Fantasy football is extremely popular, even among those who normally aren’t interested in sports. In fact, tens of millions participate in leagues every year. While many of these leagues are casual affairs that simply play for fun, there are tons of options for paid leagues, as well. Some of these are relatively low-cost, while others play for high stakes.
All money leagues are considered legal because fantasy football depends on a player’s general knowledge and skill at the game. Because of this, outcomes are not left to chance like they are in many forms of illegal gambling. Official fantasy leagues are reputable and generally make their payouts quickly.
There are a few different ways to play fantasy football, with some leagues being entire season affairs, and others offer the chance to create a new team and earn rewards each week. There are even specialized options such as dynasty leagues and leagues that play all year round, so you aren’t necessarily limited to the regular football season. Whether playing for fun or money, most players can enter a league with confidence armed with one of many fantasy draft guides readily available to players.
That said, when playing for money, there are some basic things every player must understand to have any chance at success. You’ll also need to be aware that all risks associated with other forms of gambling apply to fantasy football, so proceed with caution.
As with any game, the most important thing you need to understand about your fantasy league is the scoring system. If you’ve been playing fantasy football for any length of time, as you should before participating in a money league, then you’re likely already familiar with the most popular scoring formats and how they work.
You’ll especially need to be familiar with the PPR format, as most high stakes leagues follow this scoring system. Points per receiving (PPR) means that points are awarded to wide receivers and tight ends for completed receptions, which makes these players more valuable than they are in other formats. Most prefer this system because it adds more depth to the game and can make drafts more exciting.
To have your best change at early success, you’ll need to have a strategy coming into the draft. Thankfully, there are plenty of online options for mock drafts, so you can see which players are being claimed the fastest and work that into your strategy.
Since wide receivers are more valuable in PPR leagues, you may want to take a top receiver as your first player if you have an early pick. Otherwise, most recommend picking an elite running back as your first player, since these are usually limited. It’s also recommended to wait until around the middle of the draft to pick a quarterback, unless you can get one of the top three options in rounds three or four. Lastly, your defense and kicker should be amongst your final picks because you want your teams filled up with the best backup receivers and runners you can get. Don’t be afraid to research some sleepers to pick late in the draft as well, as promising rookies can pay off big time later in the season. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to check up on players from fantasy kicker rankings to the top players in the game online, so you’ll always be up to date.
Something too many players fail to do is take advantage of the waiver wire. Especially when playing for money, you want to use and abuse this option at every opportunity. This is a weekly option where team managers can make claims to switch out their players for available agents. This is extremely useful when players are either injured or underperforming. Team managers with losing records are given priority over the others, so the waiver wire is always a fair option to start mounting a comeback.
With these basic concepts down, you’ll be ready to make a serious effort in your fantasy football career and start earning money.