The evolution of fantasy football has come a long way. I have heard stories (Yes, heard, I am not that old.) of commissioners manually scoring their leagues with the box scores from the local newspapers. The traditional standard leagues still exist, but the varieties of leagues that are popular today far exceed those of years past. During this article, I will explore some of the more popular, new-age leagues that are all the rage.
Your normal, run-of-the-mill “house” or “local” leagues called re-drafts are still the most played league to date. There is no carry-over year to year, and you simply start fresh the next season.
Sure you can put some twists on these leagues by tweaking the scoring system or adding a flex start etc., but most of these leagues all run the same. You can make the case these are a bit more laid back and for the casual fan or the person looking to get into fantasy football.
Best Ball Leagues
Best ball leagues have really started to gain popularity over the past two years or so. In a league like this, you simply draft your team, and, basically, just let it run itself the rest of the season.
These leagues are set up so that each week the system your league is run on will pick your best lineup after the week is over based on how each player performed on your team, and that is your score for that week. It really takes the guesswork out of who to play each week.
A league like this can be fun, but if you are looking for more active leagues, more hands-on leagues, this is not for you.
Dynasty & Keeper Leagues
These two leagues have similar traits, as they both have a keeper aspect to them, but they run very differently.
In a keeper league, you are usually allowed to only keep a designated number of players that comes at some cost. For example, let’s say you drafted Stefon Diggs in the fourth round of your draft and want to keep him. In the draft the following year, you can keep Diggs, but you may lose your 4th round pick for keeping him. Some keeper leagues push the round up, to make the price tag higher to keep the player. In the Diggs example, you would have to keep him for a third.
Dynasty leagues, on the other hand, are usually full keeper leagues. You own the players you have drafted basically forever unless you cut or trade them. The downside of this is the draft the following year is made up of only the rookie class.
There can be a lot of strategies that go into a dynasty league, so if you are new to fantasy football, you may not want to start here.
C2C (Campus to Canton) & Devy Leagues
C2C leagues and Devy leagues are my favorite style of leagues to play in, as they incorporate the college game into your league, making you pay attention to college game more than you normally would.
In a devy league, you still have your traditional fantasy roster, but you also have a practice or development squad made up of college players that you drafted. You own the rights to these players, and once they are drafted, they automatically get placed on your team.
This is a fun way to watch college football and track the development of your guy. It also adds some appeal to the NFL Draft, as you are watching to see where they will play on Sundays.
C2C leagues are essentially two teams in one. You draft an NFL team and a college team. They run as two separate leagues and only cross over once a player gets drafted.
This is fun because it gets tricky managing a college fantasy football team. Sometimes, the college players that put up the gaudy stats do not always make it in the NFL. You need to have the balance of those types of players, along with the studs that will produce on Sunday once drafted.
Devy & C2C leagues are for the more advance players. I would suggest playing in a dynasty league or two before dipping your toes into these leagues.
Vampire & Guillotine League
Both of these leagues are also relatively new. Both are technically re-draft leagues but have a fun, added element to each league.
Guillotine leagues start off with a normal draft, like any other league: no keepers, no devy, just a straight draft. Your are scored on a weekly bases, but you do not want to have the lowest score each week. This is where the guillotine aspect comes in.
If you have the lowest score of the week, boom, chopped, off with your head, and you are out of the league. Your team goes into waivers, and your season is over.
This league is definitely for the gamblers out there, the ones that like to live on the edge a bit. It sucks to put the time and effort into it only to be out week one.
Vampire leagues are the new kids on the block and by far the hardest of the bunch.
Prior to the draft, one league mate is chosen at random to be the vampire. If you are the vampire, you cannot take part in the draft. Your league drafts their teams, then you make your team from the players left on waivers.
The kicker is that the rest of the league cannot use waivers for the entire season. That makes the draft a little harder, as you have to factor in the bye weeks during the draft.
If the vampire wins a weekly matchup, this is where it gets interesting. As the vampire, they can take any player from the starting lineup of the team they just beat and swap them out for one of their own at the same position. So if you just beat a team that started Josh Allen, and you have say Gardner Minshew, you simply propose that trade, and the owner has no choice but to accept the trade.
This is a very strategic based league that can be both very fun but draining at the same time.
As you can see, there is no shortage of the styles of fantasy football you can play. Check back next week, as I will dive in to some of the strategy that goes into fantasy football, a bit of a Fantasy 101 piece.