Four Members of the La Salle Community Share Their Experiences With Fantasy Football


Charlotte Robinson

Fantasy football has grown in popularity throughout the last couple of years with “more than 17.6 million teams this year” participating in ESPN fantasy football.

Brett Lundgren and Andrew Keller

When the NFL season starts in early September, something else starts along with it. That something is fantasy football. In 2021, across the country, there were 40 million people participating in fantasy football, and that number likely grew in 2022

At La Salle, students and faculty alike have come to love fantasy football and the ways their league has become about so much more than just the game. 

Ms. Alex Blue, the executive assistant to La Salle’s president, has been playing fantasy football for four years and has really enjoyed her experience.

“I like the friendly competition that it’s created with my friends,” Ms. Blue said. “It’s what keeps us in touch during football season.”

Fantasy football, a game in which real life statistics recorded by NFL players are converted into points, is a great way to stay in touch with the game of football and compete against your friends. It involves a lot of strategy and a good amount of knowledge of the NFL. 

A fantasy football veteran playing the game for six plus years, Ms. Carie Coleman, the Design and Thinking teacher at La Salle, says she loves the game for the competitive aspect.

“I’m super competitive,” Coleman said. “I hate losing.”

Junior Jack Gill talked about how he loves fantasy football because participants can get familiar with their roster as the season progresses. “I think it’s really cool because the players on your team, you might not know that player at the beginning of the season, but you get to know and you get to watch that player,” Gill said.

Participating in fantasy football is simple. You draft a team consisting of offensive players, choosing from all 32 NFL teams. A team usually consists of around nine players in a starting lineup each week, and then around seven players on the bench. You then match up against your opponent, another person’s team in your league. 

When it comes to drafting your roster for the year, there is a lot of strategy involved. “I like to draft my tight ends high,” Gill said. “I usually go for either [Travis] Kelce or [Mark] Andrews.”

In 2021, Andrews and Kelce finished first and second in fantasy tight end ranks, and are continuing their success this season. 

Mr. Mikel Rathmann, the campus safety monitor at La Salle, who has been playing fantasy football for around 17 years, agreed with Gill’s strategy.

“I usually try to go with … getting Travis Kelce in the late first, early second round [of the draft],” Rathmann said. “I took a chance on Justin Jefferson… because I believe that he’s going to have a great year.”  

Ms. Blue also has some players and strategies that she utilized for this year’s draft day. “I had a good draft,” Blue said. “I feel good about it and my favorite player so far is Justin Jefferson. He’s been treating me all right.”

Ms. Blue has another draft habit that she has developed when it comes to selecting players from her favorite team. “I almost try to avoid them more if I can,” Blue said. “I’m a Seahawks fan…I never went for Russell Wilson.”

There are many different apps and services available to play fantasy football on. The most popular are ESPN Fantasy, Yahoo Fantasy Sports, NFL Fantasy Football, and Sleeper, to name a few. Each service has a different interface, as well as different player analysis and rankings.

“I liked the interface of Yahoo, and they are all pretty easy to use honestly,” Ms. Coleman said.

“I like [ESPN], it’s pretty user friendly,” Ms. Blue said. “That’s what I use to check scores anyways, so it was easy to use.”

Jack Gill also said that he likes the IBM Watson tool on ESPN. This function allows you to study the players and look deeper into projection statistics. “You can do the [IBM] Watson trade analysis,” Gill said. “I think that’s really helpful because I can compare the players.”

The length of a fantasy football season varies; some leagues will run all the way until the final week of the NFL season, while others will end sooner in order to have the fantasy playoffs before the NFL regular season ends. Playoffs usually consist of the four best teams in the league by record, and they face off in two-week matchups instead of the usual one-week matchup. 

Fantasy football has grown in popularity year after year. Each football season, there are tons of new players getting introduced to the activity. 

There are a multitude of ways you can get involved. If you have a group of people that want to play together, you can create your own custom league with individualized settings. If you don’t have a group of people to start a league with, you are not out of luck — many services offer public leagues that you can join, regardless of experience or knowledge of the NFL. This creates a space where everyone can get involved and come together over their passion for NFL football.