In the normal scheme of things, something described as fantasy has no bearing on reality at all. Fantasy in literature and popular culture, like Star Wars or Game of Thrones, could never be real. A romantic fantasy rarely, if ever, comes true. But when it comes to fantasy sport, the crossover with real-life sport is immense.
While it’s true that everyone who follows sport doesn’t get involved in fantasy sports, we can say with some certainty that just about everyone who tracks fantasy sport does follow real-life sport.
The reason is crystal clear: fantasy sport involves requiring even rudimentary knowledge of real-world sports stars and teams. To understand more, let’s study what fantasy sport is, and look where followers crossover with the real sports world.
What is fantasy sports?
Often referred to as daily fantasy sports (DFS), the hobby involves taking a day’s or weekend’s fixtures and picking a team of individual players from any of the sides taking part. This might mean making up a fantasy NFL team or selecting picks of golfers in a major, or players in basketball or soccer.
You then get points when your player does something significant in his team’s real-life fixture. You add all your points up when the fixtures, or event, is over, and your score is compared to other fantasy sports players. If you have the most points, you win! For a more in-depth look at what DFS is, take a look at this DFS explainer article from TechCrunch.
Why DFS is inextricably linked to real sport
So, we’ve seen that DFS is a relatively straightforward concept. But while it’s true to say anyone can give it a go without watching or understanding real sport, they are in the minority.
For example, if you had no knowledge of NFL whatsoever, you could still put together a fantasy team based on the ‘price’ of the players in the pool (in DFS you have a set budget to spend). Some people might simply pick players because they like the sound of their names. In the same way that you can win a horse race by picking a name from a hat, you could rack up big DFS scores with random player picks.
But, let’s face it, that’s hardly ever going to happen.
The truth is, in order to pick a successful DFS team, you need to have watched a lot of sport, know the players, understand the advantage of home and away fixtures, and know which player your selection is likely to be matched up against on the field of play. All these things can affect teams and individual performances.
Once you’re armed with this sort of knowledge, you’ll be much better at DFS selections. You need a solid strategy, too, with some saying there’s a science to it. A report in Science Daily confirmed there’s a real skill rather than luck in fantasy sport.
A way to widen your sporting view
Before the advent of DFS, and before the online news explosion, most people followed their local sporting teams and had a basic understanding of what was going on elsewhere. Being successful at DFS demands a rounded knowledge of all teams in a particular competition. Not only that, but you must discipline yourself to pick any player if the circumstance is right – even if he plays for a hated rival team!
You’ll also find another great advantage of playing fantasy sports, and that’s that just about any game on fixture day will be of interest to you. Now, when a match is televised, you’ll be watching eagerly to see how your picks perform, even if you have no interest in the two teams on the field of play.
Sports bettors also bet on fantasy sport
Another crossover in real sport and fantasy sport is betting. Sports betting has been around for decades, of course, and now fantasy sport offers those betting on sport in the traditional sense to try something new.
Both require extensive knowledge to excel. You must have in-depth knowledge of all teams and players, or at least have trusted sporting sources to consult, such as experts on sports betting sites. For example, you may be a massive Knicks fan, with great knowledge of all the team, but to succeed in basketball betting, you’re also going to need to know how other teams in the league are performing, as well as any injuries or bans. All of which requires constant research.
You’ll always get that sporting buzz
Anyone who follows a sporting team, or an individual sports star like a golfer or boxer, will know the buzz they get from watching them in action, either live or on the television. People who play fantasy sport report feeling the same excitement when watching their points rack up as the fixtures play out. More touchdowns are celebrated, more goals cheered and more birdies on the golf course get a positive reaction.
As we’ve seen, the best possible way to get more of those joyous sporting moments is to read up not only about real-world sport, but also great tips for DFS.
If you’re looking for daily fantasy sports football advice, add our own DFS news section to your reading list.