NFL training camps have officially begun across the country.
Team camps have some of the most blown out of proportion coverage surrounding the NFL, but then again, almost everything for the NFL is over-covered.
The one thing that I cannot deny though, is that with the start of camp, my fantasy football triggers have been tripped.
Who doesn't get excited about fantasy football?
I know, I know, not everyone loves fantasy football...but I do.
I know of people who couldn't tell you how terrible the Jaguars are every year, but they'll know that the newest rookie running back (TJ Yeldon) has incredible fantasy value. My point is, you don't really have to like football to enjoy fantasy.
Fantasy football has helped make the NFL what it is.
The connection that fans make with multiple teams and players is what helps make the league so fun and diverse. Buying a jersey of a player that isn't on your favorite team isn't uncommon because of all the fantasy love.
In today's post, I simply am looking to share some simple facts that prove how awesome fantasy football is. While I am no expert/almighty champion at fantasy, I'll also throw in some advice for your leagues too.
According to Forbes, there are over 33 million people who play fantasy football each year. That's 10% of the U.S. population.
Last year, there were 6.4 million women playing fantasy football.
In 2012, $1.6 billion was spent on products and services in fantasy sports. That is simply on people buying magazines and pre-draft kits, not the buy-in cost to most leagues.
The total industry value is roughly 3 billion annually.
According to NFL.com, A total of 12.57 percent of fantasy owners who had the sixth overall pick in their NFL.com drafts won their league, which was the highest of any draft slot.
A total of 73 percent of owners who took a running back in the first round won their league, with the next closest being quarterback (11 percent).
My Personal Advice:
Here are a couple of things that my leagues do. Like I said, don't expect this advice to make you a fantasy genius.
1) Play 16 weeks. I know that none of us like the idea of shortening fantasy, but seriously, how many championships are ruined because of people being sat in week 17 with nothing to play for? Set your league championship for week 16.
2) Yahoo! fantasy football has some of the best insider tips. I know a lot of people love ESPN, but the blurbs and projections for Yahoo! are pretty helpful and fairly accurate most of the time.
3) Pre-season games are the best way to find sleepers. For me, I usually find one sleeper each season through pre-season games. Those games are great indicators early on.
4) Get a group of people you know, and draft together. There is nothing more fun than getting a group together for fantasy. I have two leagues with two different groups of people. At least three people in each league couldn't tell you a thing about football, but it is incredibly fun.
5) Don't buy into the hype. By this I mean don't set your expectations so high. Don't "drink the kool-aid" about certain players. Mix up your multiple drafts. Try different players for each team. Also, don't blame Matthew Berry for your mistakes. Be your own fantasy king and make your own decisions. Don't sit and read certain blogs for every move you make.
As always, comments are encouraged! Due to our "off-season" having started with the end of state baseball, we're looking for interesting stories to put in the paper. Please give us an email if you have something you think is news worthy!