Fantasy Football – Everything Beginners Need to Know

American FootballFantasy sports and betting have been around for a long time.

However, they’ve never made a serious breakthrough, and a lot of people didn’t even hear about them. Things are a bit different today as a whole industry and community are developing around fantasy sports betting.

With this in mind, there are a lot more opportunities for making money.

Traditionally, fantasy football and other sports were reserved for sports bars or private gatherings where a few friends would have fun and make a league on their own.

They occasionally threw in a couple of bucks, but in most cases, it was about recreation and just guys having fun.

The present is different thanks to modern technology and a bit of innovation. Fantasy sports have grown into a mainstream activity, and a lot of people like betting on them. This is why I’ve decided to make this guide about fantasy football and help you understand all the ins and outs:

As an experienced sports bettor, I can tell you that fantasy football doesn’t lack in any way when it comes to betting. If you’re smart and know what you’re doing, you will be able to win often.

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Fantasy football is the answer to the prayers of all football fans who feel that they are capable of building the winning football roster.

There are several legal and reputed fantasy football websites that give players the opportunity to sit in a virtual front office and be the general manager of their own football team.

In other words, any football fan can become a fantasy football player, build teams of top-performing National Football League (NFL) players, and win real money based on their team members’ performance on the field.

How to Play Fantasy Football?

Before I start talking about how fantasy football is played, I will first explain what fantasy football is. After all, this will help you get a better understanding of the game, its purpose, and, ultimately, how it’s played.

What is Fantasy Football?

Fantasy football is a mathematical game based on real-life sport – football. More precisely, it’s based on the most popular football league, the NFL. Players are managers that run their virtual teams.

At the start of the season, all managers draft players who are based on real football players. They have skills that are similar to real-world ones and have their own unique abilities. You need to build up your team and choose the best players you can.

After that, the games are played, and you get points. These points determine your position within the league during the season. Bear in mind that there are different types of leagues. All of them have their specifics, depending on the platform.

Joining a League

When it comes to finding a league, there are two options to choose from:

  1. Public leagues
  2. Private leagues

Public leagues allow anyone to join while private ones usually require an invitation or they assess applicants thoroughly. As a beginner, it’s best to start playing for fun to learn more about the game itself before you can start betting real money.

Don’t take your league choice lightly as they all have their own rules. Make sure to go through them thoroughly before joining a league.

Scouting Players Before the Draft

Before you start drafting players, you will have to do thorough research and scout all the players. Bear in mind that you will be stuck with your rooster throughout the whole season, and this is why you need to pick carefully.

Rank all of the players you would want, understand your strategy, and how they would fit in within your system with their abilities. Make sure to understand the roster setup as well as the scoring system of the league to establish a good draft approach.

Drafting Fantasy Football Players

For me, the draft is the most exciting and fun part of the game. I think that if you get the right players, then winning becomes a lot easier. The draft is quite simple to understand. Each of the fantasy team owners drafts a single player per turn until everyone has completed their rosters.

These drafts are done online, and all of the players that joined the league need to be present at the same time. Drafting is also about strategy, and you need to make sure that you covered each position.

Having good attackers won’t do you any good if your defense is weak.

Playing During the Season

As an owner of a fantasy football team, you have all the control. In case you don’t like some of the players you drafted, there are free agents you can sign as their replacement.

When players get injured, you will have to add replacements for them. It’s also a good idea to trade players with other owners.

Adjust your tactics, change strategies, lineups, and so on. You will have to play regularly and manage your team as well as possible.

Where to Place a Bet

Making real bets on fantasy football is nothing strange as there are hundreds of thousands of people across the world doing it. To many, it seems like something shady and complicated, but it really isn’t. It’s just sports betting for virtual sports more suited to people who have a gaming mindset.

Placing fantasy football bets is very simple. It’s generally done through pool betting where players join a pool and have the option of betting.

The pool can have fixed stakes, and after winning, players get their pot share. On these kinds of platforms, a bettor can get all of the winnings or a progressive payout.

This can happen throughout the whole season, or bettors can place bets for each match or a weekly basis. You can place bets on various sports betting sites that offer all kinds of betting. On this site, you can do fantasy football betting and choose from different rooms to do so.

Setting up Your Account

All of the modern fantasy football betting takes place online on various betting websites. Similarly to any other type of betting, if you want to place bets on fantasy football, you will have to open up an account on the site.

The process is usually quite simple, and it takes a couple of minutes to sign up and start betting.

First, make sure to go through several sports betting sites, research them, read reviews, compare, and pick the one you like the most. Once you’ve done that, click on the sign-up button. Enter all of the information required and choose a payment option.

When you’ve done that, you’ll be able to place bets with real money. When going through online sports betting platforms, make sure that they support fantasy football betting and not just football betting.

Even though fantasy sports betting is growing quickly, not all sites support this kind of gambling.

How Does Fantasy Football Work?

In a nutshell, fantasy football works this way: you choose the league you like and sign up, draft players to complete your roster, create a lineup and strategies, and see how your team performs and develops throughout the season.

You need to know how to draft the best possible talent and then make the most of them.

Regular vs. Fully Custom Leagues

As I mentioned earlier, not all leagues are the same. No matter what kind of platform you’ve chosen, make sure to read the league rules, know the point system, understand the tournaments, and so on. However, one significant difference between leagues is whether or not they are fully customised or not.

For example, the league I am currently playing in is similar to the NHL. It means that it has real players and teams from the NHL, the same league system, rules, points, and prizes you can win.

If you love the NHL and you follow it daily, this will be a lot of fun for you, and you will have the knowledge you need about players and, therefore, virtual teams you beat on.

On the other hand, fantasy football leagues can also be fully customised that don’t resemble any real league in the world. There are even examples of leagues that don’t even have real players, and everything is virtually designed from scratch.

Fantasy Football Rules

Believe it or not, the greatest joy ai get from fantasy football is from the rules it has. Since I play fantasy football and bet on it at the same time, I want to test my knowledge. At the same time, I love NHL, and this is why I’ve chosen a league that has identical rules.

These rules allow me to test my knowledge and learn about all the possible strategies and combinations I can implement. I can’t stress this enough, MAKE SURE to check the rules of the league you are applying for as operators have different rules. However, three general rules are always present:

  1. Squad size is limited: You can’t draft as many players as you want. This leaves more room for strategy and drafting the right players because you need to have a deep team to perform well. The player limit mostly ranges from 15 to 20 max from one league to another.
  2. Budget is limited: All players in your roster have to be paid for as well. This is another factor that needs to be considered – money. In most cases, the league will limit you to $100 million for your players.
  3. Players need to come from different teams: All leagues have some limitations when it comes to drafting players from the same team. Some will allow a maximum of 3 or more, while others will give you the option of selecting 1 player from each team.

How Does Yahoo Fantasy Football work?

There are a lot of different platforms on which you can play fantasy football, and one of the best ones is Yahoo Fantasy Football. In this part, I will talk about the platform, how it works, and why I think it’s one of the best options out there. Let’s first look at some of the most obvious benefits.

Yahoo Fantasy Football Benefits

  1. Free to play: I love Yahoo Fantasy Football because it’s completely free. There are no hidden costs that pop out as you start playing like with some other sites. It’s honest and straightforward, which is always a good thing.
  2. Offers great experience: Apart from being free, Yahoo Fantasy Sports is also very reliable. It provides a lot of customisation options, excellent navigation, and has automatic updates that finish in no time. The overall interface design is neat and well-organised.
  3. Fun features: The gaming experience on Yahoo is really information and fun. With things like drafting grades for all teams individually, post-draft recap features, weekly recaps, top performances, and many other options, it makes playing a whole lot of fun.
  4. A lot of customisation options: Yahoo is in the fantasy football world from the very start. Throughout the years, they’ve perfected their platform to cater to all of the needs of their players.
  5. There is a countless number of customisations so that everyone can set up the way they like it. Even if someone has switched from another platform, they can make customisations to resemble their previous operator. Yahoo Fantasy Football has a website and a mobile app.

Learning to Play on Yahoo

Yahoo offers various contests for their players. Players can choose daily lineups or decide to play in a league. Those daily contests include typical competition options like tournaments, cash, and head-to-head matches. On the other hand, the league offers a bit more flavor.

Their league involves constant daily contests with a group of same players. Players can choose to play for a fee or not when joining the league, and after doing so, they enter a contest that lasts until the league has finished, and the winner is decided.

After choosing your contest type, the next step is to select a team, and that’s pretty straightforward. When drafting players, you will have to click on the position you want, and you will get a list of player names that play that role.

Scoring System

Yahoo also has a decimal scoring system like a lot of similar platforms. A passing TD is worth 4 points, each receiving or rushing yard is worth 0.1 points, a single passing yard is worth 0.04 points. The only unorthodox scoring on Yahoo is the fact that each interception is worth 0.5 points.

This platform has a “Footballers Preferred” format of scoring, and anyone with knowledge of these kinds of settings will quickly get the hang of it.

Roster Requirements

The kicker position is forged for the flex position. Rather than waiting for the end of drafting a team when you will be forced to pick a kicker randomly or whoever you can afford, this allows you to establish a strategy with a combination of different positions.

How to Draft Fantasy Football

Drafting in fantasy football leagues has reached the level of science. There are a lot of things to be considered. After all, the players you draft carries a lot of importance. Those players will be there for you throughout the whole season.

Yes, you can change several players, add free agents, or trade them, but most of the squad you draft will be in your team during the whole season. This is why I’ve decided to give you some useful general tips for drafting that can work for any league.

Pick Running Backs Early on

Running backs have always been really important in fantasy football. Catching balls in the backfield has become more important than ever, and this is why teams need a lot of versatility. You need to have backs that can do different things and support your strategy.

For example, strong and powerful running backs can help a lot with touchdowns or chunk run. On the other hand, if you are currently running a passing game, you will need fast-paced running backs who have explosiveness and can adapt to a different pace.

Look to get an explosive back and one that can be consistent. In case you have to start two drafts at least 5 running backs. If there is a flex position, look to get around 7 running backs.

Get backs that are well-rounded but also get those that excel in a certain way.

Draft an Elite Wide Receiver

Most online platforms have passing leagues, which is why top tier wide receivers are essential. You need to know your elite players throughout all positions.

Look to pick a good receiver around the 6th pick. Players like Antonio Brown, Mike Evans, and Hopkins are all good picks that you should keep in mind.

Understand Why You are Drafting Certain Players

This does sound like common sense, but you should always question why you are picking a particular player. First of all, make sure that you know the guy that you’re drafting. Have some knowledge about him, his potential, talent, and skills displayed in the real world.

It’s almost always a better idea to go with some young players with potential than old veterans that can get injured easily.

Also, always make sure the player you’re picking has a role to play in your strategy/team. Don’t just pick players if they are good even though you don’t have a position for them.

Don’t Cling to Rankings That Much

Rankings are important don’t get me wrong. However, they might be deceiving in some situations. It’s all about getting the skills you need and not the overall rankings.

For example, a player can be good physically and get good rankings, but his passing could be poor, and if you need him to pass well, all of the other strengths of that player will have less importance.

Find players who you know have the skills that you need in your positions. Always consider your game plan and what your roster needs.

Draft Kickers in The End

If your league still has the kicker position, make sure to leave these picks for the end. In my opinion, all fantasy football platforms should remove this position altogether. In the end, look for accurate players that have the ability to land long ones.
This is all you need to know about this position, and you shouldn’t waste higher picks on it.

Fantasy Football Tips

Your real job starts once you’ve finished drafting. You need to coach your team correctly, create a good lineup for each game, and make the tough decision of choosing the players you want to keep and those that you wish to trade.

The decisions you make every week will impact the level of success your team has had. Here are some general tips you can use in any league:

  • If your season doesn’t start well and you lose the first couple of games, don’t panic and make rushed decisions. DOn’t dump sleepers right away or trade studs just because they’ve had a couple of bad games. Sometimes it only takes time for the team to “click”.
  • Make sure to know the “bye weeks” of all your players. There is nothing worse than losing all of your key players due to bye weeks and leaving your team completely vulnerable.
  • Regularly assess the strengths and weaknesses of your team. When looking for trade options, always consider the needs of your team and where you could improve. On the other hand, consider which positions are more important.
  • Always check your roster for injured players. Your starting lineup always needs to be prepared, and if someone gets injured, you need to add an adequate replacement or change your whole strategy.
  • Keep track of the free agent and waiver pool. Other coaches will often let go of various players, and you never know when one of those might be the perfect addition to your squad.

Fantasy Football Popularity

According to an estimate from the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA), a Chicago-based organization that represents the fantasy sports industry, as many as 32 million US residents spent a total of $15 billion playing a wide range of fantasy sports. As much as $11 billion of this amount is spent on fantasy football. And these mammoth figures have nothing to do with the ad revenue generated by fantasy sports websites. Since the NFL’s annual fantasy football revenue is close to $10 billion, it can be safely said that the fantasy football market is now worth more than the original football market it developed from.

According to an FSTA estimate, an average fantasy player spends 3 hours every week managing his/her team(s). This translates into 23 million players spending close to 1.2 billion hours in the course of 17 weeks.

Taking into consideration the above estimates, average wages in America, ad revenue, and actual expenditure, one can place the annual value of the fantasy sports industry at anywhere between $40 billion and $70 billion.

Five Good Reasons to Play Fantasy Football

One’s love for football is a good enough reason to play fantasy football, but there are many more reasons for football fans to consider playing the game, and here are five such reasons.

  1. Deepen your understanding of football

    In spite of your passion for the game, your understanding of it might be superficial. An average football enthusiast knows just a few football players or is acquainted with just his/her favorite team.

    If this average football fan starts playing fantasy football, he/she will soon know almost everything there is to know about football. Fantasy football players will be following each and every game keenly, paying close attention to the performance of each and every player. Instead of being mere fans of a particular team or player, they will become experts of the game.

  2. Make new friends

    Playing fantasy football will help players make more new friends that spending time on Facebook does. The game really helps develop social and familial bonds, encouraging players to send more emails and text messages to relatives and friends living miles away. Players may have to move several times, but fantasy football will help them remain in touch with all the friends, co-workers, and relatives they have left behind.

  3. Become a general manager

    Football fans often complain that team managers do not do their jobs well. Fantasy football gives such fans the opportunity to put together the winning football team.

    Fantasy football enables one to draft players, select them from free agent pools or waivers, trade them, and make all the related decisions. Although this sounds easy, it requires a great deal of knowledge and strategy on the part of the players. Drafting a team is not a solitary activity, but involves a great deal of communication from others in the league and trying to find out their interest in one’s roster.

  4. Fantasy football makes real football more interesting

    Before starting to play fantasy football, fans usually stick to their own teams and watch only their games. They usually refrain from watching televised football matches until and unless it somehow affects their favorite team. Once they start playing fantasy football, fans will experience a heightened interest in the game, the teams, and the players.

  5. Fantasy football players make real money

    As impossible as this may sound to fantasy football beginners, it is true that several people make a living out of fantasy football. Of course, a beginner will not win big from his/her first game, but in the course of time, beginners will start winning enough to pay off a few bills.

Conclusion

Even though I only bet on fantasy football today and don’t have the time to play it, I guarantee you it’s tons of fun. Trust me; you’ll find yourself caring about what’s happening in your fantasy football league more than what is happening in the real world.

This guide gives you all the essentials you need as a beginner. However, make sure to learn as you go and always look to keep track of football news to stay updated. Do you love NHL? If so, try out fantasy football.

Fantasy Football FAQs


Answer:

If you like following NFL, fantasy football allows you to do this while competing with your friends, co-workers, or random players. If you are a fan of the NFL, then you will love fantasy football.

On top of that, if you like video games, then you will spend a lot of time running your team. Luckily, there are a lot of free platforms where you can try out fantasy football so you can try it out and see if you like it.


Answer:

Most people play fantasy football online. There are a lot of websites on which you can play fantasy football even for free. Additionally, a lot of them offer mobile apps as well, so you can play it this way if you like.


Answer:

If you want to play online, you will need to have your own account. Pick the platform you like, go on it, and click on the “sign up” button. The process is short and simple, and in just a couple of minutes, you will have your account, which you can use to play fantasy football.


Answer:

There are always dangers online, no matter what you are doing. Before signing up on a platform, make sure to find reviews from real people and see what everyone is saying about that platform. At the same time, you must use your account responsibly.
This means to avoid giving any sensitive information about your account to anyone. Additionally, make a strong password that nobody can crack.


Answer:

Yes. However, before signing up on a platform to make sure that they support mobile devices. Some sites are optimized for mobile users, while others have an app. Additionally, check for user reviews and if the platform offers details about what kind of mobile device they support.


Answer:

It all depends on the platform, really. Some platforms offer free membership and premium membership. However, there are also completely free platforms and platforms that require payments.


Answer:

Of course. The more you know, the better it will be for you. Keeping track of news like injuries, forms, and scandals also affect teams and players in fantasy football.


Answer:

The rewards are different on each platform. However, in most cases, you will get VIP seats, tickets, special offers, and trips that have something to do with football.


Answer:

In most cases, yes. Every platform has multiple leagues, and generally, they allow you to have a team in each league.


Answer:

This also depends on the platform, but in most cases, it’s a matter of minutes as soon as a game is over the results and all the information will be available in just a couple of minutes.


Answer:

This depends on your preference. If you want to play with other users of the fantasy football website, you can simply join a website-managed league. If you want to play with someone you know, you can set up a custom league.

If you cannot make up your mind, just join an autopick league. If you are an experienced player who wants to play only against other experienced players or a league winner who wants to play only against other league winners, you can easily find a league to suit your tastes.


Answer:

You can join a private league or a standard league. To join a private league, you need to get an invitation from the league owner. You can join a standard league by selecting a league from the league directory of your fantasy football website.


Answer:

You can just create a league by inviting friends to join it or allow anybody to join it by setting a league ID and password or just publish your league into the fantasy football website’s league directory so that other fantasy football players can find it and join it.


Answer:

Fantasy scoring is getting points for your fantasy teams based on real football statistics.

Fantasy Football

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