The Ultimate Guide to Fantasy Football: How to Play and Win
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- How to play fantasy football
- Fantasy football drafting
- Types of Leagues
- Mock Drafts
- How to win in the playoffs
- Top 50 tips to win this year
Have you ever wanted to learn how to play fantasy football? Or maybe you have played, but you haven’t had much success. Join The Fantasy Football Coach as he teaches you the basics of fantasy football and how to win your league this year! You will get ten videos as well as an ebook with the top 50 tips you need to succeed.
- New and intermediate fantasy football players
When people find out that I play fantasy football, they often ask “how does fantasy football work?” Once I explain how it works, they seem intrigued by it and think it sounds fun.
Fantasy football is an online game that lets the people involved act as NFL owners with general manager responsibilities. A typical fantasy football league has 10 or 12 teams, split into 2 divisions. Each team consists of real NFL players whose real-life statistics generate points on their respective fantasy teams. Typically, 1-2 weeks before the NFL season starts, a fantasy football draft takes place. The draft order is either determined randomly or based off the results from the previous season. For the draft, all offensive players in the NFL are put into a pool that each fantasy team may pick from. Most fantasy football leagues also include team defenses, although some use individual defensive players (IDP) instead.
Fantasy football leagues are typically one of two formats: head-to-head or total points.
Head-to-head leagues are the most typical. In head-to-head leagues, two team owners will face off over the length of the entire week. Games start on Thursday and conclude on Monday night. The two teams will add up the total points accumulated by players in their starting lineups, and whichever team has the most points gets the win for the week; the other team receives a loss.
Total Points Leagues
Total Points leagues don’t count wins and losses; they only keep track of the points that a team scores each week and adds them up throughout the season. In total points leagues, a team doesn’t have to worry about an opponent, instead only focusing on scoring as many points as possible each week.
Two-quarterback leagues are becoming more popular these days, as the quarterback position is setting itself apart as the most important position in the NFL. These leagues allow two quarterbacks in the starting lineup, so they have a major impact on fantasy drafts.
IDP (Individual defensive player) leagues allow teams to start defensive players, instead of a defensive team. IDP leagues allow teams to start defensive lineman, linebackers, and defensive backs, along with usually a flex spot or two, which the team owner can fill with any defensive player. I personally love IDP leagues, as they allow for even more control.
Most standard leagues are what are called re-drafting leagues. At the beginning of the season, all NFL skill position players (QBs, RBs, WRs, TEs), kickers, and defenses (or defensive players) are put into a pool to be drafted from. A draft order of all fantasy teams is determined, and then the teams select from all players until rosters are filled.
Keeper leagues give owners a little bit of carryover from the past season. Each team gets to keep a designated amount of players called “keepers.” The amount of keepers is usually determined by a league vote or the league commissioner. The rest of the players go into the draft pool.
Dynasty leagues take keepers to another level. In these leagues, fantasy teams retain most, if not all, of their players from the year before, and the draft mainly consists of selecting incoming NFL rookies. Also, dynasty leagues typically have more roster spots.
The hottest and least time-consuming type of league is a daily fantasy league. In daily leagues, users are given a salary cap, and they have to select a certain number of players, while staying under the salary cap. Daily leagues let users create multiple lineups and enter their lineups in multiple cash-paying or prize-giveaway games.
Most experts release a “top 200” list, which lists the best players at every position. Many sites, like ESPN, will have a preset list, which is based on their expert picks. Owners are able to go in and customize the list, so this is good to do if you don’t have a lot of time to analyze before your draft day comes. I would avoid letting the computer auto-draft your team. You won’t end up with the best team because it will try to fill your starting roster out first, and it doesn’t technically draft the best value–only the best player on the board. It’s also not as fun. Why play fantasy football if you’re not even going to pick your players?
If you do have a good bit of time to prepare for the draft, I highly recommend a draft app. These apps have projections for every player, but the best part is that you can enter your league’s scoring rules and it will change the projections to show which players are the most likely to be top scorers in your league.
Doing a mock draft every week will help you see how players are trending, as well. Most people wait until right before the draft to do their first mock, but if you start early, you will gain an advantage over the competition. Some fantasy owners get too locked in on a certain guy, and then when draft-time comes, they select that player way higher than he should actually be taken, or, on the flip side, they think their guy will be available in round 5, but he’s going in round 3 in the latest mock drafts.
The video above is a mock draft that I recently did for an 8-team PPR league. Depending on how big your league is, you’re going to want to employ a strategy that makes sense. For smaller leagues, like this 8-team one, my tip is that you draft difference-makers. In a small league, every team is going to be stacked, so you want to have some guys who will take your team to the next level. In bigger leagues, you want to make sure that you really get your RB and WR depth as solid as you can.