Football fans explore their fantasy: Students compete in virtual league

Although Queens does not have a football program, many students are still cheering for their own team come Sunday afternoon.

We’re talking about Fantasy Football. For those who don’t know, Fantasy Football is a fun, yet competitive, virtual interaction in which people build and manage their own football team.

Before each football season, league members get together and have an online draft in which teams are decided. Each person is allotted a certain amount of position players –quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, kickers, and defense. Each position has a different scoring system and has the potential to contribute to the overall team score that’s added up at the end of the week. Over the course of the season, each team will play each other and at the end season, the team with the best record is crowned champion.

“The draft is fairly important so you get a solid foundation for your team,” says Maryland freshman, Justin Gayo.

“And a lot of work goes into deciding who to play,” adds Jimmy Chickerella, a freshman from Ohio. “You have to base it on past success your players have recently had, and how good the team you’re playing is.”

Why is this fantasy league so appealing? Because it is just that –your football fantasy. It gives every fan the opportunity to draft their favorite players from various NFL teams, onto a single team which they represent.

“I have players from the Detroit Lions, Baltimore Ravens, Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons, San Diego Chargers, Arizona Cardinals and Minnesota Vikings,” says Gayo. “Fantasy Football lets you feel like you have complete control over NFL players.”

“We play because it’s fun,” adds California native, Casey Hock. “It keeps us busy and makes the games more interesting to watch. We play mainly for bragging rights.”

With Queens’ students hailing from all around the nation, it’d be hard to find an NFL team not represented on campus, making for a diverse array of teams being watched every Sunday. So instead of sitting in the stands at the Sports Complex, cheering with foam fingers for a Queens’ football team, fans gather ‘round from Barnhardt to Belk, laptops in hand, ready to record their own teams’ tackles and touchdowns.

“During the regular season, it gets really competitive,” Austin Oswinkle, a freshman from Rhode Island explains, “especially when you play someone you really want to beat. When I get matched up against my dad it gets real heated.”

“Friendships have been lost due to Fantasy games,” Gayo jokes.

Six Strategies for Fantasy Football:
  •  Draft a lot of Running Backs– RBs touch the ball more, which means they get hit a lot more. Having the right late round running back is like having a fantasy football golden ticket.
  • Reach for the players you want– Don’t play it safe! Follow your instincts and snag the players you want in the early rounds of the draft.
  • Don’t draft a Quarter Back in the first round– This is a rule that is old and being questioned often, but any position where you only start one player needs to be waited on.
  • Draft a backup Quarter Back– Quarterbacks are easily injured, so to have a little breathing room, drafting a back-up QB is smart.
  • Don’t draft a tight end until you have all your starting RBs, WRs, and QB- there is no reason to reach for a top tier tight end. There were 57 points separating the top 10 tight ends last season, whereas there were 113 points separating the top 10 running backs, so grab your tight end in the 3rd through 5th rounds.
  • Always fill a RB/WR/TE spot with a running back– There will be times during the season that you’ll have to throw a receiver or a tight end in there, but don’t draft with that as your goal.  A running back with 15 touches will often rack up more points than a receiver with 5-10 targets.
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Published by students of Queens University of Charlotte, 1900 Selwyn Avenue, Charlotte, N.C. 28274.