Increasing your Fantasy return on investment is what we’re all trying to accomplish every Fantasy Football season, even if we don’t realize it. We’ll explain Fantasy ROI in a second, but first you need to understand how much money is being spent by all of your opponents.
During the summer 2017 Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA), Ipsos Marketing reported that nearly 60 million people play Fantasy Sports in Canada and the United States. Fantasy Sports is a $7.22 billion industry, and while a lot of that money includes league fees and ancillary activities, like draft parties and Fantasy prizes, a lot of it is being spent on Fantasy Football research assistance.
What is Fantasy Return On Investment – or Fantasy ROI?
The definition of the term “return on investment” is “a profitability measure that evaluates performance of a business by dividing net profit by net worth. Really, though, it comes down to the benefits (return) divided by the cost (investment).
All that sounds incredibly boring and complicated – so we’re going to come up with our own definition for Fantasy ROI:
Fantasy Return On Investment: The benefits your receive from playing Fantasy Football divided by the costs of playing.
6 Different Types of Benefits/Returns
Fantasy Football pays out in many ways, so don’t just think of it as a dollars-and-cents issue.
League Winnings/Prizes: Obviously, anything you win counts as a return on your investment. If you win the league championship and bring home anything from $1,000 to a league trophy, that counts. Even if you come in second place, or third, or you just win back your league entry fee, that counts as a benefit. This is obviously where you’re expecting to get the largest amount of cash return on your investment. But it’s not all about cash!
Enjoyment of Playing/Watching Games: If playing Fantasy for money became illegal and Big Brother was going to throw anyone that played for money into jail – you’d still play Fantasy Football for fun, right? The money part just makes it more interesting. But you love watching the games every Sunday and cheering for your players! Face it – you enjoy the NFL more because you are playing Fantasy Football. And don’t think the NFL – and every sports radio station and sports bar in the country – hasn’t figured that out.
Bragging Rights/Respect of Your Leaguemates: Even if we only win a little money or a small prize, beating our friends, coworkers and peers makes it all worth it. The whole point about Fantasy Football is that you want to prove you know sports better than your friends. It’s the ultimate results-oriented sports bar!
NOT Being a Loser: Nearly as important as winning is that you don’t lose – and lose all the respect of the others in your league.
Social Benefits at Work: Fantasy Football is the new golf course! Become the smart Fantasy Football player in the office, and you had better believe your company’s vice-presidents will be swinging by your desk more often to pick your brain on a waiver-wire pickup.
Bonding with Family/Friends: Don’t you think that, 50 years ago, our forefathers would have been playing Fantasy Football with their kids as they grew older? Now, generations of fathers (and mothers) are getting their kids involved in either a family league, as co-owners in their buddy league or as new owners in that same league. How awesome will it be in another 20 years, when you have three generations of your family playing in the same league!?! That also means you’ll be spending more time on Sundays together!
6 Different Types of Costs/Investment
There are a bunch of different costs involved that you likely didn’t even realize.
League Fees: Again, this is obviously the cost that jumps out the most. What you spend on all of your league fees. Are you in five leagues? That’s five sets of league fees.
Fantasy Football Research: This can come in several different forms.
- Assistant GM Software: Have you signed up for some assistant GM services, like on FantasyPros’ Draft Assistant? It’s definitely worth the investment, especially if you’re in multiple leagues. The Draft Assistant connects with your draft online, and helps you along during your draft to show you what a consensus of experts would pick for each of your picks. This is easily the best Fantasy helper you could ever invest in, in my opinion.
- Magazines: Don’t rip the guys that still buy magazines. They’re full of great strategy pieces, as well as good player outlooks. Just take the cheatsheets as a starting point before you find updated cheat sheets online.
- SiriusXM Radio: Are you paying a couple hundred bucks a year for SiriusXM Satellite Radio, mostly because you listen to the Fantasy Sports Channel on there?
- Premium Content: Got some subscriptions to sites like RotoWire or RotoExperts? How about Fantasy Alarm or FootballGuys? Those are all forms of costs.
Your Time: Unlike your how your “enjoyment” can’t be measured, you can absolutely measure the cost of your time. Figure it out this way – what’s your hourly rate at work? If you are salaried, what divide your weekly salary by 40 hours (or however many hours you ork)
Ancillary Costs: What things are you spending money on that doesn’t directly relate to Fantasy Football? Do you pay for the Sunday NFL Ticket or the NFL Red Zone Channel? Would you have the regional sports package if not for Fantasy Football? What about your subscription to ESPN The Magazine or ESPN Insider? Have you purchased a sports jersey because of a player you owned in Fantasy? These are all ancillary costs that add to your “investment” total.
Your Family: As great as playing Fantasy Football with your family is, how much time is it taking away from actually spending time with your spouse or kids? Are you missing a lot of family outings because of NFL Sundays? Do you make your kids call you Coach Dad?
Your Job: Maybe you’ve grown closer to the VPs because of your Fantasy prowess, but is your research costing you time on the clock? If they tracked how much time you spent on RotoWorld or other Fantasy sites, would you suddenly be brought into the HR office for “a talk”? Are your chances of promotion taking a hit because you spend three hours working on your waiver-wire pickups in 12 leagues every Tuesday morning?
5 Easy Ways To Increase Your Fantasy ROI
So the question becomes – if millions of dollars are being spent on Fantasy research, how can you beat people that are paying for more Fantasy Football assistance than you are? In the business world, people understand that they can increase their profits in two different ways: Make more money and/or spend less money.
- Subscribe to FantasyPros’ Draft Wizard/My Playbook: If you get the full package (HOF plan), which works out to be less than $100 for the calendar year, you’ll get to use the Draft Wizard tools and My Playbook’s in-season tools for all sports and on unlimited teams. You’ll also get all their Daily Fantasy Sports tools, too, which we haven’t even covered at all in this article.
- Listen to FNTSY Radio For Free: Why spend money on SiriusXM when you can listen to FNTSY Radio through their free mobile app, or online, for free? Especially when most of the guys on FNTSY are former hosts and talents from SiriusXM just last year. Listen to this app while you are working and you can be productive while also increasing your Fantasy knowledge!
- Save Money on a Premium Package: Use the code ILOVEFANTASY at RotoExperts.com/bigdeal and save 20-percent off their Xclusive Edge package. From former CBSSports.com writers Scott Engel, David Gonos and Nando DiFino to accuracy expert Jake Ciely, and up-and-coming stars like Michael Florio, RotoExperts gives you a ton of bang for your buck.
- Play in MFL10s: By playing in MyFantasyLeague.com’s MFL10s, which are draft-only, best-ball leagues, you can kill two birds with one stone. You can do your offseason Fantasy research while also working to increase your returns.
- Use Free Draft Tools When You Can: I’ve scoured the Internet through dozens and dozens of sites to find the absolute best “Free Fantasy Football Draft Tools” around. The count is up to 50 right now, but it has already increased by four in the past month.
BONUS — Subscribe To FNTSY YouTube Channel For Free: Do you have a Roku player or another over-the-top streaming device, like an Xbox One or Apple TV? What do you watch Netflix on? Add YouTube to your apps, and subscribe to the FNTSY YouTube Channel to get all of their great videos (5-10 posted daily) for free! They are the absolute kings of Fantasy Football on YouTube, and you’ll get it all for free!
Let me know in the comments section if there are some benefits or costs that I’m forgetting – because I imagine there are a few. Let’s help each other increase our Fantasy return on investment!
Photo Credit: Mike Morbeck
David Gonos spent 5 years as a CBSSports.com Senior Fantasy Writer and three more years writing with SI.com. Over the past 17 years, his work has been published on NFL.com, MLB.com, FanDuel, FoxSports.com and USA Today. Since 2001, he has been tracking down the Top 50-plus Free Fantasy Football Draft Tools online. You can contact David Gonos here.