If you haven’t played before, but maybe you’re interested, and you’ve been keeping up with the latest fantasy football news, you might want to learn more about participating.
In Fantasy Football, you’re the owner, and you create a team of players. The players you choose from are real players in the NFL. You then compete against other owners in the league to score points. The points you score are based on your players’ performance in real football games.
Fantasy Football is something that a lot of people find incredibly engaging. There’s not only competition but math and stats that are relevant.
There are two primary types of Fantasy Football—season-long and daily.
There are also sub-categories within those larger general categories.
A typical league in Fantasy Football will include 10 or 12 team managers. Then, there’s a roster of 16 players, with anywhere from 160 to 192 players being rostered at any given time. You will usually start nine players. A league can add starters to create more of a challenge for owners, or they can take away requirements for more league flexibility.
Related: How To Choose The Best Fantasy Football Team
A fantasy football league can be public or private.
A private league is free, and it’s open until all the spots are filled. In a private league, usually, one person will set it up. That person is a commissioner. A commissioner can invite people to join the league, and there are often membership fees.
The most common type of league is head-to-head. Your starters go against the starters of another owner in your league every week. You get points for yards, field goals, touchdowns, and other stats real players produce, and your opponent does as well.
At the end of the games for the week, whoever has more points wins, and then it continues for the entirety of the season, leading to a champion.
When you’re drafting players, you want to choose options at each position who will help you get a lot of points.
You’ll often find guide lists that can help you if you’re just getting started. You can find lists of the best overall players, but also sleepers. A sleeper is someone who’s drafted low but may overperform expectations.
There are also possible bust players who are more likely to underperform for any reason.
Along with head-to-head leagues, there are total point leagues. In a total point league, teams accumulate points on an ongoing basis, and then the total points of each team determine standings.
A third type of league format is called an all-play league. Every team plays one another from week to week.
General Tips for Choosing the Right League for You
Joining a new league can be simple or complex, and it really depends on what you’re looking for. The following are general things you should keep in mind as you select a league.
- Do you want something highly competitive or more casual? If you’re a novice, you probably want to start casual. However, even if you are very experienced, you might just want something more relaxed to enjoy rather than being involved in something highly competitive. If you want something casual that’s less competitive, ask people you know.
- If you want a very competitive league, you might not be able to find it in people you know. You could instead look at sources like Reddit. There is a subreddit specifically geared toward finding a league. You can also browse Twitter because sometimes people send out tweets indicating they need to fill a league.
- When you’re joining leagues with people you don’t know, be cautious about the potential for scammers to take advantage of the situation.
- If you opt for a redraft league, you start fresh every season. On the other hand, you could go with a keeper league, which can be more complex. There are many different keeper league formats. When you’re deciding between redraft and keeper, you want to consider how involved you want to be with fantasy football. If you choose a redraft league that’s pretty casual, you’ll just have to give it some attention from August through December. If you select a dynasty league, plan on giving it attention year-round.
- The most common type of league is called a snake redraft league. Snake is an easier format overall to understand, and it can be better if you’re new to fantasy football than an auction league. If you’re more experienced and you’ve never done it before, an auction could be worth considering.
- A snake draft gives limited control over players on your roster. If someone picks a player you wanted, you’re stuck with nothing to do about it. In an auction draft, owners have a certain amount of draft dollars. Owners can then use those draft dollars to bid on individual players. This helps if you really want a certain player. The highest bidder for a certain player gets the player on their team.
- Some drafts use a combination of snake and auction draft. In this scenario, league members will bid for a specific number of players. Then, to fill the rest of their roster, they might go through a snake draft.
- Most leagues will use a live draft, so you have to strategize in real-time to fill your roster, but then some leagues use auto-draft. In an auto-draft, members rank players ahead of time, and the draft is automated.
- Understand league roster rules before the draft. Most leagues use a standard lineup format, but some leagues will use variations. For example, in some leagues, you can put an injured player on an injured reserve. You don’t have to count the player against your roster numbers, but you can still keep the player.
Finally, if there’s one thing that’s overall most important as you pick a league, it’s your level of football knowledge. You want to join a league with other people who have similar levels of expertise as your own.