hillman and Devonta Freeman. Some players — and people you're dating — do better than you could ever imagine when you drafted them in the first place.

My recommendation: Play him! Give him a shot! If he disappoints, put him back on the bench.

Football trades are like comparing different potential partners before deciding on an exclusive relationship

A couple trades were proposed to me early on. A recent trade wanted Carson Palmer, my backup quarterback. My starting quarterback is Russell Wilson. I am working with Wilson because he's getting me solid points, but Carson is a great back up. What was I going to get in the trade? Ryan Tannehill and a running back that wasn't that great.

My gut instinct was just to say no, but true to my desire to please people, I agreed to the trade. I did, however, change the running back for another running back that was supposedly better. In recent games, Carson Palmer has been hot and Ryan Tannehill has not. The running back I got in the trade hasn't done anything, and the running back I lost is now the starting running back for the Steelers.

Reflecting on this trade, I realized that if you don't want to trade, don't! Trust your gut. There is a very good chance you are really not getting anything in the trade and losing a whole lot. If I did want to go with the trade, I should have asked for more because I deserved more for Carson Palmer. I should have countered for the best of what I needed and wanted and let him counter or say no.

My recommendation: The bottom line in trading is to know your worth.

Don't forget to keep an eye on the players dropped by other teams

Pay attention to players that other teams let go. They may be a really good player and have all the qualities you are looking for. Just because a player — or partner — isn't the right fit for one person doesn't mean he isn't the right fit for you. I just picked up Ameer Abdullah and Dez Bryant this way.

Finally, there might be a player in the mix that no one ever considered initially. He's just been hanging around but was never drafted. All of sudden, he's coming into his own. Think DeAngelo Williams and Charcandrick West.

My recommendation: Consider picking him up for a bench seat or to start if he is filling a spot for someone that is injured and provides everything you need. Then, see what he does. He could be a secret sleeper who brings your team to its greatest potential.

So, those are my lessons that I learned now that we are halfway through fantasy football. Crazy how it relates to dating and relationships too? Remember all these things when you start trying to put together your team.

Thank you for reading! For more on sports and lifestyle, check out my blog: prettymavensports.com. I can also be found on Twitter and Instagram @theprettymaven.

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