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Decoded: How To Actually Play Fantasy Football

We told you why fantasy football was emerging as the next American trend, but we didn’t take in account you might not know how to play, preventing you from partaking in the game.

We told you why fantasy football was emerging as the next American trend, but we didn’t take in account you might not know how to play, preventing you from partaking in the game. So, let’s get right into it, how to play fantasy football.

First and foremost, select a fantasy football analyst you want to put the majority of your trust, pertaining to fantasy football, in. In my opinion, the top billed names are: Matthew Berry of ESPN, Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard of CBS, and Lyle and Kevin of The Fantasy Football Guys. Also, you have me.

Remember, I said put the majority of your trust into these guys, so use one of the aforementioned names as your primary source. But, also use the remaining names, or others you find after research, as secondary sources, so you can get the most information possible. 

Honestly, they’re all secondary sources, but there’s little to none fantasy football literature that players read weekly, except websites, to get an edge.

Okay, that’s half the battle right there, obtaining a knowledgeable source. Don’t get me wrong, fantasy football is a game of luck, as no one can predict the future (Except Russia. Wait, who said that?). But, there is skill involved pertaining to the following: drafting players, playing the waiver wire, making trades, and knowing who to start.

“Making the play offs is skill, winning the championship is luck,” Eisenberg said on the Fantasy Football Today Podcast.

We’ll get into the skill in a later article, but for now let’s just learn how to play. Using ESPN, the most popular fantasy football site, let’s get to it. Traditionally, fantasy football has been played with a roster size constructed of 14 with a league size of 12 in standard.

In your starting lineup, players field a QB, 2 RB’s, 2 WR’s, a Flex (RB, WR, or TE) a TE, a Defense/Special Teams, a Kicker, and five bench spots. The bench spots varies, but we’ll use five starting off.

Essentially, how fantasy football works is there’s 13 weeks (weeks 1-13) where you’ll play the other league members in your league. Based on how many games you win, you may or may not have the chance to play in the playoffs (weeks 14-16). 

You win by scoring the most amount of points for the week. Now, there’ll be weeks where you score a great amount of points, and you still lose. Because of the random schedule, it’s plausible you score the second highest amount of points in a week, but lose because you played the team with the highest amount of points.

Scoring breakdown: 

For your Quarterback, he’s awarded four points for every passing touchdown, two points for a 2 point passing conversion, negative two points for every interception, and a point for every 25 yards passed. This applies to other positions assuming this role.

For your Running back, he’s awarded a point for every 10 yards rushed, six points for a rushing touchdown, and two points for every 2 point rushing conversion. This applies to other positions assuming this role.

For your Wide receiver, he’s awarded a point for every 10 yards received, six points for a receiving touchdown, and two points for every 2 point receiving conversion. This applies to your tight end as well, and to other positions assuming this role.

For your kicker, he’s awarded a point for every point after attempt (PAT) made, three points for every field goal made from 39 yards or less, four points for every field goal made from 40-49 yards, and five points for every field goal made from 50 plus yards. Additionally, he loses a point for every PAT or field goal missed.

Miscellaneous scoring categories are six points awarded for every fumble recovered for a touchdown, and negative two points for every fumble lost.

To round things out, your Defense/Special Teams is awarded a point for every sack, two points for each fumble recovered and safety, three points for a blocked punt, PAT, or field goal, two points for a 2 point conversion return ,and a point for a 2 point conversion safety.

Additionally, they’re awarded six points for the following: fumble return touchdown, punt return touchdown, interception return touchdown, kickoff return touchdown, and six points for a blocked punt or field goal returned for a touchdown.

Now you know how to play!

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