I was driving down Route 1 the other day, because 93 is an absolute nightmare right now as all of you other North Shore readers know, and saw three signs that advertised hosting your Fantasy Football Draft here.  Hooters even promised a private war room with our own hostess.   The war room is more appealing than the hostess for any of you that have ventured into a Hooter’s anywhere in New England.  I’m running my league online this year, next year we’ll try an actual get together, but I was amazed at how commercial and in the public eye this hobby has become. 

Every year Fantasy Football becomes more and more mainstream and becomes part of almost every football fan and players conversation from late August until January.  When is your draft? What is your team name?  Who are you taking first round?  Why do they constantly give it to the back up RB down on the goal line?  Do I start Green against the Colts or Matthews against the Patriots?  Every one of us has had and will have this conversation over the next few weeks as the season gets underway.  It is amazing how big the NFL has become and Fantasy Football is a huge part of that.

Do you find yourself watching a meaningless NFC game in December?  I sure do when I have Steven Jackson playing (who is as consistent a yardage guy as there is in the NFL) and 10 points needed to make the playoffs.  Did you ever think you’d see the day you route for Reggie Wayne to have a big night in a Thursday Night game in Jacksonville?   Anyone remember that one?  What a heartbreaker for the Jags, and it definitely foreshadowed things to come for that God awful secondary.   The games become bigger for Fantasy buffs and when they become bigger, the ratings go up. 

TV contracts and revenue sharing were big pieces to the new CBA.  Ratings were and have never been higher for the NFL, and undoubtedly Fantasy Football has a decent hand in that.   Casinos, gambling websites, main stream sports websites all have seen dramatic spikes over the last half decade in football related activity.  The websites who give away free leagues and teams are all still making money in the long run.  Advertisement prices go through the roof during football season, so the ROI on offering free leagues is huge.  TV commercial airtime is at a premium with millions of viewers watching each Sunday and Monday rooting on players from their personally built franchises.  App Stores on Smart phones to manage teams and make last minute roster moves when a sideline reporter comes on during the “Start Em or Sit Em” Segment.  

Philip Rivers, Peyton Manning, Mike Vick, Ben Roethlisberger, and Tony Romo all face New England this season.  Will it not the biggest 60 minute emotional rollercoaster of the year?   Do you draft your home team guys?  Do you stay away from guys you know you’ll be facing in the regular season?  Could you care less about who you have as long as you win?  Everyone is different and has their own strategy on how to do things.   How do you handle situations like this?  I am interested to hear about it. 

I’d like to wish each and every one of you folks luck this year.  Some of you may find Fantasy Football a joke and annoying which is fine, everyone has their own take on it.  I’d like to hear some of your team names, and who you would take with #1 if you had it, also #6, as I have that pick in my draft.   Below is my mock first round. UNOFFICIAL of course, I’ll never use the word official on here again ;)

1) Adrian Peterson
2) Arian Foster
3) Ray Rice
4) Maurice Jones-Drew
5) Chris Johnson (I hear this guy may not show up until Week 11 Logan Mankins style, this pick may still be a stretch)
6) Michael Turner
7) Jamal Charles
8) Aaron Rodgers
9) Frank Gore
10) Mike Vick
11) Rashard Mendenhall
12) Andre Johnson

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