Fantasy Football Rules 2021Overview
Fantasy football is massively popular all across North America and the world as a whole. It is an ideal way to get greater enjoyment out of your favorite sport. You can also partake in leagues against your friends where there is a lot of pride at stake. Alternatively, you can play in a league against the general public, with paid fantasy football sites allowing you to win potentially life changing sums of money.
If you are a beginner to fantasy football, then it can be a steep learning curve in the beginning to get to grips with the relevant rules and processes that you need to be aware of. The fantasy football rules are generally easy to understand but they only make sense when you put everything into perspective. This article will walk you through the basic fantasy football rules if you are a beginner to fantasy football or you need a bit of a refresher.
Fantasy Football Key Points
- Fantasy football rules are straightforward
- You draft a team, update before games start every week, make trades and pick up free agents
- By knowing these rules, you can use them to your advantage
Understanding fantasy football rules
Just like any type of game, there are rules that you will need to be aware of and adhere to when it comes to fantasy football. These will largely be easy to understand but they only make sense as a whole when you look at them together. This article will walk you through the straightforward fantasy football rules which will be common across most platforms.
How is fantasy football framed?
Fantasy football is a game that bases itself on the performance of NFL players every single week of the regular season. It is based on maths and is your typical fantasy type of game. The starting off of the process is a draft phase where you will build your team of 15 players. These drafts come in different forms depending on the specific league you are going to be a part of. Every week before the latest round of games you will update your roster to select starting players (the players whose points will count towards your overall score) and decide which players you want to leave on the bench (their points will not contribute to that week’s total points score).
For most leagues, the starting team will consist of a single quarterback, two wide receivers, two running backs, a single tight end, a kicker, a defense and one flexible position which normally is going to be a wide receiver or a running back. You will earn points for the performance of your starting team over the course of the week, including for touchdowns and yards. You will combine each score of the individual players to give you your weekly points total.
You are the winner of that given week if you have a higher points score than your head to head opponent or others in your league. This process will repeat itself each week usually until the end of the regular season. After usually week 13 or 14 you will enter into the playoffs for your league. This is based on the teams in the league that have the best win-loss records. Whoever comes out on top of these play-offs will be deemed to be the overall champion.
Setting your lineups
You are able to set your starting lineups up to five minutes in advance of kick-off for the fixtures of your starting players. If a player remains in your roster and their game has already started, you will not be able to move them around, their points will count towards your weekly total either way. This is the same for whether they are on your bench or on your starting team. This is why it is important to set your team in advance and to not wait until the last minute in case you forget to make these changes as this could cost you dearly. You are still able to make changes to the team for players who have yet to start their game up to five minutes before their respective kick-off. It is a good idea to be constantly checking news updates and injury reports to ensure that your starting players are going to be able to take the field. Often times players that are in doubt will take a fitness test in the final 24 hours before the game.
Navigating the waiver wire
As soon as the week of games has come to a close, your focus then goes onto the following week's fixtures. One of the most important parts of your strategy is going to be picking up players off the waiver wire. This is the way in which you can pick up players that no other team in your league has at the moment on their roster. You enter a claim for one of these free agents and it will depend on the bidder with the highest priority as to who actually gets this player.
The priority goes from the team with the worst record having the highest priority. No matter what your priority level, if nobody else puts in a claim for a given player, you will automatically then get this player. As you can only have a roster of a certain size, you will have to drop a player from your roster to make space. All of the claims made on the waiver wire will be submitted on the Tuesday and they will be processed the following day. There are chances to make further roster changes as the week goes on also.
Considering bye weeks
In the NFL season, there are bye weeks for every team. This is a week off for a given team where they can rest and recover. It is vital that you are aware of when the bye weeks for your players may be. You do not want to be faced with a situation where a large number of your players do not have a game on a given week. Therefore, you should prepare well and know when a player has a bye week and plan ahead of time to have a replacement ready in this respective position. This may involve adding a free agent or making a trade with another player.
You also can gain new players by trading with other teams in the league. You can involve multiple players as part of a given trade. It will often take compromises and time to make trades. You should know what the needs are of the person you are trading with so you can make a trade that is somewhat mutually beneficial.
As you can see, the framework of fantasy football is pretty straightforward. The rules are outlined in a way that are easy to understand and will allow you to get to grips with the game in a short space of time. Doing well at fantasy football is all about knowing these rules and exploiting them to your advantage. This is where you can get a leg up on the competition and get ahead of the curve when you are starting off with fantasy football.
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