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ESPN Fantasy Football Returns Bigger and Better Than Ever for 19th Season

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ESPN Fantasy Football kicks off a new season with a full array of content and features for mobile, television, online, audio and more. Includes a brand new version of the ESPN Fantasy Football App; the return of ESPN.com’s Mock Draft Mondays starting August 4; Fantasy Football Now pre-season kick-off shows beginning August 10 at 11 a.m. ET on ESPN2; and the eighth annual SportsCenter Fantasy Draft Special to air August 12 at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN.

ESPN Fantasy Footballthe industry’s most popular fantasy football game, returns for its 19th season across ESPN platforms. The game is free for all fans and is accompanied by the most comprehensive collection of expert analysis, news, tools and statistical information in fantasy sports. Exclusive content available to ESPN Insiders includes Insider Recommends, Roster Advisor, Custom Value Generator, and Insider expert analysis from Eric Karabell, KC Joyner, Tim Hasselbeck and Matt Williamson, as well as Football Outsiders and Pro Football Focus.

The newly designed ESPN Fantasy Football app, with more than 11 million downloads to date, gives fantasy players on the go unprecedented access to their fantasy teams, including alerts regarding scores, trades and news; live auction and snake drafts; and access to Mock and Live Draft Lobbies.  Across iPhone, Android and Windows Phone devices, the free-to-download app allows players to create leagues, manage teams and rosters, draft teams, participate in mock drafts, 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.

Kicking off pre-season preparations for fantasy players, ESPN.com will host Mock Draft Mondays beginning on August 4 from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. ET and continuing every Monday in August.  Players will have the unique opportunity to ask questions and practice draft strategies against ESPN fantasy football analysts including Matthew Berry, Eric Karabell, Christopher Harris and Tristan H. Cockcroft, along with injury analyst Stephania Bell, SportsCenter’s Robert Flores and others, throughout each day. Also, fans will be able to interact with ESPN’s experts and analysts via social media.

Additionally, the ESPN Fantasy Football Commissioner Toolkit returns to ESPN Fantasy Football leagues, highlighting the role of the commissioner and tools 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 of 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.

ESPN.com provides multiple tools for the draft including a Fantasy Football Draft Kit, which breaks down more than 500 players, and a Mock Draft Lobby to help fantasy players prepare draft strategies. 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. Players can also interact with ESPN Fantasy throughout the season on social platforms via the @ESPNFantasy Twitter page and the ESPN Fantasy Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/ESPNfantasy.

ESPN.com

Fantasy players who visit ESPN.com will find an unmatched depth and breadth of news, analysis and insights on fantasy football. Once again, ESPN has brought together the best roster of writers, analysts and media personalities in the industry, 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 highly popular positional rankings on Tuesdays 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 injury analyst and ESPN.com senior writer Stephania Bell will blog about the latest player injury news and updates from around the league.
  • Fantasy Underground Film Room features ESPN analysts breaking down key NFL plays for fantasy insights and analysis.

Other contributors include FSWA award-winner Tristan H. Cockcroft and ESPN Insider KC 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, as well as team-by-team coverage from the NFL Nation network.

Television

ESPN will provide fantasy players with more fantasy football insights, information and analysis on its television networks for the 2014 season, including:

  • SportsCenter Fantasy Draft Special:  Tuesday, August 12, from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET on ESPN, the show will feature analysis and debate from ESPN analysts and experts, including Matthew Berry, Tim Hasselbeck and others.
  • Fantasy Football Now:  The Emmy Award-winning live Sunday morning program returns to ESPN2, ESPNews and WatchESPN, with five pre-season shows beginning Sunday, August 10, at 11 a.m. ET, including a special live edition on Saturday, August 23, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. ET on ESPN2 from The Wide World of Sports complex at Disney World in Orlando.  The show will be shot in front of a live audience at the inaugural “ESPN Fantasy Football Convention at Walt Disney World,” featuring Fantasy Football Now regulars Robert Flores, Sara Walsh, Matthew Berry, Tim Hasselbeck, and Stephania Bell, along with ESPN NFL Insiders Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen. Fantasy Football Now will also air a special live show on Thursday, September 4, at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN, leading into the Packers-Seahawks NFL season opener. Fantasy Football Now will air every Sunday at 11 a.m. ET during the season beginning September 7.
  • 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 August.

ESPN The Magazine

The Magazine’s 2014 Fantasy Football Guide is currently on newsstands and full of information and insight for every fantasy football player including:

  • Matthew Berry’s essay on the seven habits of highly successful drafters, which provides advice on why fans should never go into a draft with absolutes in mind, and why nailing the first two rounds is crucial.
  • In depth analysis and projections for more than 500 players – from Peyton Manning to Nate Freese.
  • Insight on outdated conventional wisdoms. The Mag played “myth buster” on various unwise theories such as: Cold weather is a fantasy killer, game start times don’t matter and drafting a running back in the first round is a thing of the past.
  • Rookie rankings by NFL draft guru Mel Kiper, Jr., including his top-10 impact rookies and 10 sleeper picks.
  • Christopher Harris’ comprehensive Sleepers and Busts lists, which help fantasy players find hidden values and avoid land mines in every round.
  • The team previews section, in which Pro Football Focus tells fans of each team how to draft with their head, not their heart.

Audio

ESPN Audio will once again bring fans original programming and content dedicated to fantasy football throughout the season:

  • ESPN Radio – Throughout the season, ESPN Radio will devote attention to fantasy football in popular programs like the daily Mike & Mike simulcast on ESPN2.
  • Fantasy Focus – A new weekly show on ESPN Radio debuts Sunday, September 7, and airs Sundays at 1 p.m. – 7 p.m. ET.
  • ESPN Fantasy Focus Football – Weekdays – approx. 45 minutes – the popular podcast returns to its daily schedule Monday, August 4.  Hosted by Matthew Berry and Nate Ravitz, Fantasy Focus provides player previews, game overviews and strategies as well as a host of guests and interviews.
  • 9th Annual Fantasy Draft Convention – ESPN Chicago will host the event at “The Venue” at Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Ind., on Saturday, August 16, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET, with ESPN NFL and Fantasy Football analysts onsite, hosted by Stephania Bell, John Clayton and Jeff Dickerson.

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