The Nine Best Mobile Apps for Fantasy Football Enthusiasts, Ranked
Thursday night marks the opening of the NFL season and fantasy nuts are gearing up with Red Bull, nachos, paid NFL television subscriptions and, you guessed it, technology. While I am not in a fantasy league (I have been a couple times in the past), I do understand the passion for sports, if not necessarily the rooting for the success of one player over another, which feels a lot like cheering for a field goal instead of a touchdown so that you win the office bracket pool, but I digress.
Foster may hate you, but he was still #1 on your draft board this year.
If you are a fantasy nerd, you'll no doubt be all over the Web searching for depth charts, injury reports and Arian Foster Tweets about his hamstring and how much he hates you. Fortunately for you, the world of mobile technology has gotten in on the act with apps for your smartphone to help you track stats and manage your fantasy sports teams from anywhere including dinner with the in-laws, church and staff meetings. While I realize the value of a good draft application, of which there are several, I left them off the list simply because NFL fantasy drafts have come and gone and you need to prepare for week one.
9. NFL.com Fantasy Football
RotoWire makes a solid fantasy news app with some shortcomings.
The NFL launched their first fantasy football app in August to go along with their branded fantasy sports league. Unfortunately, this app isn't actually an app; it's just a set of links to the NFL mobile Web site inside an app. After forcing you through a registration process that requires e-mail confirmation, nothing unique or interesting is provided. This is not worth a download, but it seemed worth mentioning since it is an official NFL joint and, if for no other reason, to point out how bad it is.
8. ESPN Fantasy Football 2011
Like so many things ESPN does these days, this is a solid app, but not spectacular. The 2.0 version has quite a few bugs and it's just a generally lackluster interface. Still, if you have an ESPN fantasy team, this is one very easy way to manage it on the fly.
7. RotoWire Fantasy News Center
RotoWire has distinguished itself as a nearly inexhaustible resource for fantasy sports geeks and its Fantasy News Center, ideally, is a source for minute-by-minute news relating to fantasy sports. I say "ideally" because what sounds good in theory is only average in practice. This is, by all accounts, a news feed app that streams in the latest news from RotoWire, making it quick and easy to scan stories.
However, there are issues. Only the most recent stories show up in the feed, meaning if you missed anything earlier in the day or week, it can't be found here. Likewise for individual stories that are too wordy for the space. There is nothing but an ellipse at the end of the story with no "read more" link. Quick and easy is great unless content is sacrificed in the process, which is too often what happens with this app.
6. ESPN ScoreCenter
The four-letter word in sports got that nickname for good reason. As revolutionary as ESPN was, it has become a symbol of what is wrong with sports in general, namely, too much hype and not enough substance. In many ways, the ScoreCenter app lives up to that reputation. While it does have quality content, the interface is awkward and cumbersome, making liberal use of pop-up windows, which are both annoying and impractical. Still, their play-by-play features and up-to-the-minute scores and stats make it an invaluable tool on the go.
5. Yahoo! Fantasy Sports
If you are a Yahoo! Fantasy Sports subscriber, this is a must-have app that allows you to manage your fantasy team on the go. As per usual with sports coverage, Yahoo! is the cream of the crop and is rated extremely highly by fantasy players. Unfortunately, it is limited to only Yahoo! fantasy subscribers, but there are a LOT of them.