So, you think you
know pro football? Then it's time to see how well you can really do! First, you have to
decide how you will run your league. One of the best aspects of fantasy football is that
you can make your rules any way you want them. There are thousands of fantasy leagues
around the country, and hundreds of variations on the scoring methods alone.
Elsewhere at this web site, you will find the rules
used by the Eastern Kentucky Fantasy Football League. Feel free to modify them as you
wish. Another great resource is The Fantasy Football Abstract, written by Rick
Korch, past Managing Editor of Pro Football Weekly.
You will want anywhere from four to sixteen people to form a fantasy
football league (we've found that eight or twelve are the best sizes), with each player
getting his own franchise and acting as owner/general manager/coach. Each
"owner" will draft his players, play games, and vie for the championship.
First, you must decide on a commissioner and a deputy commissioner (who
will decide any disputes involving the commissioner's team).
Your league may want to set a franchise fee, just as the NFL does when it
expands. All of the money goes into the pot, which will include money that can be charged
for player transactions. At the end of the season, the money is awarded to the top teams.
You will decide on the length of your league's season, and then make a
schedule so the teams can play head-to-head during the season.
Team owners will gather before the start of the NFL season for the annual
fantasy draft. There, they will select players in the following positions: quarterbacks,
running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, and kickers from actual NFL rosters. In other
variations, you may want to choose a defensive team, a coach, individual defensive
players, etc. Remember, the more complicated your scoring system, the more time-consuming
it will be each week. Every team will have the same roster size, which is generally double
whatever your starting lineup is. Each team will submit a weekly lineup to the
commissioner before a set deadline.
Teams are allowed to pick up, drop, and trade players after the draft,
although your league will have to set rules beforehand so that nobody gets an unfair
Teams will meet in head-to-head competition and score points according to
a predetermined scoring method. Results and standings will be posted (or distributed via
mail, fax, or e-mail to all teams) by the commissioner a day or two after the close of
each weeks' NFL games. The season ends with playoffs and the championship game.
So there you have it -- the basics of fantasy football. For more in-depth
information, check out the rules
page, or look in your favorite bookstore or library for a book.