Fantasy Football League Choices

As fantasy football popularity has grown so has complexity of the game. An example of this is the wide variety of league types in existence today.

If you are not an experienced player, choosing a league format can be confusing and overwhelming. Unfortunately research into this may only turn up brief descriptions that are full of unfamiliar terminology.

Despite this, it is always important to understand a league’s specific guidelines. Listed below are the primary league types that are available and an explanation for each.

Redraft League
Redraft leagues require teams to fill an entire roster through drafting. If the league existed in previous seasons, its final results have no bearing on draft position or other matters. Because of this, a redraft league is usually recommended for fantasy rookies.

The draft is typically done in what is called a “snake” style. Draft positions are determined randomly and teams initially pick in order from first to last. When the draft reaches the last person, they make two picks and it moves back up in reverse order.

League competition is done through weekly head-to-head style or season-long point accumulation. Head-to-head means each team faces another each week and the resulting total of wins/losses determines league standings. Point league totals add up all season and the amount collected by each team determines the standings.

Individual Defensive Player League (IDP)
An IDP league usually does not differ from a redraft in terms of draft style or competition settings. However, a redraft league only allows drafting of offensive players and team defenses. IDP league rosters have spots specifically for defensive players as well.

Depending upon settings, your league may have specific defensive spots. This will mean you have to choose positions like linebacker or safety. In some leagues only general defense spots exist and can be filled by any defensive players.

Points are awarded for such things as tackles, interceptions and sacks. This creates more information to track and therefore usually makes an IDP league more challenging.

Keeper League
A particular number of players from a previous year’s roster are brought back in a keeper league. Generally no more than three players are held over. Drafting can be done in any order the league desires.

A key aspect is that an owner must consider potential keepers while drafting. You may opt for a younger player that will probably be in the NFL longer than certain veterans.

Obviously keeper leagues involve commitment. It is best to stay away if this does not appeal to you. Also, if you join an existing keeper league it will probably be as a replacement and require inheriting a roster from someone else.

Dynasty League
A dynasty league resembles the NFL franchise concept. Each owner keeps an entire roster from the previous season.

Following the league’s initial draft in year one, each subsequent draft only involves rookies. This forces league owners to track college player progress. Dynasty draft positioning is usually based on the previous year’s standings or performance.

The dynasty format necessitates a big undertaking by team owners. Once again you should give serious thought before taking on a team. Aside from this, an established dynasty league will probably be tough to join and may even have a waiting list.

Survivor League
A survivor league takes the total point format and uses it for weekly elimination. The owner that scores the least points each week sees their team disappear for the season. The last team standing is crowned league champion.

Draft positioning or any other factors can vary sharply from each league. There are usually more teams in survivor leagues; depending on how many NFL weeks it is set to last.

A survivor league owner will generally face less pressure at first since the only goal is to not finish last. This can make survivor leagues a great option if you are new to the world of fantasy football.