Fantasy Football 101


Jayden Record, Assistant Editor

With a recent rise in fantasy sports, fantasy football has gained a lot of attention from the media. Created in the 1960’s by former Oakland Raiders partial owner Bill Winkenbach, fantasy football has gained more and more followers every year since its inception. According to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, the entire fantasy industry is now estimated to have upwards of 60 million players and be worth more than $7 billion annually. Whether one is willing to pay big money for league buy-ins or is just trying to play for fun, fantasy football appeals to a number of different fans that have a thorough knowledge of the sport. If one were to pay money for their league, it would not be viewed as gambling since fantasy sports are considered a game of skill according to federal law. So its popularity is at an all time high while also raking in a whopping 7 figure profit, but what exactly is fantasy football?

 For those of you who aren’t familiar with the sideline, pseudo coach game, Fantasy Football is a competition, managed online through applications and websites, where participants join a league (typically consisting of 12 people) and draft their own team. When asked for his feelings about fantasy football, senior Anthony Romo said: “I feel that it is a good way of keeping up with the NFL during the season, and I enjoy competing with my friends.” Being asked the same question as Anthony, Junior Ryan Laird added: “I think it’s fun and it takes a lot of research to win.” Research begins when one starts  drafting a team. While drafting said team, only skill players (positions that have an opportunity to score in a game) are chosen in a normal PPR (points per reception) league. The positions of: Quarterback, Running Back, Wide Receiver, Tight End, Kicker, and Defense (an entire team’s defense, not particular players) are drafted. As previously mentioned, a PPR league considers points for receptions to a player’s total score as opposed to the other types of leagues (standard, touchdown only, and IDP) that do not. The name of the game is simple, players assemble their teams to score more points than their opponents. It’s like being the general manager of your very own football team, and in being so, one must view and adjust his or her team accordingly based on how many points  players are projected to score.

How does a player score points? How do I score more points than my opponent? In a typical PPR Fantasy Football league, points can be accumulated in a number of different ways: passing yards gain 1 point for every 25 yards, while passing touchdowns score 4 points per touchdown for one’s quarterback. Negative points can be given to one’s players as well: interceptions thrown by a quarterback will “earn” the fantasy player -2 points, and fumbles by any player on offense “earns” them -2 points as well. Running Backs gain 1 point for every 10 yards gained and 6 points for every rushing touchdown. For any offensive player who can catch the ball, he scores 1 point for every reception, 1 point for every 10 receiving yards, and 6 points for every receiving touchdown. Other ways offensive players can score points include: 2-point conversions and fumbles recovered for touchdowns. Team defenses score points by not allowing their opponents to score, getting turnovers, and scoring defensive touchdowns. Defensive scores work differently as teams start with 10 points, the same rewarded for a shutout as neither team has scored at the beginning of the game. Kickers score by making extra points and field goals-more points are rewarded for making field goals over 50 yards. Whether it’s a good game from due to the quarterback or a shutout because of one’s defense, high scores can be obtained a plethora of different ways. 

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows when it comes to Fantasy Football, however. Embarrassing forfeits by league losers while also losing a significant amount of money are cases that Fantasy Football players experience every year. How do the players themselves feel about Fantasy Football? While the “sport” gives a fantasy player a reason to care every week, it dehumanizes players at the same time. While frustrated with fans complaining about their fantasy players’ play, former Patriots’ tight end Martellus Bennett went to Twitter with his anger: “I don’t care about your fantasy football team. Thanks! Sincerely, real life football guy.” Fantasy football can be enjoyed with friends and also has the opportunity to pay out big money, so what could be bad about that? Although the negative consequences may not necessarily affect the participants in the fantasy sport, the impact it has on players in the league is not something that should be ignored. At the end of the day, judgement and criticism should not be delivered to grown men working their full time jobs to the best of their abilities. Fantasy Football is not real, hence the “fantasy” in its name. This potentially dangerous sport should be played with caution and should be researched in depth before being played seriously.