Sports Comparison

Boy, fantasy football sure opened up early this year, didn’t it? I was in the airport last week and checked out a news store. There were more than half a dozen fantasy football magazines already on the shelves. Good stuff. I selected one and look forward to picking up several more for airplane reading.

The difference between fantasy football managers and fantasy baseball managers is interesting. To be a fantasy baseball manager takes considerably more time and commitment. I’m in two leagues with 14 teams and roughly 30 player squads. So we have a rostered pool of 420 players. One of the leagues also has a minor league system with 70 players.

Comparatively speaking, football has a very shallow pool. Once you get past the top 100 players, the value drops significantly. (Some might argue the top 50.) If an early round player goes down with an injury, it’s much tougher to make up the loss. Since the rosters are much smaller, the comparable loss of the top player is greater. Indeed, you have a double whammy: A shallow free agent pool and a greater statistically value of each player’s contribution to your attainment.

The managers themselves are quite different. Fantasy football garners far more casual fans – which in my experience leads to a significant drop in participation down the stretch. Also, many more women are involved in fantasy football. Good to have them on board. May their numbers increase.

So: Which is better? Surprise: I will answer that question. Fantasy baseball is better. The commitment required on the part of the managers, the knowledge of the player pool, the daily moves, the myriad ways of setting up leagues – all contribute to an excellent experience. That said, please note that I reserve the right to change my mind when football season starts up. Man, that’s a fun time….

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