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Fantasy Football 2020: In Brief | Ellie Ballard

If you’re in-the-loop with the National Football League (NFL) at all, you’re probably familiar with fantasy football. For those who don’t know how it works, a fantasy league consists of around 8-14 people, depending on the league rules. Each participant gets their own team roster of 16 players (9 starters and 7 bench spots) selected in a draft before the season kicks off. Participants earn points when starting players on their team make good plays.

Fantasy football can be super fun, especially when the league is made up of a group of friends or family. Everyone gets to choose their team names, there are many chances for exciting competition, and many times the winner of the league gets to pocket a little bit of cash. My favorite aspect of fantasy is that it’s forced me to pay attention to games and has allowed me to get invested in professional football, which is something I’ve never really had too much interest in before.

The NFL is already three weeks in, and a lot of interesting things have happened in regards to fantasy leagues. At this point, players should have a pretty good idea of what their team looks like and where they stand compared to the other individuals in the league. Some powerhouse teams and their respective star players may even be emerging from the pack.

Among the week three standouts, racking up the most fantasy points for their respective positions, are running back Alvin Kamara, quarterback Russell Wilson, tight end Jonnu Smith, and wide receiver Calvin Ridley. Though Wilson scored the highest out of all quarterbacks in the first few weeks, the top bunch of QBs all did pretty well, which brings up some interesting queries: How much impact does a top-three QB make in the scheme of things? Is it worth giving up one of your early draft picks to snag someone like Lamar Jackson or Patrick Mahomes II? Most people say probably not. However, a phenomenal running back or wide receiver might make the most difference and place you above the rest of the group. That’s why losing a player like Christian McCaffrey, the number-one draft pick, has been such a bummer to the league. Weeks 1-3 have seen some of the most promising prospects suffer major losses due to injury. An injured player can really mess up a fantasy team. Unless there are some good players to trade as a replacement or the league is pretty small, it’s difficult to deal with losing a solid starter, especially if they were the team’s star player.

Of course, one player doesn’t make or break a team, and most of the players injured early on won’t be out forever. Injuries do switch things up, though, and are extremely important to keep up with to manage a team well.

At the end of the day, no matter if you’re a football fanatic or an NFL rookie, fantasy football is something that everybody should try at least once in their life. Even if you know nothing about football (like me a few months ago…and I’m certainly still learning), it’s really fun to be able to root for different players in the league and it gives a much greater purpose to watching football. Moral of the story: go join a league!

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