What is Fantasy Football?

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Zoё Donovan, Reporter

In the last few years Fantasy Football has become increasingly popular among non-sports and sports fans alike. From an outside perspective, it looks a lot like gibberish. Some believe it to be no better than a cover for gambling, yet others will come to its defense and say it requires skill rather than simple luck.
The general premise isn’t all that difficult to grasp: players will ‘draft’ the athletes they want for their fantasy teams. The player will choose certain athletes to play during certain games. Those who the player doesn’t choose for that game will be ‘benched’. It’s very similar to real sports, except the players actually build their own teams with a mix-max of athletes from different football teams. Scores for each player are determined by the yardage of athletes, and negative points are tacked on for bad plays of the non-benched athletes in the players line-up.
Fantasy Football is credited mostly to Wilfred Winkenbach, Scotty Stirling and Bill Tunnel, who set up guidelines and a system of scoring for the game back in 1962. But, the first free-to-play, publicly available online games weren’t opened until 1997. There it took off and has been growing in popularity ever since.
Much of fantasy football can be seen as gambling as some groups require players to pay for the athletes they ‘draft’ and in exchange have a better chance for winning money. Athletes that may not be as good may cost less to put on the team than someone who has had good scores in past years. Nevertheless, it seems a mostly harmless game that nearly everyone can enjoy.
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