The Fantasy Football Craze

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The Fantasy Football Craze

The app by ESPN allows users to keep themselves up-to-date on the latest rankings.

The app by ESPN allows users to keep themselves up-to-date on the latest rankings.

Sabrina Ochoa

The app by ESPN allows users to keep themselves up-to-date on the latest rankings.

Sabrina Ochoa

Sabrina Ochoa

The app by ESPN allows users to keep themselves up-to-date on the latest rankings.

Sabrina Ochoa, Editor-in-Chief

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As football season continues, Cavaliers are raving more and more about fantasy football. Although it is not new, the hype for this particular online competition has been outrageously high this fall.

Fantasy football, a nationwide trend, gathers football fans of nearly every age to gain a whole new perspective of the NFL. In this online competition, groups of friends (typically made up of 10 people) can create their own leagues and draft players to create hypothetical, or fantasy, teams. Leagues can be created for free using websites or apps by ESPN, NFL, Yahoo or Fox, but members of a league may independently decide whether they would like to bring a cash prize into the mix. 

Each week, users watch as their players go head-to-head and receive points based on their performance. At the end of the week, these points are compared to others within the league, and the user with the most points wins. Coinciding with the NFL season, this competition goes on for about 16-17 weeks, all depending on the program. At the end of the entire season, the user with the most overall points is crowned “Best of the League.”

“Growing up, I watched football for the cuties but now I actually watch football for [the game]. I started playing fantasy football three years ago. This year, my friends had a running bet that I wasn’t going to win anything. I’ve actually gotten really good at the system, and so far I have a total of five out of seven wins. [Fantasy football] gives me ownership of the game and the players; it gets me excited,” biology teacher Ms. Phillips said.

Fantasy football, derived from professional football, has been an entertainment source for several years. This makes one wonder why this particular year’s overall football festivities have created such a buzz. The competitive component of fantasy football may have an influence on the game’s heightened popularity, as rival football fans are involved more than ever in NFL statistics. Professional players are being paid close attention to, and it is often noted that fantasy football extends fan involvement. This is probably due to the fact that those who enjoy football will become “addicted” to monitoring their scores on TV and gaining “points” for their wins. As weeks go by and users become more focused on winning the coveted title, they will continue to follow up on their team scores and individual player rankings.

“If you’re a fan of a bad team, fantasy football still allows you to enjoy the football experience and keep track of other teams. You can also learn about different players that you probably didn’t know about, ” junior Nick Restrepo said.

Another large factor in the rising fame of the fantasy football world is the considerable amount of injuries and removals taking place among this season’s professional players. For instance, Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson have both been suspended from the NFL due to unsportsmanlike conduct off the field. For competitors who drafted these players, their luck may not be so good. When taking into account the fact that their “team” will be short of their better players, they will be forced to acquire players that aren’t as well-versed in their positions, and thus reduce the possibility of receiving more points.

“[Fantasy football is] always a competition and a thrill to play. It’s so much fun. It’s also a game of strategy, which is exciting. [Actually,] I have had a player out with a concussion, a running back. He was not that good so I dropped him and picked up a good receiver because I needed a receiver,” senior Guillaume Lecocq said.

This year’s fantasy competition is one to be followed attentively as the fall season nearly comes to a close. Next season, however, more students will be inspired to create their own leagues to join in the fun. Don’t worry, even the least experienced football fan can win a game of fantasy football!

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