The Addiction That Is Fantasy Football

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The Addiction That Is Fantasy Football

Cameron McHugh, Staff

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Fantasy Football. The phenomenon has spread to all corners of the internet, with some people preferring to keep track of it on pen and paper. The majority of users complete their drafts during the preseason on platforms such as ESPN, CBS Sports, Yahoo Sports, and NFL.com. I am sadly one of the millions who fall victim to the addiction every single year. This season, I have 3 teams across 2 platforms, and each has its own different competitive nature. 

So, why is fantasy football so addicting? What are the main factors that cause fans to come back year after year?  

The most recent study on the amount of people who play fantasy sports was released in 2017. This study released by the Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association stated that 59 million users played fantasy sports, with around 80% of them playing fantasy football. 

Fantasy football as well as fantasy sports in general have a very competitive nature to them and cause fans every year to root for players and teams they would never dream of supporting. Even the most diehard of Ravens fans will sometimes have to root for Steelers players for the soul reason of needing extra points for their fantasy team. The fiercest of rivalries can all go away when either bragging rights or money are on the line. 

With great passion also comes great disappointment when your team fails to perform. Junior Li Chen is very used to this feeling. 

“It really frustrated me last season,” Chen said. “A few of my players either got hurt or didn’t play a lot so my team was awful!”  

The NFL has also made a major announcement for the future of fantasy sports. The league announced on September 26 that it will be partnering with DraftKings, making them the very first official daily fantasy sports (DFS) platform to affiliate with an American sports league. DraftKings was able to beat FanDuel, another fan favorite, and win over the NFL’s licensing. 

DFS offers a brand-new perspective to fantasy sports, allowing users to change their team from week to week. The only catch is players must fit under a salary cap. This also feeds into the addiction, with fans having the ability to have a fresh start every week. 

“I’ve loved doing daily fantasy,” said junior Bardan Kafle. “If my main fantasy team isn’t as good as I thought they were when I drafted them, I can just play fantasy whenever I feel like with a whole new team.” 

Fantasy sports, mainly fantasy football have been popular for a couple decades now, and will likely evolve even more and the fanbase will grow much larger than its current status.