Fantasy Sports – Yes, You can Own, Coach and Manage Your Own Personal Sports Franchise!

Fantasy Sports is a hugely popular pastime with the number of people active in the hobby estimated at somewhere between 25 and 30 million. Currently there are imaginary games of professional football, baseball, basketball, hockey, golf, auto racing and all the college sports. And, this list is even larger if you include the fantasy games from Europe and Australia.

These games are easy to learn and require a time commitment that you decide. Play as much or as little as you want. And, you don’t have to be a fanatic of the sport to have fun doing it, although if you are crazy about your sport, this can help you get your fix between weekend couch sessions. Even if you are only a casual sports fan, you will get a thrill out of fantasy sports.

How to Play

For example, here is how to get started with a fantasy football team. First step is to figure out a name for your team. You and your team will be identified by this name so give it some thought and have some fun with it as well.

Next step is to join a league which will make up the teams which will be your competition for as long as you stay in this league. If you cannot find a league that suits you, you can create a league. The number of teams in a league can vary widely but in general should be an even number. Generally you can play with as few teams as six or as many as 20. On average leagues are about 12 teams in size. If you create a league, you can choose who the other team owners are, so get your friends, co-workers or others you know to join your league.

Team rosters differ in their allowed sizes and limits placed on them. Typically there are a limited number of players allowed with the number being something larger than the number of starting players. Often the limit is 14 players per team with only eight players allowed to start each week. The other players are considered your reserve players.

The next step in getting started is to draft the members of your team from a list of available players. Note that these are real names of real players and how well your team does is determined by how these real individuals perform in real games! So, how do I get my players? There are a few ways to do this, including doing a live in-person draft party if the league members are local to you. Second is to do a live online draft where each team owner tries to obtain the players of his choice. Finally, your hosting website can usually provide you with an automated option.

Scores are determined by gathering points based on the actual performance of your real life players. Points are awarded to your team based upon both offensive and defensive performance.

To prepare for a game, you will need to set up your line-up before the first actual game takes place for that week. One of the keys to winning in fantasy sports is to understand the various matchups of your players and play your team accordingly.

On top of all this you can pick up free agents, utilize waivers and player trading. All of these are performed much like they happen in the real professional leagues

Getting Started

There are any number of free websites available that will help you get started. I found the one run by CBS Sports to be particularly useful. This site explains how leagues are organized and how to join one. Feel free to look at some of the other online resources available.

There are various types of leagues including those that are free and those that you pay for. The more serious you get in this hobby, the bigger the prizes can become. Typically, the bigger the end of season prize, the higher the cost of playing.

Final Thoughts

Fantasy Sports are a lot of fun while incorporating strategy and negotiation skills into your game. Remember the example is about football but the other sports are organized in a similar way and are just as easy to get into. If you know a little bit about your chosen sport, playing a fantasy game will make you a lot more knowledgeable. Time to get started and have fun!

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