Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Quinton Patton (11) celebrates after scoring on a five-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) during the first quarter of an NFL preseason football game against the Minnesota Vikings in San Francisco, Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013.

Poll

Why do you watch NFL games?

Leading Off: 'Tis the season - fantasy or reality?

Published: Monday, Aug. 26, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Wednesday, Sep. 4, 2013 - 8:31 am

In the next week or so, millions of Americans will participate in fantasy football drafts.

Owners will huddle in homes, offices, bars, schools, restaurants and stadium bleachers across the country or pick teams through the Internet or on teleconferences.

According to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, fantasy football has become an annual $3.4 billion industry and is growing – especially among younger fans.

Many fans believe playing in a fantasy league – if not two or more – makes following the NFL more enjoyable. It also makes them more knowledgeable, more in tune with the players and game. If they're good, there might be a winner's check at the end of the season. But for most owners, it's not about the cash as much as the competition.

Some leagues end after the regular season, some extend through the playoffs, and some continue year-round.

Following my favorite team through the highs and lows of a season is enough for me to have retired as a fantasy owner long ago. Besides, the thought of starting a running back on my fantasy team and hoping he scores against my favorite team doesn't work for me. Also, keeping up with injury reports, statistical comparisons for read offenses against 4-3 defenses and even weather forecasts is too much homework.

Some fans watch because it's America's No. 1 pro sport or every game is important. Some watch because of the betting action.

Everyone has a reason to watch. What's yours?

What to do

Baseball, Fresno at River Cats, Raley Field, 7:05 p.m.: Only four home games remain in the regular season.

Today's poll

Why do you watch NFL games?

• Betting on games

• Every game is important

• Fantasy team/leagues

• Follow favorite team

• Physicality of game

Vote above or leave your comments in the comments field; or go to www.sacbee.com/sports

Weekend results

How many games will the 49ers win this season?

• 16: 4%

• 13-15: 34%

• 10-12: 52%

• 7-9: 7%

• 6 or fewer: 3%

Total votes: 407

Call The Bee's Victor Contreras, (916) 326-5527. Follow him on Twitter @SacBeeVictor.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Victor Contreras



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