Overtime: Fantasy football is not just for jocks

KAYLIN PELLEGRINI | STAFF REPORTER

Fantasy football. Odds are, you’ve heard these words tossed around on campus lately.

But what does fantasy even have to do with football and why should you even care?

Well thankfully, fantasy football can be just as fun for your average Joe as it is for the seasoned fantasy sports veteran. Even if you don’t know the difference between a touchdown and field goal, you can still enjoy being in a fantasy football league and maybe even score a few extra bucks.

According to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, 41.5 million Americans played fantasy sports as of 2014. That is around 14 percent of the entire U.S. population.

To actually play the game you have to go through a few simple steps.  

First, you have to join a league or make a league with your friends/colleagues on any number of different hosting websites including ESPN, Yahoo, CBS, and Fox Sports.

The two most common types of leagues are prize earning and free leagues. Most prize earning leagues have an entry fee.

CBS Sports’ fantasy football website has a prize league that pays out up to $5,000 in prizes to the winner in each league. CBS’ website also hosts free leagues that can compete for a $10,000 cash prize sweepstakes.

There are other ways to use fantasy football to supplement your student budget.

When a league is made up of a group of friends or colleagues, oftentimes they will join a free league and all put a few dollars into a general pool. At the end of the season, whoever wins the league gets the money.

Joining a league is great, but in order to actually play the game you have to have a team.

To get your team, your league will set a date to have a “draft.”

On the decided draft day and time, each team owner in the league will take turns picking players. Team owners pick a variety of players including quarterbacks, running backs, receivers and a team defense.

Each player earns a certain number of points per week based on their performance in their actual game that given week.

Every week, different team owners in a league are matched up against each other.

Whoever’s team earns them the most points that week is declared the winner of that match-up or “game.”

When the season ends, whichever team owner has won the most games is declared the winner of the league.

Butler sophomore Nolan Mikowski has been playing in the same fantasy football league for 3 years.

“It’s me and 11 of my friends from back home. It’s a way that all of us can feel connected especially now being in college,” Mikowski said. “Fantasy football is something that we talk about all the time.”

Sophomores Taryn Gay and Megan Osborne knew little about football and nothing about fantasy football.

“It would be fun with someone who would teach me along the way,” Gay said.

When it comes to fantasy football, the more you know the better off you will be.

“It would get more exciting and more involved once I had a better understanding,” Osborne said.

Finding a friend or a peer who is knowledgeable about football, even fantasy football, is easy on a sports-minded campus like Butler.

 “It’s a way for normal fans like me to feel more connected to the league. It gives you more reasons to watch other than just following your favorite team,” Mikowski said.

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