Fantasy football consumes fans

By Terrance Peacock

When the football matchup is neck and neck in the heat of the moment, there can be a lot more riding for fans than just bragging rights.


Football fans used to only watch their favorite team every weekend, but fantasy football has created a fan base that cares just as much about their fantasy team as their favorite real team. Daniel Gress, a freshman from Monticello studying aviation technologies, said fantasy football is like a simulation of the NFL. Like the league, there is a commissioner who decides on all the rules and schedules a draft.  Each player drafts his or her players and gets points based off their actual performance, and the commissioner of each league gets to decide how many points go to each category.



Jacob Still, a freshman from Oswego studying in history, has played fantasy football as long as he can remember.  Last year he created a league for his school and said he gave points out to all the technical categories so that people would learn the rules of the game better. 


Each team goes against another team each week and the team with more points after the week is over gets the win.  In Gress’ league there are four divisions; at the end of the year the best team of each division makes the playoffs and competes for the league championship. Winners won’t soon let their friends forget, Still said.


“There are definitely bragging rights,” Still said. “Last year was the first year that I ever won, and I don’t think I let anyone live it down for the first couple of months.” 



 While Still plays the game for free, some people like to put something at stake. 


Evan Hawk, a junior from Odon, Ind. studying aviation flight and management, said he is in two leagues.  One of his leagues is a free league, but his other league has a $20 buy-in and has a traveling bobble head trophy for the winner.


Gress is involved in a league that has a $150 prize to the winner and said it gets very competitive. 


Fantasy football also allows players to create a team name and logo. Gress decided to name his team “The Anchorage Eskimos.” Still named his team “The Peanut has Entered,” because his female friends convinced him to do so.  Hawk wanted to use his last name in his team so he went with “The all mighty Hawks.” 


While there is a creative side to fantasy football, there’s also a very strategic process to the game.  All three players have done much research to make sure they do not make the wrong move. 


The players’ draft strategies are only part of the fun. A player still has to manage their lineup each week.  Hawk said when he does not like one of his players he searches free agents that are “sleepers” to pick up in place of him.  If he does not see anyone he likes that is up for grabs, he tries to trade for a player on a different team, he said.


Gress said the game adds a new dimension to professional football.


“It makes the NFL season a lot more exciting,” Gress said “It gives you a reason to watch more games.”


Aaron Graff can be contacted at [email protected] or (618)-536-3311 ext. 282.