Football has never been my thing. I know Tom Brady as Giselle Buchanan’s husband and think the best part of the Superbowl is the commercials. With the rise of fantasy football, my fall-seasoned small talk has been increasingly difficult. All my friends are going to fantasy draft parties and not only watching their favorite teams games, but all other games just to keep up with their leagues. Everyone’s head is buried in their ESPN app.
And here’s me, sipping on my rosé, dreaming about the leaves changing, and PSLs (pumpkin spiced lattes) while everyone else is together on this fantasy-confusing-AF-football train. Choo choo. I swear, it’s like sports Narnia.
I finally caved and got my (extremely patient) boyfriend to take the time to explain fantasy football thing to me. It took…a while but I think I’ve finally grappled with the lingo and understand the gist. And for all the other people out there who are in my boat, here’s a guide to talking fantasy football.
WHAT IS IT:
Fantasy football is a competition in which people choose real NFL football players from a variety of teams to create their own roster, in part of league. Fantasy football mimics the actual game of football, minus the amazing muscles and any sort of physical effort, but you know, who is counting.
First, you have to join a fantasy league. You can start a league with your friends or colleagues on any number of websites: ESPN, CBS and NFL all host. Most leagues have some sort of monetary buy-in as an incentive for playing. This part I can relate to. It sounds like you can win thousands of dollars in these leagues which definitely sparked my interest.
Once you have all of the people in your league, you must draft your team. In fantasy football, you draft real NFL football players into the positions they currently play. Each week as NFL plays football games IRL, your fantasy’s teams score gets updated based on how your drafted players play. God. This is confusing.
I digress. Football teams normally have over 50 people however in fantasy, you only draft around 15 players. The exact positions of your draft vary from league to league. The important thing to know is that in fantasy, you primary draft offensive positions. I guess in football you have different players that only play offense or only play defense?
According to my boyfriend, all the major positions:
- Quarterback (the person that throws the ball on offense)
- Running back (the person who works with the quarter back to run the ball towards the goal)
- Wide Receiver (the person who catches the ball the quarter back throws)
- Tight end (block and catch the ball, a bigger wide receiver)
- Kicker (the person who kicks the ball for extra points after a touchdown)
As for defense, you can draft an entire team of defense, so you could draft the Packer’s defense or the Carolina Panther’s defense.
Also, just putting it out there, HOW do football players remember everything that’s needed to a remember and manage to deal with getting tackled and tossed around? I mean, geez Louise, there are 53 different teammates, so many different positions and from what I hear, hundreds of plays.
All I’m saying is, props to football players. Props. To. You. Your brain is bigger than mine.
NOW YOU ACTUALLY DRAFT:
If you are going to participate in a draft, my boyfriend would highly urge you to prepare (and I guess I’m supposed to tell you to prepare too). I know this because he literally spends hours upon hours planning his fantasy drafts and I have to sit around bored AF waiting for him.
That being said, fantasy football drafts seem very intense. Sometimes, drafts are timed, so each person only gets a certain amount of time to choose a player. Because you can’t choose any of the same players as your league-mates, it’s possible someone will choose a player you want and then you’ll have to go to Plan B for that position.
Most of the time, it appears that people hold a draft so everyone drafts at the same time. People even have draft parties…because that’s what I want to be doing on a Friday night. Yep, I’ll definitely see you there.
As mentioned, the results of your team come from how the players you drafted perform IRL.
In preparation for the games each week, you will choose a lineup of fantasy players from your team and your bench. Each week you are matched up with one person from your league. As the NFL football players play their games, those results will apply to your team.
Although each leagues scoring is different, the point is the same. For offensive players: more touchdowns and more yards run is always a good thing. For defensive players: less touchdowns and less yards are always a good thing.
Some teams allocate money for winners on a weekly basis and some do it at the end of the league.
At the end of the NFL season (before NFL playoffs), there are fantasy playoffs. Usually the top four teams from each fantasy league go head to head in playoffs. This is held during the NFL season so the NFL players performance can factor into fantasy playoffs.
… and that’s it! Apparently there is lots of shit talking, money to be won and television time involved in fantasy.
As for me, I’ll stick with good ol’ mine and let you all play. At least now I can fully understand what everyone is talking about.
Game day accessories here!
Top right: Me, pretending to understand Fantasy Football
Top left: Old Navy has team hats for like every team (the cute hats are something I can F with at least)
Bottom right: Nordstrom sells drinking games, which is good, because I needed to spend more time in Nordstrom – Beer vs Wine Tic Tac Toe
Bottom left: Jeans; Levis, just bought them in a second color; Shirt: my roommates, I didn’t have any sports wear for my photo shoot