For many football diehards, the countdown to the start of the next NFL season starts the minute the Super Bowl ends. As September arrives, football fanatics are hard at work researching their favorite players and creating fantasy leagues for the upcoming season. Fantasy footballers know it’s more than just a game — it’s the ultimate head-to-head challenge to determine who knows their favorite sport the best. So which states are most likely to earn their coveted bragging rights, and which are trending toward completing the loser punishment? The team at Shane Co. conducted a survey to find out.
The Best NFL Fanbases at Fantasy Football
Sometimes it pays to win in fantasy football leagues. While many fantasy leagues require players to pay an entry fee or a buy-in before the kickoff game, that money is usually pooled together at the end of the season for prizes and other celebratory goodies. However, when it comes to winning, some NFL fandoms do it better than others.
Out of all the football fandoms, Arizona Cardinals fans were more likely to get a return on their fantasy football investments. Cardinals fans are the best at fantasy football with an average league finish between third and fourth place, with fans of the Los Angeles Chargers coming in a close second.
Paying more to enter a league doesn’t necessarily mean you have a better chance at winning, and fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Jacksonville Jaguars are likely to agree. Fans of both these Florida teams admitted to paying buy-ins between $50 and $75 to enter their fantasy leagues of choice.
Finally, the Baltimore Ravens are the worst, with an average finish closer to sixth or seventh place. Interestingly enough, the Ravens were established as an expansion team in 1996 following an attempted (and controversial) relocation of the Cleveland Browns. While the Ravens may have avoided a stretch of poor performance spanning the same length as their Cleveland counterparts, perhaps the bad luck found its way to the fandom’s fantasy footballers instead?
Fantasy Football Obsession in the U.S.
Everyone gets into fantasy football in their own unique way. Some participants might be casual players, while others are superfans that will go to great lengths to compete for their title. There are even some fantasy footballers who would give up watching their favorite team play to keep track of how their fantasy players are performing.
Football fans across the U.S. were willing to give up a lot to obtain victory in their fantasy leagues. Over 20% of fantasy football players would be willing to give up watching their favorite team play to keep closer tabs on their fantasy players. Almost 25% of participants said they would even give up alcohol for a year if it meant bringing home the gold for their league. Talk about a dry Super Bowl party!
For some fantasy diehards, risking getting into trouble at work was worth it to monitor their fantasy football league stats. A whopping 70% of participants admitted to checking in on their fantasy football teams during office hours. You might want to keep an eye on your office’s Kansas City Chiefs fans, as 89% of them said they were likely to check on their fantasy league during work.
At home, Washington Commanders fans admitted more than any other fanbase to annoying their significant others with their fantasy football obsessions. Thankfully, Valentine’s Day comes shortly after the Super Bowl — just in time for Washington football fanatics to make up for their mistakes.
In the jungle, lions are dedicated to their pride, meaning they possess a lifelong loyalty to their family — the same goes for Detroit Lions fans. When it came down to it, 100% of Detroit fans surveyed said they would rather watch the Lions play than channel-hop to follow their fantasy football players. The same could not be said for fans of the New York Giants, 46% of which would prefer to see their fantasy football players shine before they go to a Giants game.
The Most Fantasy Football-Obsessed States
To round out our study on fantasy football success, we took a look at the relative search popularity of fantasy football-related keywords using Google Trends to determine the states that are the most fantasy football-obsessed.
Minnesota, home of the Vikings, is the most fantasy football-obsessed state, with a search interest score of a perfect 100 out of 100. The North Star State out-searched all the others for topics such as fantasy football media outlets, personalities, and player rankings. Minnesota’s neighbor, Wisconsin (home of the Green Bay Packers), came in a close second in terms of fantasy football obsession with a search interest score of 88.7 out of 100.
It doesn’t look like that amount of research has helped residents in the state too much, since both local teams, the Vikings and the Packers, are both outside of the top 10 fanbases at fantasy football, according to our survey.
The two Northern states are far and away the most fantasy football-obsessed, considering the third most obsessed state, Massachusetts, has a search interest score of just 65.5 out of 100 when it comes to fantasy football topics.
One interesting regional trend we noticed is that fantasy football seems to be more important to states in the Northeast than in the South. This could be due to the popularity of college football in that region, thanks to the success of collegiate football programs such as the Alabama Crimson Tide, Georgia Bulldogs, and LSU Tigers.
Specifically, Alabama seems to not care too much about fantasy football, as they had one of the lowest interests in fantasy football with a score of just 3.2 out of 100. Given the Alabama Crimson Tide’s recent success, it’s no wonder why.
To take a deeper look at fantasy football obsession in the U.S., we surveyed 2,200 fantasy football players over four weeks between June and July 2022. We asked respondents questions about how they fared in their most successful fantasy football league last year, if they put any amount of money into the fantasy league, and how important winning the title is to them.
We broke the answers down by NFL team of choice to give us an idea of the best and worst fanbases at fantasy football. We also got some team-specific insights into how far people would go to ensure they take home the championship this season.
The NFL season is here, meaning it’s time to crunch the numbers and check out player statistics. Every successful fantasy footballer knows that if you want to win it, you have to have the game down to a science. Whether you’ve been roped into your office fantasy football league for the first time or you’re competing for bragging rights among your buddies, it’s one of the best forms of friendly competition you can participate in. How did your state and fandom fare against other formidable fantasy football leagues?
What do football fans and Shane Co. customers have in common? A love for rings, of course! Shane Co. might not sell Super Bowl championship rings, but our selection of wedding bands will make you feel like you’ve won first place.
Psst: If you are looking for a way to apologize to your partner for being absent during football season, we’re here for you (we’re looking at you, Washington).