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Fantasy Football 101

For all the wannabe athletes in the world, they created fantasy sports. It is estimated that nearly 20 million people played fantasy sports in the United States last year. Though no one knows for sure, it is believed the first fantasy sports league was started in the 1950ís. Fantasy sports began to increase in popularity in the late 1980ís and early 1990ís, when fantasy baseball was the game of choice for most. But in recent years, there has been a shift to football. Fantasy football has now grown to become the most popular fantasy sports game in the country.

As each year passes, more and more fantasy football websites appear on the internet and fantasy football magazines line the shelves. Today, it seems almost everyone plays the game. What was once just a pastime for stat geeks is now a nationwide craze enjoyed by both casual and hardcore fans.

Some people play for fun - others play for a considerable amount of money. But no matter if you are a novice or a pro, fantasy football is a lot of fun.

The Basics

"Owners" join a fantasy league online or with a group of friends. There are normally between 10 and 14 teams in each league. The league is set up with a specific scoring system, putting a value on statistics like passing yardage, touchdowns, receiving yardage, field goals, and several other categories. A draft is set up where each owner is permitted to draft a particular number of players at each position to fill their roster.

Throughout the regular NFL football season, the players on each team accumulate points corresponding to their stats in the real-life NFL games. In a "head-to-head" league (the most popular type), you are matched up against a particular fellow owner each week. The team that accumulates the highest point total for the week wins.

Standings are kept, tracking the wins and losses of all the teams in the league every week. At the end of the season, a set number of teams head to the playoffs where they battle it out for the fantasy football championship.

Like in real-life football, throughout the season owners can offer trades to other teams, cut players, pick up new players off the waiver wire and more.

Of course, fantasy football is quite a bit more complicated than this, but these are the basics.

In future articles, we will delve into more particulars about fantasy football, including rosters, scoring, drafting, free agency and trades.

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