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Running a Football Fantasy League

It's that time of year, when the football fantasy leagues are being formed. How do you run one, so that it's fun and exciting?

First, this is supposed to be FUN. So make sure that you keep things fair, treat everyone equally, set down the rules and stick by them. Resolve any disagreements quickly and fairly.

First comes the draft. Make a list of all eligible NFL players that will be included. Decide on how you're going to draw them - at a party on a weekend with everyone present, over email, on a chat site. As long as everybody has equal access, that should be great fun and relatively easy. You normally draw from all starter offensive players, plus one entry for each defensive team. So on a given turn you can choose to draw a given player, say "the lead quarterback for the NE Patriots", or a defense, like "The Miami Dolphins defense".

Next, decide what an owner can do each week, and when it needs to be done by. Maybe owners can trade players, give their lineup for the week, sign up new players. Set a deadline, and hold it. If you let one owner slide by 2 hrs, when the next one is late by 4 hrs, it gets to be messy. Encourage owners to submit far ahead of the deadline.

Adjudicate as quickly as you can. The rules should of course be set long in advance about how each team earns points. Usually this is straightforward:

Player gets 6 pts for a touchdown they catch and carry
Player gets 6 pts for a touchdown they are handed and carry
Player gets 3 points for throwing a touchdown pass (i.e. a QB)
Defense team gets 6 pts for a special teams/defensive touchdown
Kicker gets 3 points for a field goal
Kicker gets 1 point for an extra point

At the end of each week, the points are totalled up, and each team has a new point total. You can award prizes at the end for the team with the most points, and have fun!

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