Fantasy Football/Futbol:

What you need to know.

By: Brian Lines

Waltonian | The Waltonian Liverpool FC’s Mohamed Salah is a popular captain’s pick for players of Premier League Fantasy. Source: Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

In the first week, Josh Allen earned his owners 31.48 points against the L.A. Rams’ defense despite only having a predicted amount of 22.65 points. Also in the first week, for those who captained him, Mohamed Salah earned his owners 24 points against Fulham. 

Now it is highly likely that you didn’t understand a single word I just said, or that you only understood half of it. For folks who don’t usually follow these sports, Fantasy Football or Fantasy Futbol (Soccer) might sound like a strange mix of sports and Dungeons and Dragons.

To define them simply: running a fantasy sports team means that you have picked out real players from a sports league to create your own team that earns you points based on how well individual players do in their games. Fantasy players compete in a league made up of friends where they can strive to have a team that earns more points than the others in the league.

Most people reading this article have probably heard more about Fantasy Football than Fantasy Soccer, but they work similarly. In Fantasy Football you pick your players and defense from all the teams in the NFL with some wiggle room for what positions you want to have back-up players for. In Fantasy Soccer you select your players similarly, but there are fixed amounts of players you can have for each position: two goalies, five defenders, five midfielders and three forwards. 

A niche aspect of Fantasy Football is that it is set in the draft format: within a fantasy league, where only one person can own each player. When bringing in new players to your team, you have to either pick up a free agent (an unowned player) or make a trade with someone in your league. While Fantasy Soccer has the option of being formatted like a draft league, most participants around the world play without the draft format, meaning that two people could have the same exact players on their team. 

A niche aspect of Fantasy Soccer is the ability to select a captain on your team each gameweek. Selecting a player as your captain means that they will earn you double the amount of points that week, so if two people own the same forward who earns 10 points but one of them captained them, that person would earn 20 points from the forward. 

I have intentionally not made one fantasy sport sound better than the other because neither is better than the other. Participating in a fantasy league can motivate fans to follow games they wouldn’t normally care about. Fantasy leagues can foster strong communities built around a common interest in a sport. For avid players of fantasy, I won’t tell you to try a different one. However, if you have even the smallest of interest in a sport, a fantasy team can help deepen your understanding and appreciation of the sport. 

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