For decades, fantasy football leagues operated out of dining rooms and company meeting rooms across America. It’s a sure bet that before long, sportsbooks will be popping up all over the state and online. It was a big annual ritual to gather up 12 managers, order pizza and draft players. It was an even bigger task to track scoring and determine winners. During the entire process, some managers held concern about the legality of their participation in such leagues when entry fees were charged, and prize money was awarded.
Today, the face of Fantasy Football looks completely different. With the legalization of fantasy football as a game of skill, fantasy football managers have come out of the closet. Thanks to groups like NFL.com, Yahoo Sports, FanDuel and DraftKings, an actual Internet fantasy football format is available as a means of organizing leagues or participating as an individual manager. These programs provide draft capabilities and handle the arduous task of tracking scores.
Let’s take a look at the two ways fantasy football enthusiasts can now enjoy participating in their favorite pastime.
Fantasy Football Leagues
Despite advancements in technology and attitudes towards sports gambling, there’s still a large body of fantasy football enthusiasts who like the traditional fantasy football league formats. Using online resources from providers like Yahoo Fantasy Sports and NFL.com, managers can join “public” leagues or customize their own. Using deposit methods like PayPal and League-Safe, league commissioners can even collect entry fees and payout cash awards based on playoffs and league standings.
The standard fantasy football league has 12-14 managers, drafting 15-20 players with a wide range of custom scoring formats. Leagues require a full season commitment with players acquired through the initial draft, trades or Free Agent acquisitions. Playoff formats can vary, giving solo managers a wide range of leagues from which to choose.
Daily Fantasy Football
In recent years, daily fantasy sports websites like FanDuel and DraftKings have brought fantasy football enthusiasts a new way to enjoy Fantasy Football. Site members get the opportunity to enjoy face-to-face competition with managers from all over the country. Each contest runs for the entirety of one week. Managers join a weekly contest or matchup that fits their requirements from both an entry fee and playing format perspective. Contests can range from two managers (head-to-head) all the way up to thousands of managers in one contest.
Unlike leagues formats, each manager has access to the entire population of NFL players, selecting said players based on the contest’s position format. Each manager gets a predetermined salary cap to build their roster, using the salary amounts assigned for each player by the website’s staff. The website tracks scoring, and winners get paid back into their user accounts at the conclusion of each contest.
On the Horizon
In May of 2018, the US Supreme Court ruled that the state ban against betting on sports was unconstitutional. As a result, many states are putting legislation in place that permits its residents to wager on sports. It’s an equally sure bet that somehow, Fantasy Football options will figure in the product mix. Without a doubt, Fantasy Football is fast becoming a part of every day life for millions of Americans.