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Smartphone Or Laptop? The Keys To Maximizing The Fantasy Football Experience

Several burning questions have been on the minds of fantasy football players since training camps started in late July. Will Rob Gronkowski play Week 1 for the Patriots? Can Nick Foles continue his magic at quarterback for the Eagles? Should I stash Josh Gordon on IR in my keeper league and hope he returns with a vengeance in 2015?

We’ve all seen the proverbial fantasy football geek at our live drafts, complete with his two laptops, extra monitor, and three or four notebooks filled with projections on obscure, super sleeper fifth stringers like Naaman Roosevelt and Isaiah Crowell. The nerd set-up looks great and will potentially help you find those diamonds-in-the-rough who will lead you to late-season victories. But your smartphone can function as a one-stop shop for everything you need for fantasy success.

NFL Mobile

Samsung Galaxy S5

The NFL Sunday Ticket from DirecTV is expensive. In fact, it becomes a worse and worse investment every Sunday you are not glued in front of the television switching the channel back-and-forth between games. All of that changed this summer for some players.

The NFL introduced NFL Sunday Ticket in July. It allows complete access to all out-of-market NFL games via your smartphone, without owning a dish. You can even access the Red Zone channel and track specific players throughout the day. This package, which costs less than $200 with an available student discount, is perfect for those with large screen smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S5.

If this NFL mobile package sounds too good to be true, that’s because there are several caveats. It’s only available to those who live in apartment buildings that do not allow a dish in New York City, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. It’s also available to those attending various universities, i.e. Michigan, Texas, Colorado, USC, etc.

Mobile Apps For Research

ESPN Fantasy Football App for Android – this is what I used for fantasy football this year

Most fantasy football drafts take place sometime between mid-August and Labor Day. That is the period most fantasy owners far exceed the average nine hours per week spent on managing their teams, according to data compiled by the Fantasy Sports Trade Association. But just about every major fantasy research and news website has a mobile app that makes them easily accessible from your smartphone.

Rotoworld, one of the more popular fantasy football news sites, has a great mobile app that functions very much like the desktop version. Rotowire, a paid fantasy news and research service, also has a mobile app available for iOS and Android devices. All of the common league platforms, including ESPN, CBS, Yahoo, and, have mobile apps for you to manage your team completely on the go.

League apps also allow you to discreetly track your scores live during Sunday morning mass or when you have to work a few extra hours on Monday night.

Online Draft: The Exception

The one area mobile is probably not the best option is if you participate in a league with a live online draft. The live draft room for fantasy leagues requires a lot of scrolling through screens before you arrive at a player you want to select. One false jolt from your finger on the touch screen can lead to fatal mistakes like accidentally drafting Sam Bradford in Round 1 over Peyton.

A mouse and separate screen are simply safer and more effective for online drafting. It also allows you to toggle between tabs faster and more efficiently, which is important when you have only one or two minutes to make each selection.

Your fantasy football success will be determined by your draft, lineup decisions during the year, and of course luck. But the experience should always be enjoyable whether you’re a playoff contender or the league doormat.

However I was quite surprised by how far the mobile apps have come, so I recently went to my first fantasy football get together with some friends from high school (pretty much the inspiration for this post) and I am not a big sports fan, not going to lie, but it was pretty fun. So I’ve never played fantasy football or anything so I didn’t know what to expect, I show up and they are like “Where is your laptop?” and I was like “Oh, I didn’t know I needed one” – they show me the web interface, they were using ESPN’s fantasy football so I was like “Oh, I’ll just use my phone.”. So I whip out my phone (Google’s Nexus 5) and venture to the url in my chrome browser, doesn’t seem to be working – seems like only the desktop has that functionality, whatever. So I go to the app store and sure enough found ESPN’s fantasy football app for android (which I mentioned above) and downloaded it – worked perfectly. Fast and smooth, fully featured (except for a few things but it wasn’t a big deal).

I was able to bid on players in the draft in real time with my friends and was even able to chat with them via the mobile app even though they were using desktops. It was a good time :). My fantasy football team is apparently doing well also haha, must be beginners luck. If you are a sports fan and need a new laptop to do all of this stuff on, might as well just pick up a smartphone unless you plan on doing more intensive work applications or something a smartphone can’t do – but I’ve been really pleased with my Nexus 5 it seems capable of pretty much anything – it definitely saved my fantasy football dreams ;).

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