As with all market trades, there are economic consequences to fantasy play. Last year, there were about 24 million fantasy leaguers in the United States. (There are about 33 million players this year, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.) The employment firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas estimated that the pastime cost $6.5 billion in lost workplace revenue in 2012 if employees spent one hour each week managing their teams. Meanwhile, the firm noted the game could help workplace morale – not to mention the added bonus of on-the-job training for portfolio management firms.
With all those considerations, the bottom line is that success in the fantasy football world is arguably more akin to investing acumen than being able to hack it in the NFL. But don't tell your teenager who is hunched down quarterbacking a team online that he's honing some investing skills. That really will take all of the fun out it.