Fantasy football is a game where you ‘manage’ a team of players from the NFL and score points based on how well they do each week. Sounds simple enough but the intricacies of the game take a lot of time and practice to master.
In order to fully understand what is going on, you must first decide how you want to play. There are many different variants that can be played but the two main types are ‘redraft’ and ‘dynasty’.
Redraft leagues consist of a set number of teams that all draft players at the start of the season. Once a player has been drafted, they cannot be played by any other team in the league. This type of league is usually played over a set number of weeks (usually around 13) and the team with the most points at the end is the winner.
Dynasty leagues are where things can get complicated. The set up is the same as a redraft league but players can be kept from one year to another. Trading of players also becomes a very real possibility. The idea is that you build your team over time and try to win as many championships as possible before your core group of players gets too old.
Both types have their merits, redraft leagues are great if you don’t have a lot of time to play or want something more casual where dynasty leagues are for those who are looking to simulate the NFL as closely as possible.
How To Start Playing
To start playing, join an existing league or create your own. Once all slots have been filled, decide on a draft date and time which is generally done through a online chat room or a dedicated website. The draft order is decided by a random draw and each team then takes it in turns to pick a player.
Be very careful not to let personal biases get in the way of making good picks. Tom Brady may be your favorite player but if he’s available in the 7th round, it’s better to wait until you can get someone else who is likely to do as well or better right now.
When your draft is over, you will have a set of players that need to be managed through the season. Each week you should look at their stats and decide which ones you want to start on a given day, this is where things can get complicated as you have to balance out your team’s strengths and weaknesses with those of the opposition.
If you have multiple players from the same team, remember that they will only earn points if they play a full game so don’t start them both unless necessary. You also need to make sure you keep a close eye on match-ups. If a team has an easy week, benching their players may be better for your score.
Remember that every point counts when you’re in a tight spot so don’t sell low on a player who is going through a rough patch of form or an injury. They could easily come back with a big score the following week and win you the match.
Use the resources available to you, including websites, magazines and television shows to stay ahead of the competition. Fantasy football is a year-round activity and there is always something new to learn in order to give yourself the best chance of winning.