Do you play fantasy football? If you do, we will go ahead and move you to the front of the line and assume you are a true GGTK. If not, it’s time to broaden your horizons and take part in one of America’s fastest growing hobbies. From podcasts, to cable channels, to TV shows, fantasy football is everywhere. Currently, the total market impact of fantasy football is nearly 5 billion dollars per year. Sit back and relax as we discuss the basics and history of fantasy football. Thanks for listening!!
Is a social contest in which users act as general managers of virtual teams made up of real professional football players. Fantasy football has seen incredible growth in the recent past due to the advent of the internet which makes managing teams and keeping track of statistics much easier. It is fantasy because the average person has absolutely no chance of managing a professional football team in their lives.
In the first fantasy football leagues, participants would use statistics published in previously agreed upon newspapers to score players after a weekend of play. Nowadays, computers produce live up-to-the-minute scoring of all players.
The original rules for fantasy football were developed in 1963 at New York City’s Milford Plaza Hotel by a small percentage owner of the Oakland Raiders named Wilfred “Bill” Winkenbach, with the help of Bill Tunnell, a former Raiders public relations manager and Scotty Stirling, a former reporter. The league was rounded out with pro football journalists and individuals who had purchased or sold 10 season tickets for the Raiders during the 1963 season. The name of the original league was the GOPPPL (Greater Oakland Professional Pigskin Prognosticators League). 2013 will be the GOPPPL’s 51st season.
Slowly, fantasy football began to spread to other sports enthusiasts, often due to the users from the GOPPPL starting new leagues. However, due to the time-consuming nature of scoring, many people were hesitant to play.
One of the oldest continually running fantasy football leagues is the G’national Football League (GFL) founded in Lakeland, FL in the summer of 1979 by Wayne Wesley. Before switching to internet scoring in 1997, team owners would have to send in weekly lineups via postcard to the both the commissioner (league manager) and their opponents. Either the Lakeland Ledger or the Tampa Tribune were used as the official scoring newspapers. The league still has 2 original owners, several multigenerational team owners as well as international owners.
Head to Head: 2 teams match up against each other each week. Winning team is awarded 1 point for a win.
Total Points League: Whichever teams scores the most total points over the entirety of the NFL season is the champion.
Keeper Leagues: Owners are allowed to keep 1 or 2 players from their teams for the following season. Owners are then required to sacrifice a draft pick for their “keeper”.
Dynasty Keeper Leagues: Owners are allowed to keep all or most of their players from the previous year. Rookies are then drafted for at the beginning of each season.
Auction League: All players are auctioned off to the team owners who pay actual money to have a player on their fantasy team. There is usually a salary cap per team.
At the start of each season owners all participate in a fantasy football draft. The draft serves as a way for each owner to mold available players into a team that he thinks will score a lot of points. A complete list of available NFL players is viewed by each owner who then take turns drafting players from the remaining talent pool. The draft is the most important and easily the most fun part of doing fantasy football.
Team Composition: The number and position of players that owners are able to play each week is regulated by the league commissioner. The usual starting lineup looks something like this:
2 Running Back
2 Wide Receivers
1 Tight End
1 Flex Position (either RB or WR)
1 Defense/Special Teams
– In the most general of terms, players earn more points for fantasy owners by doing something good. This includes scoring points and gaining yards. Players also lose points by doing bad things like throwing an interception, fumbling the ball or missing field goal attempts.
– Drafting is important. Spend time researching players and even completing mock-drafts so that you aren’t overwhelmed on draft day.
– Trading players during the season is allowed and encouraged. Try to fill holes in your roster by trading your extra bench players to other owners for players that fit better into the needs of your team. (It doesn’t make sense to have the 5 best receivers on your team when you can only play 2 each week.)
– Claim players off of waivers. Players not currently on an owners roster are allowed to be picked up each week by any owner. When key players get injured, be ready to pick up their replacements off of waivers.
Why Should You Play Fantasy Football:
- It is a very social game. It’s a great way to stay in touch with old friends and to make new friends.
- It turns boring NFL football games into high-stakes contests causing you to have interest in every game played during the week.
- Everybody is doing it. 27 million people played fantasy football in 2012.