Students Have Fantasy Sports Down to a Science


Alexander Thorp

Jared Samarel ’19 reads about football for his fantasy team.

Some people who participate in it do endless amounts of research, while others just wing it. Some think it is gambling, while other believe it requires skill and extensive knowledge of the game. Regardless, fantasy sports draw people in and creates intense competition.

In the past decade, fantasy sports have exploded in the United States and Canada. According to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, from 2007 to 2017, participation in fantasy sports more than tripled from 19.3 million to 59.4 million people. This has led to exponential growth in the revenue for fantasy sports sites, which is projected to reach fourteen billion dollars in 2020. However, they have also faced increased scrutiny, as more and more regulators believe fantasy sports should be considered a form of gambling.

Regardless of the varying opinions on fantasy sports, they have undeniably made their way into Bronx Science, as students have created their own leagues and competed against one another. It is especially convenient that the beginning of the football season lines up right with the start of the school year.

One such example is Eshaan Modi ’19, who is currently in a fantasy football league with seven other seniors. He wants to start one for Sports Debate Club, of which he is the co-president. While Modi does not do much research for his picks, he does watch the games that his players play in.

“If it is a close game, I like to watch the game hoping a player of mine does well. It gets frustrating sometimes though if a player on your fantasy football team is versing the team you support. It can be conflicting,” Modi said.

Unlike Modi, Mohammad Tajwar ’20, who plays fantasy basketball with a group of ten juniors every year, believes it is vital to do a lot of research for a fantasy team. According to Tajwar, “If you don’t research then you’re absolutely doing the game wrong…you must keep in mind injuries, trade, age, points rebounds, and efficiency.” Tajwar says that he picks his players based on who is the leader in most statistical categories.

Fantasy sports players also have their own unique strategies that they believe give them an edge. Jared Samarel ’19, who plays in Modi’s fantasy league, said, “I tend to value wide receivers higher than most, draft the best tight end early and draft quarterbacks late.” Samarel believes that these strategies are what make fantasy sports different from gambling in a casino. “It’s definitely gambling, but it’s not like Roulette or Craps where it’s just luck. Unlike betting on one game, you are more betting on yourself than on individual players,” Samarel said.

Regardless of how they make their fantasy picks, these students are going to have to stay alert for the rest of the season if they want to win. Fantasy sports players have to choose their starting lineups every week, as well as look out for trades to make with their competitors. They are going to need all the skill and luck they can get in order to win their leagues.