Why Do People Play Fantasy Football?

An estimated 75 million people play fantasy sports, and 50 million of them play fantasy football. Maybe you’ve been in a league with your friends for several years. Maybe you have no friends… or maybe you wonder why all your co-workers always obsess over fantasy football. Why do they spend so many valuable working hours proposing trades, checking their lineups, checking the scores, and trash-talking? So, why exactly do we play fantasy sports, specifically fantasy football?

First, before we answer that, let’s start off with a quick lesson on fantasy sports. Participating in fantasy sports means that you are the owner, the manager, and the coach of your virtual team. Your virtual team—or fantasy team—competes against other owners of fantasy teams to see who the winner is. Usually, in leagues, the winner of the league wins some sort of prize, but that’s not a requirement. Back in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, owners had to tally up the scores by hand using newspaper clippings. Thanks to the Internet, all of this stuff is tallied up automatically and stored online.

The Growth of Fantasy Sports

Sites like Yahoo and ESPN made it super easy for the masses to hop on board and start playing for free. Then, the next evolution in this industry occurred. Sites like FanDuel and DraftKings came out with DFS—daily fantasy sports—allowing participants to draft a new team every week. Heck, not just every week; maybe every day or even every hour. This is convenient if you don’t want to have the same team for the entire season. So, what does the future hold? The future is shifting towards fans having more control. Companies like Scorum, for instance, are rewarding sports fans for creating content, as well as reading and voting on that content. Then, there’s NoLimitCoin, which is similar to DraftKings and FanDuel, but has lower fees because it uses cryptocurrency. There’s also a very ambitious company called FCFL, which stands for Fan-Controlled Football League. Those are actual football leagues where fans control the plays and draft the players.

The three last companies that I mentioned—Scorum, NoLimitCoin, and FCFL—all use a new technology called blockchain. It’s very attractive and getting very popular because it has the opportunity to be decentralized, which means it’s very secure and also very fair.

Why Do People Play?

So, that sums up the past, present, and future of fantasy sports, but why do people play fantasy sports? The competitive nature… Look, you’re probably not going to own a professional sports team—not one in a major league, anyway. There’s not a high chance you’re going to do that. There’s also not a high chance that you’re going to become a pro athlete, but deep down, a lot of us love to compete. If you love to compete, then you might like fantasy sports.

Fans are always talking and complaining about what plays should have been called, what players should have been drafted, so on and so forth. If you don’t believe me, just check Twitter and Facebook. It happens all the time. Well, in fantasy sports, you get full control over your team. You get to be the coach, GM, and owner. One of the biggest draws in fantasy sports, and why people keep playing, is the social aspect. For those of you that are in leagues with coworkers, friends, and family, it’s kind of like a club or a gang. It’s pretty cool; you get together, have draft parties, trash talk, and so on. That’s really what it’s about: the camaraderie, the competitiveness. It’s kind of like playing sports, but you get to sit on the couch and do it.

Why Fantasy Football Is King

OK, that’s great. We kind of know why people play fantasy sports, but why is fantasy football the most popular of all fantasy sports? Well, first of all, it’s personal preference. Some people like fantasy basketball, others like baseball, but football is a weekly competition. The anticipation for Sunday—there’s quite the build-up—is more convenient; you only have to set your lineup technically once per week, compared to the other sports where there are a lot more games. You would have to set your lineup every single day.

Also, when it comes to the NFL, each game is more intense; it’s more magnified. Just mathematically, it holds more weight because each team only plays 16 games compared to the other sports, where there’s 82 games in basketball or 164,000 games in baseball. The cat’s out the bag; I like to play fantasy sports. I love fantasy football, but it’s not for everybody. It’s a game of skill. There are haters out there who think it’s pure luck, but it isn’t. If you constantly keep finishing in last place, you’re never winning (people don’t like to finish last), you keep sucking at it, and you’re no good at it, chances are that you’re going to stop playing.

It can be a little bit time-consuming. It requires time to do research, to draft players, to add players, to drop players, and to propose trades. I don’t propose a lot of trades, but trading is good if you’re a master at trading. So, some people don’t have the time to do it. A lot of first-time players tell me they really like football, but when they started playing fantasy football, they paid a lot more attention to the game and the individual players and it amplified the game. It simply intensified it. It made it better.

But if you hate sports, then fantasy sports are definitely not for you. But I’ve heard over and over again: casual sports fans turned into true fanatics because of fantasy football. Hopefully, this article satisfied your appetite and answered the question about why people play fantasy sports.

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