Students await the fantasy football playoffs

As the NFL regular season nears its conclusion, fantasy football managers have a lot to look forward to in their respective playoff tournaments. 

In most leagues, these fantasy playoffs are set to begin on NFL week 14 and last until the end of the NFL regular season.

Most fantasy tournaments feature multiple round single elimination games before a mock championship.

But, the number of rounds, as well as team managers, entered into each league tournament depends upon the established league settings as well as the number of players within the entire league. 

In order to be more inclusive to fantasy team managers of all experience levels, most end of season tournaments feature a losers bracket, in which the lowest seed players compete for a consolation championship. 

Thus, the fantasy playoffs can be seen as an excitement to all participants as there are many opportunities to finish successfully, regardless of regular season performance. 

Most fantasy playoffs feature a familiar bracket where participants are matched based upon their final rankings during regular season matchups. 

In fantasy football, participants play as the head of their team and they draft the NFL players that they think will perform well during the season. Once their team has been drafted, the participants team will compete against other peoples teams each week to see whose team can score more points. Teams score points based on how well the players they drafted perform in their NFL games. 

People who play fantasy football usually compete in a league made up of friends and family. 

“I like fantasy football in the sense that it’s another way to compete, trash talk, and brag with friends,” senior Mitchell Huynh said. 

However, some leagues have heightened stakes, with financial gains and losses attached to the performance of NFL players in their games.

“Fantasy football is a good way to have fun with friends and family and also competing with each other makes it fun for everyone. You could also win fun prizes and other cool things,” sophomore Emmanuel Adomakoh said. Adomakoh is a varsity football player who enjoys playing fantasy football.

Some players to watch out for in these last few important weeks of fantasy football are: Kansas City Chiefs Quarterback Patrick Mahomes, New Orleans Saints Running Back Alvin Kamara (who has been on a great decline over the past few weeks due to the start of backup quarterback Taysom Hill), Minnesota Vikings Running Back Dalvin Cook, Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Davante Adams, Kansas City Chiefs Receiver Tyreek Hill and Tight End Travis Kelce, and Atlanta Falcons Kicker Younghoe Koo.

“For my team, [Buffalo Bills Wide Receiver] Stefon Diggs and [Los Angeles Chargers Wide Receiver] Keenan Allen have been solid,” Huynh said. 

On the offensive end of the lineup, there are a few different settings with regard to the setup of the league, which may change the value of some players. For example, PPR (points per reception), a player is rewarded an extra point for every catch, thus a running back that catches the ball more often will likely score more points. 

In addition to following specific offensive players while tracking fantasy performance, most leagues feature a slot for an NFL team’s defense, which awards points for allowing lower amounts of points, as well as forcing turnovers. These defense fantasy positions have been known to either make or break a fantasy week.

However, going into the later stages of play, it is key that fantasy managers assess the likeliness of each of their players for being injured in their NFL games. In all, a player with a poor performance projection is a safer start than a talented player who is not fully healthy.  

“Injuries have hurt my team a lot with my first pick Michael Thomas being out for a while,” Huynh said. 

Some of this NFL season’s most notable injuries have been: the ACL tear of Saquon Barkley (New York Giants Running Back), the cuboid foot fracture of George Kittle (San Francisco 49ers Tight End), right ankle dislocation of Dak Prescott (Dallas Cowboys Quarterback), and the ankle injury of Carolina Panthers Running Back Christian McCaffrey. 

Although managing an effective fantasy team takes a lot of game analysis, strategy, and, most importantly, luck, it is clear that the platform has brought people closer together, especially during the tough times of 2020.