Fantasy football craze grips school community

Connor George, Opinion Editor

As the National Football League (NFL) begins its season, so do the millions of fans across the country ready to coach their fantasy football teams. Students and staff are ready to go head to head against friends, family, and people around the world trying to win their respective fantasy football title.

Some familiar faces around campus are eager to test their skills and strategies in their leagues. Nate Severin, Chad Stuart, Kyle Kassebaum and many students all partake in one or multiple leagues every year, hoping to win bragging rights and possibly some money in the process.

Students who play enjoy the competition and the rivalry that it creates. Darius Saadatnedhadi plays with his family and while students and staff don’t agree a lot Saadatnedhadi also thinks the best part of the game is the draft.

Saadatnedhadi’s team name is Dak to the Future, playing off his quarterback Dak Prescott. “Fantasy football is about the only thing getting me through junior year right now.” Saadatnedhadi said, “I can’t wait for what the season will bring.”

There are multiple types of leagues. A “keeper league” means you can use one of your draft picks to take someone that was on your team last year.

Stuart plays in a “keeper league” with nine of his lifelong friends. They created it when they were in high school and continue to meet for the draft at the same spot and time every year.

The most common draft strategy is to use first picks to get the best running backs in the NFL. However, Stuart thinks his draft strategy outsmarts the rest. Stuart’s draft strategy is to stack his wide receivers and then draft his running backs. “Running backs get injured the most, so why would I draft my team around them?” said Stuart, whose team revolves around his wide receivers, Brandin Cooks and Julio Jones.

Severin plays in a family league with mainly his wife’s relatives. Severin seems to take it pretty seriously even using an app called Fantasypros to evaluate his team and his starting lineup. He tends to stick with a more traditional draft strategy picking solid running backs first and then drafting the rest of his team.

The only non-serious part of his team is the name: Severin said he wanted it to be something different so he named it Summer Sausage.

Stewart and Severin both said they enjoy the draft. Neither of them were clear about the prize but Severin said, “the loser has to make everyone delicious baked goods.”

Kassebaum also plays. However, he plays in three different leagues.

“It’s overwhelming, I never know who to root for,” said Kassebaum. He loves to play fantasy football and looks forward to it every year.

Come New Years, the fantasy king will be crowned.