Students Share Their Thoughts on Fantasy Football


Photo credit: Ren Rader

illustration by Ren Rader

Like many sports, the National Football League (NFL) has looked a little different this year, with limited or no fans allowed in the stands, rescheduled games and players contracting COVID-19 in the midst of the season. However, fantasy football still provides many people with the opportunity to connect with their friends while enjoying football.

Fantasy Football is a competition in which everyday people draft professional football players to be on “their team.” These players accumulate stats in real-life games, but they also stack up points for their fantasy owners based on how they do on the field. It has become a way for fans to be even more involved when watching the NFL.

“I was first introduced to fantasy football by my dad when I was 12, and I’ve played in the same league as him every year ever since. What began as a fun way to bond and watch games together on Sundays has now expanded into a way to regularly talk and catch up even as I’ve moved off to college,” said Matthew Garr, junior . “It ensures that at least a couple times a week during the season, we’re able to have something new and fun to talk about and participate in together even though we’re not in the same place.”

While some believe there is a great deal of skill involved, it often comes down to luck because, at the end of the day, there’s nothing fans can do from home to change the outcome of games thousands of miles away.

“I like fantasy football because I know nothing about sports and I’m doing better than everyone that follows football religiously,” said Taylor Rountree, junior .

Unfortunately, this season has been plagued with many injuries to star players, as well as a couple of players contracting COVID-19 during the season. Both Christian McCaffrey and Michael Thomas, who consistently rack up a large number of points per game on Fantasy Football, suffered ankle injuries in Weeks One and Two and have not returned. Additionally, multiple players on the New England Patriots, the Tennessee Titans, and the Las Vegas Raiders, as well as other teams have contracted COVID-19 during the season, forcing games to be rescheduled across the league.

Injuries on the field affect fantasy owners as well, as it forces them to find replacements just as any football general manager would do.

“Injuries have caused a lot of trips to the waivers and constant restructuring of my team. Most specifically, losing Julio Jones and Davante Adams for two-three weeks cost me several games,” said Tristan Smith, junior . Despite the injury bug, I still enjoy the competition with my friends and it gives us something to talk about and focus on besides the pandemic.”

Junior Jacob Stubbs shared a similar experience in having to deal with injured players.

“I drafted Christian McCaffrey first overall and he got injured like week 2, so I’ve been having to live on the waiver wire for running backs since and it’s pretty stressful. But I really enjoy a free agent pick up that scores a lot or anytime one of my players just has a great day and I know I’m going to win,” Stubbs said.

Despite the injuries and the rescheduled games this season, many students have continued to enjoy fantasy football. For some, it’s the one thing in this crazy year that remains normal.

“It’s not about winning, not about the prize money or the glory of winning the league. It’s about crushing the opponents’ spirit again and again until they have lost all will to continue with the madness that is fantasy football,” said Max Pettit, junior.