Although a lot of people weekly fantasy football, most are not really aware of how far its reign reaches. According to a study by the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, around 33 million Americans engage in fantasy football games every year, and this number continues to grow by at least 2 million more each year.
Since fantasy football makes up a major part of millions of people’s sports lives, let’s take a good look at some of the positive and negative aspects of fantasy football.
Pros of Fantasy Football
- Increases Your Knowledge of the NFL –you may have only started following the NFL for a few years but engaging in fantasy football will increase your knowledge of teams and players. Playing fantasy football (regardless of how serious you are) means you must learn about other teams and players if you do not want to incur any major losses. For most people, the fear of losing is enough reason to motivate them into doing their research.
- Increases Interest in all Games –those who have played weekly fantasy football explained without it, they wouldn’t have any interest in 80% of the Thursday Night Football games. Fantasy football has been said to have significantly increased viewership for NFL games. This is made possible by getting fans to watch games that they normally wouldn’t have watched before.
- You Establish a Connection with Your Players –with fantasy football, you get the chance to form deep connections with players on other teams that you normally wouldn’t have noticed or paid attention to. Players that perform well for your team will definitely be held in high regard.
- The Joy of Watching the 1 p.m. Games –playing fantasy football and watching the 1 p.m. games is just a completely different experience in itself. In fact, it can be described as a complete sensory overload. You can switch between games on TV and online gametrackers and track your players while the games are ongoing. You’ll be able to see all the days take place in real time, and although it can be quite overwhelming, it’s pure joy at the same time.
- The Joy Felt in Making the Right Choices –it’s only natural to have opposing opinions as sports fans—and this is what makes sports great. You can find people with different opinions on players, coaches, rumors, or trades.
When you trust your gut, make a difficult choice and it pays off, you feel exhilarated and like you’re one of the smartest sports minds out there. You’ll definitely feel good about yourself after.
- The Draft – a weekly fantasy football draft is one of the most entertaining and interactive sports experiences. With it you get to live out your dreams and play the role of a General Manager, building a team from the bottom up. You do the scouting and plan your picks at the same time.
There are also mock drafts that give you an idea of what player values and average draft positions are. You develop skills and come up with a list of sleepers and players you want to avoid. Add in the suspense of finding out what pick you get.
And lastly, you learn to react on the fly on how other managers draft. For most people, the best part of fantasy football is the draft.
Cons of Fantasy Football
- Conflict of Interest –every first timer goes through this, so there’s no sense in denying it. This is a problem that every fantasy owner eventually experiences throughout the course of a fantasy season.
When your fantasy studs is matched up against your team, you have to make a decision: choose the success of your team or the statistical success of your fantasy team?
No matter how much you love your team, it won’t keep you from smiling when your fantasy wideout catches a long bomb and brings it to the house. This conflict of interest is not only applicable to the fantasy guys.
- Fantasy Playoffs in Week 17 –although most fantasy leagues start their playoffs in Weeks 15 and 16, there are others that still have the finals in Week 17—the season is quite short, so everyone tries to maximize their fantasy purposes. But this eventually creates problems for players on playoff teams currently resting their superstars for the stretch run.
- We Stop Looking at Players as Humans –football is not an easy sport—it can be quite dangerous and there’s a lot of risks players undertake. They may get paid a lot of money and are aware of the consequences of their actions, but fans usually tend to forget that these men are human too. These men have families and lives outside sports, just like all of us.
It can reach the point where fantasy players care more about how a player’s injury affects the fantasy team, than the impact of that injury to the human itself.
- Puts More Focus on Bad Performances –although fantasy football can help you develop man crushes, it can also result to some tragic heartaches. Everyone remembers good statistical days, but bad statistical days are burned into the minds of every fantasy owners that suffered from them.
A good example would be when everyone who drafted Chris Johnson this year ended up hating him for the first few weeks of the season. Although he did give quite a lackluster performance, nobody would’ve made a big deal out of it if there was no fantasy football.
- Reduces Productivity –according to studies, a lot of people end up suffering from loss of productivity from fantasy football. A recent report revealed it if an estimated 22.3 million workers that moonlight as fantasy GMs spend an hour each week managing their fantasy teams, it would cost employers around $6.5 billion in terms of wages paid to unproductive workers.
- Guilt Felt in Making Wrong Decisions –there are two types of mistakes you can make in fantasy football: first is when you start a player who drops a stinker, and the second is benching a player who breaks out. Missing out on a ridiculous day is extremely heart-breaking—especially when you lose because of it.