Fantasy Football Stereotypes: It’s not FANTASY. It’s REAL LIFE.
Once a week, Kim Meyer puts aside her duties as head of public relations for Christian Dior Beauty to focus on fantasy football.
Meyer, 33, is a fledgling but rabid player in the fantasy leagues, a pursuit that is largely considered to be a male pastime. But increasingly, women are grabbing the ball as well.
The number of women playing fantasy football in the United States and Canada has more than doubled since 2007, to 8.3 million this year, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association. Women now comprise 20 percent of all players, an attractive and growing business: In a four-year period, their spending on related magazines, memberships and other content has more than doubled, to $334 million in 2012.
Female fantasy play has been oxygenated by a breed of websites such as FanDuel and DraftKings that allow players to drop in for a weekend instead of having to commit to an entire season. Women are joining FanDuel — which recently raised $70 million from investors — twice as fast as men, according to the company’s chief executive, Nigel Eccles.
Since Meyer started playing at the beginning of this season, she has sat out just one round of games, amid Paris Fashion Week.
“I’m surprised at how into it I am,” she said of the competition.
Unflattering stereotypes abound about the female fantasy football player: She does it only because of her boyfriend/husband, and her picks are based on how cute the players are. Many women, however, scorn making recruitment decisions based on aesthetics and frown upon consulting boyfriends or husbands.
Liz Loza, an actress who has appeared on ABC’s “Scandal,” for several years avoided mentioning that she was married on “X’s & Y’s Podcast,” her fantasy football program.
“There are men who would think that a guy would be feeding it to me,” she said of the commentary and analysis she provides.
Loza, also known as the Fantasy Football Girl, wrote her 2010 wedding vows to include a promise to beat her husband at fantasy football and has routinely lived up to her wifely obligation.
“It’s kind of like a sorority,” said Adrienne Allen, 29, referring to Fantasy Femmes, the all-woman fantasy football league she founded with a college friend, Candace Armstrong. They discuss friends who want to join their league and whether they can be counted on to take the league seriously.
“We talk about people and we say, ‘Do you think she’s going to play hard all year?’ ” Allen said. “And we kick people out if they don’t.”
Alyssa Vitrano plays hardball, too. She is the commissioner of the GrapeBallers, a coed league with take-no-prisoners rules. For instance, team owners must respond to at least one group e-mail every three weeks. Failure to do so because you are giving birth earns no immunity.
“I’m like, ‘I’m sorry, that’s not an excuse,’ ” said Vitrano, a digital video producer. “It’s like ‘The Hunger Games.’ ”+
With the Philadelphia Eagles’ surprising loss to Washington on Saturday, clarity was finally cast upon the NFC playoff picture. The AFC? That’s a question that will be better answered following Week 17.
Sunday’s action only proved to muddy the picture further in the AFC, with multiple teams above .500 jostling for position heading into the season’s final week.
On Saturday, the San Diego Chargers kept themselves alive with a three-touchdown comeback from the dead-on-arrival San Francisco 49ers, while the AFC North is a complicated riddle yet to be solved.
The Pittsburgh Steelers clinched a playoff berth after a win against Kansas City. The Baltimore Ravens, meanwhile, shot themselves in the foot with a dispiriting loss to the Houston Texans, who were forced to start Case Keenum at quarterback due to injuries.
While there are still some positions left to be filled, this week has helped pare down the field. The Eagles’ loss in Washington eliminated them from contention, Kansas City and Baltimore both have work to do and Detroit further solidified its playoff status.
But as much as some things changed, others stayed the same. The New England Patriots are the top seed in the AFC and clinched home-field advantage after the Denver Broncos’ loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday.
To cap off Sunday’s action, the Seattle Seahawks looked as strong as ever in their Super Bowl defense, dominating the Arizona Cardinals 35-6 on the road to ascend to No. 1 in the NFC.
Week 17 AFC Scenarios
Broncos clinch first-round bye with:
- Denver win vs. Oakland OR
- Denver tie vs. Oakland + Cincinnati loss or tie vs. Pittsburgh OR
- Cincinnati loss OR
- Cincinnati tie + Indianapolis win vs. Tennessee
Bengals clinch AFC North with:
- Cincinnati win vs. Pittsburgh
Bengals clinch first-round bye with:
- Cincinnati win + Denver loss or tie OR
- Cincinnati tie + losses by both Denver and Indianapolis
Steelers clinch AFC North with:
- Pittsburgh win vs. Cincinnati
Chargers clinch playoff spot with:
- San Diego win vs. Kansas City OR
- San Diego tie + Baltimore loss or tie vs. Cleveland
Ravens clinch playoff spot with:
- Baltimore win + San Diego loss or tie OR
- Baltimore tie + San Diego loss
Chiefs clinch playoff spot with:
- Kansas City win + loss by Baltimore + loss or tie by Houston
Texans clinch playoff spot with:
- Houston win + losses by both Baltimore and San Diego
Week 17 NFC Scenarios
Cowboys clinch home-field advantage throughout NFC with:
- Dallas win + loss or tie by Arizona vs. San Francisco + Detroit vs. Green Bay tie OR
- Dallas win + win by Seattle vs. St. Louis + Detroit vs. Green Bay tie
Cowboys clinch first-round bye with:
- Dallas win + loss or tie by both Seattle and Arizona OR
- Dallas win + Detroit vs. Green Bay tie OR
- Seattle and Arizona both lose OR
- Dallas and Seattle both tie + Arizona loses or ties + Detroit vs. Green Bay does not end in a tie
Lions clinch NFC North with:
- Lions win or tie
Lions clinch home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:
- Lions win + Seattle loss or tie + Arizona loss or tie OR
- Detroit tie + losses by both Seattle and Arizona + Dallas loses or ties
Lions clinch first-round bye with:
- Detroit win OR
- Detroit tie + Dallas loss or tie OR
- Detroit tie + both Arizona and Seattle lose
Packers Clinch NFC North and first-round bye with:
- Green Bay win
Packers clinch home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:
- Green Bay win + loss or tie by Seattle
Seahawks clinch NFC West with:
- Seattle win OR
- Seattle tie + loss or tie by Arizona OR
- Arizona loss
Seahawks clinch home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:
- Seattle win + Detroit vs. Green Bay does not end in tie OR
- Seattle win + Dallas loss or tie OR
- Seattle tie + losses or ties by both Arizona and Dallas + Detroit vs. Green Bay tie
Seahawks clinch first-round bye with:
- Seattle win OR
- Seattle tie + Arizona loss or tie + Dallas loss OR
- Seattle tie + Arizona loss or tie + Detroit vs. Green Bay tie
Cardinals clinch NFC West with:
- Arizona win + Seattle loss or tie OR
- Arizona tie + Seattle loss
Cardinals clinch home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:
- Arizona win + Seattle and Green Bay both lose or tie OR
- Arizona tie + Seattle loss + Dallas loss or tie + Detroit vs. Green Bay tie
Cardinals clinch first-round bye with:
- Arizona win + Seattle loss or tie OR
- Arizona tie + Seattle loss + Dallas loss or tie OR
- Arizona tie + Seattle loss + Detroit vs. Green Bay tie
Panthers clinch NFC South with:
- Carolina win or tie vs. Atlanta
Falcons clinch NFC South with:
- Atlanta win
Read more at the Bleacher Report
Peyton Manning isn’t Peyton Manning right now.
In his last four starts, the Broncos’ quarterback has combined for five touchdowns compared to six interceptions, and is averaging 224 yards passing (compared to 297 yards per game for the season) and completing 61.9 percent of his pass attempts (compared to 66.8 percent for the season). He’s looked so pedestrian that it’s fair to wonder whether Manning could be a roadblock in the Broncos’ quest for a Super Bowl.
This week on SiriusXM Sports, Warren Moon, Jason Goff and Will Carroll all gave their opinions as to why Manning has gone from having an all-time season to becoming a borderline liability under center.
WARREN MOON ON SIRIUSXM FANTASY SPORTS RADIO
I think it’s because he’s 38, 39 years old. When I was that old playing in the game, you tend to wear down as the season goes along. You really have…
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