Fantasy football allows you to simulate being an NFL team general manager/coach, adding an extra layer of fandom to regular football watching. After you assemble a team, you’ll rely on what your players do in actual games every week to generate points. The team with the most points wins.
At its core, fantasy football is a math-based game based on the real-life production of players. Each week you fill out a roster by “starting” players at the various positions allowed based on your league settings. These usually include one quarterback (QB), two running backs (RB), two wide receivers (WR), one tight end (TE), one kicker (K), one defense (D/ST) and one FLEX (usually RB or WR).
The statistics your starting players accumulate on the field (yards, touchdowns, etc.) contribute to their point total for the week. The point totals of all of the players in your starting lineup are tallied, and if you have a higher total than your opponent (another member of your league) you win that week.
Each week will proceed like this until the end of the fantasy regular season (usually Week 13). At this point, the teams with the best win-loss records will enter the fantasy playoffs for win-or-go-home head-to-head matchups. Whoever wins the remaining games in the playoffs is the league champion.
Winning is simple (not easy). You choose the best players, through the draft and waiver wire, work around injuries and decide the right players to start each week. You see, you have 16 players on your team but only nine in your starting lineup. The points scored by the others on the bench don’t count.
Tomorrow: How to win at fantasy football, part 2.