Football season is around the corner and that means Fantasy Football season is almost here – it’s a compelling and competitive game that allows you to be the owner, GM and coach of your very own football team! But first, you have to know the rules. With a myriad of complexities and endless customization options, the goal of WINNING can seem like a fantasy! Here are some tips to consider before joining a league!
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Your Crash Course to Fantasy Football
Auction vs. Snake. Professional sports drafts use last season’s record to determine which team picks first: the team with the worst record picks first, ascending from there. That’s not the case in fantasy football, where drafts tend to either be in a snake or auction format.
In a snake draft, teams pick in order (1, 2, 3, 4) then, once everyone has had a turn, it reverses (4,3,2,1). In an auction format, there is no pick order. Every team has the same budget, and players are drafted by whomever bids the most. You tend to see more diversified rosters on a snake draft, whereas auctions are a free-for-all!
Regardless of the format, your strategy should be the same: avoid “overpaying.” You don’t want to draft a position or player sooner than you should in a snake draft, and you don’t want to pay top dollar for someone who could be acquired later for less in an auction draft. In other words, bargain-hunting usually pays off, and be sure you understand how points are tallied for the different positions on the team!
Number of players. Fantasy football focuses mainly on offensive skill position players, like quarterbacks and wide receivers. Check to see how many players you can draft at each position and how many you can start.
Also, check how many other teams you are competing against. Some leagues have as few as six teams, while others can be as large as twelve or more. That matters because every team in the league reduces the number of top-tier players you can expect to acquire. Think of it this way: there’s a big difference between Patrick Mahomes and the twelfth-best quarterback!
Standard vs. PPR. Fantasy football works by awarding points when NFL players do productive things in a game. This means that a touchdown, a reception, rushing yards, even fumbles are assigned a point value. The scoring settings of the league impact your draft strategy.
If your league uses standard scoring, consider prioritizing top-tier running backs over wide receivers. That’s because a great running back – who can rush and catch the ball – doubles your opportunities to score points. A wide receiver, on the other hand, is more one-dimensional and, thus, less valuable.
PPR stands for point-per-reception. This means that a player is awarded a point when they successfully catch a ball, even if it results in a loss of yards. Top-tier running backs are still a priority, but a great wide receiver becomes a lot more valuable in PPR. Look for wide receivers who make big plays and catch a lot of balls throughout the season.
Pay for advice. Confused? It’s okay. Fantasy football has its own language and nuances that can make for a steep learning curve. Fortunately, many sites offer advice on the draft strategy, in-season management, and setting up a league. Some reputable sites include Footballguys, Rotowire, ESPN+, and FantasyPros. Their articles are often free, but the draft and player scouting resources usually carry a subscription cost. Good advice is worth paying for!
Tips to Win Your Fantasy Football League
August 13, 2021