To play fantasy football, start by choosing a site that hosts year long leagues and sign up online. Next, you’ll need to participate in a draft to select your players that will make up your fantasy team. Then, play the players with the highest potential to succeed in their game each week to gain the most points during the NFL season.
Ok so maybe you heard about the massive popularity of fantasy football or you decided that owning a real NFL team is too expensive. Or maybe you just want to enjoy playing a game that brings joy and excitement to millions of players across the world. No matter the reason, I will get you right up to speed on what fantasy football is and how to play it. When you finish reading this you will be ready to immerse yourself into fantasy sports and experience the thrill and enjoyment it brings to me personally and to others. Fantasy sports continue to grow and almost anyone knows someone that plays. It brings people together in a fun yet competitive situation. There is no better time to learn why it is so popular and how to play it. Let’s dive in!
What is fantasy football? Overview
To put this to you simply, fantasy football is a points driven game and based on the real-life production of NFL players. The players put up real points when they play, and if you own them on your fantasy team you will get points for that. Your team will be made up of different real-life NFL players from different teams and at different positions. The players you select will be selected in a draft that will take place with your friends or league mates. Typically fantasy football leagues consist of 8 – 14 fantasy players. Each fantasy player will select a player to fill out their rosters. We will dive into all the different parts of fantasy football later in this article. Right now let’s cover the overview.
Once you have your team each week you will fill out a roster of your starting players at various positions allowed based on your league settings. The positions you have to fill usually include one quarterback (QB), two running backs (RB), two wide receivers (WR), one tight end (TE), one kicker (K), one defense (D/ST) and one FLEX (usually RB or WR, but some leagues allow for a TE or even a QB to be played at the FLEX position as well). The statistics your starting players accumulate on the field (touchdowns, yards, etc) contribute to their point total for the week. Point totals of all your starting lineup players are tallied into your weekly score, and if you have more points than your opponent ( another member of your league you going head to head against for that week) you win that week.
Your roster will also consist of bench players, and most leagues allow for 5 bench sports on average and they also collect points for the week. The bench points will not count for your overall score. This is where managing your roster is crucial and starting and sitting the right players can make or break your week. Bench players are important as they add depth on your roster, cover your bye weeks and injuries. Note some leagues have IDP ( Individual defense players) I prefer not to have them in leagues I play in due to the volatility.
You will continue to compete weekly until the end of the regular fantasy football season. Typically a regular fantasy season runs until week 13 or week 14 of the regular NFL season. Fantasy Football playoffs are usually weeks 15 and 16. The reason the fantasy championship doesn’t run into week 17 is that a lot of NFL players are usually rested because of their playoff impact and sit for the preservation of their body. The last thing you want is to run into the fantasy football championship and have your 1st round draft pick sitting on the bench! ( Yes, this even happens as early as week 15! I know it’s happened to me.)
The teams with the best win-loss records will enter the fantasy playoffs for head to head matchup or elimination matchups. Who wins the remaining games in the playoffs is typically crowned the league championship following week 16. ( Note: The leagues vary in playoffs settings, timelines, and scoring settings) More on that later in this article.