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 Just What is Fantasy Football 
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Post Just What is Fantasy Football
Just What is Fantasy Football
by: Karen Larsen

Intrigued by the idea of fantasy football, it’s not too late to get involved. A lot of people have heard of the term fantasy football, but aren’t sure what it is. A search on fantasy football brings back thousands of sites such as, most of which are offering to allow you to become a commissioner or sign up to create a team, all at low cost or no cost.

So... what is fantasy football?

Here’s the lowdown. First, there’s a fantasy football commissioner, who’s in charge of the league, much the same as in real-life. The commissioner puts in the most amount of money to be the biggest cheese. This person is the final arbiter of disputes, makes decisions and, in general, gets to have the most leeway - and the most headaches - in the league.

Then there are the team owners. These individuals pay a lesser fee than the fantasy football commissioner, and manage their own teams. The owners choose who will be on the teams, what players will start, and so on.

So, the owners need teams. The next step is to pool all the real-world pro football players, rank them and then have a draft. Each team owner takes turns picking players for his or her team - hence the name fantasy football. Depending on how the draft goes, your team could be a true fantasy. Of course, some leagues have salary caps just as in real life, which prohibits one team from having all the best players. Trades are usually allowed, though depending on the league, they may be limited.

So once the fantasy football commissioner has a full roster of teams and the teams have a full roster of players... what happens? This is where things get interesting.

Team owner Alpha has players X, Y and Z on the team. In real life, player X is on one team, player Y on another and player Z on yet another. Before the game, Alpha has to decide who is starting, who isn’t, and what’s going on. Alpha then gives this information (by whatever means the fantasy football league has) to the commissioner. This information must be set in stone prior to the actual Sunday and Monday football games that NFL teams such as the Patriots and the Raiders play.

The real AFC & NFC teams play. Let’s say player X is on the Eagles in real life and is a quarterback. This Sunday, he throws three touchdown passes and the Eagles win. Fantasy football team owner Alpha has X on the team and, very smartly, started X for the football fantasy league games.

How this translates in fantasy football depends on the league.

The usual standard is that for every possible situation, a team can earn points. For example, the real life touchdowns of player X may earn fantasy football owner Alpha four hundred points each. Alpha may come out of the weekend as the biggest point earner, thanks to player X, which then sets Alpha up for contention as the fantasy football league winner.

Of course, this assumes that player X wasn’t benched at the last minute, depriving Alpha of earning any points and ending last in the fantasy football league.

The ultimate prize at the season’s end may be a statue or possibly money, depending on which fantasy football league you join. Or it may just be the prestige of knowing that you outwitted all the other team owners and came out as top dog.

While this fantasy may come with a price tag for participation, if you enjoy the game and avidly watch the players anyway, fantasy football can be a harmless way to spend some time.

About The Author

Karen Larsen is a writer and contributor to and

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Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:20 pm
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