Training camp for NFL teams means the start of the season is just around the corner. For many fans all over the world, this means that the fantasy football craze is also just about to begin.
Fantasy football is a virtual league of teams, compiled with statistics from actual NFL rosters, where fans can compete as acting managers for the team they have put together. Fans select players from the entire league’s pool of players based on previous years performances as well as projected rankings by football experts and personal opinion of the athletes. At the end of the season, some fantasy leagues even have cash prizes for their champions and runners up.
Managers of fantasy teams have to pay close attention to all football relations throughout the
offseason in order to make good draft choices. During the season, managers can bench, trade or release players based on a number of factors. For fans of fantasy football, it will be important to use the resources available to stay current on transactions within the NFL. These may include trades, injuries,
suspensions and free agency moves.
Fantasy football has become such a large entity that it has sparked special segments on ESPN and on the NFL network to inform fans of how operations might affect their teams.
“Joining a fantasy league is kind of my way of becoming more involved in football,” said senior Mikaela Whitaker. “It will be fun, I think.”
According to the majority of preseason fantasy rankings, the number one player in the league is the Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. This is mostly due to the 2,000 plus yard season he had last season. Impressive, considering he had just returned from an ACL injury.
Questions rage about Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III because of a similar knee injury and surgery at the end of a record setting rookie season. Many football fans and professionals wonder whether he will still be the same football star that so many worshipped last season.
Some players are not as highly regarded in football. ESPN experts say that Giants quarterback Eli Manning, a decent real time player, is not expected to do so well with fantasy statistics. Due to some performance inconsistencies that can be compensated for by a great surrounding cast, Manning is expected to lead his team to through a good season. However, for fantasy managers, Manning will most likely be valueless this season.
On the opposite end, Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys is expected to put up some impressive fantasy numbers, but may not have such luck in real time.
“I have grown to expect Romo to not perform in clutch moments,” said sophomore Craig Sheridan.“But he did put up crazy fantasy stats when I had him.”
For the fans who do not quite appreciate the traditional style of fantasy football, there are modified leagues that fit specifications for different fans. For example, Fanduel.com has a leagues setup so that managers select new rosters each week rather than keeping the same players for a full season. If that is too severe of a change, then more traditional leagues can be set up with different scoring systems tailored to the owners’ likings.
With the NFL season under way, regular fan and fantasy managers alike are mostly just excited to watch some football.
“I’m not big on fantasy football, really. I’ve looked into it and it’s not really my thing,” said junior Lee
Cranford. “Peyton [Manning] sure made some people happy this week, though.”
Whether you enjoy making your own fantasy football team or you just like catching a game on the weekend, the general consensus is that football is finally here.