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The intricate world of fantasy football

Joe Bittner, ‘Doah Staff Writer
September 18, 2013

While sports themselves are entertaining, games within the sports are even better. Fantasy football is the most popular fantasy sport. Being able to control your own team made of players you get to choose gives you the ultimate control. Before getting the chance to draft your players, you need to decide the group of people you want to play with: your league. There are many types of leagues to play in: online leagues assembled of random people, groups of friends/teammates or even randomly selected people from campus. This is a great way to meet new friends or celebrate with old ones. Circles of friends can expand and connect with other circles.

It isn’t as simple as putting a list of players together however. There are major factors to consider, such as matchups and bye weeks. It takes a good combination of strategy and research to truly succeed, depending on how serious your league is.  You do not have to be a football genius to play though. If you enjoy watching football, you will have fun with your fantasy team.

For those of you who do not understand how the person sitting next to you in your English class can read stats and scores all class and not get sick of it, here is a basic breakdown of how things work. Firstly, use espn.com for your fantasy source. They have the best analysts with up-to-the-minute breaking news, and a mobile application so you can take it with you wherever you go. Next, create your team name. This is crucial; good teams have great names. The best way to create a name is to make a pun off of the name of a player, for example: 50 Shades of Ray or Boston Tebow Party. After you choose your name, you can start thinking of the players you want. Of course everyone will want the big name players, such as Tom Brady or Calvin Johnson, so you need to think of other players that will play well.

Your team is broken down into seven positions: quarterback (QB), running back (RB), wide receiver (WR), tight end (TE), flex position (FLEX), defense/special teams (D/ST) and kicker (K). Each position has different scoring settings, like how many touchdowns they score or how many yards they pass for. These settings make the value of each position completely different. For example, you would want a great RB compared to a great K because RBs will score more points. Don’t waste your valuable picks on Ks or D/STs.

But how do you know who the good players are? How do you score points? Everything is based off of the player’s performance on the field. The better the performance, the more points he earns you. You can easily find a list of players who will do well for you; they are all over espn.com. Each position has a ranking system that shows how valuable a player is. He doesn’t have to be on your favorite team for you to root for him. This can cause a problem though, especially if a good player plays for your favorite NFL team’s rival. It’s very hard to root for a player when he is playing your team.

Well, how do you “win”? Each week, your fantasy team faces off against someone else in your league. The object is to earn more points than your opponent. Where do these points come from– your players’ performances. See the connection?

Fantasy football does more than give you something to do when you’re bored in class; it does more than take up time on your Sundays. It expands your interests and gets you to pay attention to teams other than your favorite. It teaches you new things about the sport that you did not know were important. It makes you appreciate the value of each player and see how much fun football truly is.

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