Bartlett's Taking Us To (Virtual) School! | Fantasy Football 101: Back To Basics

The ins, the outs, the ups, the downs -- just in time for your first fantasy football draft!

Welcome to the first of what I hope to be many articles on the Rosemary Media feed!

This will be the first part of a series, all devoted to the fundamental discussion of fantasy football. These articles will be aimed primarily to those who are brand new to the hobby, interested in getting involved, and/or simply for those who want to learn a little more.

So, what exactly IS fantasy football?

Fantasy football, and its equivalent in other sports, is a hobby where “owners” select a set of real-life NFL players. Throughout the season, owners will face each other in weekly matchups, and they will score points based on how their players perform in the real world. When your player gains yards, or scores a touchdown, you earn points. Whichever owner has more points at the end of the NFL week, wins.

Different Types of Leagues:

  • 1) Season long or “Redraft”

Redraft leagues are your most common form of league. Even if utterly clueless to the realm of fantasy football, this is the style of league that one would most associate with the term. In redraft leagues, you do just that. Each year, you redraft a completely new team. You’re only tied to your players for the current season that you are in. Redraft leagues are great for close friends or co-workers.

  • 2) Keeper

‘Keeper’ leagues are very similar to redraft leagues, in that you redraft almost all of your team from year to year. However, you are eligible to keep one or more players from the previous year to the next. Depending on the league, this keeper can cost you a draft pick for the following year, or some leagues even make the keeper “free”, and they are simply on your team to begin the next draft. My personal favorite way to approach keeper is to make keepers cost the draft cost that you drafted them the previous year. This allows a breakout player to be kept for much cheaper than his new average draft position (ADP) would be, creating a value on your roster.

  • 3) Dynasty

Dynasty leagues are the next step in advancing your fantasy career. In dynasty leagues, you keep your ENTIRE roster year after year. Prior to the start of each new season, usually in June or July, the league will hold a rookie draft, not too different from the real NFL. This type of league relies more on rookie prospect evaluation, and long-term success.

How are players selected?

Every year, usually in August, the entire league will get together, either in-person or over the web, to participate in a player draft. Team owners will take turns picking players they want, not unlike picking teams in high school gym class.

There are various ways to structure the draft:

  • - Snake Draft - In a snake draft, the order of selections reverse every round (ie. 1-2-3, 3-2-1, 1-2-3). This helps to balance out and create a fair distribution of players.

  • - Linear Draft – In a linear draft, you have the exact same pick every round, with no reversal. (ie. 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3). This is very rare in normal fantasy football drafts, but they are almost always used in dynasty rookie drafts.

So, now you understand the basics of what fantasy football is, and how they operate. Stay tuned for the next article in my Fantasy 101 series, where I will discuss different lineup and scoring settings in fantasy football. I hope that this, along with the subsequent articles yet to come, help to form a foundational basis of knowledge for even the most novice of fantasy enthusiasts.

As always, don’t forget about the Bench Points podcast! We record every other week in the off-season, unless there is hot news to be shared. Subscribe to the Rosemary Media feed for ALL of the great shows. Whether you like music, movies, video games, or just general shenanigans (I see you, ‘Fun Time’), there’s definitely a show for you!