Football season kicks off with millions drafting their fantasy teams

Tyler Buckland, Reporter

It’s official, football season is upon us.

Both the NFL and College football seasons have kicked-off, and so has fantasy football, a popular activity for many fans this time of year.

It is estimated that 56.8 million people will play some sort of fantasy sport between Canada and the United States this year, which is a 37% increase from last year. The most popular is football which has an estimated 40 million participants.

All these participants have helped propel fantasy sports into a now multi-billion dollar industry.  with the Supreme Court recently clearing the way for states to legalize sports betting it begs the question of just how much bigger the realm of fantasy sports can become.

Much of its growth so far has been thanks to two extremely popular daily fantasy services, FanDuel, and Draft Kings that will give out a combined nearly 2 billion in winnings. A pretty big incentive for players and sports fans alike.

There’s speculation that fantasy sports have propelled growth for many of the professional sports teams by drawing in fans who would not normally be interested—but now have a reason to watch because of their fantasy teams.

In an interview with reporter, Ole Olafson—Scottsdale Community College student, Ozzie Benge, an avid fantasy football participant, explains how a sports fan gets involved in the strategy that is fantasy football.

“Fantasy football definitely makes your involvement level more, it makes you know players that you usually wouldn’t know,” Benge said. “You’ll get these players that you draft because you need that position.”

While some seem to praise fantasy football’s ability to keep fans engaged and entertained, one SCC student and former fantasy football enthusiast Jalen Toler admitted, “I haven’t really paid attention so much as I used to.”

While it may not be for everyone yet, fantasy football seems to keep millions of fans around the world tuning into the games each week and hanging their hopes on their teams.