Fantasy Football, Vegas Style

Behind the scenes at the highest-stakes fantasy football draft in Vegas, where $10,000 will buy you a seat at the table
Illustration by Zohar Lazar

Chad Schroeder is on the clock. He’s one of a dozen men seated around a U of tables in a conference room at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas on the first Friday of September. No one speaks. Not the chief psychiatrist at a hospital in Memphis; not the securities analyst from San Diego; not the Canadian political pundit; and not the movie producer behind Cruel Intentions and Donnie Darko, who is calling in from his home in Long Island, where he’s recovering from surgery. Schroeder sighs heavily, lets out a quiet “f––k,” and says, “Steven Jackson.” And with that, he has made the St. Louis Rams running back his third pick in the National Fantasy Football Championship’s Diamond League draft.

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