Fantasy Football Definition of "Gamble"

The word "gamble" in fantasy football can have many connotations, but it tends to refer to a questionable personnel move which might pay off big, but could make the fantasy football team owner look a little foolish, if it doesn't work out. When an owner drafts a deep sleeper during a fantasy football draft, he's taking a gamble on a late draft pick. When an owner takes a flyer on a free agent who's had one big week, he's gambling that the player's team will start using him more or that an injury will give that player a chance to score more often.

Gamble on a Trade

Another big gamble someone can take in a fantasy football league is when you make a trade. Most any fantasy football trade involves risk for both teams involved in the trade, so it is a gamble when teams trade. In fact, almost every league has one player who almost never trades, because he doesn't want to get ridiculed when a trade doesn't work out for him. Other owners will take a gamble on a trade only when they believe that trade is clearly in their favor. Still other owners are riverboat gamblers, who love to trade simply for the sake of trading and, though preferring the trade in their favor, will make even swaps of talent for short term benefits or in hopes of stashing a valuable backup or sleeper player. Finally, there are the ff owners who seem clueless when making trades and whose actions go beyond taking a gamble to simply being a fish for a fantasy football shark.

Gamble on a Free Agent

Most free agent moves in fantasy football aren't much of a gamble for a fantasy owner. Usually, the player the owner drops in the add/drop process is someone with little value, either because they have been injured or because they aren't being used much. In this case, picking up a breakout player as a free agent incurs no real risk for the owner. Sometimes, though, an owner will drop a relatively valuable player or an NFL player with real upside because they feel their free agent addition is a better option. The fantasy owner may believe they are taking a gamble on a free agent, because the player they dropped might turn out to be better. Dropping a player to make a waiver claim and seeing that player picked up almost immediately brings a sense of dread to the fantasy football team owner and the question, "What do they know that I don't know?"

Gambling and Fantasy Football

Of course, when you take up league entry fees and pay out a prize to the league winners, fantasy football can be seen as a form of gambling. Keep in mind that the UEGIA Law of 2006 made a gambling exemption for fantasy sports, because fantasy football and other fantasy sports are seen as games of skill and not games of chance. You're gambling on your own skill, not just some random event or roll of the dice you have no control over.

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