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What is Fantasy Football

What is Fantasy Football? - Fantasy Football Explained
by JV of

Fantasy football is a game that is played using the real life stats from NFL players. There are various scoring formats depending on your league's rules but the most common format is the points for performance leagues. These leagues give points for various levels of yards gained and for touchdowns.


Each league will have their own roster limitations, here is a common roster:

1 Quarterback
2 Running Backs
2 Wide Receivers
1 Tight End
1 Flex (RB, WR or TE)
1 Kicker
1 Team Defense
6 Reserve players


Here is the most common scoring format:

Offensive players:

- 6 points for rushing or receiving touchdown
- 4 points for a touchdown pass
- 2 points for an extra point (2 pt. conversion) rushing or receiving
- 1 point for an extra point passing
- 1 point for 25 yards passing
- 1 point for 10 rushing yards
- 1 point for 10 receiving yards
- -2 points for an interception
- -1 point for a lost fumble

Special teams/Defense:

- 2 points for a turnover created
- 1 point for a sack
- 6 points for a return for a touchdown


- 1 point for extra point kick
- 3 points for field goal less than 40 yards
- 3 points for a field goal 40 yards or more

Draft/Acquiring Players

Players are drafted onto your team in various ways depending upon your league rules. Here are the 3 most common types of drafts:

Serpentine (Snake) - In this type of draft there is a random method to determine the draft order for round 1 and all odd number rounds, the order for round 2 and all even numbered rounds is the reverse order of the draft.

Auction - In this type of draft each team owner has a set amount of dollars to spend and each player is auctioned off to the highest bidder.

Keeper (Dynasty) - These leagues are more rare. In keeper leagues, each team owner gets to keep a set amount of players from their previous roster and then the remaining players are in the draft pool. This means that you could potentially draft a player and end up having him on your team for that player's whole career. These leagues are generally for the diehard fantasy football fanatic with a strong group of league members.

There are always injuries and new players arriving so after the initial draft there are 2 ways to acquire players, again depending on your league rules. Players can either be free agents, this means that anyone can pick up a player on a first come, first serve basis. In order to pick up a player you need to drop someone from your existing team. The other way to acquire players is through the waiver wire. In this type of league there is a predetermined order (based on standings, reverse order of draft or some other method). Each owner submits their claim on the player and the team with the highest waiver priority acquires the player, again, you must drop a player to pick up (claim) a new player.

Trades are also allowed in most leagues. In order for a trade to be made one team will propose trading their players for someone else's players. This can be an important maneuver if you are deep in one position but weak in another area. In order to keep the leagues fair most leagues have a veto process where the owners can veto a trade that they feel is unfair or they have a trade committed that rules on the fairness of the trade.

Types of Leagues

Head to Head - In this format each team will match up with another team and the team with the most points will get a win for that week. Typically these leagues will have a regular season with the top teams going to a seeded playoff during the last 3 weeks of the NFL regular season.

Total Points - In these leagues each team accumulates points for their active players. There are no records involved, the team with the highest points at the end of the year is the champion.

Reasons to Play

There are various reasons to play fantasy football. Some leagues required a fee to participate and the money is split out to the league winners. There are some people who play with just family and friends for fun and for bragging rights. Others play so that they have a reason to follow their favorite players/teams. Remember that the idea of playing is to have fun!

Did you know... that you can now play in leagues that last only one week (and daily in MLB/NBA!) and you draft a brand new team each week? Drafts run 24/7 and can be in a head to head format, 3 man, 6 man, 10 man, 20 man and large groups. Find all of this and more at the best daily fantasy sports site on the internet: Fanduel.

Related: The Basics of Fantasy Football and How Salary Cap Leagues Work

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