via press release:
ESPN Fantasy Football Returns to the Digital Gridiron for Its 18th Season
ESPN.com hosts Mock Draft Monday featuring Matthew Berry, Eric Karabell, Christopher Harris, Tristan H. Cockcroft, Stephania Bell and more on July 29
Fantasy Football Now pre-season kick-off shows beginning August 11 at 11 a.m. ET on ESPN2
Seventh annual SportsCenter Fantasy Draft Special to air August 16 at 7 p.m. on ESPN
ESPN Fantasy Football presented by Windows Phone returns for its 18th consecutive season on ESPN platforms, and once again, the game will feature the most comprehensive collection of expert analysis, news, tools and statistical information available – all for free. To kick off the pre-season preparations, ESPN.com will host Mock Draft Monday on July 29 from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. ET. Players will have the unique opportunity to ask questions and practice their draft skills against ESPN’s top fantasy football experts including Matthew Berry, Eric Karabell Christopher Harris, Tristan H. Cockcroft and Stephania Bell along with Robert Flores and others throughout the day. Additionally, fans will be able to interact with ESPN’s experts and analysts via social media.
ESPN Fantasy Football presented by Windows Phone
The newly upgraded ESPN Fantasy Football app for iPhone gives players more access to their fantasy teams on the go than ever before. Live auction and snake drafts, including access to Mock and Live Draft Lobbies, are new to the app this year. Across iPhone, Android and Windows Phone users, the free-to-download app allows players to manage their teams and rosters, follow matchups with FantasyCast live scoring, access news and videos from ESPN Fantasy analysts, view and post messages to league message boards and more. ESPN Insiders also get exclusive access to injury, substitution, trade, and scoring alerts.
Additionally, the ESPN Fantasy Football Commissioner Toolkit returns exclusively for ESPN Fantasy Football leagues, highlighting the role of the commissioner and ways to make the job easier, more fun and social. The toolkit allows commissioners and team managers to share their videos on social media, sync their leagues to Facebook and invite friends to join. Features to this year’s toolkit include:
- League Inviter and Press Conference – commissioners simulate on-air video interviews with SportsCenter host John Anderson, which can be shared via social media.
- The Enforcer – video messages from commissioners to team managers featuring current and former NFL players and personalities accepting or rejecting trades, sending reminders to set their lineups and more.
- Draft Report Cards – commissioners add customized comments and grade results.
- Scheduling Tools – participants can vote on select dates and provide instant feedback on their availability.
A new campaign with the tagline “It’s Good to Be Commissioner” launched with TV spots featuring actor Murphy Guyer as the “Commissioner Commissioner” discussing his daily tasks – police and fantasy football. Fans are able to interact with a social extension of the character via Twitter at @CommishCommish.
And as always, ESPN.com provides multiple tools for the draft including a Fantasy Football Draft Kit that breaks down every player, a Mock Draft Lobby for players to prepare strategies of picks and the option to trade draft picks in leagues with a fixed draft order. During the season, managers can follow ESPN FantasyCast for free live scoring in real-time during fantasy football Sundays, access embedded player information cards and have the ability to add/flag players to better manage the waiver wire throughout the season. Each league also features message boards, chats, polls and smack boards. All features are highlighted by ESPN.com’s fantasy experts with both weekly player projection totals and position ranks. Players can also interact with ESPN Fantasy throughout the season on social platforms via the @ESPNFantasy Twitter page.
ESPN Primetime Payoff presented by Best Buy
ESPN Primetime Payoff – ESPN’s pick ‘em game based on the events of Monday Night Football – returns to ESPN.com and on mobile and tablet devices for the second consecutive year. Every Wednesday during the season, twelve game-related questions will be released for participants to answer for the following week. During halftime, four additional bonus questions – worth two points each – will be released that are directly relevant to what has happened in the game. Fans will be able to interact with the game via social media by submitting halftime questions with Twitter hashtag #primetimepayoff.
Participants gather points throughout the season based on correct picks, which will transfer as entries to the overall grand prize random drawing of $100,000. Additionally, the overall highest scoring player in the game will receive a check for $100,000. The game will also feature a $10,000 prize for entries with the highest points at the end of each week. A total of $400,000 in cash and Best Buy prizes will be awarded throughout the season.
Fans who visit ESPN.com will find the most informative and comprehensive news, analysis and insights in the industry. ESPN has assembled an unmatched roster of writers, analysts and media personalities, including:
- Matthew Berry (a.k.a. “The Talented Mr. Roto”), a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame and Fantasy Sports Trade Association Hall of Fame, will reveal positional rankings on Wednesdays and release his signature “Love/Hate” columns on Thursdays. He will also appear in a variety of video segments.
- Award-winning analyst Christopher Harris will provide comprehensive rankings and game observation-based analysis through his weekly column and digital original series on ESPN.com.
- ESPN.com Fantasy Insider Eric Karabell will blog daily and post his popular weekly Flex Rankings every Thursday.
- Fantasy expert and ESPN.com senior writer Stephania Bell will blog about the latest player injury news and updates from around the league.
Other contributors include FSWA award-winner Tristan H. Cockcroft and ESPN Insider K.C. Joyner. Fans will also find insight from ESPN.com's football experts and analysts, including pro football Hall of Famer John Clayton, national columnists and Insiders and team-by-team coverage from the NFL Nation network.
ESPN will once again bring fans fantasy football insights, information and analysis on its networks, including:
- SportsCenter Fantasy Draft Special: On August 16 at 7 p.m., ESPN will televise its seventh annual "SportsCenter Fantasy Draft Special." The preview special will be highlighted by analysis and debate from a number of ESPN analysts and experts, including Matthew Berry and Tim Hasselbeck.
- Fantasy Football Now: The Emmy Award-winning live Sunday morning program returns to ESPN2 with pre-season shows beginning Sunday, August 11 at 11 a.m. A special live edition leading into the NFL season opener will air Thursday, September 5 at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN, followed by every Sunday at 11 a.m. during the season beginning September 8. SportsCenter’s Robert Flores hosts with lead analyst Matthew Berry, football expert Tim Hasselbeck, injury expert Stephania Bell, SportsCenter’s Sara Walsh and a collection of additional contributors each week, including ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen and weekly reports live on-site at the stadiums.
- NFL Live, SportsCenter, Mike & Mike: ESPN’s signature news, information and analysis programs will feature fantasy football content integration, with additional in-depth attention to fantasy football in late August.
Radio & Podcasts
ESPN Radio will once again bring fans original podcasts dedicated to fantasy football:
- ESPN Radio – Throughout the season, ESPN Radio will devote attention to fantasy football in popular programs like Mike & Mike in the Morning (simulcast on ESPN2).
- ESPN Fantasy Focus Football – Weekdays – approx. 45 minutes – returns to its daily schedule on July 29. Hosted by Matthew Berry and Nate Ravitz, the podcast provides player previews, game overviews and strategies as well as a host of guests and interviews.
- ESPN Fantasy Underground – Twice Weekly – approx. 45 minutes. – resumes the week of July 29 with hosts Christopher Harris and Field Yates break down hidden trends, overrated performances and future stars.