Fantasy sports are taking over


Fantasy Sports

Want 18 billion dollars a year? 

Maybe you should try starting a fantasy sports league. In 2015, companies reported a profit of 18.6 billion dollars for fantasy football leagues alone. That’s 6 billion more than the NFL made that year. Fantasy football is an online sport run and created by fans, and it has managed to grow into one of the biggest communities of all time. 

So what is Fantasy Football?

Fantasy football is an online game where fans select active players from the NFL to make their own fantasy team.  Every time a player on your fantasy team does something in their game, you either get points or lose points. The goal is to be the team at the end with the most points. Back in the 1960s when fantasy first started, it was played on pieces of paper, and all the statistics had to be calculated by hand. Needless to say, it’s gotten a bit easier. 

ESPN estimates that 60 million people in the United States alone play fantasy football. And it isn’t just the U.S. with crazy numbers, in India there’s another 20 million people that play fantasy sports. The NFL has even added new rules that indirectly cater to the millions of fantasy football players.  The league has shifted to be more offense based, which encourages higher scoring. This makes games significantly more entertaining to watch, and it helps people rack up more points for their fantasy leagues. More statistics are broadcast on screen so people who track statistics themselves have a much easier time doing so. The growth of fantasy football is beneficial for the leagues, because the more people play fantasy sports, the more people watch the NFL. 

Fantasy football leagues are run for rewards, most often a cash prize. People normally play in  a “pool league”, where everyone contributes to get in the league, and the winner at the end gets the whole pot. Trusting strangers to be honest with money is a huge risk to take, and everyone in fantasy sports has seen terrible cases of misuse. Because of this, people have found it safer to run private leagues using platforms like ESPN, DraftKings, or Yahoo! where corporations can monitor the money and activity of players to create a safe environment. 

Fantasy football isn’t for everyone. Not everyone enjoys the almost-gambling kick of fantasy football, and not everyone wants to be overly invested in the football season. If any of this sounds intriguing to you, give fantasy a try next year, or if you’re really anxious to get started, baseball season is just around the corner!