Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fantasy Football continues to grow year to year,
bringing in new players each time the next season
starts up.. A general understanding of football and
its players is recommended, but a recreational
football watcher can still compete in a fantasy
football league.. It's all about the players you
draft, the time you spend managing your team, and
of course as with any other game a little luck
doesn't hurt..

Q: What is Fantasy Football?

A: Fantasy Football is a game derived for football
fans to compete against each other, seeing who can
select the players on their team each week that will
amass the most points..

Q: Where is the best place to play Fantasy Football?

A: This will vary depending on the person.. Yahoo, NFL, and
CBSsportsline are all depenable places to have a fantasy
football team.. They offer free leagues/teams as well as
advanced leagues where the commish/owner pays a certain
ammount of money or the entire league pays a certain ammount.

Q: Is there any skill involved in fantasy football, or it all luck?

A: Sure their is skill involved, although most of it is luck.. Drafting
your team requires quite a bit of skill.. Not to mention choosing what
players to start each week, which players to drop, which players to pick
up all require skill.. Don't be fooled though, you can overthink things
sometimes.. After all, luck is probably 75% of fantasy football..

Q: How many teams should there be in a league?

A: There can be anywhere from 6-30 teams in a league.. Normally,
a league will consist of around 12-16 teams.. Obviously, smaller
leagues will leave teams with better players, while a bigger league
will spread out the players.. Either way, as long as you draft
according to your roster needs, the playing field will be fair.. For
a first time fantasy football player, the recommeded league size would
be anywhere from 8-12 teams.. You're chances of knowing the players
you are drafting are a lot higher than if you're in a 20 team league..
With a 20 team league (if each team has 15 players total) you'd be looking
at 300 players being drafted, where as an 8 team league (w/ 15 players for
each team) would only result in 120 players being drafted.. Your chances
of selecting better players and the right players for your needs would be a
lot higher with the 8 team league.. And on top of that, the pool of available
players to select from will be a lot greater with an 8 team league.. With
larger leagues, what you draft is what you get basically, with not very many
options as far as available players to pick up...

Q: Any particular scoring I look for when joining my first league?

A: It all depends on what you're looking for.. For first time fantasy football
players, you'd be best to stick to a standard scoring league.. Get a good feel
for how the game works, and then branch yourself off into different scoring leagues
and see what you like.. Just remember, scoring is even across the board for every
team, so no matter what league you join, you're going to have just as good of a chance
at winning as your opponent..

Q: How do you pick which players you want?

A: Whether you're playing online or with some friends,
a draft will have to take place before anything else.
The team/manager who has the first pick would be able
to select any player, most likely the top player in
terms of projected stats for the season.. For example,
this year Adrian Peterson was more often than not the
first pick in drafts.. Once the first team selects their
player, the next team would select, and so on and so on
until each team has filled their roster.

Q: What if I have the last pick in the first round, does
that mean my team isn't going to be any good?

A: Not neccessarily, but proper selections are key when
you receive a pick later in the first round. Most online
fantasy football hosts (Yahoo, NFL, CBS, etc.) have the
drafts set to a "snake" draft order. The team with the
last pick in the first round would receive the first pick
in the second round, thus getting two picks in a row.
While the team that received the first pick in the first
round wouldn't get another selection until the last pick of
the second round. This makes each team/manager have an
equal opportunity to build a winning team.

Q: Where can I get info as to who to draft?

A: You can find this info just about anywhere.. Football
magazines are always a safe bet, look for one that has
a "Fantasy Cheat Sheet".. This will list each player by
position.. Most fantasy football players use this at the
time of the draft to cross out players that have been drafted
and have a good look as to who is still available and their
projected rankings for the season.. Yahoo,,
all will be littered with fantasy football rankings, projections,
etc.. before the season begins..

Q: My draft has finished, what's next??

A: Depending on when your team is drafted, you will have to wait
until the first week of the season or the second week if your
league drafted after week 1 games started.. You will be able to
adjust your roster accordinly once the draft is completed.

Q: I cannot play all the players that I drafted? Which ones do I

A: This is where fantasy football is a game of not only luck, but
skill as to selecting which players to "start".. Even though you may
have two Quarterbacks, most leagues only allow you to start one of
them. Thus, you have to decide which one you are going to play. Most
the time, with the quarterback position, you will have 1 above average
quarterback and one that is a question mark. In this instance, you're
best bet is to play the established quarterback, unless of course they
get injured or are playing a team that has a really good defense.. This
applies to Running Backs, Wide Receivers, and Teight Ends as well.. You
may have 4-5 running backs and can only play 2 of them on a given week..
This is where you will have to decide which ones you believe will put
up the biggest stats..

Q: My best player is injured.. what do i do?

A: This is one of the things you have to be able to deal with if you are
going to play fantasy football. It's a violent sport, players get injured,
and just like the teams that have those players you have to replace them
with the best option available. For example, if you selected Tom Brady last
year, you were left without a quarterback after his week 1 season ending
injury.. Hopefully you have drafted a capable backup for this player. If not,
you may have to luck to trade one of your other positions you may be strong in
to get a players to fill that void you have due to injury.. You can also drop
the player that is injured and pick up another player. In this case, you will
probably not get someone that is going to be as productive as the player you
drafted that was injured, but everyone once in awhile you might get a player
off the "waiver wire" that ends up producing big numbers..

Q: Another team has offered me a trade, should I do it?

A: Trades should always be approached with caution.. Research the players you
are being offered.. Are they hurt? Has their production decreased? Are they
better than the players you are going to give up? Trades are a good way to improve
your team all around, but aren't always neccessary.. It's a judgement call on your
part.. You will have to decide if the players you're being offered will improve
your team.. If it's going to, then jump on it, but be smart about it.. If you're
questioning the outcome of the trade, don't do it..

Q: I drafted too many Wide Receivers and not enough Running Backs. Help???

A: This is bound to happen, especially if you are drafting the best player available
each time you have a pick in the draft.. In this instance, your best bet would be to
try and trade 1-2 of your Wide Receivers for a top tier Running Back.. Look at who is
still available after the draft concludes.. You may be able to drop one of your weaker
Wide Receivers and pick up a decent Running Back.. Keep in mind though, as long as you
have enough of one position to play each week, you don't HAVE TO trade or drop any of
your players..

Q: How late can I change my lineup for a given week?

A: With "offline" leagues, this will depend on your league and what kind of rules have
been layed out as far as picking up players.. For online leagues, most the time, you will
be able to pick up players until midnight the day before their game.. Keep in mind though,
sometimes players play on Thursday and even Saturday towards the end of the season..
Obviously, you cannot add a player and accumulate their stats for a week after they have
played their game.. As well as you cannot put a player into your "Starting lineup" once
they have allready played their game..

Q: OK, I set my lineup for week 1, now what?

A: Now you can watch the games and hopefully enjoy watching your players get some
yards and/or touchdowns.. Scoring in your league(s) will vary considerably, but it
will always be even across the board for each team.. Best thing to do is print the
scoring settings for your league..

Q: How do my players score points? Only when they score touchdowns?

A: This all depends on the league you're in.. Standard "on-line" leagues give a
Quarterback 1 point for every 25 yards passing they have, 4 points for every touchdown
pass they throw, and -2 points for every interception they throw.. For example, say
Tom Brady throws for 300 yards, 5 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions.. You would receive
12 points for the 300 yards (300/25 = 12), 20 points for the 5 touchdowns (5*4) and
-4 points for the 2 interceptions (2*-2).. Thus your total score would be 28 points.. It
works the same way for Wide Receivers, Running Backs, and Teight Ends.. The scoring for
them may be 1 point for every 20 yards they accumulate and 6 points for every touchdown
they score (passing td's worth 4 points because they usually come in larger numbers
from that position)... So, if Reggie Wayne has 100 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns, he
would receive 17 points.. Likewise if Maurice Jones-Drew rushes for 100 yards and 2
touchdowns.. He would receive 17 points as well..

Q: I have a Kicker and Defsense/Special Teams.. how does that work?

A: Kickers are awarded points every team they make a field goal or kick an extra point
after their team scores a touchdown.. Some leauges will give you negative points if your
kicker misses a field goal or extra point, so keep this in mind as your draft your kicker.
Don't always go for the person with the biggest leg or playing for the team that will score
the most points, rather the kicker that is going to make the highest percentage of their
kicks.. That's if your league gives negative points for missed kicks.. If there is no
penalty for that, draft the kicker for the team that puts up the most points.. Defense/Special
Teams is just that.. You select a TEAM and they will be your Defense/Special Teams.. You
will get points when they get sacks, interceptions, fumbles, touchdowns, and be awarded points
based on how many points they give up.. The scoring for DEF/ST will vary league to league..
It's always a good bet to know the scoring for DEF/ST in the league (as well as all other scoring)
before you draft.. If DEF/ST is awarded more points than the usual league, you will want to
snag a good defense earlier in the draft.. It is recommended that you hold off on drafting a
DEF/ST until atleast the 6-7th round.. Even then, you are probably selecting a defense over a
QB/WR/RB that will help your team a lot more..

Q: My league has actual defensive players, not a DEF/ST.. I don't really know defensive players,
just offensive players.. What do i do?

A: The first suggestion is to avoid leagues that have actual defensive players as apposed to the
general DEF/ST (you pick a team and get their points).. With individual defensive players, you will have the option of selecting the best players, but if you don't know the players, you're probably not going to make the correct selections.. If you insist on staying the league with individual defensive players, you'd be smart to do some research, talk to some friends, and try to make some selections that are going to help your team... You can have the best offensive unit in your league, but if you make bad selections for your defensive players, you can ruin your team all-together..

Q: None of my players are playing on T.V., how do I know who's doing what?

A: If you're only getting the 1-2 games on your local channels, you can easily monitor
your players stats with the "ticker" that scrolls across the bottom of the screen. This
will give you the scores of each game, and some stats for the main players on each team..
Another option is using the internet..,,, etc.. all
will have live games updated play to play or every couple plays in some instances.. You
will be able to see who is doing what in the games that aren't on television..

Q: One of my players didn't do much, am I going to lose?

A: Not neccessarily.. Every player is going to have a bad week from time to time, thus your
opponent is probably going to have 1 player that doesn't produce much either.. Don't get
yourself down because one player was ineffective.. It's just part of the game.. You'll also
have players that might go above and beyong what was expected of them..

Q: I lost big time in week 1.. What's next?

A: Your record is now 0-1, while your opponents record is now 1-0, much like real life.. You
will have a new opponent for week #2, and your players will be playing different teams and will
more than likely put up very different numbers compared to week #1.. Research your players..
Look at who they are playing and decide who you want to play for the next week.. You may decide that many of the players you "Started" for week #1 have a tougher matchup than someone who didn't play for you in week #1... Unfortunantly, as stated earlier, you will not earn points from players that aren't in your starting lineup.. Don't kick yourself too hard if you don't start someone and they have a good game.. It's part of the game itself.. Just remember that for the following week, as you might want to play that person instead of someone else..

Q: I see available players on the waiver wire that had a good week 1, should i pick them up?

A: It all depends.. Do you have someone on your roster you're willing to drop to pick that person
up?? Did the person you're looking to pick up have an icreased role because of an injury or the game was out of hand?? Sometimes this will happen and on the following week they might not even be on the field..

Q: How is a winner for the league determined?

A: Most the time, their will be a playoff, much like the actual NFL does.. This will consist of
anywhere from 4-12 teams depending on the size of the league.. In a standard 10 team league, you would have four teams that make the playoffs.. They would be the 4 teams with the best record (for tie-breakers, this will vary depending on where you play.. see your tie-breaker rules for more info..).. Most leagues will start their playoffs in Week #15 of the NFL regular season.. Why you might ask? For the simple fact that not all NFL teams make the playoffs, thus you wouldn't be able to play all of your players once the NFL playoffs start.. So, your league will compete in a playoff and crown a champion before the NFL regular season even ends.. Week 17 should be avoided when it comes to playoffs at all costs.. Some leagues will have their championship/title game on Week 17 of the NFL regular season.. This can be costly due to some
teams resting their players b/c of allready locking up a playoff spot or b/c their team isn't making the playoffs and wants to play some of their younger players.. Try to get in a league that has their championship/ title game in Week 16 of the NFL regular season.. This is really what Fantasy Football is all about.. Ending with a good enough record to make the playoffs, and be able to compete against the other good teams in the league to see who has the best team on that given week.. Obviously, the best team may not win the league due to their players producing sub-par numbers on any given week, especially the championship week..

Q: I was 14-0 and lost in the first round of the playoffs.. WHY!?!?

A: Read above.. It's just part of the game.. Nothing is guaranteed in fantasy football, as nothing is guaranteed in football itself.. If this was your first league, consider yourself very lucky to have won all your games going into the playoffs.. You win some, you lose some... Simple as that.. Congratulate the league champion and try again next year..

Q: I'm in the consilation bracket?? What is this?

A: It's a playoff for the teams that didn't make the actual "playoffs" in your league.. This will determine your rank in the league.. For example, if your league has the 4 top teams going to the playoffs, the teams in the consilation bracket are playing for 5th place.. The winner of the bracket will be awarded 5th place, the loser of that championship consilation bracket game will be awarded 6th place, and on down the line.. This is in place so users that don't make the actual playoffs still can play in the last weeks of the season.. Either way, you're probably just playing for fun anyways.. Just adds to the end of the season excitement..

Q: Other players in the league are talking about "keepers".. What is this?

A: "Keepers" is a term used to refer to players that will be kept on a given users team for the following season.. This will be used in leagues that plan to continue the following year and so on.. This can be a great tool to maintaining a good team, but most leagues will not utilize this feature.. If it is, every team in the league will have to keep the pre-determined ammount of players on their roster.. Most the time, it will probably be two players.. You're best bet in this situation would be to select your two best players that you know will produce just as well as they did for you this year baring injuries.. Just remember you cannot predict injuries, so don't try to overthink it.. If you have Adrian Peterson and Phillip Rivers, you probably want to keep them..
Also keep in mind a players age.. They may be starting a decline as far as production for an entire season..