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Fantasy Football

What is Fantasy Football? FAQs and 101s

Staff Writer



What is Fantasy Football?

What, do you live in a cave? Fantasy football is a game played by NFL fans that allows them to become general managers of their own teams by drafting rosters of real players in order to score fake points. The teams play each other every week and the one with the most points wins. Points are scored by adding up yardage, touchdowns, receptions and more.

How do you play fantasy football?

Get some friends together and sign up for a league on one of the many hosting sites like Yahoo or ESPN. No friends into fantasy football? No problem — there are cash leagues on Yahoo, there are best ball leagues on FFPC and much, much more. Once you sign up, you set a draft date and the fun begins.

What are the normal positions on a fantasy football roster?

QB (1-2 spots)

WR (3-4 spots)

RB (2-3 spots)

Flex (1-2 spots)

SuperFlex (1 spot)

K (1 spot)

DEF (1 spot)

What is traditional fantasy football scoring?

6 pts per rushing or receiving TD

6 pts for player returning kick/punt for TD

6 pts for player returning or recovering a fumble for TD

4 pts per passing TD

2 pts per rushing or receiving 2-pt conversion

2 pts per passing 2-pt conversion

1 pt per 10 yards rushing or receiving

1 pt per 25 yards passing

What types of drafts are there?

There are lots of different types of fantasy drafts, but the two most popular options are snake drafts and auction leagues. Snake drafts are the most common. Everyone is assigned a draft pick and the draft snakes back and forth, giving every GM one pick per round. The player with the first draft pick won’t get to pick again until the end of the second round. In auction leagues, GMs are assigned a budget and then bid on players to fill out their roster. The highest bid on a player gets him. Auction drafts require more strategy and are generally thought of as more fair, but they require far more time to complete.

What types of fantasy football leagues are there?

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There are all sorts of different types of leagues. The most popular are 10-12 team, standard or PPR scoring where GMs enter a live draft, pick players and then go head-to-head. There are best ball drafts where GMs don’t alter their roster all season but rather pick a number of bench players

What is head-to-head scoring?

Each GM goes up against another GM every week. Whoever gets the most points that week wins, and whoever gets the least loses. After 13 or 14 weeks, the teams with the most wins advances to the playoffs. The vast majority of regular fantasy football leagues are head-to-head scoring.

What are standard, .5 PPR and PPR scoring systems?

PPR simply means ‘Points Per Reception,’ so a PPR league rewards one point per player reception; a .5 PPR league awards half a point per reception; while a standard scoring league awards zero points. Take the following stat line from Michael Thomas: 10 receptions for 120 yards. Here’s how many points that would score in each league:

PPR: 22

.5 PPR: 17

Standard: 12

These different scoring systems change projections for each player.

What are starter and bench spots?

Starters are the players on your team that accrue points each week, bench players do not. Bench players can be rotated into the starting lineup, but once lineups lock at kickoff, only players in your starting roster spots will add points towards your total.

What are FLEX and SuperFlex positions?

A FLEX spot allows you to plug in a player from any of the following positions: RB, WR, TE. A SuperFlex gives you the option of playing a QB in that roster slot. SuperFlex is the trendiest current league because it greatly increases the importance of drafting quarterbacks because you can start two on your roster.

What is a commissioner?

The commissioner organizes and runs the league. Collects the money, organizes the draft, approves or declines trades and much more. It’s a thankless job and no one ever likes or appreciates them.

What are Fantasy Football Waivers?

Waivers begin after your draft is completed. Anyone not drafted is placed on a protected list at the start of kickoff for every game. This prevents hard-core GMs from adding backups or breakouts from in-game action should an injury occur or a player have the game of his life. After the NFL week is complete, all players not owned will be on waivers. Each GM must place a claim on a player in order to get them added to their roster. The GM with the first priority on the waiver wire gets first choice of players. Once that GM with the first priority on the waiver wire wins a player, they move to the back of the cue. Some leagues have bidding systems, which are like auction drafts, only for waivers. GMs get a budget for an entire season to bid on waiver players.

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What is handcuffing?

Taking a handcuff means owning the primary backup to one of your players — usually a running back.. It’s a protection policy that allows you to replace your player with the player most likely to step into the vacated role

What is Best Ball?

Best Ball are leagues where you don’t have to set lineups each week. Your highest-scoring players from the week automatically count towards your total, so you don’t have to debate who to start and who to sit. There are no waivers or trades. Once your draft is done, your GM responsibilities are over.

What are dynasty leagues?

Dynasty leagues are long-term leagues that never have redrafts. Once you have a player, he’s yours for as long as you like. Every year the new crop of rookies gets drafted from the NFL draft.

What are Guillotine Leagues?

Guillotine leagues are the newest add to the fantasy football repertoire. Each week the GM whose team scores the least number of points is eliminated. Their entire roster then goes on waivers for the remaining teams to bid.

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