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Beginner's Guide to Fantasy Football, Part 2 - Footballguys

Our beginner's series looks at basic league types

This section will give you a rundown of 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)

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
Deshaun Watson
23
QB
Jimmy Garoppolo
18
RB
Devonta Freeman
17
RB
Carlos Hyde
6
RB
Jordan Howard
14
RB
Christian McCaffrey
16
WR
Larry Fitzgerald
16
WR
Mike Evans
10
WR
Demaryius Thomas
14
WR
Cooper Kupp
11
WR
Pierre Garcon
8
WR
Julio Jones
22
TE
Jack Doyle
7
TE
Rob Gronkowski
5
PK
Greg Zuerlein
7
PK
Will Lutz
6
Def
Seattle Seahawks
7
Def
Houston Texans
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

Tm
W1
W2
W3
W4
W5
W6
W7
W8
W9
W10
W11
W12
W13
W14
W15
W16
Tot
10
82
103
87
104
113
108
94
143
108
114
80
100
119
89
136
103
1684
4
81
102
74
122
133
107
94
112
98
95
99
103
107
132
108
102
1667
1
112
78
113
98
94
127
85
111
76
137
82
90
89
136
130
98
1657
8
107
104
70
67
67
83
98
75
133
122
128
97
115
100
88
110
1564
5
61
94
78
83
92
72
112
103
84
116
64
97
88
110
108
102
1465
7
64
115
82
58
96
92
67
99
88
44
99
106
138
127
95
91
1463
12
71
102
78
88
79
100
102
99
80
94
77
111
105
84
77
128
1434
11
94
87
78
92
82
97
81
83
86
71
138
75
68
103
92
80
1410
6
90
98
81
95
81
81
87
74
82
56
119
106
93
67
118
68
1396
3
68
88
74
144
105
82
101
107
98
62
87
77
97
58
90
56
1395
2
125
117
102
76
79
73
97
91
77
93
59
80
82
72
64
92
1378
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 Carson Wentz, Todd Gurley, Saquon Barkley, and DeAndre Hopkins 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
Aaron Rodgers
GB
Team 1
$32
QB
Matt Ryan
Atl
Team 4
$8
WR
Jamison Crowder
Was
Team 7
$9
Def
Pittsburgh Steelers
Pit
Team 4
$1
WR
Amari Cooper
Oak
Team 10
$23
TE
Rob Gronkowski
NE
Team 1
$37

"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 is 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 league's rules.

Example of a 5-player keeper league
(the teams will keep the players in bold)

Team 1
Team 2
Pos
Starter
Team
Pos
Starter
Team
QB
Russell Wilson
Sea
QB
Drew Brees
NO
QB
Jimmy Garoppolo
SF
QB
Andy Dalton
Cin
QB
Tom Savage
Hou
RB
Alvin Kamara
NO
QB
Teddy Bridgewater
Min
RB
Alex Collins
Bal
RB
Kenyan Drake
Mia
RB
Austin Ekeler
LAC
RB
James White
NE
RB
Andre Ellington
Hou
RB
Orleans Darkwa
NYG
RB
Damien Williams
Mia
RB
Isaiah Crowell
Cle
WR
Tyreek Hill
KC
WR
Antonio Brown
Pit
WR
Jamison Crowder
Was
WR
DeAndre Hopkins
Hou
WR
Will Fuller
Hou
WR
Devin Funchess
Car
WR
Travis Benjamin
LAC
WR
Kenny Stills
Mia
WR
Corey Coleman
Cle
WR
Tyler Lockett
Sea
WR
Bruce Ellington
Hou
WR
Rishard Matthews
Ten
TE
Jimmy Graham
Sea
TE
Rob Gronkowski
NE
TE
Hunter Henry
LAC
TE
Austin Hooper
Atl
PK
Will Lutz
NO
PK
Greg Zuerlein
LAR
DT
Los Angeles Rams
LAR
DT
New Orleans Saints
NO
DT
Kansas City Chiefs
KC

As you can see, in a keeper league, some teams will start off the draft with a core that can be far better than other teams in the league.

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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