The Great American Pastime?
The time between the NFL Draft in April and the start of training camp in July is a long three months, especially to a football junkie like me. Sure, there are OTAs, mini camps, etc., but not much for gossip, league and team news.
One of my favorite things to do around this time of the season is to think fantasy football. I can remember oh, about 10 years or so ago, when I first started getting into it. It was definitely a new concept to me at the time, and certainly a novel idea. The first few years I played, the leagues I was in would have their drafts in a park somewhere, or a bar, or a league member's house. Everything was done on paper, and it was a lot of work. But it was fun.
Then of course along came internet leagues, like Yahoo, Fox Sports, CBS Sports, etc. I latched onto Yahoo Fantasy Football, and I still play today. While I am ultra-competitive, I like to have fun at the same time. The best part of fantasy football is the trash-talking. And of course, another part of the fun is coming up with a good team name. This year, my team name is Heywood Jabuzzoff. I've had names like Shock's Purple Hoard, Anti-Favre, and others. It's always fun to pick something that makes no sense, or has a particular meaning to you, or is just something silly.
Getting back to the trash-talking, one of the leagues I play in is called "No Whiners, Quitters or Skirts." As you can imagine, we do a little trash-talking in that one, especially on draft day. Yahoo makes it so everything can be set to be automatic. If you want, you can have it set where you don't even have to be there (it's called Auto Draft). But what fun would that be? The fun is when you pick a player someone one or two spots behind you wanted.
That way you can gloat and rub it in their face.
Of course the same thing can happen to you. THAT'S the fun of a live draft, anything can happen. I've found that if you have too many teams in your league (14 or more), the player rosters tend to get stretched thin, especially depending how many players can be on each roster. It's best, I've found, to have 8, 10 or 12 teams in your league.
As a league commissioner, Yahoo allows me to set all sorts of settings in our league, from number of players on your roster to point settings for scoring and/or yardage to number of waiver claims you can make per week. It's almost like you're running and managing your own NFL team! Our league is a combination yardage/scoring league, so you get points if a player on your active roster for the week scores a TD (receiver, tight end or running back), or the team defense you picked gets a shutout, etc. In addition, you might set it so your receiver gets 1 point for each 25 yards receiving, plus a bonus if they reach 100 yards, and a bigger bonus if they reach 200 yards, etc. Same with running backs, and it also works in reverse (i.e., if your running back has 100 yards receiving in a game, or a QB has certain number of rushing yards in a game). Also, your QB would get points for each 50 yards he throws for, plus bonus for reaching 300 yards, 400 yards, etc. The possibilities are really endless for getting points for your team. The kicker also collects points usually for kicking FGs and extra points. Plus, they may get a bonus for kicking a 50+ yard FG.
The point is, setting up your league is really an individualized thing - you can set it up in any way that you want. Leagues definitely vary widely, from types of leagues to roster sizes to whether you choose defensive players or have a team defense. In the league I run, this is how I have our rosters set:
QB - 2
WR - 4
RB - 4
TE - 2
WR/TE - 1
WR/RB - 1
K - 2
Team DEF - 2
Bench - 3
So, generally, what I would set as a weekly active roster would be 1 QB, 3 WR, 2 RB, 1 TE, 1 WR/TE, 1 WR/RB, 1 K and 1 Team Defense. Then of course as your players accumulate points, Yahoo adds them up and does everything automatically. It's really pretty awesome.
I'm looking forward for the season to start. SKOL Vikings!!!