LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — As the NFL season kicks off Thursday, plenty of men will cheer on their favorite team, but there is one fan base that’s growing in popularity: women.
The world of NFL football from the female perspective has taken on a whole new life of its own with the emergence of more women playing fantasy football.
Now instead of simply rooting for teams, fantasy football has women engaged in the sport as a whole.
In just the last year alone, the number of women fantasy football players has risen from 20 percent in 2014 to 34 percent in 2015.
Setting your fantasy lineup requires the player to pay attention to not only their favorite team, but each individual player on their roster and their teams, keeping players more informed about the NFL as a whole rather than just one particular team.
More and more women are engaging in the online phenomenon, which has the female fan base of the NFL as high as it’s been in years.
Wanda Perry has been playing fantasy football for the past six years.
“My favorite part about fantasy football is the fact that you get more involved with every single game that’s on TV,” said Perry.
“They want to be a part of something that maybe their husbands are a part of, and it also allows them to socialize at an even level,” she added.
However, not all fantasy football women would agree with Perry’s sentiment.
Rebecca Smith argued: “Our [women’s] general nature to be more organized and ability to pay attention a little bit better, gives us the edge”.
Women have not only been recently drawn to fantasy football, but reports indicate that almost 50 percent of the NFL’s fan base is women.
Women fans in the NFL are also the fastest growing fan demographic in all of sports.
Daniel Durbin of USC’s Annenberg Institute said: “In a rather patriarchal way, the NFL has always assumed they had the male audience, so it has targeted the female audience to a great degree. You always want to expand your audience base. You always want to expand your market base”.
Some tips from a female fantasy football expert:
- Make sure your backup quarterback does not have the same bye week as your starting quarterback
- Don’t get caught up on one position during the draft
- Team loyalty can still apply.
Don’t forget that next Thursday, Thursday Night Football comes to CBS as the Denver Broncos face off against the Kansas City Chiefs at 5:25 p.m..