The NFL season is underway, which signals the start of another competitive pursuit: fantasy football.
Fantasy football is a perfect way to get a competitive fix and not tether yourself to one team. Everyone in the NFL is fair game to become a member of your fantasy football roster.
An estimated 40 million Americans play fantasy football, which is reportedly a $70-billion industry.
While there is definitely a gambling element to the game, you can gather a group of friends, start a league, and play for fun – all online. Many websites, including ESPN, Yahoo and CBS Sports, offer platforms to start your league and take on the heavy lifting by calculating the points scored for each player.
While the average age of participants is 34, fantasy football has a growing fan base among older adults. And as “The Savvy Age” put it: “If you can click and point a mouse… fantasy football is easily achievable.”
So, what exactly is fantasy football?
● A participant drafts a team of players for all 32 NFL teams. Usually, a team consists of one quarterback, one or two running backs, two wide receivers, one tight end, a flex spot (RB, WR or TE), a kicker and a defense.
● Each position scores points based on a number of variables, including touchdowns, yards and receptions.
●There are weekly matchups in each league, usually consisting of 10 to 12 teams. By hitting “refresh” on your computer screen on your league’s website, and you will see real-time updates.
● Half the fun is picking a team name. I have rolled with “Cuban Ninjas” for years.
As for me, I am in six leagues, “commissioner” in five, meaning I collect and count the money and distribute winnings at the end of the season. I have zero addictive habits — except for fantasy football.
It makes Sunday NFL games must-see TV, especially when I lock into the NFL Network’s Red Zone channel that gives you real-time updates on what’s happening around the league between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
“I’m up! I’m down! Wait..I’m up again!”
It’s that kind of a wild ride, one that I wrote about when I was a columnist with the Orlando Sentinel.
Now honored to work at Growing Bolder, I still get that competitive fix in the workplace. Along with my colleague Bill Shafer, we recently hosted the inaugural Growing Bolder Fantasy Football Draft. I brought a few friends along for the ride.
You can catch the fun and the frolics – and hopefully some sage advice – on our Twitch channel.