Scott Cordischi On Sports: Fantasy Football Frenzy!
Friday, August 31, 2012
Labor Day weekend has so many meanings for so many people.
For some, it means the unofficial end of summer. For others, it’s back to school. But, for hardcore football fans, it’s fantasy football draft weekend.
While the NFL holds its real draft in April, football fans play GM in the month of September drafting a fantasy football team that they can root for all season.
It wasn’t too long ago that fantasy football was a relative unknown commodity to most sports fans. In fact, the first real fantasy sport was fantasy baseball, otherwise known as rotisserie baseball.
Baseball fans would get together each spring before the start of the season to draft their teams trying to make sure that every statistical category was covered. Fans wanted players who could hit for average, power and even steal bases. They wanted pitchers who could rack up the wins, register low ERAs, have great strikeout to walk ratios or pick up saves.
But, football and the NFL have surpassed baseball as America’s favorite pastime, so too has fantasy football blown rotisserie baseball out of the water.
Chances are, if you’re reading this column, you are probably in a fantasy football league of your own. If not, you likely know multiple people who are. It would be hard not to.
AdWeek magazine estimates that some 27 million people play fantasy football. Others estimate that number to be even higher. One thing's for sure, it is a multi-billion dollar industry.
How does it work? Simple.
Most leagues consist of 10-12 teams, some of which have individual team owners while others are run by partners.
After NFL teams have reduced their rosters to 53 players but before the start of the regular season, these groups of people gather for their annual draft.
Depending upon how a league is run, draft order can be randomly drawn or based upon the prior year’s order of finish.
Once the draft has started, fantasy owners must fill certain roster requirements so that they can field a team. Most leagues require a line-up similar to the following:
2 Running Backs
2 Wide Receivers
1 Tight End
1 Place Kicker
1 Defense & Special Teams
Other leagues may tweak that basic format allowing for an extra player or two to be started at each position or a “flex” player which can be either an extra running back, receiver or tight end.
Teams receive points every time one of their players scores a touchdown. Most leagues also award points based upon the amount of yards rushing, passing or receiving as well as things like sacks, interceptions and fumble recoveries.
Each week during the NFL season, fantasy owners must start a line-up similar to the one listed above making sure that their players are both healthy and not on a bye week.
Then, their team receives points based upon how each player does in that weekend’s NFL games. That point total is then compared to another team in their league whom they go head-to-head with based upon the league’s schedule.
Needless to say, owners want to draft players who are projected to put up big numbers which is why an offense like the Patriots usually has a lot of players like Tom Brady, Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski taken in the early rounds.
Some play fantasy football for recreational purposes only while others play for a few bucks.
What the game does more than anything else is force fans to follow more than just their favorite NFL team. They track multiple players on multiple teams making their NFL weekend that much more exciting.
There may be other games as exciting as fantasy football out there, but you’d be hard pressed to convince a football fan of that.
It’s Labor Day weekend. Let the drafts begin!
-Rogers, Brady and Brees seems to be the consensus 1-2-3 of fantasy quarterbacks.
-Just as Arian Foster, Ray Rice, LeSean McCoy and Chris Johnson top the list of available running backs.
-Detroit’s Calvin Johnson is the consensus top pick at wide receiver with Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald behind him.
-Line of the week comes from a caller to WEEI after the blockbuster trade between the Red Sox and Dodgers. “I never thought that Magic Johnson would be more popular in Boston than Larry Bird!”
-The New York Jets grab all of the headlines on the back pages of the New York tabloids while the Giants just go about their business of adding more Lombardi Trophies to their shelves at MetLife Stadium.
-Those are the same New York Jets who have scored zero, zilch, nada offensive touchdowns through the first three preseason games this year.
-I don’t know about you, but I will be rooting for Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez to do well in LA but not Josh Beckett.
-It would be easier to reach the President of the United States than it is to get a return call from someone at the NCAA.
-In just two months, the Celtics and the Heat will tip-off the 2012-2013 season in Miami.
-After spending more than a few days at Rhode Island beaches this summer, Narragansett town beach remains my favorite.
-The NCAA should allow any player who wants to transfer to Penn State to play football to play right away just as those who transfer away from the program have been allowed to do.
-Do they sell Popeye’s Fried Chicken in Los Angeles? Just asking.
-Question of the week: who kisses his biceps in the mirror more? NFL referee Ed Hochuli or the Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore?
-Now that Red Sox ownership has rid the franchise of “Theo’s mistakes,” who will they have to blame if things go wrong now?
-Deion Branch is like that old comfortable pair of shoes in your closet. You know you should probably get rid of them but can’t because you can’t find anything better.
-Adrian Gonzalez told the Los Angeles media that the media and the fans in Boston didn’t like the fact that he wasn’t intense enough and he’s right! He also said that the reason his power numbers were down in Boston was because the Green Monster robbed him of some home runs. I’m not buying that one!
-There’s no truth to the rumor that the only player Los Angeles wanted was Nick Punto and that the Red Sox insisted that they take Gonzalez, Beckett and Crawford in order to get him.
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