What is NFL Fantasy Football?

NFL fantasy football is a online interactive game where by sports fans are owners and general managers of a team that participant in competitive leagues, accruing fantasy points based on the statistics of professional football players.

These fantasy football teams owners compete against each other. A individual sports fan is able to draft and manage American professional football players from the National Football League.

Here are some of the actions that you the sports fan can make: drafting players, trading players, adding/dropping players, and changing rosters.

I started playing NFL fantasy football in 1993, the reason I remember this is I went to the super bowl in my fantasy football league and lost.

The reason I lost is I had a chance to pick up Jerome Bettis before the Super Bowl and I didn't do it. NFL fantasy football is relaxing and a hobby of mines that I love to do. Its lets you show off your General Manager skills as a team owner.

NFL fantasy football helps you to know the players, their stats and the game of NFL football. When I started playing NFL fantasy football, there was no internet sites like ESPN Fantasy Football Sports, Yahoo Fantasy Football Sports etc...

We had to use the news paper to get stats after Sunday and Monday night games.

Some leagues paid for stat services but with the birth of the internet those business are gone unless they learn how to become a digital entrepreneur.

We had to have our fantasy football league commissioner add up the stats and each team owner added up his team and the team he or she is playing against to make sure that the commissioner stats were correct.

League Types

There are different types of leagues that a you can participant in. The two most popular leagues are head-to head and total points.

The first thing you must do as a GM is pick what type of league you want to participant in. In any league that you choose, you can make that league a keeper league.
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Keeper Leagues

A keeper league is when you keep a certain amount of players on your team. A keeper league can be a head to head, total points, dynasty and salary cap league.

During the preseason, most of the players are drafted, however, owners are allowed to keep a predetermined number of players on their roster from the year before.

Most NFL fantasy football keeper leagues usually keeps 3 players to be retained by each team from year to year.


In this type of league two teams will match up to play against each other each week. They will submit their starting lineup before the first game on Thursday or Sunday.

The game is determine by which starting lineup scores the most points. Points are set by the commissioner or by the fantasy sports website standard default scoring system.

The win loss record is the most important stat in head-to-head leagues. Teams with the best record win-loss advances to the playoff to complete for the NFL fantasy football super bowl.

If two teams have the same record and they are competing for a playoff spot the tie breaker is total points or head-to-head which determine by the commissioner or the fantasy sports website standard default system.

I prefer to play in the head-to-head league because it is real and its the same way the NFL plays every week.

Total Points Leagues

In this type of league the teams that accumulates the most points at the end of the NFL season wins the league and is the NFL fantasy football champion. The league standing are determine by total points not win-loss record.

Dynasty Leagues

In this league you retain most or all of your players from year to year. This is real as it can get to owning and managing a NFL team.

You really get to see what it is like to pick a team and try to build a winning team year in and out. There are no drafting of new players every year except for rookie players who are coming into the NFL.

This league lets you to keep players and build a team over time through the NFL rookie draft, free agency and trades.

Salary Cap Leagues

In this league each player you draft has a dollar amount associated with him and the total amount of money spent on a team roster has a maximum that you can't go over.

This is called a "salary cap". The salary cap has complexity which includes how many years a player count against the cap. This is also real as it can get to owning and managing a team in the NFL.

The Draft

The draft is the event and most important part of participating in fantasy sports. Just like the NFL, fantasy football has a draft which consist of drafting real NFL football players.

There are two types of drafts a traditional snake draft and a auction draft. In a snake draft fantasy owners will take turn drafting in a serpentine method where by if you have the first pick in the 1st round, you will have the last pick in the second round.

The draft order that you will have in the even round will be different in the odd rounds.

There are two methods of drafting, online draft and a offline draft. The online draft has two type of drafts. A automated and a live draft.

A automated draft where by the commissioner uses the NFL fantasy football website to handle a automated draft where by you will rank your players and the computer software will pick your players where you rank them.

The online draft is where by you rank your players and the commissioner of your league will set a time and date to draft your team.

Owners will log on to a fantasy sports website i.e. ESPN or Yahoo and enter a draft war room and draft players with a time limited of 1 minute and 30 second to draft players.

In a offline draft the same applies, the only difference is owners gather at a bar or someones home and usually the commissioner will run the draft using a computer to keep up with the draft picks.

In a auction draft owners draft players using a imaginary budget for a salary cap on each player. The owners must bid on players and the owner that bids the most get that player.

Now this counts toward that owner salary cap and he has less to spent. This goes on until the 15 or 16 roster slots are filled.

The Roster

Teams are allow a certain number of players on their roster. There are 15 to 16 players on each team roster in most fantasy football leagues.

Most NFL fantasy football leagues used 9 starters and 6 bench players. Each team owner will determine each week which players will start and which players will be benched.

Just like NFL football, bench players can become starters for various reason including injuries, poor performance and if another players team has a bye week( players team is off a certain week).

Team owners will choose their starting line up for a game before a certain deadline. When to sit or start a player depend on the players past or expected performance, defensive match ups etc...

My leagues roster for each team is 16 players with 8 starters and 8 bench players. Each team owner will select which players will start each week.

Here's an example of the most common and required starting lineup formats in NFL fantasy football.

  • 1 Quarterback (QB)
  • 2 Running Backs (RB)
  • 2 Wide Receivers (WR)
  • 1 Wide Receivers (WR) or Running Backs (RB)
  • 1 Tight End (TE)
  • 1 Placekicker (K)
  • 1 Team Defense/Special Teams (DST)
  • 6 Bench(BN)

Some leagues use a "flex" player position, which can be filled by a player in one of several positions.

Flex positions are often limited to "WR/TE", "RB/WR", or "RB/WR/TE". Traditionally, this flex was required to be an RB, WR, or TE, however, some leagues allow any position to fill this flex slot as an "OP" (any Offensive Player).

Some NFL fantasy football leagues also have a 2 quarterback requirement for a starting lineup, yet providing another twist into the complexity of different scoring systems and lineups.

Some leagues use individual defensive players (IDPs) a DE, LB or CB (and in some cases a punter) instead of a combined Team Defense/Special Teams. Some leagues use separate Defense and Special Teams.
My NFL fantasy football league in the past and present we had:

  • 1 Quarterback (QB)
  • 2 Running Backs (RB)
  • 2 Wide Receivers (WR)
  • 1 Tight End (TE)
  • 1 Placekicker (K)
  • 1 Team Defense/Special Teams (DST)
  • 8 Bench (BN)

I like to keep real, just like the NFL.


Team owners earn points when their players score touchdowns, field goals, extra points try, 2 point conversion, interception, safety, sacks, turnovers, yards gain etc....

Offensive Player like the QB,RB, WR and TE can earn points for TDs, passing, rushing, and receiving yards. Touchdowns, are worth 6 points, field goals are worth 3 to 5 points, extra points try is worth 1 point, and a 2 point conversion are worth 2 points.

Defensive Special teams points are touchdown 6 points, sacks 1 point, interception 1 point and fumble recover 1 point. The kicker can earn 3 to 5 points on a field goal and 1 point on a extra point try after a touchdown is scored.

Bonus points can be award for a good performance, like a QB throwing for over 299 yards a game, a RB running over 99 yards, a WR/TE receiving over 99 yards and a kicker making a long field goal over 49 yards.

Here a typical scoring format. Remember there are several variations used in NFL fantasy football leagues:

  • 1 point for 30 passing yards
  • 1 point for 20 rushing yards
  • 1 point for 20 receiving yards
  • 6 points for a touchdown
  • 4 points for a passing touchdown
  • -2 points for every interception thrown or fumble lost
  • 1 point for each extra point made
  • 3 points for each 0-39 yard field goal, 4 points for each 40-49 yard field goal, and 5 points for each 50+ yard field goal
  • 2 points per turnover gained by defense
  • 1 points per sack by the defense
  • 2 points for a safety by defense
  • 6 points for each touchdown scored by defense
  • 2 points for each blocked kick

My leagues with ESPN are set and you can only change them in increments. If I could I would change the points for passing to 1 point for 50 yards of passing, and 1 point for 20 yards for receiving and rushing.

If you rushed/receive for 100 yards you would only get 5 points and if you passed for 300 yards you would only get 5 points. I like to keep it real and simply with scoring, just like the NFL.

Here's my ESPN scoring but you can choose whatever you or your fellow owners like.

  • 1 point for 25 passing yards
  • 1 point for 10 rushing yards
  • 1 point for 10 receiving yards
  • 6 points for a touchdown
  • 6 points for a passing touchdown
  • -1 points for every interception thrown or fumble lost
  • 1 point for each extra point made
  • 3 points for each 0-39 yard field goal, 4 points for each 40-49 yard field goal, and 5 points for each 50+ yard field goal
  • 1 points per turnover gained by defense
  • 1 points per sack by the defense
  • 2 points for a safety by defense
  • 6 points for each touchdown scored by defense
  • 1 points for each blocked kick

Free Agency

After the draft, free agency and trading for players are important and the only way that you can better your team. Free agents in fantasy leagues can not be on any leagues owners roster.

You can add, claim or drop players anytime during the season. After the Monday night football game every week each team owner can claim free agents.

If you have more than one player claiming the same player, a team waiver position will determine who gets the player. If you have a lower waiver wire number you will get that player.

A team waiver wire rankings are determine by the win/loss record of the team and the number of times you have already been added player from the waiver wire. This really helps the league to stay competitive.

There are several players who are not drafted but turn out to be the best fantasy football player and helps team owners win there leagues.

Most leagues have trade deadlines like the NFL and 1 or 2 day waiver wire before a team can pick up the player.

When a trade is proposed and accepted in some leagues there is a voting period and the other teams can approve or veto the trade but there must be a quorum for a vote to be approved either way.

NFL fantasy football has made the NFL the top spectator sport in the world. I read in my ESPN magazine that you have Saudi Prince's, Billionaires, Millionaires, business owners and regular people like me and you who play NFL fantasy football.

Fantasy sports owners watch more televised football games, buy more NFL tickets and spend money at NFL stadiums at a higher rate than regular NFL sports fans.

The NFL has made several deals with TV, radio, internet, and cellphones companies that was driven at least by in part fantasy sports which allow subscribers to draft and monitor the teams with their cellphones.

An example is 55 percent of fantasy sports players are watching more sports on television since they started playing fantasy sports.

What can I say I really do love this game we call NFL fantasy football!

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