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For Those Needing a “How To” About Fantasy Football

Streeter Lecka, Getty Images

I’m not a self proclaimed expert, as you can’t really be an expert of something that is based off luck and that involves so many variables. However, I like to think I know a thing or two about fantasy football. For those of you new to fantasy football, let me explain how some things work, followed by how fantasy came about.

Fantasy football does not take as much time as most think. I decide to put countless hours of my spare time into fantasy football, as it is my hobby and I have passion for it, just ask anyone around this building. But if you want to start playing fantasy football, you don’t have to be as involved as I am to run a team. Setting a lineup does not take but a few minutes and with all the applications on smart phones it has become even easier.

Let’s begin by telling you how fantasy football started. Way back in 1962, at a hotel in uptown Manhattan, part owner of the Oakland Raiders Bill Winkenbach, along with Scott Stirling and Bill Tunnell, created what most people today consider fantasy football.

Owners were each required to draft two quarterbacks, four running backs, four wide receiver or tight ends, two kick or punt returners, two kickers and some defensive players. A starting lineup would then be submitted each week with the highest point getter winning that week. They would keep track from the stats reported in a newspaper, but with the introduction of the internet, the popularity of fantasy football has increased.

Some may know, fantasy football scoring is based on the performances of each team’s players. Each league has it’s own scoring and roster requirements. The scoring system for the league I’m in reward points as follows… six points per touchdown, one point for every 20 yards rushing or receiving, and one point for every 40 yards passing. That is just the rough shot but it could get pretty in depth and change depending on your league.

First step in setting up a league is choosing a commissioner, which happens to be one of the most important parts of a fantasy football league. Shady commissioners can really make a league no fun and unfair. Most leagues have either 10 to 12 owners which should be made of friends, family, or coworkers… people who make a league fun and that you can trust.

After all your owners are in place it is time for what I consider the most fun… the player draft. Just like an actual NFL draft, a fantasy draft follows a similar format. Owners will make selections in a pre-determined order to fill out the roster of their team. One thing that makes it different is the serpentine or snake draft. That is where the draft goes positions 1-10 in round one, 10-1 in round two, and back to 1-10 in round three and so on.

After you have drafted your entire team, you then submit your lineups each week in hopes of getting the win and making the playoffs. Each season takes 16 weeks, with weeks 14 through 16 as the playoffs. Maximizing opportunity and minimizing risk is the key to winning your fantasy football championship, that is rule one. I hope I provided some insight about fantasy, how it works and how it came about.

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