Configuring A Fantasy Football League
Configuring A Fantasy Football League
Gregg Rosenthal (Fantasy Sports Sr. Editor) gives expert video advice on: What is an 'auction draft' league?; What is an 'IDP' league?; What is a 'dynasty' league? and more...
What is an 'auction draft' league?
An auction draft league is similar to a standard or head to head league, in that each week you play a different team in your fantasy football league and you get a win or a loss. But the difference is, instead of drafting your players like in a standard league, at the beginning of the season you have an auction. So you have a set amount of money, its usually fake money, say 260 dollars or 260 units, and you have that money to draft your entire team. You still have the same roster, you want a couple of quarterbacks, you want a couple of running backs, you want three to five wide receivers, tight ends, kicker, defense. But the difference is you get a chance to take any player you want, because every team can bid on any player. Now it costs, it takes a lot more strategy, and maybe a little more know-how. It takes some practice to get good at these leagues because you basically dont want to blow all your money on just a couple of players. A player like LaDainian Tomlinson or Larry Johnson - he might cost as much as 70 or 80 dollars so that's going to be a big chunk of your money that you're going to spend on one player. Basically you have to strategize where you want to spend your money and where you don't, just like in regular leagues. Running backs get drafted at the top in auction fantasy football leagues, as running backs cost the most amount of money. The top ten running backs are going to cost a lot of money, usually over $40, $50. Wide receivers and then the really top quarterbacks are gonna be the next most expensive. One strategy is that you definitely don't want to worry about spending too much money on tight ends, quarterbacks, kickers as in an auction league you want to look for value, it's a lot different. You want to look for players that are undervalued, like if you see a guy who should be worth $40 but hes only going for $20, even if he's not your favorite player, you should go take him.
What is an 'IDP' league?
An IDP league is a league that uses Individual Defensive Players. That means instead of just drafting quarterbacks, running backs, kickers or tight-ends in a team, instead of drafting a team defense, you draft individual players. You can draft a line-backer like Ray Lewis and you can draft defensive ends like Jason Taylor or Richard Seymour. You are also going to draft safeties like Ed Reed, it doesn't really matter. Basically you are going to have to know, instead of offensive players, you are going to know defensive players. A lot of people are not ready for IDP leagues as it's a lot tougher. Within the most popular sort of IDP leagues, you usually always start with two to three linebackers, two or three defensive ends and two or three defensive backs. The linebackers are the breadwinners in defensive leagues, they are kind of like the running backs. They are not worth as much as running backs, but they're worth the most of all the defensive players, and that's because they are very consistent. They get tackles every week. From year to year and from week to week, they get more predictable on their score of points. I would say the safeties are the next most valuable. When you're taking a defensive back, don't take a quarterback, take a really good safety, like Rodney Harrison, when he was in his prime. Adrian Wilson is the guy from Colonels who's very good, he did a lot of tackles every week. And then the third most valuable, I would say, are the defensive ends, because they're very unpredictable. One week theyll have a sack and they'll help you out, the next week they won't really do much for you. So I would say they're the least valuable in Individual Defensive Player fantasy football leagues.
What is a 'dynasty' league?
A dynasty fantasy football league is for really intense owners maybe taking the next step. I would not recommend it for first time players. In a dynasty fantasy football league, you draft very similar to a normal fantasy football league. You have a draft, maybe in the off-season, where you draft all your teams. Usually it's going to have a bigger roster than in regular leagues as it'll probably have at least 20 players on it. But in dynasty fantasy football leagues, once you draft all those veterans, you're not going to draft veterans again. The only draft you're going to have every season is a rookie draft. So in dynasty fantasy football leagues, once you draft a player, you have him forever. So it goes from year to year to year. I'm in a dynasty fantasy football league, and I joined actually after it started, which I don't recommend necessarily. But I've been in it for five years and it's been going on for eight years. All these guys know each other. So it's something that if you're a really big fantasy player, is the next step. Because if you like being a GM - that's why people like fantasy football sometimes - you're put into those shoes where you're a GM. This is really like being a GM because once you draft a player you've got him. You don't put him back into the pool every year. So there's a lot more strategy involved with draft picks - you can trade draft picks - and with trades. Usually in dynasty fantasy football leagues you're going to have individual defensive players which we call IDP leagues. So you're going to be able to draft linebackers, safeties and defensive linemen. That's a dynasty fantasy football league. I would start off in a regular league, which is a re-draft fantasy football league, where you start over every year before graduating to a dynasty league.
What is a 'keeper' league?
A keeper fantasy football league is a league where you keep the same owners every year. So you keep coming back with the same group of owners, and you're allowed to keep some of your players year to year. Now you're not usually allowed to keep all your players, it really depends on the fantasy football league's scoring system but I think maybe the most popular is to keep somewhere from two to three players. So there will be some strategy involved in terms of who you keep as it still depends on your rules in your fantasy football league, but you're going to want to keep the better players, like Chad Johnson or a running back like Willie Parker. A lot of times in keeper fantasy football leagues, you'll give up a corresponding draft pick based on where you took this player the previous year. So if you took Chad Johnson in the 6th round, you have to give up your 6th round pick to keep him the next year, but it's worth it. So from year to year you want to keep your best players and also your best values. I like keeper fantasy football leagues because it adds a little more strategy to it and it gives a little more value to young players. It also makes it possible for some teams that maybe aren't winning, to trade for some young players that they can keep for the next year. So it helps them out, adds a little more strategy, makes it a little more complex and a little more like what real NFL teams have to deal with.
What is a 'survivor' league?
A survivor fantasy football league is pretty much a league where there's usually going to be a lot of owners, like a national contest - it's just about the only one I know. You draft a team and a lot of teams in the fantasy football league can have the same player, indeed 50 teams can have Peyton Manning if they're all in this contest. Therefore it knocks out the weak teams and the weak owners every week. So it's possible that in week one the bottom 10% of the teams get kicked out and their season is over, so it kind of raises the stakes. It's not too fun if you're that team that gets knocked out in the first two weeks though, and during the season basically less and less teams have a chance to win. Until the end of the season, usually week 14 or 15, there's only a few fantasy football teams remaining. Maybe they'll have a playoff system or maybe they'll just keep knocking out teams. It's a fun way to do sort of one of these national contests. The Survivor fantasy football league might be a free entry, or it might be a really small entry and have a big cash prize for the winner.
What factors should I consider when choosing a website to host my fantasy football league?
When choosing a website to host your fantasy football league, firstly I would get advice from the people who played - that is the best way. You should go to the message boards as there are lot of fans that put messages on the message boards, and you can ask people there like who do think the best league runners are. Some fantasy football leagues, I can't mention the names, have trouble with their system crashing. Basically most of the big ones are reliable, like Yahoo, Sandbox, Foxsports and sites like that. That's pretty much what you want to look for. If you have very specific requirements, like if you want to keep track of any crazy statistics like turnover differences, you have to look around to see that that league has the capability to show what you need. The big fantasy football leagues like those I mentioned are reliable.