Introduction: How to Play Fantasy Football

Fantasy football has taken the NFL by storm over the last few years, becoming a hot commodity of fans world wide. If you don't have a fantasy team and you watch football every Sunday you should seriously consider getting a league together. You get to watch the players on your team score touchdowns and watch their points add up on your fantasy cast. Fantasy football adds a lot of excitement to watching a NFL game.

Step 1: Get a Group of Friends Together and Name a Commissioner

First you get a group of friends together 10-12 people to start the league. Name one person the commissioner. This person puts the league together, sets up the scoring, names the league, and sets the format of players you can start. Once the commissioner has done all of these things and everyone has signed up and named their team, this league is ready to start the draft.

Step 2: The Draft

The draft is where you form your team. Where you pick in the draft is totally random, its done by simulation after everyone had joined the league. The draft will be snake. Meaning if its a ten team league.If you pick first in the first round you wont pick again until tenth in the second round and then first in the third round. Same thing applies if you pick seventh in the first round you'll pick third in the second round and so on and so forth. There are sixteen rounds in a draft so make sure you choose your players wisely.

Step 3: Selecting Players During the Draft

Its important not to reach for a QB (quarterback) in the first six to eight rounds because there are so many good ones that will still be there in the later rounds. Instead your first pick should be a RB (running back) given that this position is very light in depth. You want to make sure that you get your skill positions filled first; two RB's, two WR's (Wide Receiver),  a TE(tight end), and a Flex player preferably two RB's for your first two picks. You could draft a receiver in the first two rounds depending on where you pick in the draft. Of course if Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall, or Dez Bryant are still on the board then pick them up. Aside from Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, and Peyton Manning you can wait until the later rounds or after you've filled your  skilled positions to choose a QB. Only player at the TE position that should be picked in the second third or forth round is Rob Gronkowski or Jimmy Graham. Your Defense and Kicker should be chosen in the last two rounds.

Step 4: Lineup and Positions

The lineup in fantasy football is fairly simple. You have one starting QB. Two starting RB's a RB1 and RB2. Two starting WR's. A starting TE. A starting Flex player. One defense/ special teams. And a starting K (kicker). You'll probably have a stud at QB so he'll be a sure start week in and week out. With the RB position being so thin if you don't have a nice combo your going to have a long season. WR's are pretty reliable especially if their the number one guy on their team. You can count on them. If you have a good TE that's a huge plus for your team because at the end of the fantasy season, outside of the number one guys Jimmy Graham and Gronk. The total points for all other TE's usually balances out. As far as kicker and defense goes. Anybody at these positions can have a good week any given week. You should draft kickers that play for high volume offenses and defenses that have a good match up that week against a team with a rookie QB or a not so good offense.

Step 5: Scoring in a Standard League

Scoring in fantasy football varies depending on the league. If you are in a standard league QB's get 6 points for touchdowns and 1 point for every 10 yards he throws for. RB's also get 1 point for every 10 yards they rush for 6 points for touchdowns. WR's/TE's are the same 1 point for every 10 receiving yards and 6 points for touchdowns. You can also receive negative points. QB's negative 2 for interceptions and fumbles. RB's/WR's/TE's negative 2 for fumbles. If your defense/special teams scores a touchdown they receive 6 points. 1 point for interceptions and sacks. They receive negative points for yardage and touchdowns against them.

Step 6: Scoring in a PPR League

Scoring in PPR format has the same standard scoring as a standard league. You have a opportunity to score more points in a PPR league because you receive (P)oints (P)er (R)ecepetion. This means that WR's,RB's, and TE's receive 1 point for every pass they catch. And QB's receive a half of a point for every pass they complete.

Step 7: Free Agents and the Waiver Wire

Free agents are players that don't get drafted or players that don't serve much of a purpose on their team unless someone gets hurt. They're eligible to be picked up off of the waiver wire at any time during the week or before the game is scheduled to start. Players that are dropped have to be claimed not added. Meaning that a player dropped from someones team cant automatically be picked up from the wire. It takes 2 days for that player to be claimed. Teams that lost the previous week have first dibs on players on the wire. This is called the waiver claim. Seen as a way to make the losers from the week before better for the next week.

Step 8: Players on a Bye Week

Every team in the NFL has one bye week. Meaning that there's one week out of the season that they won't play at all. If you have a player or players on a bye week. This is when you look to your bench players to step up for you. Make sure that your starter(s) aren't in your lineup if they have a bye week you wont get any points for that player that week. Instead start a player that has a bad matchup that week.

Step 9: Starting Players Based on Matchups and Taking Risk

Yeah you have your studs and there will never be a week when you start Billal Powell over Adrian Peterson who rushed for over two thousand yards last season and may have rushed his fantasy owners to a Super Bowl. But there are some instances that you may consider starting a player with a better match up that week than your starter. The Redskins have one of the worse pass defenses in the NFL so if they are matched up with a team like the packers that have a high volume pass attack and you have Jermichael Finley (Packers TE).Then you would consider starting him over your stud TE like Rob Gronkowski if hes matched up with a team that allows the fewest fantasy points to TE's. You would take that risk and trust the numbers to work in your favor for that week.

Step 10: The Playoffs

There are two sides in each league. East and West five teams per division. The fantasy season only last the length of the regular NFL season. The playoffs in fantasy start at week thirteen of the regular season. The two teams with the best record in each division make the playoffs. This is equivalent to a four team playoff. Two teams standing during week 17 of the NFL season play for the Super Bowl in the fantasy world. If your team wins the Super Bowl at the end of the season you get bragging rights amongst your friends and you all get to do it all over again next season. 

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