The Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA) estimates that there will be 33 million fantasy football players this year in the United States. 33 million! That’s the same as the combined populations of Michigan, Georgia, North Carolina and Oregon! This is a 7.2 million jump from the number of fantasy football players in 2013. As the years go on, this number will continue to grow exponentially.
500,000 and $86.2 Million
A few years ago, the only type of fantasy football available was the standard season-long league where you have the same players on your team the entire year. However, daily fantasy sports websites have grown immensely. Unlike normal fantasy football, these daily websites allow you to choose new players (hence a new team) each week.
The biggest player in the daily fantasy industry is arguably FanDuel. The 500,000 number is the projected number of players that will participate in daily fantasy football games this NFL season on FanDuel. Though this may be a blip in the total amount of fantasy football players, the number is very telling as to the growth of daily fantasy football games.
Another telling number to the same point is $86.2 million, which is the amount of money FanDuel has raised in venture backing. This was in response to its main competitor, DraftKings, which recently announced that it raised $41 million in new venture funding from The Raine Group, increasing its total venture backing to $76.4 million. John Salter, partner with The Raine Group, says, “Daily fantasy sports represents a tremendous area for growth in the multi-billion dollar world of fantasy sports.”$2 Million
This is the net worth of ESPN fantasy football guru Matthew Berry, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Matthew Berry gets paid to do all of the studying and research that a normal fantasy football player does. Granted, his research is exponentially more extensive than everyone else’s, but still, his job title is “Senior Fantasy Analyst.”
Everyone goes to Berry for fantasy football advice – celebrities, athletes and most of the 33 million fantasy football players in the U.S. Though he does receive quite a bit of fan hate when his advice is wrong, I think he’s worth the $2 million. 10 years ago, if you had told me that someone could make millions being a fantasy football guru (and he’s definitely not the only one making a great living this way), I wouldn’t have believed you.
If just 1% of the estimated $2 billion dollars that are spent in fantasy leagues this year went to charity, $20 million could be donated.
Meaningful Wins is a website that provides a platform where fantasy players can donate money to their favorite charity. After fantasy football players agree upon a league buy-in and payouts for the champion, they can then choose a separate dollar amount to donate to Meaningful Wins. If each team in a 12-team league donates $10, the winner of the league not only gets their original prize money, but also gets the extreme satisfaction of donating $120 to their favorite charity! And even if you don’t come out victorious in your league, you know that your money is going to a good cause. This is a very cool concept that hopefully will catch on to fantasy football leagues across the nation.
This truly is just the beginning of the fantasy sports revolution. We’ve seen increases in the number of players, money spent and hours spent playing each and every year. Though a good amount of the 33 million Americans just plays for fun, there are plenty of fantasy football leagues that take it seriously – almost too seriously sometimes.
Are you taking part in the fantasy football craze this year? Share your experience in the comments section below!
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