Football season is in full swing, and millions of Americans are cashing in on the sport through fantasy football leagues. Now, insurance companies are offering protection when a player is lost due to an injury. YNN's Carly Swanson reports.
NATIONWIDE -- During football season, it is common to find fantasy football players plugged into the mobile devices and computers to follow their team.
"You know what, we used to be fantasy football geeks. People would pick on you. So it's fantasy, not that big of a deal," said David Requay, a fantasy football player. "But it's become so mainstream now, everyone has a team, so we are a little bit cooler than we used to be."
Fantasy sports has become such a bandwagon, that insurance companies are catching on. Some leagues provide insurance to protect fantasy owners when it comes to losing players to an injury.
"People are going in and basically putting in a house payment down to play fantasy sports. So in that scenario, it just makes a lot of sense to do whatever you can to cover yourself because some of the time it's a pretty big expenditure," said Ray Flowers, SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio host.
The Fantasy Sports Trad Association estimates 32 million American play fantasy sports. In addition, they are spending about $467, resulting in about $11 billion spent on fantasy football.
With so much money at stake, some fantasy players are starting to rethink their game strategy.
"I think it makes a lot of sense because I'll give you a perfect example. I have Ray Rice on my team. He's out today, he's going to be out next week, and that really hurts my fantasy team," explained Jason DeBruyn, a fantasy football player.
DeBruyn said it is a wise investment for players who are in high stakes leagues.
"It makes a lot of sense to have the insurance in that case," said DeBruyn.
According to Fantasy Sports Insurance, the company paid out more than $15,000 in losses due to injuries in key players in 2012.
"It definitely seems a little unusual, and you think you're doing something recreations, for fun. And to know you can get insurance on your fantasy football players, it seems a little unusual for sure," noted Requay.
The FSTA also estimated the average fantasy player spends three hours per week managing their teams.