SurveyMonkey and Measure Americans’ Excitement for Football Season, Finding Fantasy Players Watch Significantly More Games Each Week Than Non-Players

Draft Day Beats Christmas and Birthday As the Most Anticipated Day of the Year
for Fantasy Players

PALO ALTO, Calif., September 8, 2016 -- SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading online survey platform, in partnership with, today released findings from a recent poll of 1,100 Americans and 900+ fantasy football players that make it clear this is a nation obsessed with football. Draft Day is like their birthday for U.S. fantasy football players with 19% and 20% of respondents naming it as the most anticipated day of the year. However, for fantasy players Draft Day (47%) is THE most anticipated day of the year for fantasy players, beating out Christmas (40%) and their birthdays (8%).

Fantasy football players are obsessive

Calling fantasy players football fans is an understatement. 63% of respondents identified themselves as big fans, and this number balloons to 91% among fantasy players. 61% of fantasy players overall say they’ll be watching multiple games per week (in contrast to 25% of the general population), and among fantasy players, 91% will be watching multiple games per week.

The only day of the year that excites average fantasy football players more than Draft Day (19%) and their birthday (20%) is Christmas (51%). players are even more obsessed, with Draft Day (47%) beating out Christmas (40%) and their birthdays (8%) as the best day of the year.

In addition, 29% of fantasy football players overall say they’ll be tinkering with their lineups for over an hour per week while they are at work, and 23% of players will spend 2 hours during work each week on their fantasy team.

Why do fans play fantasy football? Similar to overall football fans, the main response given was “to socialize with family and friends” (33%). Which makes sense, since 76% say participating in fantasy leagues has brought them closer to family and friends.

They check scores in work meetings, at holiday dinners, and even…

Fantasy players are so invested in their teams that 65% overall admit to checking their scores in the bathroom, with 74% of players doing so. 50% of fantasy players have checked their scores at a holiday dinner, and this number jumps up to 77% among players. And 36% of fantasy players overall have checked in on their team during work meetings, while the percentage again jumps up to 45% for players.

Americans think New England will emerge triumphant this season

Of the AFC teams, New England emerge as the clear favorite to win, but when it comes to the NFC, voters are more divided. Green Bay and Seattle make the top of the list in a virtual tie.

Poll data shows that New England also come out on top as most likely to win the Super Bowl, while last year’s final two, Carolina and Denver, are noticeably absent in the top three. Given that New England is the frontrunner to win, it’s no surprise then that the coach Americans most want to play for is Bill Belichick (17%).

Fans think:

Most likely to win AFC championshipMost likely to win NFC championshipMost likely to win Super Bowl
1. New England (32%)1. Green Bay (18%)1. New England (15%)
2. Denver (15%)2. Seattle (17%)2. Green Bay (11%)
3. Pittsburgh (11%)3. Carolina (12%)3. Seattle (10%)

Though they didn’t make it into the top three teams of their division, there is some small consolation for Dallas: they won the highest vote for the best logo in the league (9%).

Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady: America is Team Manning

Fans think Tom Brady still has another two seasons left (44% of respondents). And what about the answer to one of football’s oldest questions: Brady v. Manning? Fans are decidedly team Manning: 69% say he will have the better legacy.

Americans are a bit more evenly split on another Tom Brady question, however: will he win another Super Bowl? 56% of respondents think he won’t, while 44% are optimistic.

No surprise: Fantasy players think Antonio Brown is most valuable wide receiver

On Draft Day, you can expect the majority of general fantasy football players to pick their quarterbacks first (40%). However, the data shows an interesting difference from the survey of players, who pick running backs first (61%).

So who are fantasy players most eager to draft this year, and who will they be avoiding? While Antonio Brown is expected to be the most valuable wide receiver, fans think Dez Bryant is the most overrated. Here are this season’s most valuable and most overrated players:

Fantasy players think:

Most valuableMost overrated
Wide receiverAntonio Brown (PIT): 36%Dez Bryant (DAL): 23%
Running backAdrian Peterson (MIN): 24%Adrian Peterson (MIN): 15%
Ezekiel Elliot (DAL): 15%
QuarterbackCam Newton (CAR): 28%Tony Romo (DAL): 23%
DefenseDenver: 33%Seattle: 22%

Honorable mention also goes to Ezekiel Elliott, who seems to split voters: Elliott was voted offensive rookie of the year by 35% of respondents, while also being named most overrated running back (15%).

And while the majority (67%) of players remain loyal and root for their favorite team even when their team is matched up against their fantasy players, all bets are off when it comes to Draft Day. 72% say they would draft a player who earns more points over one from their favorite team, and more than half (53%) admit to having drafted a player they hate to have a better chance at winning.

Other key findings can be found here: /mp/measures/sports/surveymonkey-measures-pro-football/

Methods Statement

The 2016 Measures are based on survey responses from two surveys: one included a sample of 1,172 adults in the United States who identified as pro football fans; the second included a sample of
667 adults who identified as fantasy football players. Each survey was administered on the SurveyMonkey platform with respondents from Audience, SurveyMonkey’s online panel. An additional sample of 905 adults who play fantasy football on was collected via All surveys were conducted August 22 - 28.

About SurveyMonkey

SurveyMonkey is the world's leading online survey platform, with more than 3 million survey responses every day. SurveyMonkey has revolutionized the way people give and take feedback, making it accessible, easy and affordable for everyone. The company was founded in 1999 with a focus on helping people make better decisions, and has built technology based on over 15 years of experience in survey methodology and web development. Customers include 99% of the Fortune 500, academic institutions, organizations and neighborhood soccer leagues everywhere. The company has over 600 employees throughout North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific, with headquarters in Palo Alto, CA. For more information, visit

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