Fantasy Football – Beginners guide

So I just put out invites for the first season of the @TouchdownTips dynasty fantasy football league and I’ll admit, I was expecting maybe 3 or 4 people to respond and then have to resort to asking for retweets from some of the bigger twitter accounts I follow, but to my surprise I got 15 replies. So we’ve even had to go with a few guys on a waiting list in-case anyone drops out during/after the season! – We do aim to start at least one re-draft league later in the summer and will put out an invite for that as well for anyone wanting something a little less involved to get going! – We used fleaflicker for the dynasty league and for the re-draft league. The NFL app is pretty good, and fleaflicker is easy to use on mobile browser. There’s also Yahoo and ESPN which I’ve yet to dabble in.

Last season Jay did a fantasy roundup every week covering every game that wasn’t televised in the UK and picking out a few guys who were of interest for fantasy football players. He’s been working hard all off-season doing some rankings and has more in the pipeline, unfortunately life has got in the way a little for him (he had an amazing little girl who has taken up a fair bit of his free time!) but hopefully he’ll be able to contribute during the season when we kick off again. Clicking on the Fantasy tab on the menu will give you his pre-draft rankings and a write up on the top guys.

So what is it… Well there’s a few types of Fantasy football, the most popular being Re-draft, Dynasty and getting more and more popular MFL10s. Draftkings and Fanduel are the news kids on the block who offer DFS, daily fantasy, you choose your team every week and try to beat people to win cool hard cash.

Re-draft is where most people get started, they’re one season long and that’s it. No big commitment. Unlike the Premier league fantasy football which I’m guessing a few people reading this would have taken part in, once you pick a guy no-one else in your league can have him. You draft at the start of the season, 16 players per team including a kicker and a defence. You start a QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, a TE, then there’s a flex slot. Usually your choice of RB or WR, but most places now offer the choice of an extra tight end as well. Your Kicker and a Defence. Points are scored depending on how the real life team does during that week. Points for a whole number of things, the most important obviously TD scored, but passing, rushing, receiving yards are the other main things to look for. There’s a 1001 resources out there to help you pick the right guys., Thefantasyfootballers,, etc… just do a google for NFL Fantasy rankings and pick your poison. It’s also very helpful when it comes to gambling, the two go hand in hand, they’re all about figuring out who will be good in a certain week. That’s about all you really need to know from me about the basics of it. If you want to get some practice in then do Mock drafts! They don’t take long at all and will give you an idea of how your team may look, which guys are taken where, and who you might be able to identify as an under-the-radar stud. We use Fantasy Pros mock drafts to do most of ours, you take your picks then if works automatically on ADP (Average draft position) so it’s a quick process, 10 mins or so. If you want to do one against other real-life actual people then run mock drafts which when filled act like the proper draft that you’ll take part in. They take longer as you have to wait for randoms to pick, but they’re a good guide.

How to play fantasy football – I’ve used a few links from 4on4 as they were the first ones I found on google and all makes sense as a quick little guide.

Why Dynasty? – Dynasty is a little different, it’s a multi-year format, essentially carry on as long as people in your league are happy to keep going. You are the GM, you control your team and it’s a little step towards more realism. The basics are the same but you have to make sure you’re looking to the future. You probably wouldn’t draft Carlos Henderson (who?) in re-draft fantasy this year, but in Dynasty he will probably be a decent late round pick up with the potential to take DT or Sanders place in the starting line up in Denver in the years to come. It’s a little more nerdy, and a lot more involved. I’ve only been in one for a few months and every day there’s some movement going on, trades offered, accepted, rejected, negotiated. Personally I’m really enjoying it! Each year you do a rookie draft, probably 4 rounds where the new kids and any free agents are picked up. You don’t just trade players either, you can trade future draft picks. This year I ended up with 10 of the 48 draft picks available, so really bolstered my stinking roster. – A few links to the dynasty league I’m currently in and what I’ve done, 1) The beginning of a Dynasty, 2)  Dynasty league update.

MFL10s are a fairly new thing (for me anyway), and I’ve yet to take part in one, they use a best ball format. You pay your 10 bucks, wait for a league of 12 to fill up. Winner get $100, second place gets $10 towards next years, and they pocket 10. They require a different strategy again. You draft 20 players each at the start of the season, and that’s it, no bench, no trading, once your draft is done, you’re done. Each week the best 11 players on your roster are picked, to fill out the correct positions obviously. Now I won’t claim to be an expert on these as I’ve not done one, but from what I’ve seen you want to fill out your skill positions, 2-3 QBs, 4-6 RB, 6-8 WR, 2-3 TE, 2-3 DEF. Draft your studs at the start then you’re looking for up side, anyone who has a high ceiling. They’re the money guys. People like Evan Silva have 50+ MFL leagues that they’re in, I guess it’s a good thing for making money if you’re good at it as you don’t need to anything during the season, make your picks and leave it be.

DFS – Daily fantasy is something I plan on looking at more this year, I didn’t actually get round to any last year, but there’s a few different game types – draftkings game types – You need different strategies for each, in some games 50% of you win, 50% of you lose, where as in others you need to finish in the top XX positions to win anything back. So in one game style you’re looking for a high floor to try and set a solid score that week, in the other you’re looking for high-upside players to try and wipe the floor with the opposition. Again, I won’t claim to be an expert here, but they’re something I definitely want to get in on when the season comes around. They also offer beginner contests, so if I can get going against some true beginners then I’m hopeful of some easy money from them.

I have actually accepted a space in an IDP PPR Dynasty league which we’ll be drafting in later in the summer. This is the pinnacle of nerd for me (although there are some ridiculous 32 teams leagues out there which sound absolutely crazy and probably a little too much even for me!) IDP – Individual defensive players, PPR – Points per reception and obviously a dynasty league. I’ve never done one with defensive players and my knowledge isn’t all it should be there so it should help me learn defensive guys a bit more, likewise I’ve not done a PPR league yet either, again this needs different tactics, you wants guys who have a ton of volume and RBs who catch the back out of the backfield. Antonio Brown is the go-to guy here, Larry Fitzgerald is taken much higher than in other formats, and players like Danny Woodhead and Theo Riddick are great picks in PPR. ESPN has now set all of their leagues to have PPR as their default setting, personally I prefer not having it as it’s not as realistic, but obviously people like it.

Hopefully this will help anyone wanting to give it a go this year, I know Mr. Gauntlet wanted in on the Dynasty league with no prior experience, hopefully he’ll be in the re-draft league and join the dynasty if a spot opens up.





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