Fantasy football goes back longer than many people realize, but it didn’t really take off till computer and internet technology made it easier. The appeal is pretty straightforward though, if you’re into football, and want to test your knowledge of the sport against friends it’s a great way to get things done. IT can be done casually, or with high intensity. Some people will spend hours number crunching their team to find out who they should start and sit. Others will play the hometown guys no matter what. For example you might see someone who knows to start a pass catching running back against the NE Patriots because this year (2012) they leave the shallow flats open and allow a lot of completions. There’s also the person who will start players from the Jets or the Giants purely because that person’s from New York, NY and wants to go with the home town guys.
You obviously don’t want to be the guy who only plays players from New York, NY. It all comes down to matchups and schemes. To be really good at fantasy football you actually have to be good at understanding football. A lot of purists will deride fantasy football as overvaluing quantity numbers and not necessarily wins or efficiency numbers, these complaints have some validity, but ultimately, someone good at knowing when a player is going to get a ton of yards is going to have to be good at football. You might even be able to out think people, either of the New York, NY teams (though they’re based in New Jersey in terms of stadiums) have fantastic defenses, but in the modern NFL no defense is fantastic at everything. You might want to try scooping up a player someone dropped because they’re going against the Jets. Depending on injury situation you might want to experiment around as well.
On the flip side you might want to know when to sit a player based on the match up. Rob Gronkowski is one of the best tight ends in football, but when the Patriots go against high pressure teams he might not be the best option. If he’s spending a lot of time blocking you might want to bench him in favor of a Jimmy Graham or Jermichael Finley. They’re all great tight ends, but match up and scheme will dictate who gets the most use and numbers. Obviously it’s unlikely anyone’s going to be lucky to end up with those 3 as their tight ends, but someone might want to rest a great tight end for one that’s merely good if the matchups dictate that. Besides rewarding people for being good at understanding regular football, fantasy football is also a great way to connect with other sports fanatics across the country. Since all that’s needed is an internet connection, someone in New York, NY can join a league with players across the Atlantic (there is an NFL following in Europe) or cross country in Los Angeles, CA.