Whether you’re new to fantasy football or you have been playing for a while, setting up a fantasy football league can be a challenge. However, with this guide you will easily be able to set up your fantasy football league in no time.
Choosing a Fantasy Site
This is all about preference. You have to choose a site that you like. All the top fantasy sites (ESPN, Yahoo, and NFL) seem to offer the same experience, but some players like certain aspects of one site over another site. If you haven’t played before and don’t know which one you will like, ask members of your league or search the internet and perform some research comparing what each site has to offer. If you don’t want to choose a site don’t feel obligated to, however, you do have to manage all the stats, trades, and more. Most of the popular websites make it easy and all the top sites are free to join and create a league.
The league size is the amount of teams (players) you want to play with throughout the year. Usually you aim for an even number of teams this way you can setup divisions (see the Division section below). The amount of teams you have will affect the players you get throughout the draft. If you have eight teams there will be plenty of studs throughout the draft and you can expect high weekly scores. If you select 16 teams, it becomes more difficult to have a team full of stars. Most leagues are between 10 and 12 teams.
Selecting a League Name
Some people opt to create simple league names like DallasFans or RaidersNation while others conjure up creative names like 4th and Inches, Sunday Funday or even ButtFumble. Have fun with it you’re creating the league so choose what you want.
Public or Private
Having a Public League allows anyone on the website the ability to join your league. A public league is usually for players who may not be able to find enough friends or family to be in a league and they need some extra players. In a Private League, players can only join if they are invited by you. Private leagues are great for playing against friends, family members, co-workers, etc.
Selecting Roster Positions
Most leagues are defaulted with a roster size of 16, which breakdowns to be nine starters and seven bench players. You don’t have keep it at default but there are some keys to keep in mind if you’re going to change this. Make sure you keep a minimum of one of the following positions; QB, RB, WR, TE, and Kicker. Without these key positions your fantasy league wouldn’t be much of a fantasy league. Leagues tend to have one QB, two RBs, two or three WRs, one Flex (includes RB, WR, TE), one Defense/Special teams or individual defense players (this can consists of DL, LB, DBs), one Kicker and the rest would be your bench players. It is important to set a maximum number of players per team at a certain position, this stops people from stock piling RBs or WRs.
All scoring is determined by points, for example one point for ten rushing yards or six points for a rushing touchdown. Start with passing yards; usually league managers select 20, 25, or 30 passing yards as one point. Passing touchdowns are set at four. I have played in leagues where passing touchdowns are usually set to four or six points. Passing interceptions should be set to negative points, usually -1 or -2. Work your way through all the scoring categories such as rushing, receiving, kicking, defense and more. Remember the standard is just there to give you an idea. If you want to have high weekly scores, set the scoring to high numbers, its all up to you its your league.
There are many ways to set these up. Some leagues have no divisions, it’s a free for all, and others have two or four divisions depending on the number teams. Divisions are a fun way have more of a friendly competition within the league.
There are two types of transactions, waivers wires and trading. Wavier Wires are a way to pick up players who haven’t been drafted and are just sitting out in the fantasy world like free agents. At the end of each week, teams will put in a request to pick up someone off waivers. You need to set the waiver wire order, with some leagues, the order is based off of team standings while in other leagues the order is based off waiver wire activity (less activity would be first pick).
Trading is when a team request to trade a player or players to another team in return for other player(s). You can require trades have a review period or not be reviewed at all. If you want trades reviewed (which I recommend) someone would request a trade and if the the other team accepts, the league can review the trade and either accept it or veto it within a certain number of days. If vetoed the trade would be voided and all players would be returned to their original team. If you don’t want trades to be reviewed, the trade would be accepted and complete.
Some leagues choose to do this and other leagues decide not. A keeper league allows each team to keep one or two players at the end of the year and keep them for next year. If you choose to not have keepers, at the beginning of the next year everyone would draft a new team.
The NFL season is 17 weeks with each NFL team getting one bye week. Most leagues start the first week of the NFL season and run until week 13, 14, or 15. Most leagues halt around the 13th through the 15th week because they run fantasy football playoffs. Depending on your league size playoffs could run two or three weeks. One key is to make sure your fantasy football championship doesn’t fall on week 17 of the regular season. Most playoff bound teams bench their key players and this could hurt your fantasy team or others.
Your draft can either be a snake draft, auto pick, auction or offline draft. A snake draft is a draft that reverses the draft order each round. An auto pick draft will select all your draft picks for you (not common). An auction allows teams to begin with a set budget and each player cost a certain amount. This can be tricky because you can’t go over your set budget. An offline draft is a draft that you would meet with your fantasy league in person and select players. Make sure you set a draft date that everyone can make that way no one can complain about not being at the draft and who they got.
Now that you have setup your fantasy league its time to have some fun. Go make a team name for yourself, usually I try to make mine something funny. Have fun with it that’s what fantasy football is all about. Oh and don’t forget to talk a little smack talk in the message boards throughout the year.