SF 49ers: 43 percent of fans like fantasy football more than games

San Francisco 49ers fans (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
San Francisco 49ers fans (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /

It might be hard to believe, but nearly half of SF 49ers fans prefer fantasy football over actual Niners games.

This, according to a 2021 study of over 1,110 NFL fans from every fanbase across the league performed by Bookies.com.

Now, this doesn’t mean those same fans disliked those games. Rather, if anything, the big takeaway might be fans are simply enjoying their fantasy football interactions more than they otherwise would if they were solely paying attention to what was going on during game day.

Still, it might seem rough enough that nearly half of San Francisco’s fanbase prefers fantasy to the actual team. But the study reveals there are plenty of other franchises out there whose fanbases are far more connected to fantasy football.

These particular fanbases were polled at being well above 50 percent preference to fantasy:

  • Arizona Cardinals: 57 percent
  • Atlanta Falcons: 53 percent
  • Baltimore Ravens: 50 percent
  • Buffalo Bills: 52 percent
  • Green Bay Packers: 51 percent
  • Houston Texans: 60 percent
  • Indianapolis Colts: 52 percent
  • LA Chargers: 57 percent

There are some historically loyal fanbases mixed in there, so any notion of the SF 49ers boasting a fair-weather fanbase should be dismissed.

Yet the studies do show an interesting trend away from the team-first mentality generations of fans have had over the years towards more individual aspects such as star players and top fantasy football performers.

The data backs this, too. A total of 87 percent of those polled said playing fantasy football made game days more enjoyable. There’s also the understood tendencies of getting to know other players on teams’ rosters who otherwise may have slipped under the radar.

Preferring a fantasy football championship win over an SF 49ers Super Bowl win?

Now this seems crazy.

Thankfully, there isn’t a huge number of those polled fans who’d rather win their fantasy football leagues instead of their favorite teams winning a Super Bowl. But still, there’s a sizable amount.

Per the study, nearly a quarter of fans polled (23 percent) would rather come away with a fantasy trophy instead of watching a favorite team win the Lombardi Trophy.


The only way that makes sense could be what’s been a gradual transition away from fanbases sticking solely with their favorite teams as “ride or die” fans and trending towards becoming fans of individual players regardless of where they’re playing. If that’s the case, caring less about a team and more about players makes some sense.

But still.

Next. Top 5 individual fantasy football seasons in 49ers history. dark

At any rate, most can probably agree fantasy football enhances the overall experience and can help make even the worst SF 49ers season, or any other team for that matter, a bit more enjoyable.

Especially if you win your league.

For the complete report from Bookies.com, click here.