Fantasy football is perhaps the most popular type of fantasy sport of all. At least it most certainly is in the United States! Just the NFL alone has had about 15 million participants in 2018, which is estimated to grow in the years ahead.
Types of leagues
For fantasy football, there are a few different options for leagues to join. Traditionally, the most popular type of contest people joined was the seasonal leagues. At the start of a football season, friends and families would get together and join a league in which they compete against each other. Entry money is around $25 and by the end of the season, it’s determined who the winner is.
Daily fantasy football
A much more dynamic and fast type of contest came with daily fantasy football. It’s called daily, but in fact, you can choose between daily, weekly or fortnightly contests. The concept is simply that it’s a faster-moving league than one taking the entire season. Daily fantasy football is great if you don’t want the long-term commitment of a seasonal league, yet you love participating every once in a while. Don’t underestimate the intensity of daily fantasy football though, because it moves so quickly, you also have to do a new draft and a new line up each time.
Because the draft is such an important part of playing daily fantasy football, many sites offer draft simulations which are also called mock drafts. They serve the purpose of letting you practice your picks. It gives you an opportunity to test your strategies, see how hard or easy it is to get your favorite players and so on.
When you join a contest, they generally communicate beforehand what kind of draft system there is. Because other participants are in the league, the picking has to be fair. For that reason, a so-called snake draft is a great solution. It works in such a way that each round a different participant gets the first choice of picking. It’s basically a rotation. There are also other types of drafts, but players generally agree this is the preferred one.
There are a few giant fantasy sites, like FanDuel and DraftKings, who offer similar point systems per sport. However, there might be some small differences. So before you get your fantasy football on, read the rules and the point system for the sites you consider playing. The importance of reading yourself into the point system and how the stats work can never be underestimated. When you start playing fantasy football well-informed, it can only increase your chance of winning.
Sites like Yahoo or ESPN, but also DraftKings and FanDuel provide valuable information about players. Make sure you read different sources, however. You don’t want to rely on one source only. That’s because you can never tell with certainty which one provides the most reliable information. Aside from keeping up to date with stats, like the number of touchdowns, it’s also important to keep up to date with current events. For example, which player is tired, prone to injury or even trouble in his private life. When you think about it, there are a lot of things that could affect an NFL player’s performance. Make sure you know all the latest developments before you get into the draft.
High stake leagues
Ever since fantasy football has become so popular, the prize money has increased too. There are some leagues that have a so-called GPP. That means the contest has a guaranteed prize, regardless of how many participants the contest will generate. As a participant, you can look out for those contests with a guaranteed prize because you can get an advantage here if the contest has relatively few participants.
There are also a good number of high stake fantasy football contest. That means you pay a good price to enter the contest, but the potential prize money as well is much higher than usual. If you’re just starting out, it’s better to start with the smaller contest. This is ideal to get some practice and experience to prepare for the higher stakes!