Whether you are an experienced veteran of your fantasy sports league or just looking to begin playing with some friends, understanding which games are the most popular is a good place to start when you’re exploring which leagues might be the best for you and your gaming community.
Fantasy sports games are incredibly popular around the world – with very good reason – they allow fans of any game to test out their theories about how the game should be played and which players work well together. It’s a great combination of creativity and knowledge, so it’s no wonder there are countless leagues across the world buzzing with competition. The following are the most popular:
- Fantasy Football
The estimated number of fantasy sports players in the United States alone was 45.9 million in the past year. Out of all these players, surprisingly or not, 78% of fantasy participants play fantasy football. That means that fantasy football is by far the most popular of all fantasy sports games in the USA. That is not the case across the world, and there is a great variance that tends to follow the pattern of the most-watched sports in each country. In India, it’s fantasy cricket. In the United Kingdom, it’s fantasy soccer.
Because of fantasy football’s popularity, it is highly competitive. Leagues are split into keeper and dynasty leagues, but there are many different league types available, like redraft leagues and auction options.
- Fantasy Baseball
39% of fantasy game players play fantasy baseball with the best baseball simulation games receiving thousands of players every day. Fantasy baseball was the most popular fantasy sports game for quite a while but was eventually overtaken by fantasy football, which has since surpassed fantasy baseball by a long way. The reason that fantasy baseball is believed to have been overtaken by fantasy football is due to the frequency of gameplay. Football games only occur once a week, which means that it is easy for the casual user to have time to research and analyze their games before play. This is a stark contrast from the typical season for major league baseball, which plays a whopping 162 games a season – requiring fantasy baseball players to play every single night of the week if they want to be a serious contender in the competition.
- Fantasy Basketball
19% of fantasy sports players play fantasy basketball, which is strange as this is not reflective of the number of people who watch basketball. The NBA has been convincingly argued to be more popular than the MLB, as it has roughly 40 million more followers. The reason that fantasy basketball comes in third place is probably because of the number of games and the frequency of those games in a season. To be good at fantasy basketball, you need a significant amount of attention – more attention than the average player might want to put in.
- Fantasy Hockey
Fantasy hockey is one of the oldest fantasy sports games; the first known fantasy hockey league was formed in 1976! It has very long-running leads, and in a typical hockey pool, there are hundreds of stats updates every night. It’s a game that suits more obsessive fans of hockey, which is why it is less popular than those games that can be played more casually.