Fantasy football is a phenomenon. More than 33 million people play it. It’s not hard to see why, because fantasy football is a blast. It’s a fun way to compete with friends while also giving you more to watch on Sundays — not to mention Thursdays and Monday nights.
Today, we’re here to talk about how to make this wonderful thing even better. Here are some ways to enhance your fantasy football experience.
Have your draft live and in person
The league that drafts together stays together. If you want your league to connect in real life and build (or maintain) meaningful friendships, then draft day is your chance to bring everyone together.
Having a live in-person draft doesn’t mean that you can’t use the app that your favorite fantasy football platform offers to draft your players — though you really should try the big board and stickers at least once in your life. But it does mean that you’ll be in the same room as your fellow fantasy owners, joking and talking as you announce picks and build teams.
If you can’t host your fantasy football draft at your place, you can still consider options like bars and restaurants (just be sure to call to get permission first). Having an in-person event to kick off the season can be a lot of fun, and it will also help fantasy owners get to know each other better and, hopefully, set up a season that is as friendly as it is competitive. Just be sure to keep things moving (you may need a clock for picks).
Get together for game watch parties
Your live draft shouldn’t be the only time that you see your fellow fantasy team owners. You should aim to get people together to watch the games. Watching games in real time with your fantasy opponents can be a lot of fun, provided everyone behaves. If you’re concerned about overly competitive owners, then you may want to wait until after the fantasy season and have folks over for a (real-world) playoff game instead. Of course, if you’re concerned about your fellow owners being that competitive, you may want to find a new league.
Start a family fantasy football league
If you’re really into fantasy football, it can become a stressful obsession. But it’s supposed to be about fun and football, not about beating the heck out of Joey’s team. That’s why adding a second team in a new league can be so much fun. Choose or create a less competitive league, and have a low-stakes side team. Our advice? Make it a family league. Having everyone in the family in one league will help you stay connected with loved ones, and it will be a blast to compete with everyone from your brother to your aunt. Of course, this assumes that your family league isn’t the same league as the supercompetitive league that we just talked about.
Start a loser’s bet tradition
You’ve all seen funny videos of unskilled and unlucky fantasy owners being shamed for their fantasy failures. If a loser’s bet is in good fun, it can be a great way to add some amusing stakes to your league each year. A loser’s bet doesn’t need to be devastating — it can be something as fun or as simple as being forced to let someone else choose your team name next season, or having to display a loser’s fantasy football trophy on the mantel until next year.
Fantasy football is all about fun. Enhancing your experience just means finding more ways to connect with your fellow team owners and embrace the joy of this whole endeavor. Of course, fantasy football is more fun when you win — so there’s a time and a place for spreadsheets and podcasts, too. Now go forth and dominate your league.