One of the best things about football season is fantasy football. And over the past few weeks, fantasy football has come into the spotlight, maybe for the wrong reasons.
There has been a lot of media buzz around the legality of DraftKings and FanDuel, the two leaders in daily fantasy sports (DFS). We see commercials all over the television and advertisements in stadiums and other places.
Daily fantasy sports has rivaled the season-long fantasy sports that you can find on ESPN, Yahoo! or cbssports. So despite the issues surrounding daily fantasy sports, The Daily Campus decided to debate which was better: daily fantasy sports or season long?
Matt Zampini: I like daily fantasy sports rather than season long. I never played football and don’t know the X’s and O’s like I do other sports. But football has always appealed to me, and I think it’s because of fantasy. I have played season-long fantasy for probably the last eight years (estimation). This is my first year playing daily fantasy sports and I already am addicted to it.
The part I love most is that — although you hear it on the commercials every time — there is no commitment to the team you pick that week. You don’t have to stick with the players every week, making it easier to do well. You can look at the matchups each week and pick your players based on who you think will perform best (as long as you’re under the salary cap). I also like the multitude of options that they offer with different leagues you can get into, as well. You can go head-to-head against someone or you can get into leagues with over 100,000 people.
Tyler Keating: I’ve always been a huge fan of season-long fantasy football, and the relentless onslaught of daily fantasy advertisements this year has done little to change my mind. The ads do tell you that there is no commitment to the team you pick that day, but I see this as a negative thing.
Part of the joy of fantasy football is developing a relationship to a certain player - maybe you grabbed him late, your friends doubted you, and now he’s the arguably the best player in fantasy. That could have happened this year if you drafted Devonta Freeman. It also swings the other way - maybe you picked Eddie Lacy with the first pick in the draft and his backup is taking all the carries.
The season-long emotional swings of your roster are extremely compelling to me. When you get a garbage-time touchdown to win on Monday night, it’s a lot more rewarding when the guy scoring it has been on your side for months.
Matt: Yeah I am in that boat. I drafted C.J. Anderson with my first-round pick this season so for me, being able to switch in and out different players each week has been a good thing. I also think DFS allows you to look at the matchups more.
With season-long, the only time you are really looking at matchup is if you are picking someone off the waiver wire to replace someone on a bye week. With DFS, you’re picking new players each week, so matchups matter even more. And for me, I love looking into that kind of thing.
I can get that with season-long fantasy there is more of an emotional attachment with the players and you might get more joy out of having a winning team over the course of a season, but I think DFS is more fun just because it’s new players each week and you can somewhat control your outcome more.
Tyler: The season-long commitment definitely goes both ways. If you start with a very bad record, you may be tempted to stop paying attention because your roster simply isn’t salvageable. However, I do believe that season-long leagues have a weekly intrigue that stacks up to DFS.
Bye weeks and particularly tough matchups force owners to make hard lineup decisions that could make or break their outcomes for the week. This leads to jockeying on both sides of the match that begins on Tuesday and leads all the way up to Monday night, with much agonizing in between.
Options include free agency and the trade market, which both force you to examine the league’s players and make calculated decisions on player value that matter both in the present and in the future. All these factors make for an extremely strategic game, even if the outcome is mostly out of your control. But that’s fantasy football.