Is This Real Life? Or Is This Just Fantasy?

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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 07: David Wilson #22 of the New York Giants celebrates his touchdown against the Cleveland Browns by doing a backflip during their game at MetLife Stadium on October 7, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

by Tony Bianchini

As August comes to a close and September starts, many things follow. Thoughts of fall: The leaves are changing color, sweaters are worn, and the weather is just right. That all seems great, doesn’t it?  It is respectively, but I didn’t mention THE single most important thing about the change of seasons  – football!!! With football starting, you get fantasy football starting.

Students here at Oakdale take fantasy football very seriously, especially Senior Nick Ranallo, who is in three highly competitive leagues.  

“I do it because I love football, and competing with my friends to see who knows the game best; and of course bragging rights,” replied Ranallo when asked why he plays fantasy football.

Obviously the most important thing in fantasy football is the draft. People prepare for them for weeks – even months – ahead of time.

“It’s a long process throughout the whole year. I watch football and ESPN to hear news of fantasy “sleepers. I put in a lot of time and effort,” explained Ranallo.

It doesn’t stop when the season starts either. Most lineups should be changed weekly. “Compete on a weekly basis,” says ESPN fantasy football analyst Matthew Berry.

That’s just the strategy Ranallo uses when the season starts. He checks the waiver list looking for potential trades within the league.

“I check my lineup daily looking for injuries, trying to pick up players, and so on,” stated Ranallo.

Thousands, even millions, of people play fantasy football each year. With that comes new players or “owners” as they are referred to in the fantasy football world.

“My advice to the new guys is to know your stuff,” explained Senior Sean Sullivan, who is in three leagues and has won a championship in two of them.

“Study the networks like ESPN and The Football Network, have a plan going into the draft. Don’t go into the draft like a chicken with its head cut off,” Sullivan further explained.

Sullivan also is a commissioner of two of his three leagues. Now for you new “owners” in fantasy football,you might want to think twice before being the commissioner.

“I have to get everybody in the league first. Then, I have to set up the draft, which is very hard to do. Getting 12 guys all free at the same night at the same time is the hardest thing I have to do as commissioner,”  Sullivan answered when asked what a commissioner does.

Through all his serious duties as a commissioner/owner, Sullivan still comes back to it each year.

“It just makes football more interesting for me, and the competition is fun,” explained the OHS senior.

Fantasy Football is here; you can feel the excitement in the air. So whether you are preparing for a draft or you have already drafted your team remember this:

“It’s not a season long game, it’s a new game every week, so compete on a weekly basis,”

said Senior ESPN Fantasy Football Analyst Matthew Berry.