The “Fantasy” of Fantasy Football

The NFL has been around for 100 years, but the invention of online draft leagues now allow participants to feel as if they are actually a part of the team.


Photo via The Nugget Online under Creative Commons license.

Fantasy Football is growing in popularity among Dallastown’s students and faculty alike.

Josh Thaler, Senior Editor

Fantasy Football, what was once just a game played among friends, has become something of a national past time. 

ESPN, the worldwide leader in sports, had a 28-hour long fantasy football marathon before this season started. Television shows have even been made both making fun of and honoring the people that play the game. 

For those who have no idea what fantasy football is, explains it as “a competition in which participants select imaginary teams from among the players in a league and score points according to the actual performance of their players.”

I just think it is fun to be a part of the competition even though I have no strategy at all and do not even watch football.”

— Mrs. Roberts

Even here in Dallastown, both students and teachers alike have joined in.

“I play with a group of friends from mostly Dallastown but also other schools. We have had a league for the past couple of years and since we are all seniors, we are going to try to keep it going once we are all in college. I am not having a good season right now because of injuries and suspensions but I hope I can somehow turn it around,” senior Brock Madanick said.

“I have been playing for 10 years with friends from Harrisburg and college and so far I am 4-0 in one league and 3-1 in another. It is the best start I have ever had!” business teacher Mr. Donatelli said.

History teacher Mr. Zelger said that he enjoys “the trash talk as well as being able to keep in touch with friends from high school and college. So far this year I am not doing too bad, although injuries have really killed my team. I am 3-1, 2-2, and 2-2.”

It is not just male teachers that play either. New business teacher Mrs. Roberts as well as paraprofessional Mrs. German both play right along with them. 

“I play with my husband and his friends. I just think it is fun to be a part of the competition even though I have no strategy at all and do not even watch football. I just pick the best and most recommended players. I am 3-1 so far though which just happens to be the best in the league,” said Roberts. 

Mrs. German has been “playing for 5 years with [her] coworkers at the YWCA. I pick the players I like first and then the best of whoever is left. So far this year I am 2-2.”

Fantasy football is relatively easy, and can be played by anybody with a phone, computer, some good friends and a love of football. It allows people to feel involved in the game without having to put the pads on and actually play. Or at least that is how it used to be.

Now, fantasy football and the sports betting world have joined together. 

Since the legalization of sports betting in 2018, sites like FanDuel and DraftKings have brought people a new opportunity for combining the casual games with friends and betting. 

These sites allow for people to play daily or even weeklong games for prizes ranging from absolutely nothing to millions of dollars, depending on the initial bet. 

“I do not like how you can now play with people at random instead of your friends, it removes the competition. Instead of focusing on beating individual players it is about making money and for me that would take the fun out of it. I like being able to walk into school after a weekend of football knowing that I beat my friends, not just some computers,” senior Brian Cathell said. 

Whether playing for money or just for bragging rights, fantasy football is a game that everybody can play, regardless of age, gender, or even interest in real football.