Fantasy Football comes in all different shapes and sizes. While the typical league is based around 12 owners and teams building their best group of players, sometimes there is a desire to make the league bigger. Whether it is because there are a larger number of friends who all want to play, or if there is a desire for a tougher challenge - 14-team and 16-team leagues do exist, and there are several differences from “standard” 12-team leagues that anyone new (or even experienced) should know. Knowledge is power, and knowing what to expect before it happens leads to better preparation and a higher chance of success.
Some Basic Math
When it comes to bigger leagues, the talent pool dries up faster and the wait between picks feels that much longer. Just doing a little quick math shows that after eight rounds in a typical 12-team draft, 96 players will have been chosen. In a 16-team league, that number matches the number of players taken after SIX rounds, not eight. That means the teams are going to be thinner in talent across the board in larger leagues, and hitting on later picks means that much more to a starting lineup.
One of the two major factors in larger leagues is positional scarcity. Ever since the NFL started to have bye weeks, getting backups has become a major concern of every fantasy team owner. With 16 franchises in a league, only a handful of teams are going to have two Top 20 quarterbacks or two Top 20 tight ends. Every NFL starting quarterback will be drafted in these leagues just due to the necessity of having a second starter, so the position’s importance is immediately elevated. Tight end comes next, but there are more than 32 in the league and one can argue that after the Top 25 are gone, there is not much difference amongst the remaining choices. It is still a reasonable expectation that every team will select two tight ends as well, so take that into draft plans.
Picking your Poison