Fantasy football combines sport, technology and strategy
Whether or not you follow football – follow meaning religiously watch games, know player stats and feel genuinely sad when your team loses – everyone likes a good, friendly competition among friends.
Fantasy football, like ESPN’s fantasy league or any other site, can allow participants to handpick a team of players and compete with other “teams” to see who has the best sense for success.
While ESPN’s league is just for fun, sites like Draft Kings were shut down in New York for encouraging gambling.
The virtual competition is popular amongst students because it brings those together who love the game. It’s a method of keeping up with the sport as well, since player statistics are crucial to victory.
Carli Rescott, a junior international and media study major, thinks that fantasy gives football a new perspective.
“All my friends are in a fantasy league together,” Rescott said. “Like any virtual game, it’s fun for the people who are interested in it. It makes football more interactive.”
The ESPN version is easily accessible as an app that users can download. The app features your roster, other participant’s rosters, live player statistics, a scoreboard and a schedule. It’s simple to use, with a sidebar menu and easy-to-understand information about teams and players.
Participants compete against one other participant per week. Their teams, comprised of various players on different teams, compete against one another to see who can score the most points. Points are based on players and how well each of them performs that week.
James Gary, a junior exercise science major, enjoys fantasy because it allows him to connect with his friends he doesn’t always see.
“I auto-drafted so I wasn’t with everyone when they picked teams, but I still like checking my score and seeing who is winning,” Gary said. “It’s a social thing, we all play together and we’ll watch games and see how they effect our score.”
Each team must have different positions on it, so no one person can have all quarterbacks or running backs. Players who aren’t performing well can be traded and replaced by those will better serve the team. Trades can be made amongst teams or based on the pool of players that have yet to be picked.
The competition begins every Thursday and ends Monday to allow for every player who would play that week to score points. There are off weeks when a team isn’t participating, so those players are essentially “out.”
There must be ten people in order to have a fantasy league on the ESPN app, and then these ten people are split into East and West coast.
Once playoffs begin, a bracket is formed for the league in which a final winner will be determined.
Ryan Spies, a junior mechanical engineering major, takes fantasy seriously.
“I’m in three different leagues right now,” Spies said. “We all did research before drafting, and I even made a couple mock-drafts to make sure my team was perfect.”
Spies plays for money in two of his leagues – one required a $50 buy in, the other, $10.
“The third one is just for fun, but I keep up with all of them,” Spies said.
Money or not, fantasy football is a craze that’s kept students in touch with the sport virtually.
Tori Roseman is the senior features editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.