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Students take inside look into fantasy football world

The+NFL+Fantasy+Football+app+has+become+popular+amongst+students.
The NFL Fantasy Football app has become popular amongst students.

The NFL Fantasy Football app has become popular amongst students.

•Caroline Stiefbold

•Caroline Stiefbold

The NFL Fantasy Football app has become popular amongst students.

Katie Lindgren

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Fantasy football. Something that has been a big deal to most football fans everywhere since 1962. People dedicate hours of time to figuring out just the right strategy for their draft and do countless hours of research each week to have the right starters to maximize their points for that week.

For many students, fantasy football brings out a competitive side most people didn’t even know that they had. Being apart of a league consisting of good friends and family really brings out the competitive side so one can reign as the champion to hold bragging rights for the next year.

Seniors Will Nagle and Joe Nugent and juniors Will Stefaniak and Charlie Fredian are part of fantasy leagues and take a lot of pride in their teams and the leagues they are in.

Nagle and Nugent are in the same league named the PPP along with eight other seniors. It has been a tradition for the boys since middle school with updates to the league every year adding and subtracting members.

Their draft is held for everyone in the league at the Nagle household because he is the commissioner of the league. The draft typically takes the boys three hours to complete everyone’s teams, and it always a very tense, competitive three hours.

Both Nagle and Nugent are very confident in their teams this season. They have strong players that they can rely on for a good amount of points each week.

“My fantasy team is looking really good, knock on wood. I have confidence in players like Melvin Gordon, Michael Thomas, and Tyreke Hill,” Nagle said.

My team is led by a trio of top-tier wide receivers in Antonio Brown, A.J. Green and Amari Cooper,” Nugent said.

But to get the teams, the boys didn’t just go into the draft blind. They each had their respective ways to ensure a lineup of quality players.

Nagle explained how he did lots of research over the summer, and he has a tactic of picking the younger players.

Nugent, on the other hand, had a strategy of attempting to get the best players at their respective positions. He had a more in-depth strategy, but he doesn’t tell his secrets.

The boys in the league encourage everyone to follow their Twitter account (@PPPtheleague) for weekly updates and a chance to get one of their PPP shirts.

I believe that my team is one of the strongest in the league; my team has no weaknesses.”

— Senior Joe Nugent

Juniors also have the similar league consisting of an additional ten junior boys. Their league is relatively new, having been around for three seasons, but the boys hope to continue this league in the future.

They get together as well for their draft, but it isn’t at one specific location every year. They just pick whoever offers up their house.

Stefaniak and Fredian also have confidence in their respective teams. Both boys have some big name players on their teams and have hope for the future of their fantasy teams.

Stefaniak’s big name players are Kareem Hunt, Stefon Diggs, Russell Wilson, and Demaryius Thomas. These players contributed to a win for Stefaniak in last week’s matchup, and he hopes to continue that success throughout the season.

Fredian’s big name players are Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Jordy Nelson, and ” big boy Austin Hooper.” Although Fredian lost in week one due to the choking of Brady and Gronkowski, he is very hopeful to get a win this week against junior Brendan Buckley’s team.

Strategy can play a big factor when preparing for a draft. Whether students do some quick mock drafts or think of some type of strategy, a key to success in a draft is having some type of game plan going in.

“I do a lot of mock drafts prior to the draft to see who I can get with what draft pick I have, and then I pick a lot of young guys late in the draft to hopefully get a sleeper,” Stefaniak said.

“I usually try to draft top players from some of the less ‘important’ positions like tight end, defense, and kicker.  The top players in these positions can usually get as many points as the top running backs and wide receivers or more,” Fredian said.

The intensity of fantasy football for highschoolers seems to hold true to Nagle, Nugent, Fredian, Stefaniak, and the boys in each of their leagues.  The boys put in a lot of time and thought to make sure that they are ready for a draft or the upcoming week.  However, the senior boys expressed some unhappiness with the new regulations of the school.

The school has restricted the use of the NFL Fantasy Football app while connected to the school’s wifi.  Nagle has started a petition to unblock the app and encourages students to email him to sign it.

Senior Sean Watters, a member of the PPP fantasy league, has made the argument that fantasy football is actually a form of education, and, therefore, the school should not block the app.

“The elaborate score system involves intense thinking and algebra. Having to weigh the opportunity cost of starting one player over another is economics. The social aspect of understanding how your opponent thinks and how to get under his skin involves psychology. The daily articles discussing league news can be downloaded to notability and annotated,” Watters said.

Watters believes that fantasy football allows students to better their critical thinking and decision making skills.  Due to his examples and explanations, he and the rest of his league think that the app should be unblocked.

“It really isn’t even about football at this point, we see this app as a learning opportunity,” Watters said.

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Students take inside look into fantasy football world