CraveOnline Poll: Favorite Team or Fantasy Team? Friends or Family? Fantasy Football Fanatics Tell All
With the official kickoff of the NFL season going down tonight in Denver, we thought it was time to find out how you, our faithful CraveOnline readers, were all feeling about the most critical aspect of the upcoming 2013 season.
No, not the Ravens and Broncos tonight. Not unless you drafted Joe Flacco, Payton Manning or Ray Rice, anyway.
Fantasy sports now rope in more than 33 million Americans annually, roughly 10 percent of the nation's population, according to figures compiled by the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.
And just like Daniel Snyder or Jerry Jones, those diehards aren't afraid to drop some serious coin on making sure their fantasy roster is stocked with the best of the best. The FSTA estimates $3 billion a year change hands around the fantasy sports industry, including everything from league entry fees, draft kits and online services to NFL coverage packages like DirecTV or NFL's Red Zone.
So taking all that into account, our latest CraveOnline monthly poll wanted to find out about your fantasy football habits: who do you play with, where do you play and how do you prepare? And — most importantly — what matters more: the real world NFL team you grew up loving — or the collection of star players you hold entirely fictitious ownership of after a clandestine draft in your pal Joey's basement?
First off, it looks like where you play your fantasy football is nearly as varied as the methods for drafting a team. Thirty-five percent of those who responded picked Yahoo Sports as their service of choice, followed closely by ESPN.com at 33 percent and NFL.com at 21 percent. CBS Sports brought up the rear with only 11 percent favoring the Eye Network for their league. Considering its status as the "old people" network, that's probably not a big shock though, is it?
Also not all that surprising: you like to suit up against your friends over anyone else. Over 44 percent of you said talking smack and forcibly ramming your victories down a friend's throat made a friends league your preferred fantasy arena. Twenty-four percent like exerting their superiority over faceless strangers, while 17 percent favor bashing co-workers on the fake gridiron. And once again, your family gets the short end of the stick with only 14 percent who like to rip into Uncle Jerry or brother-in-law Craig in a family league. Feel that beatdown, Grandma!
When it comes to the amount of time and effort you put into scouting talent for your squad, CraveOnline readers seem to fall into two camps: the obsessive compulsives — and the "wait, is the draft TODAY?" crowd.
That's where a majority of Crave respondents apparently reside, with 33 percent who claim they do no studying of players and just fill out their rosters with whoever strikes their fancy. So basically, it's the same approach the Raiders take to opening camp.
On the other end of the spectrum, 26 percent of you say you need at least a solid month of research before draft day. If you don't know who's vying to be Jacksonville's number 3 tight end, then you aren't ready. Twenty-three percent fell in-between, claiming to only need a day or two of research time to be draft-ready, while another 18 percent wanted at least a week to get their draft board complete.
Finally, the big question — be honest…who do you root for harder: your hometown team or your fantasy team?
And thankfully, old loyalties die hard. An overwhelming 52 percent said their real favorite team was where their true passion stays, fantasy implications be damned. Twenty percent stayed on the fence and said they didn't want to pick between their NFL allegiance and their fantasy players, while 16 percent took a more pragmatic approach, claiming to root for whichever team was having the better season. Finally, just 12 percent of you said your fantasy team takes precedent over all over considerations.
What's it all mean? Well, honestly, that's good question…with answers this diverse, it's tough to draw any hard and fast conclusions. So let's just leave it at this — CraveOnline guys take many different approaches to tackling fantasy football.
Sorry…we got nothing.
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