Fantasy Football

Nate Washington finds a fantasy woman

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Ryan Fowler

Ryan Fowler has spent the past 10 years covering and talking sports on TV and radio, in newspapers and on the web. He joined FOXSports.com as lead Fantasy Sports Editor and also acts as Digital Content Manager at WhatIfSports.com. Follow him on Twitter. Listen to his FOX Sports Team Report Podcasts on SoundCloud and iTunes

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Monique Johnson had a desk at work.

Perhaps one day archeologists will discover it under piles of documents, legal briefs and law books. As a legislative researcher, her workplace landscape is the norm. But like the potato chips under your couch cushions, dealing with this could turn one stale.

Last football season Mo’ found a way to break the monotony. For the first time, she joined a fantasy football league.

“I tell people all the time it’s a lot harder than it looks if you are really in to it,” Johnson said.

Before we delve any further into her inaugural fantasy football season, you should know her boyfriend of two years is Tennessee Titans wide receiver and two-time Super Bowl champ, Nate Washington.

“It gives me a better understanding of what he is doing on the field” Johnson said. “I’m not just sitting there, cheering Nate on just because I know him. It’s deeper than that.”

By “deeper than that,” she means if you take her fantasy football team lightly, she will embarrass you. We will get to her success in a second.

But if you think she got the idea to join a fantasy league because of her boyfriend, your assumption falls flat.

“I don’t even know how to play to this day,” Washington said with a chuckle.

But he does understand why millions of football fans spend countless hours each week building and organizing their fantasy football franchises.

“I think it brings fans closer to the game,” Washington said. “It’s the best way for the fans to become owners and gets them more in touch with the players. It’s the closest thing that they are going to get to the field.”

When Washington and Johnson are together, an unspoken, but understood rule exists: do not bring up fantasy football.

“We don’t really talk about it,” Washington said. “She just tells me if she won or not.”

The rule exists, in part, because Johnson missed her first fantasy draft and started the season late. Fellow fantasy owners selected her team and, naturally, drafted Washington. She started him every week alongside Drew Brees and Austin Collie (“until he got hurt”) and a strong defensive unit (the team escaped her).

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Like so many fantasy owners before her, Johnson quickly learned why the hobby fascinates (and devours) so many NFL fans.

“I became somewhat obsessed,” Johnson said laughing. “I would break out my pen and paper and take notes on my team. I would rearrange my team all the time.”

Throughout the course of the season, she adopted a unique fantasy philosophy.

“I would pick out the hardest workers and put them on my team,” she said. “I would also study my players’ stats versus my opponent’s players’ stats for the week. I would really sit down and study that stuff.”

Now I know many of you may guffaw at her team management strategy, but know that in her first season Johnson scored 150 points one week and advanced all the way to the Super Bowl. But it was her reaction to losing the final game that proved she is a fantasy football addict.

“It was horrible, it was horrible,” Johnson said. “It really bothered me. I didn’t think I was going to get so involved with it.”

Nobody ever does. But she has embraced her obsession.

“I may try to do two leagues this year.”

Johnson said she spent about 15 hours per week on fantasy football last season. Some of which was spent during her downtime at work.

So, when you picture her swimming in a sea of documents, legal briefs and law books, rest assured Nate Washington’s game log, the Saints’ box score from Week 14 and Austin Collie’s most recent injury report are in the deep end.

Chalk it up to research.

For all you guys out there whose significant other doesn't appreciate or approve of your fantasy football hobby, share this article with them and say ‘See! Fantasy football can bring us closer together.’ If they buy that and sign up for FOXSports.com’s Fantasy Football, you have yourself a keeper!

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