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Fantasy NFL and American Football
American football is very different from what most other countries traditionally call football. It’s quite odd actually; mainly because Americans play football with their hands, not their feet. We will never understand completely why it’s called "football", but we do know that the sport is one of the biggest in the world.
In America, football and fantasy football are by far, the largest sport activities. Millions of people flock to their computers, mobiles and TV's week after week to watch men beat the crap out of each other on the field. And cheer them on!
While the real men are battling it out on the gridiron, the armchair quarterbacks of the world are battling it out in a fantasy world called fantasy football. Instead of tackling and trying to crush the other members of the opposing team; fantasy football's goal is to outscore your opponent using a simple scoring system.
There is no bloodshed or injuries. Well, maybe carpal tunnel from clicking your mouse, but fantasy football is played on an entirely different playing surface.
If you are unfamiliar with American football, by the end of this article, you should have a better grasp of the game and its surrounding components; such as NFL fantasy football.
What is American Football?
American football is a game like any other sport where you have winners and losers. In it's purest form, the goal is to get the football from one end of the field to the other and score a touchdown, Or in some cases, a field goal.
Each team has turns of offensive and defensive play.
The scoring is what confuses many outsiders to the game. And quite honestly, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense why it is the way it is, but it has worked for a long time, so there’s no changing it. All you need to do is understand how it works, and you’ll be fine.
A touchdown is worth 6 points. This is when the team takes the ball into the opposing team’s end zone by either throwing it to another player or running it in. Much like in Australian Rules Football, if you happen to be familiar with this sport.
Once a touchdown is scored, the kicker comes out and kicks the ball through the field goal posts standing in the end zone. This is worth one point when kicked after a touchdown. A team may elect to go for what is called a two-point conversion by trying to throw or run the ball back into the end zone from a set distance.
However, this is rare as it is more difficult to do. Most teams elect to kick the “Extra Point” after touchdowns.
If a team cannot make it to the end zone, they can try and score a field goal if they are close enough. A field goal is worth 3 points if the ball goes through the field goal posts. If it does not the other team gets the ball back.
Finally, we have a safety. If the team with the ball is tackled in their end zone, the defensive team gets 2 points. Again this is a rare occurrence, but does happen.
So that’s all you need to know when it comes to scoring. Let’s move on to the rest of the game.
American football is much different than other sports. They have two separate teams in a way. There is an offensive side that tries to score the touchdowns. And a defensive side that tries to stop the other team. Each side will almost never have the same players.
The goal of each team is to try to get the best players they can while not going over a certain amount of money every year. They will draft players out of college and sign players from other teams. Or trade for them at times. This is no different from most major American sports.
But it is one of the more exciting aspects of the game. Even though they aren’t playing a physical game, each team is still trying to improve. There are channels on cable that are dedicated to nothing but this action. Updates on players, projections, news and rumors around the NFL, and so on. It really is exciting, and part of the reason why what I’m about to talk about next has become so popular.
Trying to get in on the excitement, NFL fantasy football was created. This lets people pretend they are doing the same a real NFL team is. Some play free fantasy football; while others play it for real money.
What is fantasy football?
In its simplest form, fantasy football is a game that lets people draft real NFL players and manage a team they compile. It’s a very basic game that requires some skill and strategy to win.
There are now two types of NFL fantasy football. We have our standard, season-long leagues that have been around for decades. But we also have daily fantasy football leagues. I’ll explain the differences in a second. Both work in much the same way so let’s first talk about how it all works.
The most exciting part of the offseason in American football is the draft. This is where teams choose players out of college and try to make their teams better. If you’ve never seen the NFL Drafts, it’s a must watch. This is also the most exciting part of NFL fantasy football.
Each player in a fantasy football league or tournament will draft football players who they think will score the most points. You pick only offensive players for the most part. Some leagues do pick defensive players, but this is not very common.
- Wide Receiver
- Tight End
Those are the positions you draft players from.
Once you have completed the draft, the season begins. The goal is to score more points with your players than your opponents. To do this, players are given points for accomplishing certain goals in the actual game. For example, if a quarterback throws a touchdown pass, they are awarded points in a fantasy league.
- Rushing touchdowns
- Passing touchdowns
- Rushing yards
- Passing yards
- Receiving yards
- Receiving touchdowns
These are all milestones when a player gets fantasy points. Your assembled team through the fantasy football draft will have to score more points by reaching these certain goals to win the game.
Differences between Daily and Regular Fantasy Football
A regular fantasy football league will run throughout the course of a real season. You draft one team in each league, and that’s it. You can still trade and pick up players off what’s called the waiver wire that weren’t drafted, but that’s it.
Teams who scored the most points will reach a playoff and try to win the league by winning the playoff games. Just like in real football. The winner is may win a cash prize, or nothing depending if they were playing for money or not.
Daily Fantasy Football Leagues
Daily fantasy games are run every week. There are tournaments for every week of the season, and you can draft a new team each time. Once that week’s games are over, you can play again the following week and draft an entirely new team.
The draft is the most fun, which is probably why daily fantasy football has become so popular.
You will usually have a set amount of fake money to spend on players. Each player is assigned a monetary value based on how good they are. Better players cost more. This is set up so that you can’t just pick all the best players. It brings the element of strategy into the game.
You will win real cash prizes if you are good enough, or sometimes lucky enough to win a daily fantasy tournament.
Play Free NFL Football Fantasy
You can play fantasy football for free on most major sports sites such as Fox Sports, ESPN, and CBS Sports. Other sites are also available to play free fantasy football, but these have become the most popular.
Playing for free is a good way to learn how it all works and participate in free football drafts. Some players who play for real money, like to use these free football drafts to practice for the real ones. We call them “mock drafts”.