How to Play Fantasy Football (for Beginners)

How to Play Fantasy Football (for Beginners)

Hi, there. My name is Huseyin “The Brain” Aksu. As most of you watching already know, I host a weekly fantasy football video. In addition to that, I’ve been a fantasy football editor for Fantasy Couch for the past seven years. I’m also an approved expert on FantasyPros. That was just to give you a little background information about myself and who I am. This video is for beginners. If you’ve never played fantasy football, don’t know what it is, have very little or no experience, this video is for you; you’re going to love it.
I’m going to teach you how to play, from step one all the way to the championship.
If you have no idea what fantasy football is, don’t worry. And If you get stuck on something I’m talking about, you don’t quite get it, make sure you watch the entire video because I’ll likely explain it down the road. In this video, I’m going to tell you exactly what fantasy football is, then I’m gonna tell you how you can get started. So right after this video, you can go and get started playing fantasy football. Then we’re gonna talk about the draft, managing your team after the draft, and what the end result is; what you’re ultimately doing in fantasy football, what the goal is. Let’s start off with the definition: So, what is fantasy football? Fantasy football is where you go out and select players, select NFL players, to create a team. Now, the better the NFL player performs in real life on the field, the better your team performs. The better your players perform statistically in a game, the more fantasy points you get. The goal is to score more fantasy points than your opponent. It’s as simple as that. Let’s talk about how to get started. First, you want to join a league. Leagues are just about any size nowadays, but the typical league ranges from 8 players to 16 players. Now, We don’t call them players, just because it gets confusing with the term NFL players, so they’re called owners. So we refer to this to an 8-man league, a 10-man league, a 12-man league or a 16-man league. You can play with friends and family, or you can play with coworkers, or you can play online in a public league. Now you can be a in a free league where you play for fun, or you can be in a money league where there is a buy-in or a league fee. It could be $10, $100 or much more, depending on how hardcore you are. Now, in a money league, there’s a commissioner. You can think of the commissioner sort of like the commissioner in the NFL or the president of a club. He or she would mediate if there’s any disputes, sets the draft date; pretty much in charge of making sure everyone has fun and the league runs smoothly. These leagues are held on a website. Some of the most popular that you could join, you would need an account to join, it’s typically free to sign up. Some are ESPN, Yahoo,, just to name a few. There’s about a dozen more popular ones; CBS Sports, MFL, just as other examples. One piece of advice, is to know when the draft is, what type of draft is it and all the league settings. Make sure you know your draft time and your draft date. You don’t wanna miss that. Now let’s talk about the draft. The most important part of fantasy football is the draft. Now, it could be a snake draft or an auction draft. We won’t get too much into an auction draft, but that’s basically where an owner nominates a player and you bid. So you can get any player you want, as long as it’s within your budget; every owner starts off with $200. Now, don’t worry that sounds confusing because more
than likely you won’t be an auction league, those are much more rare.
The popular one that you’re likely going to be in, is called a snake draft. This type of draft is very similar to a real NFL Draft, except that the next round goes in the inverse draft order as the round before. Now what the heck does that mean?
That means that if you drafted last in a 10-man league, so there’s 10 owners, you have the 10th pick, you draft last in the first round, OK? So you draft last in the 1st round, and then the following round you draft first. So you would have the 10th pick as well as the 11th. And of course the guy who is drafting first in the first round, would draft last in the following round. Some basic advice in drafts to follow:
Now you want to make sure you don’t draft anybody with severe injuries. You don’t want to be the guy who drafts someone who is not alive or someone who is not playing the whole season or someone who’s suspended the whole season. So keep that in mind when drafting, those things matter of course. If they don’t play, they don’t get you any points. You also want to keep in mind Bye Weeks. Now, if you draft two quarterbacks, typically one to start and one on your bench, you usually don’t want them to have the same Bye Weeks. That usually won’t work out for you. If you have two quarterbacks with the same Bye Week
on your team, that is it bad thing. Also, you wanna draft for value. That means, that you don’t wanna just pick in the first round a player that you really like. If you can wait a couple more rounds, that’s where you should draft them. Now drafting for value is not a hard thing to do, but it does take some preparation and research.
The best thing you can do, is look for ADP, so look for Average Draft Position, that tells you exactly where people are being drafted. So if a quarterback is being drafted in the fifth round in most leagues, and you like that quarterback, you’re in the 7th round and he’s still there, that’s a great place to draft him. You just got 5th round value for a 7th round pick. That’s a thumbs up for you right there. Another place to look is rankings. Now rankings aren’t as important as the next one I’m going to mention. Rankings are basically players ranked from 1 through 200, or 1 through 300 and that tells you about how good a player is going to do based on his projections for that season. Now the most important thing you want to do are mock drafts. These are practice drafts that you do before your real draft to get a feel of how the real draft is going to go. Now, I’m not going to get too much into this, because they are time consuming and it’s time consuming to explain. You can click on the link below here in the description and read the article. I’m going to go into more detail about how to save time doing mock drafts, and how to make mock drafts more efficient. Please click on that article
and you’ll learn a lot more about mock drafts. You’ll be more ready for your draft when it comes. After the draft, you have a full roster, you have a team… Let’s talk about managing your team throughout the season. You want to know who to start and who to sit each week. Your backups will sit on the bench and you wanna start your best players. Some tips on who to start for your best players; obviously you wanna start the most talented players, the players who will produce the most points, but matchups are a really important thing to look at.
If they’re facing a tough run defense, you may want to bench that running back that you have. If they’re facing a defense that allows a ton of pass yards, you may wanna start that quarterback or that wide receiver that’s playing against them. Now, if you’re looking for more start ’em, sit ’em advice, we have weekly articles on our website. If you need to ask me personally, who do I start, should I start this guy, should I start that guy, should i sit this guy, the fastest way to reach me is on Twitter @fantasycouch. I get back to the questions as soon as I can. Also make sure you keep up-to-date on certain situations like injuries. If a player is a 50-50 chance he’s going to start,
make sure you know whether he’s actually starting or if he’s gonna sit that game. You never want to start an injured player or a suspended player. You never want to be that guy in your league. Now there are some ways to try and improve your roster during the season and that’s through trades and waivers. Now trades are hard to pull off. You’re gonna try and trade a player for another player, you can try to trade three players for two players, but the tricky part is both sides have to agree. The trade has to be beneficial for both
owners. A good peace advice is to watch out for tricky trades. If you’re just starting out in fantasy football, a lot of people try and take advantage of you by sending terrible trades, so don’t fall for those. Now the most common and easiest way
you’re going to improve your team after the draft is through waivers. Waivers are NFL players that are not owned on anyone’s roster. So if they’re not on anyone’s team, you can claim them off waivers. There’s different types of waivers, because if two owners try to claim the same person, the same NFL player, then it has to go by a certain order or what we call waiver priority. Now I say priority, because if an owner is trying to own one player, trying to claim one player off waivers, while another owner is trying to claim the same player, one of those guys, one of those owners has to have priority.
Now, there’s inverse order. Inverse order is basically, let’s say I have the first priority for Week 1. I claim somebody and I get them of course because I have first priority. The next week, I have last priority, so I’m not going to be able to claim the one guy I want if someone else claims them.
The second one is inverse rankings. Basically the team that’s doing the worse, gets the best waiver priority. So, The team that’s last place, will get first shot at waivers. Another way, which is more experienced, more hardcore, you’ll likely not gonna be doing it the first time, but it is popular. You definitely could be doing it, is the waiver auction. You bid on waivers. So you have let’s say $1,000 in waiver money, the more you bid on a player is the higher the chance you’re gonna be able to get him. And let’s talk about the final goal, the whole thing, why you’re playing this: Is to win the Fantasy Football Super Bowl. So first you have to make the playoffs, and like I said before when I talked about drafting and managing your team, is to know the league settings. So let’s say you’re in a 10-man league, so there’s 10 owners. Typically in a league like that, four teams make the playoffs. So you gotta make the playoffs, then you gotta win the Fantasy Super Bowl, and then you’re a fantasy football champion! If you’re in a league with your buddies, family or coworkers, the champion can get a trophy or a belt or a ring like these ones here. And we sell those on, so you may wanna check that out. Also some leagues, if you’ve watched the show “The League”, that may be the reason why you’re watching this video and you wanna play fantasy football, in “The League” they have the Shiva for the winner; That’s like our belt or trophy or ring. And for the the loser, the person that comes in absolutely last, they have the Sacko. So, sometimes it’s tradition that the person who comes in absolute last gets the Sacko. In this one league, the loser actually has to get a tattoo, and the winner selects what the tattoo is. So, this is a lot of fun… you don’t want a terrible tattoo
on you for the rest of your life. You definitely don’t wanna lose in that league.
And that about wraps up this video. Make sure you guys watch this video so I can explain to you why our fantasy football belts are so freaking cool. Also, subscribe to the YouTube channel so you’ll be amongst the first to know when I come
out with new videos. I’ll be coming out with a new video shortly about how to
play fantasy football DFS (daily fantasy sports). And I’ll also be giving out some basic tips on what you can do to improve your DFS game. I’ll see you guys on the next video.

38 thoughts on “How to Play Fantasy Football (for Beginners)

  1. Thx for the advice, I'ma go buy a ring for my friends and I for the winner. The loser in our league is gonna do something that there most afraid of

  2. Is it too late to start a league? What is a good free league you would recommend of it's not too late? I've never played before

  3. As someone who know nothing about fantasy football. This was a very informative, and well made video. Thank you for helping me win my fantasy football league.

  4. If you enjoyed this video, I have a 9-video online course with that goes more in-depth on how to play fantasy football. It's on sale right now for only $19 ➜

  5. I know nothing about fantasy football and I'm on a league picking our draft Sunday. Very informative video.
    Thanks for the help getting started!

  6. So let’s say I have a group of football teams/real people am I playing them or are we all playing someone else not in the group

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *