Fantasy Football Can Frustrate Fans

Game Affects Fans’ Viewing Experience With Many Ups and Downs

Jonathan Liu, Sports Editor

As the 2021-22 NFL season is underway, a yearly tradition for most NFL fans is back as well. 

The game has grown so much, as there are 40 million fantasy users that play on ESPN’s system in the United States. 

The game has expanded to out-of-country enjoyers, as around 20 million people in India play on ESPN’s Fantasy app. Other platforms outside of ESPN’s are used as well such as Sleeper and Yahoo Sports . 

   Fantasy football is a game where fans are “owners” and general managers of their own team. Teams are created as drafts are gone through, to have teams set. 

In some leagues, “punishments” are common, as teams want competitiveness and want players to continue to stay engaged with the 18-week season. 

   “My league has a punishment that makes the season competitive,” sophomore Will Jorczak said. 

   Teams consist of quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, team defenses/ special teams and kickers. 

Standard leagues are usually called “standard PPR,” meaning that running backs, wide receivers and tight ends would get one point per reception. 

Basic scoring includes one point for every 25 passing yards, one point for every 10 rushing or receiving yards, one point for each reception, four points for each passing touchdown, six points for each rushing or receiving touchdown. 

Real-life free agency is incorporated in the game as well with the “waiver wire,” with players who aren’t on fantasy rosters but can be picked up any moment as players go down with injuries, or player’s level of production increases or decreases. 

As fantasy football week by week consists of the lows of deciding who to start and bench depending on favorable matchups, and the highs of making blockbuster trades. 

There is nothing like watching the slate of games glued to your phone waiting for your players to do well. 

Week by week, fantasy players often have to watch Sunday Night Football or Monday Night Football when up or down by a number of points rooting for their players or against the opponent’s players hoping for an off-performance to either lift or break their mood for the night. 

“I have never been heartbroken by bad performances by my last players, or good performances by his players, but I have definitely had weeks where my players’ performances are underwhelming,” Jorczak said.  

Rooting against your favorite players can be tough pills for fans to swallow, as the excitements of real life success could haunt your fantasy success. 

“I had to root against my favorite player Patrick Mahomes, when he played the Buffalo Bills,” sophomore Michael Clemons said.  

“I started the Bills defense, which led to me rooting for them over Mahomes.”

As fans are invested in their NFL team’s success, fantasy is a second priority, as audiences put players on other teams in the back of their mind. 

“Every time the Baltimore Ravens aren’t playing, I mainly watch games for fantasy, to see who is doing well for my team or my opponents,” Jorczak said. 

As viewers follow with the ups and downs of their own real-life NFL team’s season along with the rollercoaster experience of the fantasy football season, fans can realize that watching football cannot always be as fantasizing as it seems.