Friday Night Fever: Fantasy Football

Everyone views Fantasy Football differently. For some people, they hate it, don’t see a single point in it. Others make a living off of it, and some just don’t give a down. If you don’t know what fantasy football is, it’s a competition in which participants select imaginary teams from among the players in a league and score points according to the actual performance of their players. You act as a manager and owner all in one. Every week, you can adjust your players. Making some sit on the bench, while starting others. Watching football, beating your friends/family in a game, earning bragging rights, and perhaps making money while doing it, makes fantasy football entertaining.

In Joe Kuzma’s article, Is Fantasy Football Good, Or Bad for the Sport of Football?, he talks about so many different reasonings. He brings up an explanation that I never even thought about, gambling. Ever since fantasy football has started, gambling in casinos has gone down. “Like poker, the casinos believe online players are spending money that would otherwise be spent in their gambling halls, if the online games were not available.” (Kuzma) There are several apps that you can download on your phone to play fantasy. Some cost money while others do not. There are apps where you can play for money against others players around the world, or just play with friends and family for fun. Kuzma’s argument makes sense, Fantasy Football is helping the NFL get views.

“Consider a Monday night game with Team A playing Team B. Most casual viewers have no vested interest in the game if they are a fan of Team X. However, if they play fantasy sports and have a player (or multiple players) from Teams A and B playing, it increases interest in the game… which increases TV viewership… which increases revenue and the overall growth of the game.” (Kuzma)

I Entirely agree, there’s so many games that I could care way less about, but I have a member of my fantasy playing on one of the teams. For instance, if the Miami Dolphins are playing the Washington Redskins, I most likely won’t watch. But, if I have The Redskins’ quarterback and one of the Miami Dolphins’ wide receivers, I’ll most likely watch the game to see how my players are preforming.

In the article, Why Fantasy Sports are a Complete Waste of Time, by Stu White, He brings out all of the undesirable sides of fantasy sports. “…it is just nerdy math combined with foolish gambling… If you want to bet your hard-earned, trickle-down-economics-produced cash, you should gamble it on a skill you possess”(White) I have the same opinion, its stupid to bet on something that it out of your controll and that you have no effect on. I think that the gambling side of fantasy is outrageous. But there are some people who make a living from doing that.

Why is Fantasy Football so Popular? by Ronnie Feng enlightens that fantasy football is harder than it seems. “As a participant in fantasy football, you will have to study the statistics and any other factors that might influence a player’s performance… you need to predict his performance based on his past performances as well as other factors like the weather, team morale, how he lines up on the field, etc.” (Feng) All of that is if you take the game that serious. You can just switch players based on their point prediction, which comes from analists checking the factors listed above. The ‘professionals’ of fantasy football do all of that on their own. When they win, they win big. Draftkings, one of the main fantasy apps, gives out a million dollars a week to the biggest scoring person in the competition. With entry fees being $27 and a chance at winning $1,000,000. Why the hell not? Well, because your chances are very slim because there are millions of users. Between the two main Fantasy football apps, Draft kings and Fanduel, there are just under 4 million users. (according to Forbes) That means theres a one in a 4 million chance that you’ll win.

Although, Whites’ article talks about why fantasy is bad, I have to agree with him. Fantasy football should just be fun and games and not involve gambling. I realize that if you’re good at something then try to make a living of it, but why bet your money on other people, and on things you cant fully control. I have a league that I play in with my family, and we only do it for the bragging rights. In Feng’s article, he explains that fantasy gets you more involved with the game and gets you to think about it. It’s challenging to make your team the very best, that no one ever was.

Kuzma, Joe. “Is Fantasy Football good, or bad, for the sport of football?” Behind the Steel Curtain, Behind the Steel Curtain, 28 Aug. 2016, www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/pittsburgh-steelers-nfl-features-news-blog-long-form/2016/8/28/11963700/is-fantasy-football-good-or-bad-for-the-sport-of-football.

White, Stu. “Why Fantasy Sports are a Complete Waste of Time.” FanSided, FanSided, 8 Apr. 2013, fansided.com/2013/04/08/why-fantasy-sports-are-a-complete-waste-of-time/.

Feng, Ronnie. “Why is fantasy football so popular?” Daily Free press, 5 Oct. 2015, blog.dailyfreepress.com/2015/10/05/why-is-fantasy-football-so-popular/.

Anderton, Kevin. “FanDuel And DraftKings Are Dominating The Daily Fantasy Sports Market [Infographic].” FanDuel And DraftKings Are Dominating The Daily Fantasy Sports Market [Infographic], 30 Nov. 2016, www.forbes.com/sites/kevinanderton/2016/11/30/fanduel-and-draftkings-are-dominating-the-daily-fantasy-sports-market-infographic/#620c126f7c4f.