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Fantasy football found on a tablet and a cellphone.

For 16 weeks every year, thousands of people in Canada and the United States will be watching the NFL – but not just because they are hoping to see their team win.

 

“As one of my fellow coworkers has put it, it’s Dungeons and Dragons for jocks,” said Mike Inglis.

 

Fantasy football is everywhere. Websites such as Yahoo Sports, ESPN, CBC Sports and the NFL are all host to online fantasy leagues.  They are all mobile, so one can check up on stats and their line ups wherever they go.

 

Fantasy leagues aren’t just for football, either. They can be a full year hobby if you include baseball and hockey and any other sport you can imagine. The Fantasy Sports Trade Association estimates there are about 41.5 million people in North American who take part in fantasy sports – and it’s been growing, by about 11.7 per cent annually in the past five years.

 

The average fantasy sport player spends more than eight hours a week on their fantasy league. 

 

Jayson Fraser spends about one to two hours a day on his fantasy football leagues, looking for trades and pickups.  This is his fourth year taking part in fantasy leagues. This year he is in three different ones.

 

“It’s a lot of time management... But, I have a lot of similar players in my leagues,” he said.

 

Although it can take a lot of his time, Fraser said fantasy football has played a major role in keeping up with old friends. One of the leagues Fraser takes part in is one made up entirely of friends from his hometown, where he no longer lives.

 

Inglis, on the other hand, has been in the world of fantasy football for eight years. He agrees that Fantasy Football leagues have been a great way to do something with his friends. Things can get heated sometimes, but it’s all in good fun, he said.

 

“On draft day, we draft our teams and then go our separate ways and then we talk smack throughout the season.”

 

He spends about an hour each day on his leagues, but Sundays can be a bit different.

 

“On Sunday it’s all day, non-stop. I’m checking updates for the first hour and fiddling with my line-up. I’m having a mini-heart attack and, yeah, it’s kind of embarrassing like that,” said Inglis.

 

The fantasy sports world has turned into a billion dollar industry.  In fact, you can even buy insurance for your fantasy players in the United States. Coverage can go up to $1,000 online for player protection on one site.  

 

Inglis said, when he started doing leagues he would on average spend $25. Now, between the four leagues he takes part in, he spends $400 on a season, plus extra money for trophies.

 

Inglis has only won twice in his eight years of playing, while Fraser has never won any of his.

 

Although, he feels that this could be the year.