An Introduction to Fantasy Football Part II:

Now that you've decided what kind of format you want to play, you have decided what league you want to play. Every league has its own nuances, and each provider has its own rules. Choosing the one you want takes some patience and attention.

Here are some things to consider:
  1. Public or Private: Its up to you to decide whether its just a bunch of your friends that are in this league only or you want to play with complete strangers. Having just your friends in a league makes it easier for interaction and more fun to brag, but you need to have enough friends interested. A public online league allows you the chance to interact with people from all over and guarantees you shouldn't be playing with 12 Buffalo Bills fans all looking at Drew Bledsoe as the best QB in fantasy football, which he's not. Anyways, here's a list of things that you might consider before joining or starting up a league of your own.

  2. The Commissioner: Do you know this guy? Is he an experienced fantasy player or is he a rookie, like you? Knowing this stuff can determine how smoothly your league runs. Otherwise, you can be having a bench of only two players and gaining three points every time your running back fumbles the football. Taking a look at the rules can determine if the person knows what they are doing, or if they are a clown.

  3. The Rules: There are a lot of rules to get through, but taking the time to look at them can help you down the road. Is there a waiver system, how are trades made, when the trade date is, and the weeks of playoffs will help you determine which league is best for you.

  4. The scoring: How do players accumulate their points? Taking a look at how a player can get points will help you determine what players you might want in the draft. Some leagues give points for receptions or completions as well as touchdowns and yards. It affects a player's value. Troy Brown is an excellent example. Last year he had 97 catches, but only 890 yards and 3 touchdowns. In a pure yardage and TD league, his value isn't that much, but if you start getting points for his catches as well, then his value increases. Defense is another position that is drastically affected by scoring settings. Some leagues will give credit for interceptions and sacks, some don't. A league that only gives a team credit for TD's scored and how many points they give up in a game affects the defenses worth dramatically. Only TD's and scores make defenses practically worthless unless you manage to get the Buccaneers defense. Otherwise, I would suggest waiting until the final rounds to pick up a defense.

  5. The draft: What kind of draft is it? Is it a live draft or auto-pick? Live draft is traditional choice in terms of real life league but for online leagues it allows you to be more flexible, but requires you to be in the draft room (typically on a website, not an actually room) to make your picks. Also pay attention to when the draft is because you better be available that day and time for the draft. If you have a conflict, don't even bother signing up. Otherwise, it's a waste of time and possibly money. If don't have the time to sit for hours on end for a draft then join an auto draft league which is based on rankings of players that you have predetermined before the draft (or just used the preset rankings a site offers) and once that draft begins the computer will be selecting for you. You won't have to be there for that draft.

  6. Defensive players: Either your league uses individual defensive players or they don't. Traditional leagues just use teams as it's easier and faster. Its one more thing to pay attention to when you are drafting and worrying about how your league's scoring system works. For that reason, I recommend that novice players stay away from leagues that use individual players.

  7. Pay to play: More and more often leagues are charging to use their service. If you are willing to pay, you can win some pretty cool prizes sometimes. You can also set up a pool among your friends in the league that you start. Its based on taste and what you can afford not to mention bragging rights amongst your chums if you win the whole thing.

    If you missed it click the link to Part I of this III Part series.

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