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The NFL season would seem incomplete nowadays without the presence of Fantasy Football. When you play fantasy football, you have become the owner and coach of a football team. It is hard to remember what a NFL game was like without every play having fantasy football implications. As the owner, you can assemble a team of stars and role players, attempting to find the right balance of players to accumulate stats to score well in your league. As the team's coach, you attempt to pick the right starting lineup for that week’s games, making sure that your best players aren't sitting on the bench and you are not starting any player that is Out due to an injury or Bye week. For anyone interested in starting a league, all you need are a few basic guidelines to get started. The beauty of fantasy football is that there really isn't any set set up that you are required follow. It's your fantasy league, so design it any way you want. Of course, you are limited to the creativity of the website that you have chosen. Your league may prefer to play in a free, generic league. You will have many websites to choose from for that. On the other hand, you may want to full-service website with many flexible configuration options and dedicated customer service personnel. If that describes your league, you will want to look at Maximum Fantasy Sports. Ultimately, to enhance your NFL viewing experience, participating in a fantasy football league at www.maximumfantasysports.com, or elsewhere, will allow you to do that. Okay, now let's take it step by step and get you started. Bear in mind, this article would look like War and Peace if we covered every single nuance of fantasy football, so we are going to focus on the highlights. Gather friends to fill out a league Assemble a league of football owners who are willing to participate through the end of your fantasy season. It makes it more enjoyable if they are willing to wheel and deal, wager a little money and talk a bit of smack. There is no set number of teams per league, but 12 teams seem to be the standard. You can certainly form leagues that are bigger and smaller than that, but make sure that you have an even-number of teams if you are playing in a head-to-head league as no one wants to take a week
off. If you are playing in a Total Points league with no direct matchups, an odd number of teams is acceptable. Decide who’s running the show Elect a commissioner. The commissioner should be somebody who every team owner respects, or at least trusts. The commissioner, who most likely also owns a team in the league, is responsible for the league constitution, bylaws, configuration and all final decisions. The commissioner also collects and distributes the league contributions and maintains the peace. A good website will grant the commissioner a set of tools that allow him/her with the power to control what functions the owners are allowed to perform (managing their roster, posting messages,…), to manage another owner’s roster, rerun stats and many other controlling functions. Configuring the league Setting the scoring system and rules for your league are very important. There are many variations to the game and scoring systems for fantasy football are as different as the NFL and Arena Football Leagues. Make sure all rules and settings are set in stone before the draft is held. This article could go one for many, many pages just discussing the variety of different scoring configuration options available in fantasy football. Let’s take a peek at the most basic settings. Ultimately, it all comes down to how scoring is set up. Though many early leagues focused simply on touchdowns, most leagues nowadays award points for touchdowns and yardag. Four points are commonly awarded to any player who throws a touchdown pass and six points for rushing or receiving touchdowns. One point is commonly awarded for every 25 passing yards and every 10 rushing or receiving yards. It is tempting to go with the feast-or-famine approach and draft a QB and his main WR. Often, this is a bad idea, unless, of course, you have Tom Brady and Randy Moss on your fantasy team. Some leagues also give bonus points for longer TDs, such as, two points for TDs between 50 and 81 yards and three points for TDs over 81 yards. The size of rosters also varies from league to league. Most leagues have a fixed number of starting positions and a fixed number of bench players, usually adding up
to 15-17 players. The starting positions (slots) usually feature one QB, two RBs, three WRs, one TE, one K and one D. Variations include using Special Teams or individual defensive players instead of a single defense. Also, “swing” positions are becoming more prevalent. These are also known as “flex” positions. This slot allows for more than one position. The swing positions often used are a combination of WR/TE or RB/WR, though there are a handful of others. In the end, the accumulated points of one team’s starters are matched up against the points of another team’s starters and the end result is either a victory or a loss. Occasionally, a tie will sneak its way into the picture. A good website will give you the option of breaking ties during the regular season. Tie-breakers are mandatory should they occur during the playoffs. Set the schedule The website should generate the league schedule after the draft is complete using the divisional structure the commissioner has established. League schedules are generally set up so teams in the same division play each other more often than other divisions. Ultimately, it is ideal to have a balanced schedule. Before the draft, the playoff schedule needs to be determined. This will vary depending on how many teams are in your league and how many teams the commissioner chooses to make the playoffs. The championship game needs to be scheduled between two teams no later than week 17 of the NFL season. One common choice is to finish the fantasy football regular season in week 13 or 14 and allow 6 teams to make the playoffs. This will grant the top 2 teams a playoff Bye, thus awarding them for their performance in the regular season. No one likes to dominate the regular season and then lose out in the first week of the playoffs. Drafting your players Rosters are filled out by running a player draft. The draft order is randomized by the commissioner or the website. Unlike the NFL draft, fantasy football drafts are normally run serpentine style. For instance, in a 12-team league, the draft order would be 1 through 12, with the 12th team having the first pick of the second round and going back up in reverse order. In that scenario, the first team to pick wouldn't
select again until the 24th pick, but would then start the third round with the 25th selection, should they not fall asleep during the lull. Should this happen, the draft control will make the selection for the snoozing owner. Drafts can be held online or offline. If held online, drafts are normally held real-time so each owner can make their choices based on how the draft is evolving. This can be a bit time-consuming, so another option is to run an automated draft. An increasingly popular draft method is having a fixed budget and bidding on players to fill out a roster. Maintaining your roster Throughout the season, you will need to change players out in an effort to manage injuries, Bye weeks or address weak areas by trading from areas of strength. Teams can trade and pick up free agents until the end of the season, unless there are deadlines established for these actions. Trades tend to have some sort of approval process in place to assure the league that trades are considered fair. The approval process generally falls on the shoulders of the commissioner to make a decision or upon the owners in the league to submit a vote (majority rules). When it comes to free agents, it is common for leagues to apply a waiver system. True free agents can be acquired without application of any rules. Players attempted to be acquired that are in waiver status have to flow through waiver processing to determine which team will be awarded the player. There are a number of waiver processing rules. The most common is a rolling priority list. This is initially established in the reverse order of the draft order and then gets adjusted as teams acquire players in waiver status. The team with the lowest waiver priority number is awarded the player desired when waiver processing occurs. When that processing happens, the team’s waiver priority is then set to the highest number and all teams between have their number adjusted down by one. Other waiver processing options allow teams to bid on free agents, award a player on waivers to the team with the worst record among acquiring teams or have made the least numbers of transactions. Making your push to the Championship
It is very difficult to make the playoffs, let alone the Championship game, in a fantasy football league without devoting a lot of time to the game, making wise draft and transaction choices and having your players stay healthy. You have no control over the latter, so your team must be equipped to handle devastating injuries, should they occur. The common draft rule is to back up your studs. If you have LaDainian Tomlinson, grab his backup in the draft as well. If you have Peyton Manning, grab his backup in the draft. It is a tough choice as Peyton does not get hurt, but, should it happen, would you feel more comfortable with his backup in your lineup, an untested rookie or the Jets QB? Another common sense rule is to not draft injury-prone players or running backs over 30 too early. It is hard to justify the reward over the risk. Drafting Deuce McAlister in the 4th round last year in many leagues was a season killer when Adrian Peterson was still available. Out of all the positions, rookies make the biggest impact in the running back category. The most important rule is to know your league settings. Be aware of the scoring system, waiver processing rules and all deadlines. You cannot build a balanced team unless you know how to balance the scoring across the starting positions on your team. Once you have that accomplished, you want to review your team at the midpoint of your season and evaluate what it will look like in the playoff weeks. If you have some players that you feel may be looking at getting some rest, it is best to trade them before the trade deadline to ensure that your roster is as strong as possible during the playoffs. It is difficult to gauge how much a player will play in weeks 1317 far in advance, but it is a big risk to go into the playoff battle with players who may sit after one half. One alternative to that is to utilize a fantasy football feature offered by one Maximum Fantasy Sports. This feature is In-Game player changes. This feature can be used all season or have it turned on at a certain point in the season, such as, the first week of playoffs. Configuration of this feature allows an owner to swap in
different, unplayed players at their respective positions. So, if Joseph Addai is scheduled to play the first half of Indy’s week 15 game and you have Kenton Keith on your bench, you could swap out Addai for the second half and swap in Keith to maximize performance at your running back slot. End of the season reflection I hope you spend your off-season gloating about your team’s dominance. No matter how your season ends, you want to review what went wrong and what went right during your season so you can improve the following year. Also, take notes on little used players that showed a lot of promise as the season went on. In the off-season, pay attention to free agency and the NFL draft. Note which teams improved in skill areas that may result in new starters that you can draft in later rounds in your upcoming fantasy football draft. Though the NFL season ends in February, fantasy football is a year-round fixation. About Maximum Fantasy Sports The owners of Maximum Fantasy Sports are rabid fantasy sports participants. They have used many sites and have taken the best features and filled in the shortcomings. Expect MFS to continue to lead industry-wide innovation. As a member of MFS you will get free breaking news, fantasy analysis, expert player opinions and NFL and NCAA wagering advice. You will also be able to register your fantasy football league at our low new member discount! Sign Up Now!