Fantasy Football

Setting Up Your League

Reading this you are probably well on your way to setting up your league. Fortunately there are several ways of you doing this. Things to consider include the type of league you want to have (in format), number of people in your league, where to host your league, the scoring format you want to use, and finally, line-up.

Types of league 

There are quite a few different formats of league. The main ones are:

Redraft 

Redraft leagues are essentially like wiping the slate clean each year and drafting again. This is the more popular league type. The advantage is that you are able to choose a new team each year, so you have a fighting chance every year and you won’t be constantly punished (or rewarded) for mis-judging a player’s worth. 

Dynasty 

This style of league is putting you in the position for you to make the decisions of a General Manager in the league. Once you select a player he is yours until the point at which you decide to cut him or trade him. You also will have draft picks each year for a rookie draft.  

Dynasty leagues are starting to be more popular, as owners are likely to be rewarded for their management of their roster and also you can have several different strategies- as you could be looking at a weak roster that needs a rebuild for future performance, or looking to win the league now and bring in veteran players. 

Keeper 

Keeper leagues are the Goldilocks of the three, if you want to have the benefit of judging a player’s ability but also want flexibility of being able to choose the majority of your roster afresh each year then a keeper league is likely the one for you. Normally there is a penalty to pay when you keep a player, which varies in each league. A standard penalty would be that each year you keep them you have to forfeit a pick in the round before you picked them.  

Bestball 

Bestball (or draft only) leagues are easy to maintain, as you only have to do the draft and then sit back. In this format of league your best line-up each week is automatically selected for you from your roster of players. This is the ultimate set-and-forget option – although they can be difficult to find! 

Format of drafting 

Snake 

A snake draft works to give parity of picks, mainly used in redraft leagues & start up dynasty leagues. The draft order reverses each round, so the person picking first in round one picks last in round two, but then first in round three. 

Linear 

As with snake, each owner takes their turn to make their pick- but the order doesn’t change throughout. 

Auction 

An auction draft enables every person in a league to have a chance of getting any player they want. This style of league starts with a player being nominated and a round of bidding on those players. Be warned- this format can take a long time. 

Choosing a host for your league 

The host you select is likely dependent on the style of league you opt for as some are better at coping with formats differently. It can seem a bit daunting, but essentially each site has it’s pro’s and con’s. Just choose the site that you prefer the layout out for. 

The main sites used are; 

  • NFL.com 
  • ESPN 
  • Sleeper 
  • Fleaflicker 
  • MyFantasyLeague 

If you are wanting to set up a redraft league then you can essentially use any of the above and be relatively happy- particularly the ones at the top of the list that are easier to unpack from the box. 

Sleeper, Fleaflicker and MyFantasyLeague also have good dynasty functionality. My preference is Sleeper due to the alerts functions on their app- but it is personal preference. So have a look at them and choose the one that you prefer. 

Scoring 

There are loads of different ways of scoring in fantasy football, too many to name. Seemingly every statistic can be applied differently for scoring, but here I’m going to look at the main scoring methods. PPR and Standard scoring. 

Standard Scoring 

Standard scoring (or non-PPR depending on where your league is being set up) means that yards and touchdowns are rewarded, but receptions aren’t. 

This is the traditional way of scoring but with the change in how the league plays now there has been quite a swing to our next method of scoring. 

In standard scoring a running back is truly the king, as they are able to have a number of yards on a more consistent basis. As well as this you want players who have a high touchdown opportunity so look for players that are looked at in the red zone. 

PPR Scoring 

PPR scoring essentially came about as a result of the swing towards passing becoming more prevalent. As well as rewarding yards and touchdowns, this format also scores for receptions- either a full point or half point. 

This means that the type of receiver used changes, as you can use more slot receivers who can make up for their lack of yards with increased receptions. So a player like Golden Tate who catches a lot of passes is a more viable option in PPR scoring. 

While most players will think that receivers gain most value in this format, pass catching running backs allow you to really hit with this strategy. Christian McCaffrey for example, is a lot more valuable in PPR formats than standard formats due to his involvement in the passing game. 

PPR scoring due to it’s nature seems to give an impression that it makes wide receivers a lot more valuable, which is true, but it actually allows for more options at the running back position. Rewarding points for receptions gives the option of selecting ‘third-down’ running backs that will be able to catch more passes to make up for the lack of rushing yards. 

Lineup 

So now you’ve chosen your scoring format, the next decision to make is around the players that you are going to select for your team. 

The first step is to decide how large the rosters are going to be. A standard selection of positions include: 

  • Quarterback 
  • Running Backs 
  • Wide Receivers 
  • Tight End 
  • Flex (RB/WR) 
  • DST 
  • Kicker 

Variable number of bench spots 

For as many positions that are in the league you can change the number of players that need to be started, and also alter the flex position to include other positions 

Different flex options 

A flex position allows some freedom for selection, and allows you to choose from a larger pool of players. May sites offer different flex options including leagues where you can have any attacking position including an additional quarterback (normally referred to as a ‘superflex’) 

Kicker or no Kicker? 

Many leagues are starting to omit a kicker in order to add an additional flex position. Choosing a kicker is somewhat difficult to project over a season, with the variance in points being scored due to field goals being more valuable and teams opting to ‘go for two’ rather than attempt a kick after a touchdown. 

Article written by:

Cheesehead who away from NFL loves rugby, (Bath), and as I haven’t grown up I still build Lego! You can follow me on Twitter @excelgeek which is also my Xbox Gamertag if you want to challenge me at Madden

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