If you’ve ever played Fantasy Premier League, you can play NFL Fantasy. They both work in an incredibly similar way, as you manage teams filled with players who score points based on their in-game performances. You also join leagues to play against your friends and earn those ever-important bragging rights.
But there are a few differences.
Firstly, in NFL Fantasy, the league you join is created by the commissioner for around 10-12 total players.
And just like NFL franchises, your NFL Fantasy team will have to select players through a draft system in order to build your roster. Leagues can either draft in a linear format (whoever picks first in the first round picks first in the second round, and so on) or in a snake format – where each player drafts in a specific order, and then that order is reversed for the next round. The players you draft form the very first version of your team.
Running backs, wide receivers and quarterbacks are considered the most valuable fantasy players, but your team’s starting lineup will, usually, feature:
Your team will also have six backup spots, which you can fill with any positions – although it’s best to fill those places with capable reserves in case of injuries or suspension.
Each week you pick which players you want to start, then face another team in your league. Whichever team scores the most points in that week’s round of games takes the win. This continues for the first 14 weeks of the NFL season, and then the fantasy playoffs begin.
Scoring in NFL Fantasy is like Fantasy Premier League – you score points when a player on your team performs on the field. Each different stat a player, or defense, can accumulate is worth a different amount of points.
Offensive players score:
But they can lose two points for every interception thrown and every fumble lost.
And just like offensive players, defenses can lose points. They lose one point for allowing between 28-34 points, and lose four points for allowing 35 or more points.
In order for these fantasy points to count, the players or defense must be a part of your starting lineup – if they’re on the bench and one of your starters is injured, or on a bye, they don’t automatically move over, so you need to check your roster before every game.
You can drop and add players before each round of games, doing so with waivers, free agents or trades.
When you drop a player from your team, they head to waivers, where any other team can put in a claim for them. Once every interested team has done so, the one with the worst record gains the player, and if no one was interested, that player becomes a free agent – so anyone in the league can then add them to their team.
NFL Fantasy teams can also trade players, but the league’s commissioner will have to allow it to go through to ensure fairness.
Once your team is set, all you have to do is keep an eye on the scores, and remember, if an NFL player on your roster is having one of the best games of their career – it’s usually good for your fantasy team. In a game against the Carolina Panthers last season, Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon scored five total touchdowns, adding 153 rushing yards and 58 receiving yards. Mixon ended that week with 55.10 fantasy points, the most of any player in a single week last year.
So no matter who you’re in a league with, have fun – and good luck!
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