CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - We have reached that time of year when fantasy football is going to eat away the rest of summer and then fall, and some experts are warning it has the potential to ruin your marriage.
For those who are unfamiliar with fantasy football here's a quick explanation.
According to Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FTSA) 41 million people play some sort of fantasy sports league, with football being the overwhelming favorite. In fantasy football each person will draft, or pick, a team of NFL players, usually competing against friends or co-workers. The idea is to draft the best players who will perform well on football Sundays.
Each player you draft has the chance to score points in various ways. For example when your players gain yards, score touchdowns, or make catches the points add up.
At the end of the day you hope your collection of players has outscored your opponents group.
That's the basics, because what ends up taking a lot of time is researching players, watching which players get hurt, who's hot, who's cold, who's playing a game in bad weather meaning they may not score a lot of points.
Money is also involved. In friendly leagues it may cost just a couple of bucks to join, with the winner at the end of the season taking the prize. Some league though cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
Then there are websites like draftkings.com that allow people to enter multiple teams, for multiple dollar amounts and compete against people all over the world. And it's not just football.
Fantasy has now branched from sports like football, baseball and basketball to sports like golf, soccer and even NASCAR.
That's where experts like Tony Cutillo, who is Fantasy Sports Analyst and Real Sports Insider for Phillyinfluencer.com, warn there has to be a line.
"It has become so dominant that it has started to rule everyday life," warned Cutillo. "From missing soccer games or wedding rehearsals because of watching your Fantasy team build up their score, it has taken away from what is really important."
The money and gambling aspect can quickly take a toll.
"A 42-year-old New York City father of two said his life was ripped apart and his marriage destroyed because of his 12-year long addiction to fantasy sports. A near fatal attraction that left his relationship with his young kids in tatters and had him staring at $150,000 in debt," said Cutillo.
There have to be boundaries according to Cutillo. "One of the Golden rules should always be that Fantasy Sports are just games and not real life. They are fun and enjoyable, but should not take precedence over family life. Time constraints are always a good direction."
As a spouse, Cutillo said they should look for red flags.
"When your attention span goes from how was your day to a constant interaction with your fantasy app on your smartphone, the problem has already started to unfold. Furthermore, with the inclusion of daily fantasy leagues, seeing money disappearing from linked bank accounts or credit card statements is never a good sign," he said.
- Cut down on the number of leagues you are involved in.
- Make sure you use your money wisely.
- Don't link up a credit card when using daily fantasy sites.
- Try to use a PAYPAL account that has a limit instead.