What Are the Must-Have Apps for the NFL Fan?

Chad MiddletonContributor ISeptember 10, 2011

What Are the Must-Have Apps for the NFL Fan?

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    It's the first weekend of the NFL season. Are you prepared?

    I'm not talking about beer, chips, dip and burgers. No, no, no. Those are obvious must-haves, but if you are like me, you must be prepared for the worse. 

    What happens if you have to leave the house, and you aren't in front of a television? The wife wants you to go to some baby shower or family dinner, and you can't get out of it. Are you really prepared?

    I hate to admit it, but it will happen at some point this year, but fear not pigskin fans. I have the answers right here assuming you have some sort of smart phone or tablet device at your disposal.

    Here are your best options for checking fantasy stats or watching the games live on your device.

DirecTV App

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    If you have the Sunday Ticket for DirecTV at home, then you probably know about this gem already, but for those who don't keep up with all things tech, here is something you should know.

    If you have to run an errand for your wife during the game or find yourself trapped in some blizzard, fear not my friend.  DirecTV has a mobile app for your iPhone, Android, Palm and yes, even BlackBerry, device. And depending on your carrier the experience is wonderful.

    I'm on Verizon's LTE network so I can only speak from that experience, and it's a dandy. In fact, that Internet is five times faster than my home Internet.  

    You have access to all the games at your finger tips. So there is no need to panic when having to leave your comfy spot on the couch. You're always connected. You do have to have a DirecTV account for the NFL Ticket.

    But this year for all those who can not get the DirecTV cable service, there is hope. Sony Playstation was thrown a bone this year and now if you have a Playstation 3, you can buy the NFL Sunday Ticket without being a DirecTV customer.

    If you don't believe me that the Playstation has given us Christmas in September, watch it in action yourself here. It's $339.00 which some may think is pricey, but it's only $5.00 more than the DirecTV price.  

    Existing DirecTV Sunday Ticket subscribers can get the package on their PS3 for $50—which basically turns their PS3 into an additional receiver. As long as you have a good Internet connection, you are in business. 

Fantasy Football Monster 2011

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    Fantasy football has changed the game a bit for the true football fan. That may sound ridiculous, and in some ways it is, but hear me out.

    Let's say you are a Baltimore Ravens fan, but you have Hines Ward on your team. You may want Baltimore to win but it wouldn't hurt your feelings if Ward did all the scoring which is unthinkable for a true Ravens fan. 

    I'll get off my soapbox, but for the 23 million people who play fantasy football, here is the app for you to purchase. Yes, I said purchase. In the Apple Store it is $4.99 for the iPad and $2.99 for the iPhone.  And for your Droid people it's $2.99 in the Android Market.

    For those who have multiple leagues, this is for you.  You start the app, and it asks you for the logins of all your ESPN, Yahoo and NFL leagues. You can add and drop players and edit your lineups on the fly.

    So, when you are stuck at IHOP with the slowest waitress ever, it's not a problem. Just pull out the trusty smartphone and make your moves that could be the reason you win a championship or lose one.  The price tag may be steep for some, but it's such a good app, it's well worth the investment.

CBS Sports Pro Football

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    Here is a great free app for those who use CBS sports for their fantasy league with a price that is hard to beat. Free. But this application does something that makes it a little different than the Fantasy Football Monster.  

    This application is more about educating you to make your decisions for your fantasy draft or your Sunday matchups. It's a good application for you to pick up and get information. There are also expert columns for you to read.

    Follow live fantasy scores, set lineups, add and drop players, get all the stats, player news, on demand video, expert analysis and info you'll need all season long!

    Key Features:

    - Full control of your CBSSports.com fantasy football teams.
    - Fantasy news and notes customized for your teams and players.
    - CBSSports.com projections, roster trends and player stats.
    - Real-time NFL GameTrackers with play-by-play, box scores, stats, and more.
    - Exclusive team-by-team RapidReports, with inside info from all 32 NFL teams.
    - On demand video including game previews, recaps, interviews.

    This is available in iTunes and the Android Market

The NFL 2011 App

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    It's time to get back to football.

    God, how many times have you heard that? But it's true. It's great to have the NFL back and I would be remiss to not mention their improved app for the iPad, iPhoneBlackBerry and Android phones and tablets.  

    - Watch on-demand NFL Network news and info.

    - Filter your favorite team’s news.

    - Follow game action with our drive chart and stats.

    - Tap on team logos to see rosters, team stats and player info.

    And one of my favorite aspects of this app is that you can set alerts. So you will be notified when the game starts, when your team scores, when the quarter ends, and when the game ends. 

    Again this is a free app.