Fantasy Football Continues to Rise


Jeremiah Miller

The logo of the Sleeper app, which is used to play Fantasy Football.

Fantasy football was created in a hotel in New York City back in the fall of 1962 by three men. Since then, fantasy football has risen in popularity and keeps growing as technology has developed. Fantasy football’s creators established a game that inspires, attracts, and perplexes millions of participants today.

ESPN is one of many apps that are used to draft a team in fantasy football. (Vasan Nomany)

Fantasy football has evolved into one of the most popular platforms. The market for fantasy football has grown through the years and is currently sitting at $18.6 billion dollars. That is 4.5 times more than the present worth of the Dallas Cowboys, the top franchise in the NFL, and $6 billion more than the current expected NFL income. 

Fantasy football can be used on a phone, computer, or a type of electronic device to download an app. 

“Fantasy football is indeed free, or you can join a league and put in money for an ending pot,” senior Christian Wicker said. “You can download it from the app store, and there are many different apps that have the same concept. Personally, I use the Sleeper app with a group of my friends. You can join a public league or make a private one with your friends. You can have 10-16 people per league; you just have to decide who you want to join. Sometimes you can only get 10 to join.” 

Whether it is a private or public league, a draft will be set where usually 15 players are drafted to make up a team. Just like the NFL draft, you get picks and placement in the draft. Unlike the NFL, you get a pick every round. 

Draft Kings is a common app used. It shows the amount of money you can bet and win. (Vasan Nomany)

“You need a quarterback, two running backs, two receivers, a tight end, a flex which is either a running back or receiver, a kicker, a team’s defense, and six players for your bench,” Wicker said. “You can change your league to have as many players at each position that you want. There are many strategies for drafting to get a great team.” 

When the draft is over, players have to make decisions on who to start and bench. If the player is not happy with a specific group of players they drafted, they can use their knowledge to set up a trade with anyone in their league. 

There is plenty of stuff you can do to upgrade your team,” senior Rylan Campbell said. “You can decide to make trades with other league mates, and there are also waivers you can put in for players that didn’t get drafted. If you have a player that is projected to score lower points because of the defense they are up against, you might bench him for a player on your bench that you expect to get higher points.” 

Each league has different total points based on how it is set up and what app is being used. 

“Every league has their own way of how points are scored, but usually total yards, touchdowns, and receptions depict total points for the skilled players,” senior Grayson Long said. “The defense gets points from interceptions, fumbles, sacks, total yards, and points scored. Your kicker generally will receive one point from an extra point and more points from a field goal depending on the length.”

FanDuel is a very popular app with a rating of five stars. You can use FanDuel for other major league sports. (Vasan Nomany)

Depending on how many teams are made in your league, the amount of teams that make the playoffs vary. 

“In the 10-team league I am participating in this year, six teams make the playoffs. Our playoff weeks are weeks 14, 15, and 16. We don’t do week 17 because many players sit out that week if your team has secured a playoff spot already,” Campbell said. 

One question that pops up in relation to fantasy football is whether winning requires luck or skill. 

“In my opinion, fantasy requires both skill and luck,” Wicker said. “There are several factors that go into a good club, including sports knowledge, player skill, past performance, injury propensity, and how you trade with other teams in your league. With drafting and trade, luck is involved. You can select rookies and possibly someone who you believe has potential. It’d be regarded as a lucky pick.”

Some people might just start leagues for fun, but others who are more competitive will place so-called “bets.”

“In the league, I am involved in this year, everyone decided to put in $5 so the winner takes all,” Long said. “However, the loser has to wear a pink skirt, high white socks, and a white shirt that says ‘I Suck at Fantasy Football.’ The main reason why I play fantasy is to interact with friends and more importantly win because that is my competitive nature.”