Daily Fantasy Sports, or DFS for short, is taking America by storm. FanDuel and DraftKings are the two main players, as I'm sure you've seen from their massive marketing campaigns. The allure and popularity of these games is pretty simple; it's a puzzle.
We all love puzzles, and crafting a DFS lineup, in really any sport, is building a puzzle of supposed value. Do I match a few really expensive studs with some extremely cheap "value" fliers, or do I build a full lineup of solid starters? It's an ever-changing mathematical puzzle, and America is HOOKED. It's to the point now where all of the fantasy football experts that I follow on twitter have all become "experts" in DFS soccer, golf, and NASCAR. You read that right ... DFS NASCAR!!! And now to test the true fandom/addiction of fantasy sports players and NFL fans, we can now play NFL preseason.
I've joked on Twitter with the godfather of Fantasy Football, Evan Silva of Rotoworld ( @evansilva ), that preseason DFS is only for #teamDEGEN, or team degenerate. On the surface, you'd have to be pretty desperate for some action to bet on players' performance during preseason games. On the other hand, preseason DFS can actually be a fantastic exercise in player research and depth chart knowledge. We know the typical starters won't play past the first or second quarter, so the value lies in the depth players that are playing for a roster spot. It's easy to know that Marshawn Lynch and Odell Beckham Jr. are great fantasy players, but none of that matters in the preseason. What matters is which third-string RB is going to score two TDs in garbage time of the Hall of Fame game.
As Giants fans, we should all embrace preseason DFS. Two words. ... VICTOR CRUZ. I will never forget Cruz's coming out party in 2010. The fact that he scored three TDs vs. the JETS on national television was memorable enough, but it was actually his No. 3 jersey that sticks out the most in my memory. A WR wearing a single digit jersey number isn't allowed under the NFL's uniform code, which for some reason adds to Victor's preseason coming out party. He was given No. 3 because he was a long shot to make the 53 man roster. An UDFA from UMASS, donning No. 3, against our bitter enemies. It was perfect.
Preseason football isn't nearly as exciting as the regular season, I get it. But the demand for fantasy sports is undeniable, and there will be big time tournaments with lots of $$$'s involved to the DFS players who accept the challenge of building a puzzle with the sixth-string WR of the Jaguars. Preseason Fantasy Football shouldn't be scoffed at; you might just change your life. You never know, just ask Victor Cruz.