1) What is Fantasy Football?
Fantasy Football is a game played by a group of friends through a sports website such as espn.com or yahoo sports. Each group of friends forms a league and each member has their own team. A couple weeks before the actual NFL Football season begins, these folks will get together either at a member’s house, or over the internet, to have a draft. At the draft, each member is responsible for drafting a team of real life players. The website the league uses organizes which member gets which real life players. As the season starts, and real life teams start playing games, the members of the league receive points for the statistics that the real life players accumulate in their real games. For example, if I drafted Tom Brady on my team, every time Brady throws a touchdown pass, I receive 4 points. I also receive 1 point for every 25 yards that he passes for. The first tricky part of the game is the draft; however, the most skilled members are those that can make the adjustments throughout the season. There is a free agent list with all the un-drafted players. As injuries occur and un-known players become statistical stars, members have the ability to drop players from their team and pick up the “free agents”. The goal of the game is to get more points than the other members in your league over the course of the season.
The member who has the best information about the current status and projections of the real life players, has the best chances at making the right decisions in their draft and make the best adjustments throughout the season. Getting good information, before the other guys in your league, becomes the most important asset to a competitive fantasy sports player. Last year, if I was the first person to hear that Tom Brady’s injury was going to be season ending, I could have rushed to select Matt Cassel from the “free agent” list before any other members.
3) Fantasy Football and Blogs
Every week during the year I constantly read the blogs of the sports analysts who I think provide the best information pertaining to fantasy football. Cites such as espn.com, yahoosports.com, cbssports.com, sports illustrated and several more have specific teams of writers/analysts that work on Fantasy Football year round. Following their blogs puts me one degree of separation closer to the folks in the locker rooms who work with the athletes every day. I have found specific writers who I like. I use them to keep me up to date on the NFL, specific teams and players.
4) Fantasy Football and Podcasts
Every day I download and listen to ESPN’s Fantasy Football PodCast hosted by Matthew Berry and Nate Ravitz. They are two analysts who I listen to and read regularly. I love to listen to them talk and joke about sports. Their podcast is a great way for me to get the day’s football news, as it specifically pertains to fantasy football, as I drive home from school. This make me feel like I’m directly connected to the experts I read. It feels good and it helps me with my league.
5) Fantasy Football and Twitter
I also follow several of the experts that I read on Twitter. Often, during games and leading up to games, people like Matthew Berry will post last minute updates on Twitter. They won’t have time to write entire articles to upload to the ESPN web site, however, they can relay the important information they got from a conversation that they had behind the scenes at the Pat’s game via Twitter. An example, a few weeks ago Wes Welker didn’t play for the Pats. The Patriots didn’t release this information until 20 minutes before game time. If I had not been following sports writers on Twitter, I might not have known in time to substitute a different player for Welker. This would have cost me points for last week. The information came out on Twitter before it came out on TV.
There are several other 21st Century Skills that I use when analyzing sports. I have found that these methods are the best way for me to get the best information that I need about a specific subject. It has proven fast and accurate. When I first started to learn about 21st century skills, I realized how powerful all of these tools are becoming. If we can get students to apply these tools to things that they are interested in, the pure power of all these tools will suck them right in.