Why is Fantasy Football So Much More Popular Than Fantasy Baseball?

According to our good friend Google: An estimated 60 million people in North America play fantasy sports, and the entire industry is worth about $7.2 billion, according to Statista. About 40 million people alone play fantasy football, by far the most popular fantasy sport.

40 million people play fantasy football! Far from a cottage industry.

In fact, some studies have been done that fantasy sports may be sabotaging your brain. And I didn’t bother reading it, because, I know that its true.

Ok, I’ll read you an excerpt.

“Say you’re at the store and you’re trying to decide between three pairs of shoes. By the end of the day, you will like the ones that you bought 60% more. We do the same thing with our fantasy players – and that influences all kinds of decisions,” said Miller.

That actually makes a lot of sense.

According to the fantasy sports and gaming association:

81% of fantasy players are males. 67% have full time jobs. And here’s how the stats break down for sports:

  • 78% of fantasy participants play fantasy football.
  • 39% play fantasy baseball
  • 19% play fantasy basketball (NBA)
  • 18% play fantasy hockey (NHL)
  • 14% play fantasy soccer
  • 13% play fantasy golf
  • 11% play fantasy esports
  • 5% participate in fantasy Bachelor

That means the gap between people who play fantasy football and fantasy baseball is bigger than the gap for people who play fantasy baseball vs fantasy bachelor.

That is insane. It shouldn’t work like that, but it does.


My theory is simple…ready…the NFL is more popular. Man, that was tough.

But if we’re going to go deeper than that, I think its just the way these leagues are set up. Simplicity is key and the NBA/MLB schedules are so clunky and complicated, between actives/inactives, DL’s in MLB (err IL’s), players resting in the NBA, back to backs, double-headers. You need a degree in roster management to effectively run a fantasy baseball or basketball squad. Conversely, to play fantasy bachelor…is a lot more like playing fantasy football. Pick a winner, hope they do well. The end. Worry about the rest a week later.

You can complicate fantasy football if you want to with waivers dynasty, keeper leagues, decimal scoring (puke), but it can be very simple. Ridiculously simple.

I’m not sure how you fix that, but that’s my theory nonetheless.

It’s the Michael Scott method K.I.S.S. Keep it simple stupid.

Milwaukee Brewers v San Diego Padres

photo: getty images

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