Like so many other fantasy owners, Nick Lachey is middling in mediocrity.

The singer and Cincinnati native is in two leagues, and he’s stuck in the middle in both.

"It’s not a fantastic year," Lachey told ThePostGame, "but not a catastrophic one either."

Lachey, a huge Bengals fan, says he has been accused before of "drafting with my heart and not my head," so lately he’s tried to change that. Despite several solid fantasy weapons on the Bengals offense, including quarterback Andy Dalton and wide receiver A.J. Green, this year the only Cincinnati player on either of his rosters is place kicker Mike Nugent.

Despite the dearth of Cincinnati players on his roster, Lachey can’t help but sympathize with the Bengals.

"Like the Bengals, I've just got to make it to the postseason," Lachey said, "then anything can happen."

Related content:
Nick Lachey's Top 5 Cincinnati Sports Moments

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Josh Freeman says that Fantasy Football is great for extending the NFL's fan base. He knows because he hears about his performance on a day-to-day basis from fantasy fans, be it on the street, at the movies or even at the supermarket.

"I was at a Publix supermarket, grabbing some milk," Freeman said at an event to promote the new video game Call of Duty: Black Ops II, "and this older lady came up to me. She was tellin' me how she had a huge family and that they had started up a league, how it was her first year playing fantasy."

Freeman was expecting one of the two lines that he usually gets from fantasy players.

"It's always like: 'Oh, I'm so glad I got you on fantasy' or 'Man, you killed me last week,'" he said.

But it turns out that Freeman wasn't even on her roster.

"She said, 'Make sure you throw the ball to Dallas Clark,'" Freeman said, laughing. "It was hilarious."

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For fantasy football owners, now is about the time of the year when the panic sets in. After weeks of checking your team, swapping in players and devoting ungodly amounts of time to your W/R flex position, you've realized that the playoffs are a pipe dream.

The guys at the NOC feel your pain.

The same team that released such parody classics as "Jeremy Lin That I Used to Know" and "Whistle" recently unveiled their newest video, "1-8." The song has the same tune as Katy Perry's "Wide Awake," but in this video a fantasy football owner is lamenting his horrific squad.

"I wish I picked then who I know now -- Andrew Luck and Andre Brown," sings Jesse Adelman. "Fantasy hurts, it's looking so bleak. I wish I could just take, take a bye week."

This text will be replaced

If this video characterizes how you're feeling about your fantasy team, don't worry, it will all be over soon.

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Fantasy football can be a fun hobby and a way for fans to immerse themselves in the sport, but as certain players have pointed out, some fantasy owners take their passion a bit too far.

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Braylon Edwards felt the wrath of a dismayed fantasy football owner Monday during a visit to the hospital. Edwards missed Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions with a swollen knee, and apparently one hospital security guard didn't have time to take Edwards out of his lineup. So when he saw Edwards at the hospital, he gave him some grief for not playing.

Edwards wasn't too happy to hear from this guy, and understandably so.

We saw something similar happen a few weeks ago, when a replacement referee chided LeSean McCoy for his performance.

Little did the ref and the hospital security guard know, these guys are more than robots who score points every Sunday, they are living, breathing human beings. And they should be treated as such.

(H/T to Game On!)

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Joe Buck is known for being the No. 1 play-by-play man for Fox Sports' coverage of the NFL and MLB -- sometimes doing both on the same day.

Buck is also a fantasy football player with entries in two leagues. One is with work colleagues.

"We call it the A-crew, so it's [Troy] Aikman, our producers, directors, guys working the cameras," Buck said. "Pam Oliver is in our league. And then I'm in one with friends. Guys and girls that I know from all parts of the globe. It's funny because I'm awful at it. I've done it I think four years now and I have never gotten into the playoffs. I'm awful at picking fantasy teams."

It might not come across on the air, but there may be times when the game he is calling will have an impact on his fantasy success (or failure).

"With our games, there was a time earlier in the season three years ago where Aikman and I were neck-and-neck in our little division, and we were doing, I think, Vikings-Patriots," Buck said. "He had [Randy] Moss or [Tom] Brady and I had Adrian Peterson. So we're calling the game and I'm living and dying with what my guys are doing because the last thing Aikman wants to do is lose. He hates losing. And the best thing I can do is beat him at that."

What happened?

"I think I lost because that's typical," Buck said. "Aikman wins at everything."

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"Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" featured one of the most star-studded casts of comedic actors in the past decade. Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner and Christina Applegate turned the simple setting of a 70s San Diego news station into classy comedy.

One might imagine this group made all kinds of jokes offset and fed off each other's cracks. Koechner claims this was not the case.

"People ask and it's not a group of pranksters," he says. "There wasn't a lot of hijinks."

Koechner played Champ Kind, the cowboy sportscaster, in the movie, and in real life, he is an avid football fan, who is helping pitch the Bud Light Fantasy Football League this season.

Koechner says he and some of his fellow cast mates were far from relaxed at the start of filming. The actor/comedian remembers some anxiety he had after working with such a deep cast that first week.

"We had the weekend off, and myself, Paul Rudd and Steve Carell had all gone home and had the same conversations with our wives, which was 'I'm not keeping up. Oh, my gosh, those guys are all so funny,'" he says. "So that was interesting. How we all felt like the other ones were terrific."

The cast must have eventually felt comfortable in each other's presence, as the movie became an instant hit. A $26 million budget was turned into a worldwide $90.6 million total at the box office upon its July 2004 release. "Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie," based on outtakes and deleted scenes from the original, went straight to DVD later that year.

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The actors have fed off the success of the films, as have writer/director Adam McKay and producer Judd Apatow.

Now, the entire Anchorman team is ready to return to the newsroom. "Anchorman: The Legend Continues" is scheduled to begin filming in February 2013 with a planned release date later in the year. Koechner says he is "very excited" for what he is calling "Anchor Deuce." He believes the prospect of a sequel had been floating around for some time since the first movie, and all the pieces just needed to be lined up.

"Everyone wanted to get back to it," he says. "No one was opposed to it. It just took a long time for all of the elements to come together."

Koechner will reprise his role of Champ Kind, who is known for his male-dominant attitude and underlying feelings for Ron Burgundy (Ferrell), one of the co-anchormen at KVWN.

Koechner did not do any extensive background research on sportscasters for the role. As a television watcher, he felt he would be just fine.

"I just went into it as an actor," he says. "Obviously most Americans have a working knowledge of television and your local evening news, so all my life I've seen my local sports anchors all over."

Outside of the Anchorman movies, Koechner undertook a different sports-related role as Coach Lambeau Fields in the 2007 comedy, "The Comebacks" (directed by Tom Brady -- no relation to the Patriots quarterback).

After experiencing both roles, Koechner has come to a conclusion: No sports background is needed for a sports-related comedy role. Although he did come into his "Anchorman" and "The Comebacks" roles with a passion for sports, he does not believe it made much of a difference.

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"I would dare say a person would not have to know anything about sports to play either of those roles because it's not like you were writing it. It's already written," he said. "I mean I certainly have a love of sports, and football is my favorite, but I don't think you have to well-versed in the art of all things sports to play them as an actor. I mean it helps."

Koechner believes actors with little sports knowledge can perform well by just sticking to some classic acting techniques. Imagine a more relatable scenario and stick to the script.

"As an actor, you have to create your own emotional life," he says. "Now if you don't have a touchstone for it, how that fits with whatever this role you're playing, you should do some investigation, but normally what you'll do for anything is you'll substitute something that's emotionally relevant and resonate to you in accordance to what the lines are.

While Koechner prepares for another turn as Champ Kind, he will focus on his main sports love: football. Koechner will be participating in the Bud Light Fantasy Football League, a way to compete against others using codes on Bud Light bottles. Players can use the codes to create a team (each code marks a different position on a team, rather than individual players), and there are more than 13,000 weekly prizes available. One grand-prize winner will be given an opportunity to go to Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans.

Koechner is thrilled to get started with the league, which works on a daily basis: "Like most Americans. I like my footballs, I like my fantasies and put them together, what do you have? Fantasy footballs."

As Koechner says about acting in sports roles, no sports knowledge is necessary to compete in the Bud Light Fantasy Football League.

In terms of the NFL season, Koechner is sticking to loyalties with his Super Bowl pick. The Tipton, Mo. native is taking the Chiefs to take home the Lombardi Trophy to Kansas City in February.

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The WWE has plenty of fantasy football enthusiasts with The Miz and Kofi Kingston being two of the more dedicated participants. Here are some of their thoughts about playing fantasy:

The Miz
On his fantasy chops:
Last year I won the Sirius XM Celebrity Fantasy league beating people that actually do this for a living. I beat the guru John Hansen, Scott Angle, Jerry Cantrell from Alice in Chains. I killed everyone. Not only that, but in the WWE league, I won the first year I was in and came in second last year on a fluke. I have all my fantasy teams on my phone and I'm looking at them while I'm concentrating on my match. But my team is always setup before Sunday, so all they have to do is perform, and normally they do because I know what I'm doing.

Fantasy sleepers:
I have a couple out there that I think are going to storm out there and do something. I think Jake Locker is actually going to win the starting bid and if he doesn't win the starting gig the first week, he will be in the middle of the season and will be an incredible asset for you. Peyton Hillis, who had a terrible year last year, now he's group together with his old offensive line coach and I think he's going to do incredible along with Jamaal Charles. I don't think Jamaal Charles is a sleeper by anybody's means, but I think Peyton Hillis has fallen so those two are ones you might want to take in the later rounds."

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On the Cleveland Browns:
Listen to me, not poor Cleveland Browns anymore. Did you see [Brandon] Weeden today? Weeden was killing it. He was on-point. The boy is for real. We have a whole new team. We have Weeden at quarterback, who I think is going to be incredible. We have T-Rich. T-Rich is the next AP. He's the next Adrian Peterson. We got Gordon in the second round, who people basically predicted would go in the first round of next's year draft. Boom. Greg Little is back. [Montario] Hardesty has it been killing it lately and then Travis Benjamin. We have a whole new team. The line is sick. The defense has struggled just a little bit because we have too many injuries, however we're going to go 8-8. You heard it here first. And that, to a Cleveland fan, is like gold.

Kofi Kingston
On his Fantasy participation:
We actually have a league with the WWE magazine that happens every year. The past couple of years, actually I don't want to talk about last year, but the year before that I placed second. I'm always in the top tier.

On what Sundays during the NFL season are like for WWE stars:
It's tough. We actually usually find a TV, I'm not sure how we find it, but there's always a TV in the arena. In between matches, we will be watching the games going on. Especially playoff season, we always have to find ways to support our teams. I'm a Patriots guy, so I had to be up in there.

How do you guys draft since you're always on the road?
We have two days off at home. Usually the draft will be held on a Wednesday or Thursday. It has to be, otherwise we are on the road and won't have the time to do it.

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Fantasy owners are facing some tough questions this fall, but perhaps none tougher than what to do about Adrian Peterson.

The Vikings running back was a fantasy monster for the past few years, racking up at least 1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns every year since 2007. But Peterson tore his ACL and MCL last December, and while Peterson says he'll be ready for the Vikings' season opener, it's impossible to know if he'll be the same player this year.

To draft AD or not to draft AD, that is the question.

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Carly Rae Jepsen is here to help. Inspired by the plethora of 'Call Me Maybe' parody videos that have circulated this summer, a group of creative fans created a spoof dealing specifically with the Adrian Peterson dilemma. Their answer? Draft him.

The video opens with Tom, who has the last pick of his league's first round. He explains that last year he took Michael Vick, but that didn't work out too well for him. So this year, he's looking for a can't-miss running back.

That's when Adrian Peterson (actually, a guy wearing his jersey) pops up and explains why people shouldn't be afraid to take him. And his argument is to the tune of none other than "Call Me Maybe." Some of the best lines include, "I know it's risky, and kind of scary, but I am ready, so draft me maybe" and, "My knee is better, and it's all gravy, so take a chance and draft me maybe."

And, of course, this video wouldn't be complete without a jab at Tim Tebow's throwing abilities (or lack thereof).

Either this is a sincere attempt to vouch for one of the best running backs in the NFL, or a crafty ploy to encourage people to waste a pick on Peterson by hypnotizing them with the song. You'll have to decide for yourself.

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There was a time when the typical fantasy of a red-blooded American male was Phoebe Cates dripping wet handling a carrot. "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" being over a quarter century ago, those same men would now be quite content to have a durable top-flight running back, a swarming defense intent on stripping the ball, and a quarterback with a great interception-to-turnover ratio. These are the stuff of dreams.

Yes, those same testosterone-laden men (and some laden with extra testosterone, like Melky Cabrera) are all about the fantasy football now. You wait all year for this, study your charts, listen to the experts, alienate family, ignore friends, only to have your efforts derailed early on from a bad draft position or a freak injury. (My first pick last year was Jamaal Charles. Nuff said.)

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So what's your strategy? It depends on what type of league you're in. Is it a keeper league? Do you make bids? Are you totally on board ... unless you can't pick Tom Brady? Does your league allow you to pay after you pick? Are you planning to not pay if you don't get your first choice?

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Regardless, the draft is just the beginning. You're the general manager. You need to be up on the news. Rosters need to be in ten minutes from now! But your best player is "questionable" to start. What the heck does that mean?! You need to know!!! Will he start?! Dammit, that's the question!

This has become our national pastime. The fanatics are now even more fanatic. As players, it's not enough you have to help your team win, but now you have to do well individually. A win on the field could still be a loss for some random guy in Omaha (as opposed to the specific guy in Omaha). Talk about increased pressure!

At the recent Harold Pump Foundation dinner, raising money for the Northridge Hospital in California to support the fight against cancer, I caught up with a few former gridiron greats and asked what they thought of the fantasy phenomenon.

"It was amazing to me," says former Raiders receiver Tim Brown, "'cause I had some of my good golf buddies back in Dallas who were fantasy players and when I would come home in the offseason, they would be mad at me. I mean, literally, they'd say, ‘Dude, all you had to do was run out of bounds at the 1-yard line, and Tyrone Wheatley would've scored and I would've won the game.' And I didn't know what was going on till I found out they were playing fantasy football."

He doesn't play himself because he's a busy man in his "retirement."

"I would love to," says the 1987 Heisman Trophy winner. "Y'know, I started out about five or six years ago trying to do it and I just haven't had the time to do it."

The theme comes up again when talking to "Broadway Joe" himself who also complained of the time commitment. "I was involved a couple of seasons ago," says Namath. "I really wanted to make it work, studying, getting help and all that. And what I've learned is I have to admire the people who are involved because it takes passion to take that much time in to study the athletes and their games, and keeping up with the week to week, and making the deals and all."

But he had no problem memorizing the playbook week in and week out? "Well, yeah," the former Super Bowl III guarantor explains, "but that was when you were living it. So the fantasy game has just added a wonderful time for fans and participants of fantasy football."

Would he have picked himself in the first round? "I don't know. With a bad knee, it depends." Another questionable!

Then there's the flip side. Former three-sport star and Baseball Hall of Famer Dave Winfield doesn't even concern himself with it. "I don't follow it at all. I know it's a big thing, but don't follow it at all. AT ALL," he says again for emphasis, flashing his broad smile.

Meanwhile, one of the players who was consistently a lock to be an early-round pick pondered not even being an option for the fantasy players. With the Olympics just ended, Marshall Faulk had his own fantasy.

"If I could've gone back and done it all over again," the recent inductee to Canton began, "I would've come back and probably played table tennis and badminton, or -- I don't know what the gymnast is called with the little string, but that looks fun too. It has a name. i don't know what that's called. We'll call it that."

I imagine he would've been a Hall of Famer at that, but he's not so confident. "I would've be graceful. If my knees would've been a little better, I would've been good."

So my fantasy is now this: I get a top-three player at all the skill positions, they don't get hurt, have career years, and I'm able to withstand all challenges to win my league.

But I know that at the end of the day, it'll be just that, a fantasy, and I'll be left with Darren Sproles as my top tailback and Mark Sanchez, who will most likely be benched for Tim Tebow in Week Two, with my arch nemesis having the foresight to pick him up before I can.

It's going to be a long season. Why isn't it called Nightmare Football instead?

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After a while, determining fantasy football draft order randomly can take some of the excitement out of the game. So in an effort to spice up his league's selection process, one Baltimore Orioles pitcher got creative.

Reliever Darren O'Day initially wanted to have a snail race to select draft order for the Orioles' league, but he nixed that idea because it's difficult to buy snails.

O'Day, who lives by the harbor in Baltimore, found his inspiration one day when looking out over the water. He saw crabs galore, and he had the answer to his quandary.

"I thought, 'Beautiful," O'Day told the Baltimore Sun. "That’s what you do in Maryland. Crabs and football, right?'"

O'Day, an animal biology major at Florida who once wanted to become a veterinarian, stopped by a local crab house and picked up 24 live blue crabs. He taped their claws and assigned 12 crabs to each of the 12 fantasy owners on the Orioles.

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Then, the crabs were off to the races.

Along with league commissioner and fellow reliever Jim Johnson, O'Day set up an 8-to-10 yard course in the tunnels at Camden Yards. Pitcher Jason Hammel's crab got off to the best start but couldn't finish. Meanwhile, first baseman Chris Davis' crab came from behind to pull out the victory.

"@ChrisDavis_19 picked the Adrian Peterson of crabs to win first pick. This dude was stiff arming and juking everyone," tweeted O'Day.

Unfortunately for the crabs, they didn't have much time to celebrate. They were made into crab dip.

-- Follow Robbie Levin on Twitter @Levin_TPG.

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