Beginner Series Section II: Different Types of Fantasy Leagues
By Chris Smith
May 8th, 2012

"The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will." -- Vince Lombardi

This section will give you a rundown on the different types of fantasy leagues that one can participate in. From a standard redraft league to a full-fledged dynasty league to an IDP league, there are many styles of leagues that all offer various challenges and enjoyments to the fantasy footballer.

Standard Redraft Leagues (Head-to-head)

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The standard redraft leagues are by far the most common fantasy leagues. The league has a draft that is usually serpentine in nature (first pick overall in round one will pick last in round two, the last pick in round one will pick first in round two, etc.). The owners will pick out a starting lineup each week depending on the regulations of the league and match up against a different owner each week. Scoring more points than your opponent results in a win whereas scoring fewer points will result in a loss. The best win/loss records meet in the playoffs. Each new season, all of the NFL players go back into the pool and can be drafted all over again.

Example of Head-to-head Competition

Team 1
Team 2
Pos
Starter
Pts
Pos
Starter
Pts
QB
Tom Brady
23
QB
Peyton Manning
18
RB
Reggie Bush
17
RB
Mark Ingram
6
RB
Adrian Peterson
14
RB
DeAngelo Williams
16
WR
Calvin Johnson
16
WR
Malcom Floyd
10
WR
Steve Smith
14
WR
Marques Colston
11
WR
Mike Williams
8
WR
Andre Johnson
22
TE
Jared Cook
7
TE
Todd Heap
5
PK
Alex Henery
7
PK
Garrett Hartley
6
Def
Baltimore Ravens
7
Def
Green Bay Packers
10
Starters' Total Points
113
Starters' Total Points
104

Team 1 would win the above head-to-head matchup by a score of 113-104.

Standard Redraft Leagues (Total Points)

These leagues start off the same as head-to-head leagues. Once the draft is finished however the ultimate goal is to finish with the most points overall instead of the most wins. There is no weekly head-to-head schedule and it is simply a matter of building up as many points as possible. Over the last decade or so, the total points' leagues have become less popular.

Example of Total Points League

Team
Wk1
Wk2
Wk3
Wk4
Wk5
Wk6
Wk7
Wk8
Wk9
Wk10
Wk11
Wk12
Wk13
Wk14
Wk15
Wk16
Tot
Team 10
82
103
87
104
113
108
94
143
108
114
80
100
119
89
136
103
1684
Team 4
81
102
74
122
133
107
94
112
98
95
99
103
107
132
108
102
1667
Team 1
112
78
113
98
94
127
85
111
76
137
82
90
89
136
130
98
1657
Team 8
107
104
70
67
67
83
98
75
133
122
128
97
115
100
88
110
1564
Team 5
61
94
78
83
92
72
112
103
84
116
64
97
88
110
108
102
1465
Team 7
64
115
82
58
96
92
67
99
88
44
99
106
138
127
95
91
1463
Team 12
71
102
78
88
79
100
102
99
80
94
77
111
105
84
77
128
1434
Team 11
94
87
78
92
82
97
81
83
86
71
138
75
68
103
92
80
1410
Team 6
90
98
81
95
81
81
87
74
82
56
119
106
93
67
118
68
1396
Team 3
68
88
74
144
105
82
101
107
98
62
87
77
97
58
90
56
1395
Team 2
125
117
102
76
79
73
97
91
77
93
59
80
82
72
64
92
1378
Team 9
84
90
61
74
87
45
119
55
74
83
107
99
77
110
95
91
1351

Team 10 would win the above league because they scored the most points over the 16-week season.

Auction Draft Leagues

Auction drafts can be a ton of fun and offer unique challenges but it also takes up a lot more time on average than a standard draft. Some owners swear by these leagues as every player is available depending on how much you wish to spend. As an owner in an auction draft, make sure to devote a block of six to ten hours in order to complete your draft. Each owner in this kind of league gets a sum of play money in which they will use in order to build their fantasy roster. Each owner can bid on any player on the auction block as long as he/she has enough money remaining to win the bid. The best part of an auction draft is simply that every player in the league is available to a fantasy owner. If an owner wants to build a squad featuring Tom Brady, Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson and Andre Johnson as part of their starting unit, they can do so (although he won't have much, if any, money left to add other strong players).

Example of the first six bids of an auction draft

Pos
Player Selected
Team
Draft By
Cost
QB
Tom Brady
NE
Team 1
$34
RB
Arian Foster
Hou
Team 4
$75
WR
Andre Johnson
Hou
Team 7
$25
RB
LeSean McCoy
Phi
Team 4
$56
WR
Vincent Jackson
TB
Team 10
$29
TE
Tony Gonzalez
Atl
Team 1
$14

"Thus those skilled in war subdue the enemy's army without battle .... They conquer by strategy." - Sun Tzu, Art of War

Keeper Leagues

This style of league is very similar to the leagues above. The difference being that the owner can keep a predetermined number of players from his draft in the previous season to carry forward into the new campaign. In some leagues you can keep one player, in others three and in others five or more. Sometimes it costs an owner a draft pick to keep a player from the previous season and sometimes no penalty is paid. It really depends on the leagues rules.

Example of a 4-player keeper league
(the teams will keep the players in blue)

Team 1
Team 2
Pos
Starter
Team
Pos
Starter
Team
QB
Michael Vick
Phi
QB
Matthew Stafford
Det
QB
Matt Moore
Mia
QB
Alex Smith
SF
QB
Colt McCoy
Cle
QB
Kevin Kolb
Ari
RB
Montario Hardesty
Cle
RB
Mark Ingram
NO
RB
Arian Foster
Hou
RB
LeGarrette Blount
TB
RB
Demarco Murray
Dal
RB
Ronnie Brown
Phi
RB
Lance Ball
Den
RB
Leon Washington
Sea
WR
Davone Bess
Mia
WR
Mike Sims-Walker
Jac
WR
Chad Ochocinco
NE
WR
Mike Williams
Sea
WR
Calvin Johnson
Det
WR
Andre Johnson
Hou
WR
Percy Harvin
Min
WR
Steve Smith
Car
TE
Anthony Fasano
Mia
WR
Lance Moore
NO
TE
Ben Watson
Cle
TE
Rob Gronkowski
NE
PK
Robbie Gould
Chi
TE
Marcedes Lewis
Jac
DT
Dallas Cowboys
Dal
PK
Josh Brown
StL
DT
St. Louis Rams
StL
DT
Atlanta Falcons
Atl
DT
New Orleans Saints
NO
DT
Pittsburgh Steelers
Pit

Dynasty Leagues

A dynasty league is similar to a keeper league but each team can keep their entire roster of players from one year to the next. After the inaugural draft in year one, the players will stay on the team they are drafted to unless they are traded away or released. Each offseason a rookie draft will take place in which the owners can add talent to their rosters. These leagues can be really challenging to rebuild a poor roster as it may take years of wise trading and shrewd drafting in order to rise to the top. Great leagues if you want to challenge yourself.

Survivor Draft Leagues

These leagues can use either the auction draft or the standard draft. Once the rosters have been filled out however the rules are much different. Similar to the television show Survivor, in this style of league, the team with the fewest points scored in a week is booted out for the season. It is very important in this kind of league to build a well-rounded squad that can withstand the perils of injuries, bye weeks and other similar challenges. Usually in this kind of league, no free agent pickups or trades are allowed. Because of the format, there is possibly a higher degree of luck involved as you can have one bad week and be eliminated from the title chase.

IDP Leagues

These leagues use defensive players as well as offensive players. This is only for the diehard fantasy player as it takes a lot more research, knowledge and experience to know not only what defensive players to draft but when. Depending on the scoring rules, offensive or defensive players may fly off the draft boards in the early rounds.

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