Female fan base growing in fantasy football

By Kaitlyn Shemenski - Producer
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HOUSTON - We are just a few weeks away from a new season of fantasy football. Last year, more than 30 million fans joined a fantasy league. A growing number of those players are women. Local 2's Chester Pitts recently teamed up with Texans quarterback Case Keenum, giving hundreds of ladies the inside scoop on how to win some serious cash at the Battle Red Ladies 101 event, put on by the Houston Texans.

Well over 40 percent of the NFL fan base is women, and more teams are donning names like The Cute Case Keenums instead of The Bone Crushers.

"We play with a big group of friends, and we all played for money. I come to win, so I wanted to win some money and to see Case Keenum," joked fantasy football fan Melyssa Andrews.

"I have six grandsons who are dying for me to learn how to do it," fantasy football fan Sue Bee Foy said.

Fan Nickea Bradley said part of the fun was enjoying the sport with the guys.

"We know just as much about football and really enjoy it," she said. "Not just watching it and kind of know a couple of things, but we really enjoy it and like playing along with them too."

Keenum was surprised at all the interest from female fans.

"I didn't know it was that popular, honestly, with ladies," he said. "I'm glad, it gets them knowing about football. And it's impressive."

If you want to get involved, a simple search of the Internet is all it takes to find a free league. Once you're in, it starts with a draft -- fans select 16 players and the team is ready to play.

Keep in mind, the only positions in fantasy football are quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, defense and special teams and kickers.

Pitts offered up a free tip -- if Peyton Manning is on the board, go ahead and draft him.

Erin Skelley is an expert in fantasy football. She shared her expertise with the crowd.

"I'm a subscriber to Sunday Ticket, I get all the magazines, I pore over stats every year," Skelley said. "And for a lot of women it sounds daunting, they don't know all the players in the league, but this is a great way to get to know football."

"I honestly think it's just the competitive nature in women. They want to win and they don't want the guys to win, so they're going to play just to beat them," Andrews said.

If you're planning on playing this year, you only have a few more weeks to sign up. The NFL fantasy football site will help you get started.

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