The 2023-2024 football season has officially begun – which means fantasy football is underway too.
The game has become a favorite among football fans, but how much do you really know about its history?
Over 60 years, fantasy football has developed a cult following, with people of all ages participating in the sport.
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Here you can learn more about fantasy football, how it works and how it started.
Who is on your fantasy team?
1. What year did fantasy football originate?
According to Britannica, fantasy gridiron football was invented in 1962 by Bill Winkenbach, former part-owner of the Oakland Raiders.
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The businessman and sports enthusiast founded the first fantasy football league with a group of friends in a New York hotel.
They called themselves the Greater Oakland Professional Pigskin Prognosticators League (GOPPPL), the encyclopedia page continues.
2. How many players participate in fantasy football each year?
In 2022, over 62.5 million people joined and participated in a fantasy sports league in the United States and Canada – 79% of those fantasy participants played fantasy gridiron football, the Fantasy Sports and Gaming Association said online.
A 2023 survey found that 48% of the fantasy sports league is made up of people between the ages of 18 and 34, the website continued.
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In 1988, only 500,000 people participated in a fantasy league.
According to the fantasy organization, the league only reached the one million participant mark in 1991.
3. How many women participate in fantasy football leagues?
Statistics show that 35% of fantasy league participants are women, the Fantasy Sports and Gaming Association reported.
“The level of female players was definitely higher than I expected. “It’s still male, but not nearly as strong as I imagined,” Noah Brode, senior content writer at CivicScience, told the website USBETS, which covers US gambling news.
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Female fantasy sports participants have gone viral on TikTok, garnering millions of views, after sharing their “drafting secrets.”
4. How many men will join a fantasy football league?
Over half of fantasy football players are men – that’s 64% of fantasy sports participants, the Fantasy Sports and Gaming Association said online.
5. What is the most fantasy points scored by a player in a single game?
The most fantasy points scored by a player in a single game went to Clinton Portis in 2003, according to the Pro Football Network, a website that covers NFL news, fantasy football analysis, the draft and more.
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During the Week 14 game against the Kansas City Chiefs and the Denver Broncos, the running back collected 55.4 fantasy points.
“Portis scored two rushing touchdowns in the first half before clinching the game with three rushing scores in a 10-minute span in the third and fourth quarters,” the Pro Football Network reported.
“He finished the game with 218 rushing yards, five rushing touchdowns and 36 receiving yards.”
6. How many players are drafted per team in fantasy football?
When you put together your fantasy football team, you’ll end up with a total of 16 players, including your bench.
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The nine players making up the starting lineup are “a quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, a tight end, a flex player (RB/WR/TE), a kicker and a defense/special teams player,” ESPN explained online.
The remaining seven players you selected during the draft remain on your bench.
7. How many weeks does Fantasy Football run?
The default for public fantasy leagues is just 14 weeks into the regular season, according to the NFL.
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The playoffs continue from Week 15 to Week 18.
However, not every team will make it to the playoffs, so choose your team carefully.