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How to Play Weekly Fantasy Football

How to Play Weekly Fantasy Football
by Brandon of

Fantasy football is a stat-based game where players assume the role of team owners and build a fantasy squad of real NFL players. Individual player stats are the only relevant part of fantasy football, and everything else related to the players-game final scores, penalties, multi-million dollar contracts, supermodel girlfriends-is irrelevant. Scoring points in fantasy depends entirely on the stat sheet, so fantasy owners must be aware of scoring rules. We'll be using examples from Draftstreet, which is one of the most popular weekly fantasy football sites on the web. (Sign up using promo code ROTOPICKS and they'll give you a 100% signup bonus instead of their standard 20% deal!)

Draftstreet General Scoring Rules:

OFFENSE (QBs, RBs, WRs, TEs, and FLEX Players): Passing Yards: 0.04 per each (1 point = 25 passing yards)
Passing TDs: 4 points
Rushing Yards: 0.1 per each (1 point = 10 rushing yards)
Rushing TDs: 6 points
Receptions: 0.5 per each
Receiving Yards: 0.1 per each (1 point = 10 rushing yards)
Receiving TDs: 6 points
2 Point Conversions (passing, rushing, receiving): 2 points
Interception: Minus 1
Fumble lost: Minus 1
Kick/Punt Return TD: 6 points

A word on PPR (Points Per Reception): Draftstreeet employs a PPR scoring system that awards 0.5 points to any offensive player who catches a pass. Even if a pass goes for zero or negative yardage, the 0.5 is awarded. Owners should consider PPR bonuses when selecting RBs, WRs, and TEs-a six-catch performance means 3 bonus points in addition to the player's yardage and TD totals.



Defensive Points Allowed: Minus 0.5 per each (Note: D/ST starts with 12 points)
Defensive TD: 6 points
Kick/Punt Return TD: 6 points
Interception: 1 point
Fumble recovery: 1 point
Sack: 0.5
Safety: 2 points

A word on D/ST (Defense/Special Teams): The D/ST position includes all eleven men on the field during a team's defensive and special team plays. Therefore, any member of a defense or special teams unit can add to (or subtract from) the D/ST score. A defensive lineman's sack, a cornerback's interception, and a punt returner's TD all contribute to the D/ST score; conversely, points surrendered by a team's defense or special teams unit deduct from the score.

Note also that the D/ST Points Allowed stat DOES NOT apply to points allowed by the team's offense. For instance, if you start the Bears D/ST, and the Bears QB throws an interception that is returned for a TD, the six points do not count against the D/ST (although the extra point will).

League Types

Draftstreet enables fantasy football owners to play in three different types of leagues: Pick 'em, Salary, and Snake-Draft.

1) Pick 'em Leagues challenge owners to select one player each from eight different scoring tiers. Each tier consists of several NFL players who have similar projected stats for the week. Tier 1 includes players with the highest projected stats, while Tier 8 includes players with the lowest projected stats. Owners select one player from each tier, creating a lineup of eight players. There is no limit on the amount of players you may select from each position (for instance, you can start eight different QBs if each tier offers a QB). The goal is select the player from each tier who you believe will have the most points.

2) Salary Cap Leagues provide fantasy owners with $100,000 of spending money to use toward building a team of ten players. Owners must balance their budget while building a roster that consists of 2 QBs, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 2 FLEX, and 1 D/ST. Since players with the highest projected weekly totals have the largest price tags, Salary Leagues challenge owners to strategize and determine the best possible spread of their funds.

IMPORTANT: You will be disqualified from a Salary League if you (A) exceed the salary cap or (B) fail to fill each roster spot.

3) Snake-Draft Leagues are similar to the classic fantasy draft format: the owner picking first in the Round 1 must pick last in Round 2, first the Round 3, last in Round 4, and so on. Conversely, the owner picking last in Round 1 picks first in Round 2, and so on. The draft order follows a snake-like pattern until each team's roster fills.

In addition to the 2 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 2 FLEX, and 1 D/ST positions, there are also two reserve/bench spots on the roster in Snake Leagues. Owners can swap reserve players for starters at any time prior to the start of the game. A player in the reserve position cannot score fantasy points unless the owner moves them into the starting lineup. Reserve slots best serve to back-up starters who may miss a game due to injury.

Snake-drafts commence five minutes after the league fills. If an owner is not present for a draft (or if the owner fails to make a pick during the 45-second time limit), the Auto-pick function will go into effect. An owner may set his own personal Auto-pick rankings by placing players in the draft window's queue. Simply click on a player from the list, then hit the "Queue" button to add a player to the queue.

If you have any questions about how to play weekly fantasy football, feel free to drop us a line at and we'll be happy to answer your questions!

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