Some fantasy sports leagues have a “fun,” embarrassing punishment for the person who comes in last place . . . in addition to the total annihilation of their mental health.

There’s a new study out, which warns fantasy players that it can become an obsession . . . and the more deeply you engage with the game, the more extreme the emotional experiences become, for better AND for worse.

In other words, fantasy sports can deliver “intense emotional highs” alongside “potentially troubling lows.”  (Not unlike gambling . . . or honestly, being a fan of sports in general, right?  I mean, I’m a Cleveland fan.  And that hasn’t exactly been a beacon of positive mental health.)

They also found that more experienced players generally reported less anxiety than newcomers . . . so over time, “participants may develop coping mechanisms to handle the inherent uncertainties and disappointments of fantasy sports.”

The “negative mental health outcomes” weren’t just in players who came in last place . . . they were also common in players who were the most competitive, and the ones who had a financial stake in the game.

The authors of the study say this shows that fantasy sports isn’t “harmless entertainment.”

But if you play fantasy sports, none of this is surprising.  It’s a thrill . . . AND a drain . . . whether you’re doing well OR being hammered with poor performances, injuries, disappointment, and regret.

It’s worth noting:  The study did not follow fantasy players THROUGHOUT a season . . . the data was just collected at one time.  Also, it only involved people playing fantasy SOCCER, so take that for what it’s worth.

(Study Finds / Sage Journals)