A Beginner’s Guide to Fantasy Football


Linda Qiu, Staff Writer

Love football but can’t play it? Or do you want to experience the competition, socialization, and thrill of football without the time commitment, pressure, or risk of injury it may bring? Your answer just might be fantasy football, where you serve as the manager of a virtual professional football team.

Simply put, fantasy football is a points-based game based on the production of real NFL players. You earn points when the players on your team put up points as they play in real life. Your fantasy football team will be made up of different NFL players in different positions, and you can pick players from different teams. The players you choose are selected in a draft you participate in with friends or league mates. Fantasy football leagues are usually made up of 8 to 14 players.

Once you have your team, you will assign your players to a roster at various positions according to your league settings. Typically, the positions include a quarterback (QB), two running backs (RB), two wide receivers (WR), a tight end (TE), a kicker, a defense, and a flex position, which you can usually fill with an RB, WR, or TE. Some leagues allow a QB to be played at the flex position as well. Each week, the point totals of your starting lineup players are added to your weekly score, and if you have more points than your opponent, you win for that week.

Your roster will also have bench players, which also give you points for the week. However, they don’t count toward your overall score. Most leagues allow about five bench spots.

At the end of the regular fantasy football season, the teams with the best win-loss records enter the fantasy playoffs, and the person who wins the remaining games in the playoff usually wins the league championship. All this takes over the course of 15 to 16 weeks.

“Fantasy sports leagues draw millions of players… with good reason,” wrote the Imagine Sports editorial team. “The leagues offer intense competition, the chance to own and manage your own team, socialization with other sports fans, the thrill of victory, and a hobby that requires little investment but offers great rewards.”

You can start playing year-long fantasy football on the NFL, Yahoo, or My Fantasy League website. NFL and Yahoo provide pretty advanced flexibility and features. My Fantasy League allows for more customization, but is more dated. The commissioner of a league usually decides what platform to play on.

To get prepared for your first week of fantasy football and beyond, make sure all your starting positions are filled and that you’ve placed the best possible player at each position. Watch NFL games where guys you own are playing, and have fun doing it. Be competitive! The more competitive you are, the more motivation you have to stay on top of everything and dominate your league.

“The Fantasy Football season follows the National Football League regular season schedule,” according to Yahoo Sports.

The 2020 season runs from Sept. 10, 2020 through Jan. 3, 2021. Unfortunately, as the 2020 fantasy football season has already started team registration is no longer available, but hopefully you are now prepared and willing to try fantasy football the next time it is available to you.