You might need a little more than Luck to find a good fantasy league (Cliff Welch/Icon SMI)
Where to Start Your Fantasy League
The 411 on Fantasy League Service
Updated: August 5, 2012
Whether you are starting a new fantasy league, looking to move your existing league, or looking for a public league to join, finding the right place to play can be a critical decision. Once you have played Fantasy Football long enough, you have probably come across some things that really annoy you about a fantasy league. To avoid this hang up, you should stick with places you know you can trust. These are the basics that you should be looking for:
Fantasy Football League Basics
First things first, before deciding where to play, you need to decide who will play. More specifically, you will need to get a group of people together to form a fantasy league. Typical fantasy league sizes consist of 8, 10, and 12 team leagues. The beauty of the internet is that team members in your league do not have to be in the same location to form a league. Even though we don't recommend it, you don't even need to know your league mates. There are plenty of places to join up with other people who just want to play some fantasy football. However, our best league experiences have been with people we know. Nothing is better than pummeling your friends and co-workers with your fantasy knowledge and excellent fantasy football player rankings.
Once you have formed a league, you will need to find a place to play. You should probably give some of the many free sites out there a look first because the flexibility these sites offer is often as good as or better than the pay sites. As for a list of some options when evaluating a potential fantasy league service, here are some that you may want to consider:
- Control over the setup of the offensive and defensive scoring systems
- Live scoring during the games
- The ability to setup and name divisions in your league
- Private league forums to post news and talk smack among league mates
- Ability to upload unique team and league graphic logos
- Control over the schedule, waiver deadlines, tie breakers, and other options
- Live on-line draft room and ability to download draft results to Excel spreadsheet
- Keeper ability (if you like - we personally think redraft is the way to go)
- Tracking of individual league historical records such as "most fantasy points scored in a game" to past league and division champions
- Personalized fantasy team home page with player updates that apply only to NFL teams containing players on your fantasy roster.
Although it is certainly not a requirement, we feel that fantasy team logos, league historical records, and naming of divisions can help personalize your league and make your fantasy football experience much more enjoyable. OK--enough with the basics, it's time for our recommendations.
Fantasy Football League Basics
Although we have seen some pay leagues make the switch to free again, Yahoo! has never wavered from offering a very good free fantasy league service for football (and other sports for that matter). In fact, at one time in the not so distant past, Yahoo! was the only mainstream provider of free fantasy leagues. In a world of here one moment and gone the next, Yahoo! represents a solid rock for free fantasy football. It is that sort of constant commitment that deserves our full endorsement for yet another year.
One of the nice features about Yahoo! is that your history for every league you have ever played in is historically archived. You will see your Fantasy Trophy case full of past accomplishments. Your Championship of 2007 and your 2nd place finish of 2011 are all in there, too. One of their newest features is the addition of medals you can win for accomplishing various feats. This is very much like the feats you can accomplish on many popular gaming systems. If you delivered the biggest blowout in your fantasy league, you will get a little medal for that feat. Come-from-behind wins, making trades, and all kinds of stuff will get you medals.
Of course, Yahoo! has all the standard features you need for keeper leagues, auctions, or standard drafts. Most people are familiar with Yahoo!, and they provide multiple mobile applications to suit your needs as well. Just click on the button below to get your fantasy league started today:
Overall, the Yahoo! Fantasy Football experience is sound, and we gladly give them a solid recommendation.