Well folks, it’s that time of year again. We are five Sundays deep and the NFL season is officially upon us with its highly anticipated imaginary friend… Fantasy Football.

202 million viewers in 2014 tuned in on Sunday nights to watch their favourite teams go head to head on the astroturf. Of this number, 56.8 million people are participating in the fantasy aspect of the sport.

Fantasy sports are a multibillion dollar online industry, with professional football being at the epicenter of it all. A whopping 30% of fantasy sports players here in Canada are within the millennial age grouping, showing us the effect of the industry’s reach to its target market on their preferred medium for media consumption (the internet).

Whether you’re already leading the league in points, or are new to the fantasy world, we’ve compiled this list of the top 10 fantasy football influencers to give you insight on players, educated league projections and updates, along with all things NFL.

Ranging from columnists to sportscasters, these analytical football juggernauts are all about collecting data on players and reporting stats for each game. As we head into week six of the season, these influencers will help you determine whether your team will be making it into the fantasy postseason, or not.

10) Jonathan Bales @BalesFootball

Jonathan Bales is a wizard of fantasy sports, having written 14 books on fantasy sports, including the Fantasy Sports for Smart People book series. He has been featured by the New York Times, NBC, ABC and more, providing his expertise and insight on fantasy league sports. As the founder of RotoAcademy, a fantasy football app that sends out a monthly newsletter containing written and video fantasy football lessons, Jonathan practices his passion on the daily, making a successful career of the fantasy sports industry. In addition to his app, he is the co-founder of Fantasy Labs, which offers tools for daily fantasy sports players that track trends and player performance. Bales was also a finalist for the FSWA’s Fantasy Football Series of the Year award.

9) Liz Loza @LizLoza_FF

Who said women can’t talk football? Liz got her start in fantasy football by competing in her boyfriend’s fantasy football league and consecutively taking home first place for two seasons (remind anyone of The League?). Shortly after, she noticed that not many women were into fantasy sports, and therein, her blog “The Fantasy Football Girl” was born. Now, with over 11 thousand twitter followers and having become one of the biggest female influencers in the fantasy football industry, Liz writes for Yahoo Fantasy. With her spirited wit and expertise, she also co-hosts the X’s & Y’s Podcast, a show that offers an unfiltered, often outrageous take on the NFL. Oh, and she’s a Bears fan!

8) Adam Levitan @adamlevitan

When Adam isn’t writing for Fantasy Labs, or contributing to RotoGrinder, he is the co-host for The Daily Fantasy Football Edge podcast. Adding to the list of accolades, Levitan has successfully earned the Fantasy Sports Writers Association award for Best Series, not once, but twice, along with ESPN’s overall fantasy football title in 2000.

7) Matt Williamson @WilliamsonNFL

Prior to beginning work with ESPN 8 years ago, Matt was a scout for the Cleveland Browns, the Director of Football Operations at the University of Akron, and the Assistant Recruiting Coordinator at the University of Pittsburgh. It’s obvious that this guy breaths football. Currently, Matt provides his audience with a more reporter-style tone, offering advice based on his coverage of the NFL. Since starting his career at ESPN, Williamson has put in effort to engage with his football audience both real and fantasy, by hosting chats, publishing a weekly column, and speaking on his Podcast to name a few.

6) Doug Farrar @SI_DougFarrar

As a former contributor to the Seattle Times, the Washington Post, the New York Sun, FOX Sports, ESPN.com, and ESPN The Magazine, Farrar currently devotes his time writing about the NFL for Sports Illustrated. If there is one thing Doug likes nearly as much as football, it’s sharing his football knowledge to the masses via his Twitter account as well as in his published writings. Farrar provides in-depth insight on league projections as well as game reviews and more.

5) Elliot Harrison @HarrisonNFL

Elliot Harrison has been “on-air” covering football for more than 10 seasons. As a NFL Media analyst, he has appeared on numerous televised programs, including the NFL Network’s “NFL Total Access” and “NFL AM,” and has regularly contributed to “Fantasy Live” and “NFL Now”. This veteran understands the ins and outs of the world of football, and freely shares his insights and opinions to those “fantasy fanatics” seeking credible advice!

4) Mike Clay @MikeClayNFL

Mike, Director and Managing Editor of Pro Football Focus Fantasy, is a total numbers guy. As the creator of the average depth of target (aDOT) and opportunity-adjusted touchdowns (OTD) measurements (along with several other advanced football statistics), Clay has managed to integrate a statistical science into the fantasy football industry. He was also recently featured in electronic form as a Virtual Analyst in EA Sports’ Madden 25 and Madden 15 video games. Most notably, he sits on the Hall of Fame voting committee.

3) Adam Rank @adamrank

Adam Rank is NFL Media’s “NFL Fantasy LIVE” host. He also has his hand in the “Dave Dameshek Football Program” podcast. Having an interest in football from a young age, while adding a comedic tone to his rants, this NFL funny man has been blowing our minds with his savvy football knowledge for some time. You may also be able to catch him performing at The Improv doing stand-up comedy on a lucky day (that isn’t NFL Sunday of course).

2) Evan Silva @evansilva

Senior NFL Editor for Rotoworld, Evan Silva also writes for NBCSports.com and ProFootballTalk. He offers his listeners a lot of analytical projections and forecasts when it comes to fantasy football. He is dedicated in keeping his prediction inaccuracies to a minimum, which are far and few between.

1) Matthew Berry @MatthewBerryTMR

Matthew Berry is one of the original pioneers of fantasy football. As the popularity for fantasy sports began to rise, Berry’s “TalentedMr.Roto.com” started gaining traction in the early 2000s. With more awards and achievements than one can count, Berry’s most prized accomplishment has likely been becoming a New York Times Best Selling author for his book “Fantasy Life”.

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#NFL #FantasyFootball #SundayNight #Football #FSTA #TopTen #DFS #roto

Who would you add to the list? What are your Super Bowl predictions?