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Beginner's Guide to Fantasy Football
Section II: The Different Types of Fantasy Leagues

"By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail." -- Benjamin Franklin

This section will give you a rundown on the different types of fantasy leagues that one can participate in. From a standard redraft league to a full-fledged dynasty league to an IDP league, there are many styles of leagues that all offer various challenges and enjoyments to the fantasy footballer.

Standard Re-draft Leagues (Head to Head)

The standard redraft leagues are by far the most common fantasy leagues. The league has a draft that is usually serpentine in nature (first pick overall in round one will pick last in round two, the last pick in round one will pick first in round two, etc.). The owners will pick out a starting lineup each week depending on the regulations of the league and match up against a different owner each week. Scoring more points than your opponent results in a win whereas scoring fewer points will result in a loss. The best win/loss records meet in the playoffs. Each new season, all of the NFL players go back into the pool and can be drafted all over again.

Example of Head to Head Competition

Team One - winners
Team Two - losers
Pos
Starter
Pts
Pos
Starter
Pts
QB
Donovan McNabb
23
QB
Peyton Manning
18
RB
Reuben Droughns
17
RB
Brian Westbrook
6
RB
Willie Parker
14
RB
Warrick Dunn
6
WR
Chad Johnson
16
WR
Plaxico Burress
10
WR
Darrell Jackson
14
WR
Derrick Mason
11
WR
Joe Jurevicius
8
WR
Marvin Harrison
22
TE
Alge Crumpler
7
TE
Todd Heap
5
PK
Mike Vanderjagt
7
PK
Jason Elam
6
DT
Baltimore Ravens
7
DT
Miami Dolphins
10
Starters' Total Points
113
Starters' Total Points
94

Standard Re-draft Leagues (Total Points)

These leagues start off the same as head-to-head leagues. Once the draft is finished however the ultimate goal is to finish with the most points overall instead of the most wins. There is no weekly head-to-head schedule and it is simply a matter of building up as many points as possible. Over the last decade or so, the total points' leagues have become less popular.

Example of Total Points League

Franchise
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
Tot
Charitable Donation
82
103
87
104
113
108
94
143
108
114
80
100
119
89
136
103
110
1794
Chris Smith's Goons
81
102
74
122
133
107
94
112
98
95
99
103
107
132
108
102
92
1759
Unlucky's Bass Turds
112
78
113
98
94
127
85
111
76
137
82
90
89
136
130
98
67
1724
Stuart's Ships
107
104
70
67
67
83
98
75
133
122
128
97
115
100
88
110
77
1641
Harrisville
61
94
78
83
92
72
112
103
84
116
64
97
88
110
108
102
119
1584
Hollywood Funk
71
102
78
88
79
100
102
99
80
84
77
111
105
84
77
128
93
1527
Hocking Valley Egos
64
115
82
58
96
92
68
99
88
44
99
106
138
127
95
91
57
1520
The Assassin
90
98
81
95
81
81
87
74
82
56
119
106
93
67
118
68
80
1476
Joe T Carney Men
68
88
74
144
105
82
101
107
98
62
87
77
97
58
90
56
73
1468
Spartans Rule
125
117
102
76
79
73
97
91
77
93
59
80
82
72
64
92
87
1465
Longboards
94
87
78
92
82
97
81
83
86
71
138
75
68
103
92
80
53
1463
Baptist Breakers
84
90
61
74
87
45
119
55
74
83
107
99
77
110
95
91
39
1390

Auction Draft Leagues

Auction drafts are a relatively new type of fantasy league to the casual fantasy gamer. These drafts can be a ton of fun and offer unique challenges but it also takes up a lot more time on average than a standard draft. As an owner in an auction draft, make sure to devote a block of six to ten hours in order to complete your draft. Each owner in this kind of league gets a sum of play money in which they will use in order to build their fantasy roster. Each owner can bid on any player on the auction block as long as he/she has enough money remaining to win the bid. The best part of an auction draft is simply that every player in the league is available to a fantasy owner. If an owner wants to build a squad featuring Shaun Alexander, Steven Jackson, Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison as part of their starting unit, they can do so (although he won't have much, if any, money left to add other strong players).

Example of the first six bids of an Auction Draft

Pos
Player
Team
Drafted By
Cost
QB
Peyton Manning
Ind
Team One
$34
RB
Larry Johnson
KC
Team Four
$75
WR
Marvin Harrison
Ind
Team Seven
$25
RB
Willie Parker
Pit
Team Four
$16
WR
Torry Holt
StL
Team Ten
$29
TE
Tony Gonzalez
KC
Team One
$14

"Thus those skilled in war subdue the enemy's army without battle .... They conquer by strategy." - Sun Tzu 'Art of War'

Keeper Leagues

Very similar to the leagues above. The difference being that the owner can keep a predetermined number of players from his draft in the previous season to carry forward into the new campaign. In some leagues you can keep one player, in others three and in others five or more. Sometimes it costs an owner a draft pick to keep a player from the previous season and sometimes no penalty is paid. It really depends on the leagues rules.

Example of a 3-player Keeper League (the teams will keep the players in blue)

Team One
Team Two
Pos
Player
Team
Pos
Player
Team
QB
Donovan McNabb
Phi
QB
Marc Bulger
StL
QB
Jake Plummer
Den
QB
Patrick Ramsey
NYJ
QB
Kyle Boller
Bal
QB
Kurt Warner
Ari
RB
T.J. Duckett
Atl
RB
Jamal Lewis
Bal
RB
Edgerrin James
Ari
RB
Steven Jackson
StL
RB
Marion Barber III
Dal
RB
Curtis Martin
NYJ
RB
Michael Pittman
TB
RB
Marcel Shipp
Ari
WR
Marty Booker
Mia
WR
Tyrone Calico
Ten
WR
Plaxico Burress
NYG
WR
Laveranues Coles
NYJ
WR
Randy Moss
Oak
WR
Andre Johnson
Hou
WR
Marcus Robinson
Min
WR
Steve Smith
Car
TE
Daniel Graham
NE
WR
David Boston
TB
TE
Itula Mili
Sea
TE
Jim Kleinsasser
Min
PK
Matt Stover
Bal
TE
Jeremy Shockey
NYG
DT
Dallas Cowboys
Dal
PK
Jeff Wilkins
StL
DT
St. Louis Rams
StL
DT
Atlanta Falcons
Atl
DT
New Orleans Saints
NO
DT
Pittsburgh Steelers
Pit

Dynasty Leagues

A dynasty league is similar to a keeper league but each team can keep their entire roster of players from one year to the next. After the inaugural draft in year one, the players will stay on the team they are drafted to unless they are traded away or released. Each offseason a rookie draft will take place in which the owners can add talent to their rosters. These leagues can be really challenges to rebuild a poor roster as it may take years of wise trading and shrewd drafting in order to rise to the top. Great leagues if you want to challenge yourself.

Survivor Draft Leagues

These leagues can use either the auction draft or the standard draft. Once the rosters have been filled out however the rules are much different. Similar to the television show, Survivor, in this style of league, the team with the fewest points scored in a week is booted out for the season. It is very important in this kind of league to build a well-rounded squad that can withstand the perils of injuries, bye weeks and other similar challenges. Usually in this kind of league, no free agent pickups or trades are allowed. Because of the format, there is possibly a higher degree of luck involved as you can have one back week and be kicked out of the league.

IDP Leagues

These leagues use defensive players as well as offensive players. This is only for the diehard fantasy player as it takes a lot more research, knowledge and experience to know not only what defensive players to draft but when.

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