As if football wasn't exciting enough

If any of you have played fantasy sports, then you know the feeling of excitement when your team is winning. Or like some not-so-fortunate players, you don’t.

According to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association industry demographics, to-date there are over 41 million people playing fantasy sports in the USA and Canada. That number has risen by almost 29 million since 2005.

One of the largest fantasy sports websites is

FanDuel was founded by Lesley Eccles, Tom Griffith, and Nigel Eccles in 2009, and has taken off since. The idea of FanDuel is to break down a season-long fantasy sports experience into a one day, or one-weekend contest of who can pick the best team.

Most FanDuel users decide to place their bets on NFL fantasy football teams, although users can create lineups in the NHL, the NBA, MLB, college football, and college basketball.

A FanDuel member can place bets anywhere from $1 to over $5,000, depending on how much they want to risk. I personally stick with the $1-$5 bets, but if you want to risk a semester’s tuition on how many touchdowns Peyton Manning throws next week, then more power to you.

Since I am particularly familiar with the football aspect of FanDuel, and it ‘tis the season for football (remember the Bulldogs are nearly undefeated?) I’m going to stick to what I (kind of) know.

So here’s how it works:

After signing up and picking which pool he/she wants to enter into, the user picks a lineup. Each FanDueler picks one quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, a tight end, a kicker, and a defense. The trick is that each user is given a $60,000 salary cap for their team. This $60,000 isn’t literal, think of it as Monopoly money.

Players are worth different amounts of money depending on how many points they are projected to earn during their game for that week. Obviously, a great quarterback like Tom Brady would cost more than a rookie like Derek Carr who plays for a 1-10 Oakland Raiders team who just got their first win this past week.

I just decided to try FanDuel two weeks ago after fellow Torch writer Justin Aiken recommended it, and I’m already hooked. I entered $10 into my account and bet it all on six different entries of $1 and $2. Although I only won money on one of my entries, with a little help from Steeler’s running back Le’Veon Bell, I won my $10 back.

So of course this past week I spent the $10 on more entries. This time I won on two of the six and made $12.50. Now I wish I could say that this was skill, but for the most part it’s up to the FanDuel gods if you’re going to win money. So if you’re struggling to pay your rent every month, I don’t recommend dropping a hundred bones on a tip you heard that Calvin Johnson is supposed to, “go off” this week.

I realized though, that the reason I’ll be back next week won’t be because of the $12.50 I still have on my account, but for the sheer thrill of the experience. Now regardless if I have money on a game, I’m going to spend most of my Sunday during the fall watching NFL football anyway. But now since I’ve been using FanDuel, I really get into the action.

I even watched the Cowboys play the Giants on Sunday night…….and I can’t stand the Cowboys or the Giants. The reason I decided to watch? There were six different players in that game who I had on my FanDuel lineup.

So if you’re interested in fantasy sports and have a couple extra bucks saved up from all the beer cans you drank while watching the Lions throttle the Bears on Thursday, return the cans and sign up for FanDuel. Maybe you’ll win some money.