Fantasy football breaks bonds and creates chaos, giving the NFL its meaning and worth. Without fantasy football, the NFL would be nothing.
Played by girls, guys and all grade levels, fantasy football allows people to create imaginary teams made up of real professional football players. In 1962, Wilfred Winkenbach, one time Oakland Raiders limited partner, created the first recorded fantasy football team. It was created for fans to feel like they had a more active role in the NFL.
This concept has been around for a while now, but it just recently became an online industry. Currently it is a multi-billion dollar industry, which shows the success and popularity of fantasy football.
Wesleyan boys are especially involved in fantasy football, as some spend hours drafting the players they want. Everyone knows the most important event of fantasy football is the draft.
The beginners use the snake form of the draft- the basic form that reverses the draft order every round. However, experts prefer the more strategic draft style, which is called the auction draft. Each general manager of a team is assigned a salary pool of equal value. When it is a general manager’s turn to pick, they nominate a player, and each general manager must bid on that player. It forces the person to think more about the players they are picking because they only have a certain amount of money they can use.
Senior Hayes Laughlin said, “I watch football highlights and go with my gut feeling for the draft.”
After the teams are set, the next important step is coming up with a team name. It needs to be creative, and most of the team names are puns based off of a player’s name.
For example, seniors Emily Greer and Katie Stipe named their team “Pull the Lever, Gronk.” In fact, a player on their team is named Rob Grownkowski, and their name is based off a popular movie called “The Emperor’s New Groove.”
As soon as the season begins, it is head to head combat between teams. The competition is fierce. Each week, lineups are set based on personal opinions of a player’s ability and the projected points for a player that week. There is no guarantee that these point values will be correct, and it is heartbreaking when a player on the bench outscores a player on the starting line-up. Points are earned based on how players perform in their game that week, and different plays are worth different amounts of points.
At the end of the season, there is a winner. This winner is based off of total points earned over the course of the season.
In a recent interview with fantasy football fanatic, Katie Stipe, she said, “Fantasy football is fun, and it makes NFL football interesting because otherwise NFL football is boring and I would not watch it, but now I feel a personal connection to every single NFL player that is on my team, especially Gronk and Cam Newton.”