Fantasy Sports Developing Into A Whole New Reality
January 4, 2017
Fantasy Developing Into A Whole New Reality
As mentioned in my previous article, I promised to get more in-depth when it comes to the evolvement of fantasy sports. Over the years, fantasy sports have become a vital part of the industry. Fantasy sports have created an alternate way of looking at & keeping track of sports.
Fantasy sports started out as a group of sports fans gathering together at the beginning of the season, drafting a lineup (usually baseball or football) & keeping track of a small group of players at certain points of the week.
Leagues were also kept track by someone volunteering as ‘commissioner’ to manually enter stats in an excel spreadsheet. Fast forward a decade or so and fantasy sports have basically become an alternate sports universe.
The original fantasy league has made great strides over the years. The biggest probably being the fact no individual has to create an excel sheet to keep track of the scores. Fantasy leagues have become so popular, almost every website offers some kind of fantasy league availability. I’ve even seen fantasy WWE wrestling options on WWE’s official website, so clearly fantasy as grown much further than baseball & football.
Online fantasy has become so popular, that even short-term leagues have been created towards the end of seasons (example: NFL Postseason Challenge) for owners that didn’t necessarily have a good season. Then there’s of course the new sensation of one day fantasy leagues. Websites like Fanduel & draftkings have completely altered fantasy sports by becoming ‘one day’ fantasy league options for real money. This alters fantasy in two distinct ways…
The way a ‘general manager’ may draft/manage their lineup
Has fantasy sports just become a way for underage gambling to occur.
The drafting & selecting of fantasy players in season long fantasy leagues are usually well researched, thought out, & pre planned weeks ahead of the actual draft itself. One day fantasy leagues have completely changed how a GM of a team has to go about choosing their lineup. Rather than choosing a player for the year & selecting based off the player’s projection season numbers, the GM has to select players based off 1 individual game. Now instead of a fantasy owner/GM getting a whole offseason to research their possible selections, one day leagues give owners a 10-12 hour window to look up any quick possible piece of information on their smartphone that may give them the slightest advantage. Also, because you are playing in only one day leagues, much more emphasis needs to come on the matchup a player has that particular game.
Say I’m in a season long league, and I see Antonio Brown & Torrey Smith are available. In a season long league, looking at the match ups for these two specific players probably wouldn’t be necessary. But in a one day league, I see Antonio Brown is playing the top ranked 49ers’ defense & I see Torrey Smith is playing the 32nd ranked Redskins’ defense. I may have to think a little harder about how I select rather than choose just Brown as the clear better overall player.
Is online fantasy sports underaged gambling? Keep in mind fantasy sports requires no age limit, whether you are playing for real money or not, all ages have always been welcome to play online fantasy sports leagues. The reason sites like Fanduel & other fantasy sports websites aren’t considered gambling is that it was determined that because fantasy sports does require outside sports knowledge and is not necessarily all luck, fantasy sports have been publicly deemed as not any type of gambling outlet.
Fantasy sports have also changed how fans watch & follow games. Fans now route for certain players rather than just teams. Because of this, league popularity has raised in the recent years, as rather than a fantasy owner just follow one team, they maybe inclined to turn on random games that have fantasy implications for their team. This also makes fans of certain teams root for players they never would otherwise. For example, a die-hard Jets fan will always openly admit how much they hate New England Patriots’ QB, Tom Brady. However, if their fantasy team happens to have Brady, all of a sudden that Jets fan is screaming at the TV rooting for another Brady TD pass.
Is fantasy sports a new type of alternate reality? I’m not sure too many people have put much thought into it. With the rapid growth of this new phenomenon, it will be interesting to see what it may bring in the coming years.