By Isiah Miranda
Each fall, Novato High students compete for fun and a little extra cash by playing fantasy football, a popular game among many Novato students.
Fantasy football is a game of skill. Each player becomes a General Manager of their own specific team. Each GM participates in a draft where they choose the top NFL players that they feel will do the best for their team.
The players’ performances and stats determine how many points their team earns that week. Teams compete against one another and the team with the most points in a certain week will be victorious. Most leagues include points for touchdowns, rushing yards, passing yards, interceptions (which negatively affect your quarterback’s points), receiving yards, fumbles, turnovers, sacks, and safeties. Fantasy football teams consist of at least one quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, one tight end, one place kicker, one team defense, and six substitutes. The competition lasts the whole season and there are playoffs, followed by an eventual championship game.
Websites such as ESPN.com, NFL.com, CBSSports, and FoxSports.com are commonly used by students to provide the league setup, scorekeeping, and standings for their league. Some students choose to compete just for fun but others compete for cash. Competing for cash often creates a larger incentive to win, and many students enjoy that. One of the leagues involving students at Novato High has a $10 buy in, while another has a $20 buy in.
“Yes, we bet and the winner takes all the money,” said sophomore Jack Green. “It makes it more fun because there is something to play for.”
People have started to develop obsessions with the game. Many fantasy football players are starting to root for their own players rather than teams. They will watch their players and hope for situations where that player compiles points rather than having their favorite team win. Senior Sebastian Gocobachi is a fantasy player who would rather have his fantasy team win than his favorite NFL team.
“I usually root for my fantasy players unless the 49ers are playing, but they are cheeks so I just root for my fantasy players,” said Gocobachi.
Fantasy football is a major contributor to the NFL’s popularity, and it brings friends together for trash talking and good-natured competition.
“I play fantasy football because it’s a fun, competitive way to interact with friends,” said junior Nick Hartshorn.
Fantasy football isn’t only popular around the Novato High campus. More than 30 million Americans participate in fantasy football leagues, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association. It is an highly appealing game with many participants and prizes.