Fantasy Football Leagues Come in All Shapes and Sizes
From “Redraft” to “Pirate” I’m here to tell you about all your options.
Did you ever draft a player and wish he could be the corner stone of your team for years and years? Of course you have, unless you’re like the guy in my keeper league that only shows up to bum cigarettes and complain about his marriage. If you’re like him you always take the wrong player in the first round and are constantly wanting to throw all of your players back in the draft.
I, for one, love keeper leagues. You get all the benefits of being a strong redrafter with the added bonus of building your teams around a singular fantasy asset. If you’re lucky you may even have a double keeper league and you can turn that keen late round drafting eye into multiple championships. For example, in my double keeper league players like Alfred Morris, Randall Cobb, and Danny Amendola were kept as 10th round keepers this year.
If you want a real challenge you should try and join an existing dynasty league and try and build a perennial loser into a champion. This type of fantasy championship is so satisfying that you may find yourself joining every dynasty league you can. It would be as if you were a Raider fan and suddenly Al Davis left the team to you in his will. You show up to work and realize the team was mismanaged for years and you won’t be competitive for years. You make shrewd move after shrewd move until suddenly you go from cellar dweller to championship contender.
If that seems like too much work you can always join a dynasty startup league where you can draft your team and keep them for ever. If you are a good dynasty drafter you can both compete for a championship in season 1 and build for the future at the same time. The best thing about dynasty leagues is that trade talk is year round. Players and picks are always on the block and every off season move by teams around the league are checked over with a fine tooth comb. It takes a different breed to be a dynasty owner as it takes serious dedication. If you are only a casual fantasy football player please don’t join a league because you will just end up quitting.
Redraft Standard Leagues
Standard scoring is going the way of the dodo bird in most fantasy circles, but you better be ready for a different way of valuing players if you are invited to join a standard league. yardage and touchdowns are the only thing that matters. You need players that get in the endzone and rack up the yardage no matter how they get it. For instance if you took Darren Sproles in the second round of a standard draft you may get a Bronx cheer from the league.
Redraft PPR leagues
I would call this the “Cadillac of fantasy football leagues”. Just like Hold ’em is to the poker world now, PPR leagues are just assumed when talking about redraft values. Players like Darren Sproles and Wes Welker have been on more winning teams because of their big reception totals then players like Stevan Ridley and Dwayne Bowe. These leagues a re dime a dozen and after a summer of doing rankings I can do a draft blind-folded.
Best Ball Leagues
You can do “just draft” best ball leagues or “manage” best ball leagues. With either option you draft a team and the best at their respective positions are used as starters. In “just draft” formats you are helpless against injuries and can not use the waiver wire or trades for reinforcements. In “manage” best ball formats you can still make pickups and trades, but the pressure of starting or sitting you best players is taken away. These leagues are the best for work leagues and small buy in leagues. There is nothing more awkward than yelling at your boss on a message board for starting a player on a bye.
Survivor Style Leagues
Most of these leagues are done as best ball and for small buy ins. You draft a team and hop you don’t score the least amount of points each week. The lowest scoring team is dropped each week until there is only one winner. Some survivor style leagues drop the lowest total score each week including the previous weeks’ totals. These are great leagues to do with a group of friends that can only stay in touch over the internet. You do a slow e-mail based draft through a site like MyFantasyLeague and when it’s all said and done only one of you comes out on top.
This is my first year participating in a pirate league and I can tell you that a close week 1 matchup will have you on the edge of your seat. The idea of the league is that you plunder the team that you beat head to head each week. To the victor goes the spoils as they say. My week 1 matchup literally wasn’t decided until the 4th quarter of the last Monday night game around 1:00 AM ET. If I had lost I would have been forced to give up Doug Martin or Demaryius Thomas and be forced to take back the owner’s worst player at the same position. Luckily Owen Daniels pulled out a last minute win for my team and now I have a shiny new LeSean McCoy to show for it. Just for week 1 edge of your seat purposes I say you have to try this format next year. It’s like being in a fantasy championship every week.
I like IDP leagues for the sheer fact that it makes you pay attention to the NFL as a whole. You need to keep track of defensive players just as much as offensive players. I usually participate in at least two IDP leagues a year and prefer leagues where you start up to five defensive players. These leagues are usually won by the people that understand football inside and out. I personally love seeing great defensive players being put up on the board right next to their offensive counterparts.
I have been in 2QB leagues for years and have never been more excited about playing in these types of leagues. The position is so deep this year that you can finally forego drafting a quarterback in round two of a 12 team league and still get a very good QB2 in the third round. If you are sick of watching your friends wait until the 8th round of a draft and still getting a quality starting quarterback then I suggest you change your league to a 2QB league.
I’m not sure there is anything more fun than an auction draft. From purposely bidding up your friends as they chase their favorite players to watching yourself get stuck with a player you never wanted in the first place. The varied strategies are the best thing about auction drafts as teams can go the “studs and duds” route,”the wait and see what’s left” route or the slow and steady route. No where else can you start your draft off with Adrian Peterson and Calvin Johnson and then go out for a beer.
If you know of any other types of leagues please feel free to comment at the bottom and let me know so i can add it to my list.