The nation's more than 22 million employed fantasy football players may cost their employers $6.5 billion this fantasy football season while they tweak lineups, scour injury reports and plan their bye week blues strategies, but experts say bosses shouldn't fret.
"Before fantasy football players around the country launch a letter-writing campaign lambasting our numbers, it is important to realize that even if this figure was verifiable and accurate, it would not even register as a blip on the economic radar," John Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said in a news release.
The firm came up with the figure by estimating that each fantasy football manager would spend one hour during work every week on their teams (or crafting a really awesome trash-talking post) during a 15-week season.
"Employers will not see any impact on their bottom line and, for the most part, business will proceed as usual," Challenger continued. "However, even if the economic impact is faint, it is important to acknowledge fantasy football's overall impact as a societal and workplace phenomenon. Companies that embrace the growing popularity of this activity could actually see a positive impact, particularly in terms of employee sentiment and loyalty. Those that try to squash employees' use of time and the company Internet for fantasy football could see consequences far worse than a few distracted workers."
Of course there are always those players who take it to the extreme and would rival any character from FX Network's "The League" for football obsession. But there are also the slackers -- the league no-shows whom everyone else complains about but secretly likes playing because at least it's a guaranteed win. So it all balances out.
Roughly 24.3 million Americans play fantasy football, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.