Fantasy football doesn’t have to be the most technical activity. In fact there’s an argument to be made that if you spend too much time toying around with fantasy apps, crunching the numbers, and generally over-analyzing, you’re doing it wrong. But that doesn’t mean you should be lazy about it, either. Winning your fantasy league is ultimately about seizing every advantage you can find. And let’s face facts: right now, that might mean embracing some tech that can give you a better handle on professional football and your own league.
With that in mind, we thought it would be fun to suggest some of the best tech and gadgets you can use to gain more insight on pro football, and win that coveted league trophy (or whatever ridiculous championship award your league has come up with!).
We won’t recommend a particular tablet; Amazon, Apple… whatever suits you will work. But a tablet has become an essential for true fantasy football enthusiasts for one main reason: NFL RedZone, anytime, any place.
Of course, you need access to RedZone for this idea to be worthwhile, but this isn’t a massive hurdle. A rundown of streaming options by FanBuzz reveals that there are plenty of different ways to acquire this glorious channel (NFL app, YouTube TV, Sling, etc.). And once you have it, this channel will of course give you access to every Sunday game, prioritizing scoring plays.
Why is this helpful to a fantasy player? Well, for one thing it’s a blast. You want to see when your players are scoring, and with RedZone you’ll enjoy every single fraction of a point. But it’s also legitimately helpful, because it gives you better insight than simply looking at the numbers. For instance, you might have Frank Gore on your bench, see that he scores 14 points one week, and be tempted to start him on the assumption he’s become an effective lead back once again. But if you were watching RedZone, maybe you’d notice that those 14 points came largely from a couple of 1-yard touchdowns, and that he was overall ineffective running the ball.
That’s a simple example, but you get the idea. RedZone helps, and with a proper tablet you can access it whenever, wherever — if you’re traveling on game day, if you’re home but don’t want to monopolize the TV all afternoon, or even if you’re with friends to watch one game but you want to keep your eye on all of them. Again, we won’t recommend a specific option, but Wired’s look at the best tablets available in 2020 pretty much covers your options, from Apple, to Amazon, to Samsung. Honestly, they’re all pretty solid for streaming these days.
Any Alexa Device
As you may have already read here, we’ve got Alexa skills, and we’ll argue that they make for some of the best new additions to your fantasy football routine. What this actually means is that we’ve helped to turn Alexa into an all-knowing fantasy football resource. You can chat with her about games, ask her about statistics or ADP, or even have her open the Let’s Talk Fantasy Football podcast on command. It’s the sort of instantaneous, on-demand fantasy talk we could only have dreamed of a decade ago. Now, it introduces all kinds of fun ways to stay on top of your roster, and league events in general.
Naturally though, to make it work, you need a device that Alexa can work through in your home — and there may be more of them than you realize. Adorama’s list of home electronics features a “smart speakers and voice assistants” section that will give you a good idea of what your options are, though — from Facebook Portal video screens, to certain Sonos options, to actual Amazon devices. You might want to pick one based on what it can do beyond fantasy football, since they’re not cheap. But with any of these options, you can start talking fantasy with Alexa.
Here, we do sort of have to recommend a specific product, because competing smart watches just don’t quite match Apple when it comes to apps. So yes, this is an expensive gadget; yes, it’s largely one you don’t really need if you already have a smartphone. But if you’re looking to gain every possible edge in your fantasy league (and — being honest — you just want to have a little more fun with it), we’d recommend taking a look at the watch.
Why? Well, again, because it has the apps. Lifewire’s list of great sports apps for the Apple watch should give you some idea right off the bat, given that it includes ESPN: Live Sports and Scores, Yahoo Fantasy Football, and theScore. These are three apps that are already go-to sources for up-to-the-minutes stats and updates, and if you have them literally feeding you news from a screen on your wrist you’re going to be that much quicker to process and react to changes in the league. We’ll put it this way: Getting an injury update on your watch, as opposed to your phone, might be the difference between snagging a valuable backup off the waiver wire or missing out.
That wraps up our list. These ideas are ultimately extras, rather than necessities. But for competitive fantasy football players, or those who just like tech anyway, they can be legitimately helpful. And you never know…. One of these ideas might just win you your league.