While the professional athletes take to the field during football season, many fans are taking to the web to support their sport by playing along in a fantasy football league.

“It keeps me interested in football,” sophomore Matt Bell said. “It keeps me up to date on not just my favorite team, the Vikings, but I kind of have to be knowledgeable on every team and every player that I see in the games.”

Bell, who was involved in fantasy football throughout high school, continues to play with his high school friends across the country.

Fantasy football is an interactive online competition where members arrange their own professional teams made up of NFL players. Members of the fantasy football leagues draft players from a variety of professional teams and earn points based on the players’ performance.

“It’s kind of cool because it’s just a way to basically rearrange the league,” Bell said. “It’s almost like a potpourri of the NFL.”

Each week, members are paired up for head-to-head competitions against another member of their fantasy football league. Whoever earns the most points in the head-to-head competition wins the fantasy game that week.

“It seems really stupid on face, but it makes watching [football] way more fun,” freshman Sam Williams said. “It gives you some stake, however stupid and fake it is, into the games.”

Additionally, fantasy football allows for fans of any team to come together and enjoy the sport. The Elmen Center started a staff fantasy football league three years ago, and this year expanded into two teams.

“We were just looking for a way to connect,” senior Elmen staff member JT Garred said

According to Garred, the hardest part about fantasy football is the unpredictability.

“It’s so varied from week to week,” he said. “Anybody can have a big game. The challenge is trying to predict who those people will be and put them in your starting lineup.”

Fantasy football also provides a way for fans to learn more about the game and current NFL players.

“When I first started to play fantasy football, I had no understanding of football at all,” Bell said. “And I really started to pay attention to the dynamics of football, what makes an individual player succeed … I understand football a lot more because of it.”