Fantasy Football for beginners: what is it and how is it played?

Residing somewhere between fully-fledged football betting and simply watching NFL games, Fantasy Football is an exhilarating way to enhance your enjoyment of the sport.

Fantasy Football allows players to choose their own team of NFL players, and then to compete against others, typically in a league made up of family, friends or work colleagues. The aim is to pick the best nine players for each week of play, with points awarded for things like touchdowns, tackles, or conversions.

NFL Fantasy Football traces its roots back to 1962, although it has become considerably more popular over the last two decades with the emergence of the Internet. There are many reasons for its success. These include the communal aspect of the game, and the need to closely follow different teams and players so you can decide who to include in your team. It’s also perfect for beginners due to the relatively straightforward nature of the game.

Fantasy Football: An overview

In essence, Fantasy Football allows NFL enthusiasts to become head coach of their own fictional NFL franchise, where they can pick from all the players in the league. To be successful, you must closely follow the form and stats of lots of players from different teams so that you make the right picks.

Although there aren’t many official financial rewards for doing well at Fantasy Football, if you are in a league with friends, there will often be a sweepstakes-style jackpot for the winner.

There are numerous DFS (Daily Fantasy Sports) platforms to choose from nowadays, with sites like DraftKings, FanDuel, and the official NFL platform being the most popular. The industry as a whole has expanded rapidly over the past decade. In 2011 the approximate market size was $5.1 billion, whereas by 2021 it was worth $8.37 billion. This is sure to increase further as more people get involved with Fantasy Football and other Daily Fantasy Sports competitions.

Getting to grips with Fantasy Football basics

To start your Fantasy Football journey, you must first join a league. Most people prefer to create one with friends, although you can play individually against people across the US in larger leagues.

After joining a league, you select your team. First comes the draft, where each fantasy team coach selects NFL players one by one, ensuring that all the starting positions are filled, as well as the substitution bench.

Once everybody has chosen their teams, the season starts. Real-life statistics from each week of play will determine the scores of each of your players. These scores are then tallied up to reflect your overall team score.

Each league will differ slightly in how it allocates points to players, so make sure you familiarize yourself with the scoring system of your particular platform.

Keep a close eye on your players’ form, as you will be able to drop players and pick new ones each week to try and boost your overall points tally. Contestants may also trade players as the season develops, although the exact way this works is slightly different for each Fantasy Football platform.

Where are the best places to play Fantasy Football?

With the growing popularity of Fantasy Football, it’s not surprising that the number of DFS platforms is rapidly increasing. Currently, the two big-hitters are DraftKings and FanDuel. Both have launched sportsbooks in states where sports betting is legal, but they’re still exceptionally popular DFS platforms.

It’s hard to pick a winner in the DraftKings vs. FanDuel battle. Reading about the pros and cons of each, and trying them out for yourself, is the best way to figure out which your prefer.

The official NFL Fantasy Football platform is also a great pick. All the player statistics come straight from the source, so it’s generally seen as the most legitimate platform. Other options include Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Football, ESPN Fantasy Football, SleeperApp, and MyFantasyLeague

Tips & tricks to maximize your Fantasy Football success

There is no surefire way to ensure you win at Fantasy Football every season. However, following a few of the tips below will help your chances:

●  Stay up-to-date with players: A huge part of Fantasy Football is doing your research on player form. For example, most NFL enthusiasts will agree that Cam Newton is done, so picking him probably isn’t a good idea.

●  Take advantage of trades: Player trades can be a fantastic way to ditch an underperformer and get the edge over your opponents.

●  Understand the importance of the draft: Without the required scouting research before the initial draft, you won’t pick the best players.