A couple weeks ago, I was asked if I’d like to chat with NASCAR driver Ty Dillon, and pick his brain about Fantasy Football, since he loves our hobby so much.
We know Fantasy Football is more popular than ever, and getting a chance to hear the viewpoints of a pro racer on NASCAR’s Xfinity Series sounded like a lot of fun.
Dillon is deeply involved in NASCAR, with family members that have been racing for generations, including his brother, Sprint Cup Series driver Austin Dillon, his father, former NASCAR driver Mike Dillon, and his grandfather, car owner Richard Childress.
This is like the NASCAR versions of the NFL’s Mannings and Mathews families!
So I asked him a handful of questions about Fantasy Football, his interest, his counterparts’ interest and about how he might change the hobby.
How prolific is Fantasy Sports among professional athletes? Obviously, Fantasy Football’s the most popular, but do they play all sorts of Fantasy Sports, and how seriously do they take them?
There definitely are a lot of Fantasy players among professional athletes. In the NASCAR world, I know along with myself and Austin [Dillon], Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Denny Hamlin are big Fantasy players.
I was in a league last season with some other drivers and Matthew Berry from ESPN Fantasy Sports to benefit the V Foundation.
Speaking for myself and Austin, we take Fantasy Sports very seriously because of the competitiveness amongst our group of friends. It’s another thing to smack talk about in the garage or during our down time.
What first got you interested in Fantasy Football?
Fantasy Sports came pretty natural, like I’m sure it does for a lot of people. If you’re a big sports fan, it’s hard not to be interested in Fantasy Sports.
We started a league several years ago that has grown into a pretty competitive group of fantasy players today, including my parents, Austin, some guys from the race shop – it’s a ton of fun because we’re always looking to “one-up” one another.
Our Fantasy drafts are a day-long event and any Sunday afternoon we are not racing, we’re usually at my brother’s barn watching football on the big screen with our laptops out.
If there’s something you could change about Fantasy Football, what would it be?
I don’t think I would change anything in particular, but it is pretty difficult to strategize when you’re in several different leagues with several different scoring systems.
It makes it challenging when it comes to drafts, re-drafts and managing the waiver wire when you’re dealing with different scoring systems – point per reception, non-PPR, big-play bonuses, negative points, etc.
I’m even in a league which requires you to start a defensive player, so I’ve been paying attention to top Fantasy scorers on the defensive side of the ball, too.
What would the first round look like if we drafted now, after Week 5?
- Devonta Freeman
- Julio Jones
- Andy Dalton
- DeAndre Hopkins
- James Jones
- Rob Gronkowski
- AJ Green
- Matt Forte
- Antonio Brown
- Travis Benjamin
- Blake Bortles
- Doug Martin
- Larry Fitzgerald
- Allen Robinson
- Tyler Eifert
- Adrian Peterson
Ty Dillon drives the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/WESCO/Yuengling Light Lager Chevy for Richard Childress Racing. He spends his much of his free time outdoors – mountain biking, hunting, fishing or hiking. Ty is an avid sports fan, rooting for the Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Braves and Charlotte Hornets.
Dillon’s also in several fantasy leagues, including one with his brother Austin, and other members of Richard Childress Racing.
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