Of all the fantasy sports available to play, fantasy soccer is the undisputed king. No other fantasy sport combines the excitement of the real NFL game with the thrill of creating and managing your own personal team the way fantasy football does. You can draft a squad and tinker with it continuously until you’ve created the team that could lead you to a fantasy championship at the end of the football season!
If you’re new to fantasy football in 2023, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Below is our guide to the game with everything you need to win and have fun this season!
What is fantasy football?
At its most basic level, fantasy football is represented by the accumulation of points for players on a given fantasy team based on the REAL-LIFE stats those players achieve on the NFL field.
If you can score more fantasy points than your opponent, you win that week’s matchup. Win enough weekly matchups throughout the season to secure your spot in the Fantasy Playoffs.
Win your fantasy championship game and then collect the laurels!
Not much different from the real NFL game, right?
[Join or create a Yahoo Fantasy Football league for free today]
That said, there are many, a lot of variations to fantasy football, as well as custom changes that can be made to scoring settings. Still, the gist of it all remains the same: you, the fantasy manager, must build, manage and then customize your team throughout the season with the ultimate goal of beating your league mates – your weekly and seasonal league. This may include adding players from a pool of free players called the waiver wire (you may need to cut one of your own players first to make room on the roster), trading for a player (or two , or three, or four…) with another team in your league and set up a roster that you think has the best chance of accumulating the most fantasy points each week.
This is where dedication is key – benching or starting the wrong player can be the difference between a week’s win and a loss!
As mentioned, scoring in your fantasy leagues can vary (Yahoo has its default settings, but league commissioners can customize – more on that below), but at the end of the day, the fantasy points mostly match what we see on the real field. That means you can get points from a positive rush, a reception, a completed pass, yard accumulation, and a touchdown. You can also get defensive points from losing the ball, sacks, and even special team scores.
Of course, it’s usually not enough to win bragging rights for many fantasy players. There is usually a monetary reward at the end of the season, either for the champion alone or for the top two or three teams, depending on the size of the league. This is all part of the default settings in public competitions.
In private leagues, it’s up to the commissioner (the person responsible for setting up a league and running it throughout the season) and the league members themselves to agree on end-of-season rewards – and, often, wild and hilarious end-of-season penalties for the team at the bottom of the leaderboard!
What are the different score formats in fantasy football?
As mentioned above, there are plenty of different ways to set a competition’s score, but the most common is half-PPR (“PPR” stands for “point per reception”) scoring, which is also Yahoo’s default setting. This means that for every reception made you get half a point. Of course, you also get points for passing yards and TDs thrown (for QBs), for positive rushes and touchdowns caught (for position players: RBs, WRs, TEs – there are also players who qualify for multiple positions).
You can also set your league to full-point PPR. Both half and full PPR are more common than “standard” scoring, giving zero points for receptions.
In addition to score settings, you can also play around with your league size – both in terms of league members and the number of players you can have on a given squad – and the league format.
These include, but are not limited to: IDP (which stands for Individual Defensive Player, a format where you can field a defensive player(s) in addition to your offensive player line-up that will accumulate points on the defensive side of the stats), SuperFlex (a format where you can start a quarterback in your “Flex” position; the Flex slot serves as an extra roster spot that can be used on another position player), Best Ball (a format where you don’t have to manage the team or set lineups after the draft; your team from week to week is automatically selected for you based on the highest scoring players), Dynasty (a format in which the players who make your draft carry over from season to season), Keeper (like Dynasty, except you here you can choose to keep a limited number of players from season to season) and more.
Stay tuned as we have a primer on 2QB/SuperFlex formats, which are becoming more and more popular among the fantasy community.
How do you put together a team in fantasy football?
Many seasoned players will agree: the design is the most fun and exciting part of the entire fantasy season. After all, this is where you build a team.
The default positions for Yahoo Fantasy Football teams are: 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 1 FLEX, 1 K, and 1 Team Defense. A FLEX can usually be filled by your choice of an RB, WR or TE. This is the most common format. Your goal in the draft is to fill these positions with the players you like the most, and build a player bank that you can start in an instant.
[2023 Fantasy Draft Rankings: QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs]
So you have mastered all the rules. Now it’s time to set up. How does it work?
A snake draw (don’t worry, no real reptiles are involved) is by far the most common format in all-season fantasy competitions. Snake drafts are so called because of the ouroboros nature of drafting – so if you get the first pick in your league’s draft, then the next pick will be the 20th in Round 2 (if it’s a 10-team league is) or 24th (if it is a 12-team competition). The snake format continues until the design is complete.
Of course, just as there are many fantasy football formats, you can use the way you draw too. One of the most common non-standard drafts is a Salary Cap Draft. A Salary Cap Draft uses an auction-style format rather than a snake format; there are no choices. Instead, NFL players are presented and league members can then make offers for that player’s services with an allotted amount of salary (or cap space) for the proceedings. Whoever bids the most salary gets to “draft” that player.
At the end of your draft, complete rosters typically have between 16 and 20 players. Of course, the fun and action doesn’t end there – it actually kicks off Week 1 of the NFL season.
So what are you waiting for – play fantasy football for the 2023 NFL season!
There’s a lot to love about fantasy football. Sports, technology, and competition all come together to create a great game that lasts virtually the entire NFL regular season. And it’s not just about winning either. Some of the strongest bonds and lifelong friendships have been made in fantasy leagues. You don’t have to be the biggest football fan or the biggest fantasy player – everyone has a chance to enjoy the journey.
All you need is a little dedication to your team – and lots of fun at the same time! So join the 2023 football season by creating or joining a fantasy league today!