Start a fantasy football league

Edited by Ephraim, Lynn, Eng, Derek S

If you ever thought about starting a fantasy football team? If so, read on to learn the best way to go about it. Fantasy sports are very popular nowadays, generating thousands of players yearly. There are fantasy teams for all sports from around the world, With every sport, you can draft real life players for your team. During fantasy football, each game that you play will be simulated according to how your players perform in real life. Many winners in fantasy leagues gain prizes that may include jerseys, football tickets or any number of other prizes available for the year. Below are the ways to prepare, manage, and play through a fantasy football season.

Find Your League

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In the fantasy league world, there are many different leagues that you can choose to enter. Below is a list of the kinds of leagues, along with descriptions, in order to help you enter the league that suits you best.

Survivor Leagues

In a survivor league, you can participate in any draft that is available, unlike other leagues that have a specific draft option made available for you to draft your players to your team. When playing in a survivor league, the whole concept of winning and staying in the league depends on a weekly points system. On a weekly basis, the team who scored the lowest points for the week will be eliminated from the league, so the best thing to focus on is not necessarily to win all the games but to at least not be the lowest scoring team in the league.

Keeper Leagues

The keeper league will be most advantageous if you played the previous year, since most of the players will already be drafted to your team in the beginning of the season from previous seasons. The reason for the lack of available players will be that in the keeper league, you are allowed to keep your players from last season on your team in the new season. In the other leagues, you are indeed allowed to keep some players from the previous season, but not nearly as many as in a keeper league.

Individual Defensive Players (IDP) Leagues

The IDP (Individual Defensive Players) league is where you have complete control over who you will use on defense. Other leagues draft defenses based on a full team of your choosing instead of individual defensive players being given specific places on your team. This league is a bit more difficult because you will have to manage both your offense and your defense in order to create a winning formula.

Dynasty Leagues

In a dynasty league, you will manage your team as if you were the owner of a real football team. The players you have will remain on your team unless they are traded in real life or injured, and you will also be responsible yearly to pick up new players when it is required. This league is the most realistic league type of all fantasy leagues. In order to be successful, you will need to watch all the games you possibly can for potential prospects coming up in your free agency as well as college games, since these are the players you will potentially be drafting.

Standard/Auction Leagues

The most important thing to remember when dealing these two leagues is that you will gain your picks of players by utilizing an "H2H" system (Head to Head) or total points system. These points are accumulated after every game that is played between you and another person, so think of it as money that you will make for your future purchases of players in the future. The more wins you get, the more money you will make. You will also gain points for losing, just not as much as you would have if you won. In the auction league, you will be able to bid on players using the points that you have earned, whether the players are on another person's team or in free agency.

Know Where to Sign Up

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Fantasy leagues are distributed between many sites from major to minor types of leagues. The more major the site, the more popular the league, and more than likely, these are the most frustrating leagues to join. If you are a beginner then it will be better to sign up for a league that is on a minor site rather than a major site such as ESPN. Before you even start up in the league of your choosing, make sure that you know all the rules associated with that specific league. Not knowing all of the rules will put you at a disadvantage among the other players who do know the rules. The best thing to do is to read over and study the rules of all leagues, so that you will know which rules are flexible to your needs and thus, you can pick your league effectively.

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    Yahoo Fantasy Sports
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    ESPN Fantasy Sports
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    FOX Sports
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    My Fantasy League
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    Fan Duel
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    ESPN Sub Games
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    DIY League
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Participate in the Draft

Once you have determined which league you will like to participate in, you will now need to move on to the draft process. This is the most important part of the fantasy league. If you miss out on the draft, your entire season will be in jeopardy. In the beginning of the season, you will need to participate in the draft in order to catch players who have been dropped by other fantasy teams, entered league from college, or free agency. The draft process happens in two different ways each year:

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    Auction Draft -- You and your fellow league members will have a budget that has been assigned to them in order to bid on players as if you were in an auction
    Unfortunately, if you do not have a lot of money assigned, the chances of getting good players over someone who has a bigger budget is slim to none. The best way to get better players with a smaller budget is to hope that others do not attend the auction or that you arrive earlier than other people to ensure that you get a good pick.
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    Serpentine Draft -- This draft is conducted in fairness to all people, so that everyone can have their chance in getting players in each round
    The draft will start in order, then repeated backwards. For example, if you have the first pick in the first round, you will also have the last pick in the second round, then the first pick in the third round, etc. This ensures that every fantasy owner will have equal opportunity to get quality players for their team.
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Use the Free Agency Pool

Take advantage of the free agency pool. The free agent pool is a big gold mine if you do your research on the players effectively in order to gain a great player for your team. A free agent is a player who is NFL qualified but has not been picked up by a team to play, so it is a great place to gain skilled players. While looking through the free agency you can pick a player whom you are interested in, but if more than one person wants that player, the player will go to the team with the highest overall stats. Understand that this does not mean that you will lose if someone has more wins over you, for there are a lot of other factors incorporated in the overall stats of a team. Stats include win-loss record and free agents already signed, in order to help create fairness among the league's teams.

Check the Trade Pool

Just like in real life, players will be traded from team to team. Check for player added to the trade block in order for you to gain quality player for your team. In the trade pool, there are a lot of great players who will be shuffled around for the picking, so being vigilant and constantly on the lookout for new talent can help you to land a great player for your team. Understand that it is up to you to choose wisely who you will want to trade from your team to gain this new player. While conducting a trade, it is important to note that you should conduct your trades through an official trade referee to ensure that you do not get taken advantage of or cheated out of your players.

Manage Your Roster

It is imperative to ensure that you have players in each position on your team in order to have a complete team. A lot of fantasy league players recruit a whole team without filling all of the position slots. For example, you may end up having to use a running back at the quarterback slot. This issue can prove to be a big one when you have wasted all of your time planning the perfect team and end up not having a player in a specific position. It will likely ruin your chances of success in the league.

Know Your Scoring System

In each league, there will be different types of scoring systems in place in order to gain good stats for the games you will play during your season. Everything that your player does in real life on the field will be collected by your player on the team in order to help you score points. The better your players do in real life, the better your player will be in your fantasy league. Usually, if a person is a fantasy football player, they will keep up with the system of points accumulated after each game. Not only will you need to watch your favorite team play, but you will also have to track each of the players on your fantasy roster.

Tips for Success

Fantasy Football leagues will require a certain level of commitment to the game in order for you to be the most successful. It will take a real sports fan in order to build, manage and track all the stats of your team on a weekly basis. The following tips will help you be more likely to win.

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    Ensure that you know your leagues rules and regulations, as all leagues are not exactly the same.
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    When in the draft pool, make sure that you know all the rules associated with the drafting of players and also consult a stat sheet for what you need to improve on your team.
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    Do your homework on your potential drafts before committing to drafting them.
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  • If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


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    Categories : Sports

    Recent edits by: Eng, Lynn, Ephraim

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