Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs flexes after a big play. Credit: @buffalobills on Instagram

Hop into your favorite seat and get ready for a wild Sunday of tossing the pigskin, “Seven hours of commercial-free football starts now,” said NFL Redzone host Scott Hanson. 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 accumulate the most total points, fans draft a carefully selected group of players, aspiring to outscore the opposing lineup.

Fantasy football culture unites fans, rivals and football fanatics in a challenging, yet enjoyable season of ups and downs. Senior Jack Janko said, “I love watching Niall Lehane or Porter Kendall lose. 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 nail-biting games coming down to the wire further contribute to the intensity of this art form. Junior Ross Bernath, an extreme fanatic, appreciates the game of football on a deeper level due to fantasy football. “I love fantasy football because it allows me to feel like a real GM [general manager] and compete against my friends.”

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. If you are unable to attend your draft, the computer will “auto draft” and choose what the computer deems the best player available for your team.

As the season comes to a close, playoff brackets form, leading fantasy footballers to either a league championship or a ticket to the consolation bracket of losers. Often a cash prize, leagues will decide an incentive that the victor will receive once the year is over.

In 2022, Giants running back Saquan Barkley and Lions receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown have shocked the fantasy world with their unanticipated success.

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