Sports, especially football, are dripping in statistics. People all over the country have become armchair analysts, stat-machines that run the numbers, not just about the players on their favorite team, but also on the third-string running back of the fourth-best team in another division. It’s all because of fantasy football.
“You have control. You are being a puppet master over real decisions. You’re a person of power and that’s why fantasy is so appealing to so many people,” says Yahoo! Sports’ fantasy football analyst Brad Evans, who is co-hosting an event in Las Vegas today to celebrate National Fantasy Football Draft Day.
Fantasy football sunk its teeth into Evans back in 1995 when he would look up box scores in the newspaper and create his own spreadsheet to tally stats by hand. Now, he spits out stats like a machine gun. “Drew Brees has averaged over 5,000 yards and 35 touchdowns since 2007,” he interjects while making a point. “He’s in a passing offense that averaged 658.7 attempts since 2009.” But his delivery isn’t that of a numbers geek. He’s more like a guy you would argue with at a bar, and he invariably ends up being right (but he is not infallible- he was positive that Johnny Manziel would be a Week 1 starter).
But predictions and trash talk is what makes fantasy football popular. The Fantasy Sports Trade Association estimated that 33.5 million Americans age 12 and older played fantasy sports in 2013. Evans has been covering fantasy sports for more than 10 years and is a contributor to Emmy-nominated pre-game webcast Yahoo! Sports’ Fantasy Football Live.
If you email inbox is starting to fill with fantasy football invitations, your office league is starting or your friends and pushing you to get in on the action, then we have your back. Evans provided some tips for success no matter what your level of expertise, be it novice or fantasy football GM.