What’s the concept of fantasy football?

fantasy football

When people get into fantasy football, it’s often something they really love. There’s a huge following for all types of fantasy sports. When you play, you might find you’re spending a significant amount of time browsing the latest podcasts and fantasy football articles, even during the off-season.

So what is the concept of fantasy football, and why do people love it so much?

Below are some of the things you should know about the concept of fantasy football if you’ve never played before, but you’re interested.

fantasy football

What is fantasy football?

When you play fantasy football, you create a team of players. These are players based on the actual ones in the National Football League (NFL). You compete against the other owners who are part of your league to try and score points. The points you score are based on the players’ performance in the actual NFL games of the season.

There are two types of fantasy football in the general sense. There’s daily fantasy, and then there’s season-long.

There are also many sub-categories within these very general categories.

If you play season-long fantasy, there are re-draft and dynasty leagues.

In daily fantasy, there are cash and tournament leagues. A newer type of league is called best ball, which is growing increasingly popular.

Types of fantasy football leagues

Two of the primary differences in how leagues can be set up are based on scoring models and drafting.

First, with scoring, under a standard model, every league manager will have a choice of using the recommended scoring settings, which are straightforward. Under recommended scoring settings, there are six points for a touchdown, one point for every ten rushing or receiving yards, and then a point for every 25 passing yards. In this model, there are two points lost for interceptions and fumbles.

Bonuses can be earned, and most leagues follow some variation of a standard scoring model.

There’s also a point-per-reception model. Under the PPR model, tight ends and running backs get the point for every reception, so certain players have more value in this model.

The older method for scoring in fantasy was touchdown only.

Then, differences in leagues, as mentioned, can stem from how you draft and build your roster.

In re-draft leagues, each season, the owners will start over from scratch, with rosters drafted in what’s called a snake order. As an example, if you have the first pick in the first round, your next pick will come at the end of round two.

You can determine the draft order by a random drawing, or you can use standings from the season before. Under that approach, if your team was the worst in your league the season before, you get to pick first in the new season.

In an auction league, rather than a snake order, the owners will start with a set amount of money. That money is used to bid on players, and the owners can bid at any time as long as they have money.

In keeper leagues, you choose a certain number of players who will come with you into the next year. Keeper league rules vary a lot, and the members and commission decide on how they want to do things.

The most involved league type is a dynasty league. In a dynasty league, if you’re an owner, you can keep your entire roster for the next season. That makes owners think more long-term than they do in typical re-draft leagues.

Traditional head-to-head format

Most leagues participate in a head-to-head format. They choose from a pool of players who are available, and your team will be broken down into positions like quarterback and running back. These are known as skill positions, and most league owners choose only from these.

Then, groups of players go against each other and determine a winner. If you come to the end of a week and your team has the most points, then you’ve won the matchup.

The standings in this format are calculated as they would be in a traditional sports league. You’re competing for entry to the playoffs based on your standings.

When the playoffs start, teams that are left go head-to-head, at this point in a tournament format, determining the winner of the league.

The activity occurs in a 16-game season. The fantasy regular season usually occurs during the initial 13 or 14 weeks of the NFL season. Then, your playoffs will typically be between Weeks 13 and 17.

Roster settings and league size

Most leagues have 10 or 12 managers, and a roster can be made up of 16 players. That means there might be 160 up to 192 players who are being rostered during any given time.

You’ll start nine players for the most part.

What happens during the season?

Every week of the season, you’re going to have a matchup if you’re in a head-to-head league. The week goes from Thursday through Monday.

Before the first game of the week’s kickoff, owners create a lineup of their players that they’re going to activate for the week. Owners start a certain number of players for every position, and the rest of your players are on the bench.

Only your starting lineup players earn you points. None of your benched players earn points.

You can swap players out before the kickoff of a game, but once kickoff happens, then your roster is locked in.

Your player matchups are a big focus as you’re creating your lineup each week.

You can acquire players through two systems which are priority waivers and blind bidding. In a waiver system, all the free agents who are available go into a pool of players. The team that has the worst league record gets the priority to acquire players in the pool.

With a blind bid system, teams use cash allocations to bid on the players they want.

You can also trade with other players in your league if both parties agree.

Overall, fantasy football is a lot more in-depth than what’s above, and it’s a game of strategy, but this does give you a starting point to understand the overall concept.

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