Technology is what separates both the players and fans of today from the ones of the past. Each year tech advancements give both players on the gridiron and fans in the stands advantages that previous generations never thought of. The partnership between Jerry Rice and Intel brings together the two worlds of invaluable football knowledge and the technology of tomorrow in Big Data analytics. In each game, fans are able to look at 20,000 points of data and 90 separate bits of info are tracked on each play by STATS. Want to know how your favorite dome team will play on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field? Intel and STATS let you know that on average dome teams will see their score drop by more than six points when the temperature is below 40 degrees.

All of this info is crucial for fantasy owners looking to get any extra edge possible on their way to bragging rights and pools of money at the end of the season. To find out more about Intel's efforts to help fantasy football owners everywhere and his thoughts on the 2013 NFL season, we caught up with Rice. Find out his top-three quarterbacks of all time, his thoughts on Aldon Smith, and why he's honored when rappers like Lil B reference him in songs.

How did your partnership with Intel come about?

During my time on the field as well as my work as an analyst, I’ve learned to love the flexibility that technology gives us. It helps both players and fans really be smart about the game and make good decisions. That's why I'm part of Intel, one of the brands that is leading the charge as the intersection between sports and technology continues to evolve.

Intel is behind the technology that delivers real-time stats to fans, and is also powering the devices those fans are using to play fantasy football. Big Data is making fantasy football more accessible.  You don’t have to be a sports junkie, analyst or pro-athlete to know what’s happening around the league.  Thanks to live stats and data, it’s easier than ever to master waivers, trades and lineups using the same tools and information that professional coaches have available. 

If you were a fantasy football owner, who would be your first pick?

I got to go with the big dog Megatron, Calvin Johnson, because it’s more of a passer league now and the ball is in the air, so him. Then after him would be Peyton Manning with what he’s doing on the football field.  

And how do you feel about people always comparing Megatron to yourself? 

You know, I don’t think any player really likes to be compared, because you like to have your own identity. I think he’s humble, he works hard, and he’s gonna try to do everything he can to win football games. And another guy like Larry Fitzgerald, he’s the same way. His work ethic and the time that he puts in is something that you admire and you respect that individual.


My No. 1 pick would be Megatron, Calvin Johnson, because it’s more of a passer league now and the ball is always in the air, so him.


How do you feel about certain fantasy owners that root against their own favorite teams? Say you’re a 49er fan and you have Russell Wilson on your team but you root for the Seahawks in order to get the W in your league.

You know that’s just part of the game. But I think as long as the players are not doing that and doing something to jeopardize the game, then it’s a whole different story. People want to win. And I think with all this data, it’s gonna help them. But still they’re gonna have to make that decision. So they might root for someone they typically don't root for.

If you were in that position what would you do?

But see, I’m one of those guys that played the game. You see what I’m saying? I think it’s okay for the fans to do that and do whatever they want to do to try to win their league.

That's true. What are three quick tips you have for fantasy football owners?

I think with the new data that’s out there you can see how they'll function in cold weather with Big Data. So if you got some games where these players are going to be playing in cold weather, you might want to select certain players who are used to those climates. Other than that, just focus on the guys that are really going to produce every game. Consistency is key. Players that are going to go out there, that you know are going to give 100 percent always. You want someone who wants to win and will give it their all each game.

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