Cue the National Football League (NFL) theme music, hop into your favorite seat and get ready for a wild Sunday of tossing the pigskin. Every week, millions of people across the nation engage in the most important duels of their lives: head-to-head matchups in fantasy football. Hoping to get touchdown points or some receiving yards, fans draft a carefully selected group of players, aspiring to outscore the opposing lineup.
The culture behind fantasy football unites fans, rivals and football fanatics in a challenging, yet enjoyable season of ups and downs. Personally, I have participated in fantasy football for the past couple of years, and I must say, it’s riveting. The adrenaline rush in following your players’ weekly statistics and the nail-biting games coming down to the wire further contribute to the intensity of this art form. Junior Jack Janko, an avid fantasy player, holds a special appreciation for the game in his heart. “Fantasy brings friends closer together while also creating a competitive atmosphere among buddies,” said Janko.
Each season of fantasy football opens with a draft of players from all teams in the NFL. The goal: draft the strongest players and form a team that will win against all of your opponents. A snake draft is commonly accepted among many leagues in which a random order is generated and flips each round. Unfortunately, if you are not present during the draft, the computer will automatically choose the best option available at that moment, better known as auto draft. This can pose serious problems for many team managers.
Junior Will Aronson appreciates fantasy football, believing that it further supports his love of the game. “Fantasy football gives me an even better excuse to sit on a couch and watch football with my friends … like I wasn’t going to do that anyway,” he said.
As the season comes to a close, playoff brackets form, leading fantasy footballers to either a league championship or ticket to the consolation bracket of losers. Usually, a prize is predetermined among the league members for the winner. In my many years of playing, I unfortunately have never emerged as the victor of my league. As there is a prize, a punishment must also follow suit. Some fantasy footballers decide on weekly punishments for the lowest scorer of the week, while others remain intent on a final penalty for the person with the worst record at the end of the NFL season.
As of Week 6 in the NFL season, Derrick Henry and Cooper Kupp have staked their claims in fantasy football dominance as two of the strongest players of the season. Henry on the Tennessee Titans has averaged 28.4 points per week, and Kupp, on the L.A. Rams, has averaged 25.5 points per week.