The 2016 Fantasy Football Manual

The  2016 Fantasy Football Manual by Utter Fantasy Writer & illustrator Doug Bowles

HOW TO GET STARTED:


THE 2016 FANTASY FOOTBALL MANUAL- STANDARD LEAGUE FORMAT

 

Chapter 1 – What Is Fantasy Football?
Chapter 2 – How You Score
Chapter 3 – Ways to Compete
Chapter 4 – Keys to a Successful Draft
Chapter 5 – Managing Your Team
Chapter 6 – Fantasy Football Etiquette
Chapter 7 – Starting Your Own League

At Utter-Fantasy.com, we get a lot of questions from people who are interested in playing fantasy, but don’t know how to get started. So, we decided to put together this quick guide that explains the basics of the game, and answers the questions we get asked most often.
The most common question that we get asked by people who are totally unfamiliar with fantasy football is, “Does everyone have the same players?” The answer is actually the opposite. No team in any fantasy football league will have ANY players in common. Hopefully, after reading this How-to-Manual for Fantasy Football, all of your questions will be answered and any confusing pre-conceptions about fantasy football will be cleared up, so that you can enjoy the fun that the rest of us are having.

 

Chapter One: What Is Fantasy Football?

Fantasy Football is a competition in which participants select imaginary teams from the players in the NFL, and score points according to the actual weekly performance of their players.
A fantasy football league normally consists of 8-12 individuals who are called “owners” and who draft their own teams. (Some leagues may have more or less teams participating and a team can have “co-owners”…friends who can share the responsibilities of one team.)

The league is usually set up by one ambitious person who is called “the commissioner” and he or she will organize pretty much everything to get started such as:
· Inviting everyone to participate
· finding an online fantasy football site to keep track of your league
· Setting a draft date
· Collecting league fees (If there are any. Many leagues play just for fun.)

Before the NFL season starts, owners name their fantasy team, then get together (either in person or online) to take turns drafting their team consisting of NFL players. A draft order is determined beforehand. During the draft, each fantasy owner selects one NFL player at a time until the rosters are complete. Typically each team will draft between 15-18 players. The number of players on your roster is determined by each league before the draft.

A Comforting Note For You…
Since most drafts are done online now, so there should be no fear of “not knowing the NFL players”. They will all be listed for you in the draft room, on the website that your league chose. It’s cool how it works. When it’s your turn to draft a player, you will simply click on the players name then he will go to your roster and will automatically become unavailable to any other team.

In most cases, the draft is serpentine. In fantasy, a serpentine draft goes like this…It starts with the person selecting #1, then goes down the line of draft owners picking, until the last pick in Round One. (If your league has 10 team owners, Round One will have 10 different NFL players selected.) Round Two begins in reverse order The #10 team owner, who had the last pick, drafts a second time right after his first pick, and drafting goes right back up the line of owners. (If you were #1 owner and drafted first overall, you will have two picks back-to-back ending Round Two and starting Round Three.)
When an NFL player is drafted by a team owner, that player is no longer available.

Just like being a real NFL general manager, fantasy owners are in charge of all aspects of their team. Drafted players will remain on someone’s roster as long as the owner wants them to be. They can cut players, add players, bench players, or even make trades with other owners in the league. This is all easily managed online.

A long list of available players ( not yet drafted) will always be listed on your chosen website. If you have a player that is injured and perhaps out for the season for instance, you can drop this player usually by clicking this (-) symbol near your roster player’s name, then clicking the add (+) symbol near the un-drafted available player’s name that you want, then clicking the “save” button. This will become very clear as you get started. As I have mentioned before, this is all easier than it sounds.

A Fantasy Suggestion: Fantasy football is best played among friends and remember, everyone was a beginner at fantasy football at some point. However, if you’re are concerned about being too inexperienced among people that you know who are experienced…you might want try a year by yourself and join a public league. Anyone can sign up to join a random public league on Yahoo for instance, and you could learn the nuances of the game. Most are played for fun and there is no money involved. Or, you might try starting your own league with friends who are also inexperienced. You could all learn together. Scroll down to Bonus Chapter: Seven for tips on starting a league. It’s easier than you think.

 

E Book

 

Chapter Two: How You Score-Standard League

Your rosters will consist of 15-18 players at various positions (depending on your league rules). Each week you’ll set your starters, which will consist of a
quarterback, two running backs, two-three receivers, a tight end, a kicker, and a team defense.
(This is very easy to do on your league website. Simply click “Starter” or “Bench” after the player’s name in your roster.)

Only the “Starters” will count towards your score that week…the rest of the roster is comprised of bench spots that don’t score any points. An example of your fantasy team “Starters” in Week One could look like this:

QB: Drew Brees – Saints
RB: LeVeon Bell – Steelers
RB: Alfred Morris – Washington
WR: T Y Hilton – Colts
WR: Roddy White – Falcons
TE: Rob Gronkowski – Patriots
K: Matt Prater – Lions
DEF: Chicago – Bears
Bench: QB Carson Palmer – Cardinals
Bench: WR Steve Smith – Panthers, WR Davante Adams – Packers
Bench: TE Brent Celek – Eagles
Bench: K Patrick Murray – Buccaneers,
DEF – New England Patriots

(These bench players are still on your roster and you may choose from to start another week. Week Two you may choose to “Start” QB Palmer over QB Brees…or WR Adams over WR Roddy White…depending on match ups or injuries.)

To score points: the players from your team need to score on the NFL field. Some leagues reward points for touchdowns only. So, if your QB throws for 240 yards and two touchdowns, the example team listed gets 12 points (two touchdowns at six points each). And some leagues reward players for yards gained.
An example would be a point for every 20 yards gained, receiving or rushing. If a running back runs for 100 yards, gains 50 as a receiver and scores a touchdown, he scores 13 points that week.

As for kickers and team defenses, they generate points the same way as position players. A kicker’s stats are normally the same as what he does in an NFL game – he gets a point for an extra point and three points for a field goal. There are some leagues that will give bonus points to kickers for the length of the kick (more points for the longer kicks).

Team defenses can get points for sacks, interceptions, fumble recoveries, points allowed, and touchdowns scored. There are any number of ways a league can setup scoring for a team defense. Most team defenses also get rewarded for special teams play. If a kick-off is returned for a touchdown for example, your defense is awarded six points.

In the early days of fantasy football, league commissioners had the unenviable task of keeping track of the league, tallying scores and keeping track of the standings by hand. But since the internet took off, there are services (like CBS Sportsline or Yahoo) that will keep track of all your stats, standings, transactions, etc. This makes the task of running and playing in a league much easier. The internet is the main reason fantasy football is so popular today.

Other types of leagues: Above is a sample scoring for a Standard or Redraft league. Today, there are many other formats for fantasy football leagues. Here are some of the options you have: PPR Fantasy Football Leagues- Auction Fantasy Football Leagues- Keeper Fantasy Football Leagues-Dynasty Fantasy Football Leagues

A nice link that describes each- Fantasy football 101: Different types of leagues

 

Beginners Fantasy Football E Book

 

Chapter Three: Ways to Compete

Teams can compete in fantasy leagues in different ways, but here are the two main ways.

Head to Head Competition: Just like the NFL (again, in most leagues), two teams are matched up against each other every week in fantasy leagues. This is called “head-to-head”, or sometimes referred to as “HD2HD” competition.

In the “Head-to-Head” competition, each week during the NFL season your team will compete against a different team in your league. The goal is to have the best record (most wins) at or near the end of the season. The four teams with the best head-to-head records (usually by Week 15 of the regular NFL season) will battle in a playoff scenario. The final week will pit the top two against each other, so that a head-to-head champion is determined.

Overall Points: The second way to compete is an overall points competition. Each week every team in your league will accumulate points depending on how your fantasy players did on the field. The four teams with the highest accumulated points throughout the season (usually by Week 15 of the regular NFL season) will battle in a playoff scenario. This usually happens in the final two weeks of the regular season. The final week will pit the top two against each other, so that an overall point champion is determined. (Some leagues compete in both ways described above. At the end of the season, two champions are crowned…an overall points champion and a head-to-head champion. Sometimes a team can brag as to having won both in a season.)

 

Chapter Four: Keys to a Successful Draft – Do Your Research

Research key players NFL teams. You already know more than you think. This seems like a daunting task, but it’s actually not. Simply study a little at a time, rather than a two hour crash course right before the draft. Give yourself 20 minutes, for example, to familiarize yourself with 32 QBs in the NFL. Next session, familiarize yourself with starting running backs. Fantasy Football magazines are a great place to start. They will list for instance how all the running backs did in 2014. (My favorite magazine is, “Fantasy Football index”.)

The internet has an endless amount of information for you to research from, via search engines, and sports websites. Before choosing your fantasy team, you need to research available players so you can pre-rank them according to your personal preference, but you don’t necessarily have to! Your fantasy football magazines will have early “cheat sheets”, which will rank all the NFL players and defenses, and most good fantasy football websites (like Utter-Fantasy.com) will have players rankings available to you as well.

Be Prepared
Prior to your pick in any round, have players in mind to select. Be ready in the event that the player you really wanted has just been taken. It can be frustrating when one team owner takes a long time to make each of his/her player selections during the draft . This usually happens when the player that they wanted has just been taken by another team, and they aren’t prepared to make another decision.

If you don’t have options ready when it’s your turn, you will be:
1. Lost as to who you do want next.
2. Rushed into selecting someone that you really don’t want.
When my turn is 3 picks away during the draft, I spend the time since my last selection choosing 3 players that I desperately want on my fantasy team. If two of them were chosen before it’s my turn to pick, my decision is easy, because I have that 3rd player ready to draft. Draft Quality Players at Every Position

During the draft, keep a record of how many players you’ve selected in each position. If you use your top 5 draft picks on the best 5 RBs available, you will likely have the best stable of RBs in the your league. However, by ignoring the other positions, your team will be beat by teams that have overall strength week after week.

Remember, you can only score two RBs each week, so those other 3-4 superstar RBs that you’re smitten with, aren’t helping your team sitting the bench. You need quality WRs to score each week, as well as a strong TE and QB. Pay attention to your team, and draft intelligently at every position.
Don’t Draft a Kicker or Defense Until the Last Few Rounds

There have been instances where I haven’t always followed my own advice
on this because:
1. I select a kicker of defense too early, because I was enamored with their successful performance the year before. Particularly concerning kickers, very seldom do they follow up a great stat year, with another one. Pick your kickers last. Pick your defense(s) next to last. (Although if you choose to select the Seattle Defense in a mid-round, I wouldn’t blame you. They have been the top defense for two years in a row.)
2. I might not have been prepared in to draft in a particular round and therefore end up swinging for a kicker or defense out of desperation.

 

Beginners Fantasy Football E Book

 

Chapter Five: Managing Your Team

Drafting the best team in your league doesn’t ensure you’ll win. In order to be successful in Fantasy Football, you have to actively manage your team throughout the entire season. Here are some of the keys to managing your team.

Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Most leagues require you to select the players from your roster each week that you wish to score. For example, if you drafted 4 running backs (RBs), you may be required to select only two of them to score in any given week. Your decision of which two to score will be based on many different factors, such as of health of your players, the teams your players will be facing, or even the weather. Utter-Fantasy.com offers Start ‘Em & Sit ‘Em advice. You can sign up to get these alerts and updates using the form in the right hand column
of any page on the website.

Player Moves: You’re not stuck with the players you chose on draft day. As a matter of fact, by the end of the season, your roster will likely look very different from the one you drafted. Making the right player moves can greatly improve even a poorly drafted team. The two main ways you can make player moves are through the waiver wire, and via trades.

Waiver Wire: As a fantasy owner, you’re in total control. You can drop players you think aren’t good enough and replace them. The waiver wire is a list of players that that nobody in your league already has on their roster. Therefore, these payers are available to be added to your team, once you drop a player.
If you have a player on your roster who gets hurt, benched, suspended…or just isn’t performing up to expectations, you can drop him in exchange for a player who is a free agent (not owned by any team in your league). Every week, new players become available or in demand due to many reasons and advice on picking up these players can be found on fantasy websites that have, “Waiver Wire Updates”. (It’s a popular feature on Utter-Fantasy.com)

Trades: You can even make a trade offer to another owner. Sometimes there will be a situation where you’re very heavy in one position and end up with high
scoring players sitting you on your bench. If this is the case, you’re likely
going to be weak at another position. Look around the other rosters in your
league and see if there’s a team in an opposite position (weak where you’re
strong, and strong where you’re weak). If a trade looks mutually beneficial,
extend an offer to the team owner.
Note: The other owners in your league aren’t fools. Offering to trade your 3rd Tier WR for someone’s 1st tier RB isn’t going to get you anywhere. If the trade doesn’t seem mutually beneficial to you, it won’t to them, either…so don’t insult their intelligence.

Winning Your League: Only the strong survive, and at the end of the fantasy season, the top teams square off in a playoff tournament to decide the league champion. The last team standing may win a trophy, a cash prize, or just bragging rights. Some leagues have the playoffs begin week 13 of the NFL season and some have them start week 15. Every league has their own rules on this.

 

Beginners Fantasy Football E Book

 

Chapter Six: Etiquette and Rules of Personal Conduct

While fantasy football can be an extremely competitive endeavor, it is important to remember that enjoyment of the game is predicated on a certain level of sportsmanship displayed by the participants. Common courtesy and common sense are good things to keep in mind this fantasy season.

Here are a few DO’s & DON’Ts:

The Draft – Be on time for the draft. Know when it is your turn, and do not take excessive amount of time when it is your turn to select. Everyone has a round or two of indecision, just make sure you are not the guy (or gal) who does it almost every time. Come prepared.

Participate in Fantasy Activities in a Timely Manner – That means, respond to phone calls, or emails etc by other team owners without long delays, and especially communications by the commissioner. Accept or Reject a trade offer as soon as possible. Online League sites often send out invitations to team owners and need replies…SO REPLY! Don’t make the commissioner’s job harder than it already is.

Trash Talking – It is part of fantasy football, so get used to it. However, you can have fun without being offensive (and BTW, I already know how fat my mother is).

No Collusion – Collusion can occur when one team makes moves to benefit another team, without trying to improve its own position. One-sided trades
are an obvious example of this. Another example is when a player drop is made so another team can pick up that player. Your commissioner can and
should void trades and moves where this is obvious.

Do Not Impede Other Owners- Certain transactions made solely to impede other owners is not allowed. Tanking games for the sole purpose of denying another player’s chance to make the playoffs is against the rules. In particular, cycling through players in free agency to put them on waivers and make them unavailable to other teams in your league is strictly prohibited and should be grounds for expulsion from your league.

No Roster Dumping either (i.e. dumping players into the player pool due to disinterest or for any other reason).

Keep Your Team Active – In order to maintain the integrity of the league, team owners should not remain inactive for extended periods of time. If you are giving up on the season, reassign ownership of your team to someone that will try.

Pay Before You Play – If your league plays for cash prizes, everyone should get their league dues in before the season starts. Commissioners dread the manhunt, tracking down a team owner that has not handed in their league due.

Vote – It’s worth mentioning again. Do not let a few team owners run your league. If someone thinks a rule or point system needs changing, demand a vote. If majority agree, change it.

A Few Extras –
· Take it easy on the New Team Owners. (We’ve all been one)
· Football Sunday is your fantasy day, so spoil the spouse on Saturday.
· Don’t be the Moocher at the draft – If you eat & drink with friends for
fantasy fun, buy some of the eats, and buy some of the drinks.

Good luck, and welcome to the obsession!

Beginners Fantasy Football E Book

 

Bonus Chapter Seven: Starting Your Own League

We have new players ask us about how to start their own leagues, so we thought we would cover the subject as a bonus chapter, for those who are interested. There are countless internet sites that you can play on, and keep track of your fantasy leagues. Many popular sites don’t charge a fee. It is free to park your leagues there. The most recommended ones are NFL, ESPN and Yahoo.

When you decide to play fantasy football, joining one of these sites is easier than you might think. Let’s say you want to have Yahoo host your league.
(You’ll be asked to sign into your Yahoo! Account if you haven’t already.)
· Go to Yahoo.com.
· Select the Sports tab from the list of Yahoo services.
· Next click on the “Fantasy” tab in the Sports Section.
· Scroll down to “Fantasy Football” and click this link.
· There you will find two choices…”Join a League” or “Create a League”.

To Join a League – Simply click this link – you will see open leagues that
need teams.

To Create a league – Click this link –YAHOO FANTASY FOOTBALL . It will ask
you for your League name – Type of league you want (Points vs HD2HD) –
How & When you want to draft – Click “Finish” and voila!– You can even
customize your league settings right there.

Another site growing fast in popularity is MyFantasyLeague.com where all of my current leagues are. Check them out!

As a league, decide on rules for trades, player moves each week and for submitting weekly line ups. You’ll also need to decide how long your season
will last and if your league will have playoffs. These are decisions every team
member should vote when starting a new league.

If you’re invited to join a friend’s league, you’ve probably received an e-mail with a link to the sign-up page. Just click on the link, accept your spot, pick a team name and logo. This type of league works exactly like a public league when the season begins, but the league’s commissioner can customize the setup. Yahoo has a certain set of standard defaults for roster requirements, scoring, free agency, and so on.

So, there you have it…setting up your league with a Free Fantasy Football Hosting Site is as easy as taking a ride on the Reading Railroad!
To learn more about your new obsession and get more advanced fantasy tips and advice, be sure to visit us at Utter-Fantasy.com often.

Three Food Tiers of NFL Quarterbacks

Three Food Tiers of NFL Quarterbacks by Utter-Fantasy Writer Cambrick Broady

 

Three Food Tiers of NFL Quarterbacks: “Filet Mignon”, “Buffalo Wings” and “Just order a cheap Pizza”

Many fans, analysts, writers and regular people debate often about the 32 teams in the NFL being good or bad and the #1 selling point on your argument typically revolves around the quarterback.  There are a few teams every year that can overcome with shaky quarterback play with their dominant running backs, wide receivers or defenses but eventually that will catch up to you….(unless you are the 2015 Denver Broncos!)
Hopefully you are at least “Buffalo Wings” if you’re starting for a team in the NFL. So why are there so many “cheap pizza” QBs you wonder? Well, GM’s have been trying to figure that one out since the league started, and if you know they answer, let every GM, fantasy football fanatic and delivery man know.. In the meantime- here’s my breakdown of the 32 teams quarterbacks currently sitting at the top of their depth chart, who are either “Filet Mignon, Buffalo Wings and Just order a cheap Pizza”, along with commentary and fantasy projections for the first two.

“Filet Mignon and Sipping your favorite Red Wine”

1.    Tom Brady QB New England Patriots; putting the golden boy shouldn’t get any back lash on any social media site or grumble in your random sports bar. If you’re a New England fan, the sound of his name is like someone just offered you a tall glass of water in the middle of the desert. If you’re a Jets, Dolphins or Bills fan his name probably strikes that nerve of someone’s kid in the store that just WON’T SHUT UP! There aren’t many players in the Kobe/Jordan/Russell category…you know those guys who’ve won 4 or more titles for the franchise that drafted them. Fantasy Projection: Round 4-5; yes, I know he’s suspended 4 games but when he comes back it’s business as usual.

2.    Aaron Rodgers QB – Green Bay Packers; you know you’re good when your TD celebration becomes the entire storyline of an insurance commercial. Well, he’s as good as advertised and Packer fans will make sure you know it. He makes all WR’s better and with a stable running game, the Packers will compete every year with him at the helm. Fantasy Projection: Round 2-3; should be no argument here, he’s been a solid fantasy starter for years.

3.    Ben Roethlisberger QB – Pittsburgh Steelers; I’m sure some Steelers fans cringed when they drafted him in 2004 out of Miami, Ohio. Ask that same fan now, how they feel now about his career 94% passer rating and 2 Super Bowl rings? They’ve always got championship written all over them and with a healthy running game, the usual Pittsburgh fan has ammo in any fan smack talk. Fantasy Projection: Round 4-5; I think you should be taking him earlier than I saw in last year’s drafts as he will be throwing a lot to Antonio Brown and that says enough.

4.    Drew Brees QB – New Orleans; has some of the best pocket presence you’ll see and does a great job reading defenses, one of those QBs where it doesn’t matter the receiver out there as long as they can catch. He gave the city of New Orleans a championship when they needed it most and has a guaranteed fantasy sleeper WR on his roster every year. Fantasy Projection: Round 4-5; I’m scared to say his numbers may drop this year considering he’s got a new target in Michael Thomas and Brees normally makes all receivers look good.

5.    Russell Wilson QB – Seattle Seahawks; Every year in the playoffs, one Super Bowl under his belt, and he’s done this without a true #1 WR.  (doesn’t hurt to have a stout defense behind you) Want to argue him being Filet Mignon? Well, his passing yards have increased each year, he hasn’t thrown more than 10 interceptions in any year and he is a dual threat. Case closed. Fantasy Projection: Round 5-6;

6.    Cam Newton QB – Carolina Panthers; 2015’s NFL MVP showed sustained improvement in his footwork and decision making. He led the Panthers to the Super Bowl without a legit #1 receiver…wow! The challenge now is consistency and keeping his demeanor in check, I like the guy personally and his new custom ride is pretty nice. He gets Kelvin Benjamin back this season as well. Fantasy Projection: Round 2-3; last year a guy won my league by picking up Newton as a FA. That won’t happen this year, take him in the top 5 if you want and I won’t blink an eye.

7.  Matt Ryan QB – Atlanta Falcons; he’s been in the top 5 for NFL passing yards every year since 2012 (bet you didn’t know that). His first NFL pass was a TD and it was a dart that he read instantly. He’s got good footwork and has been putting up career numbers behind an under-performing offensive line for a few years. Signing C Alex Mack and WR Mohamed Sanu will give Ryan an edge going into this season. Fantasy Projection: Round 5-6; you may want to take him earlier than normal this year, he’s got intriguing new weapons.

8.    Andrew Luck QB – Indianapolis Colts; I’m admire him honesty and he didn’t have the best season last year by any means. He actually looked as if he regressed (I know he was injured) which I know was scary for Colts fans. Don’t worry however, this talented QB will bounce back this year. His skillset of passing accuracy, strength and running ability will allow him to get back on track. You don’t write off Luck after one bad season. In my league he was drafted #1 overall because of his spectacular 2014 season ( #1 QB) ; and expectations were that he could take the Colts deep in the playoffs. Now one must be concerned because his division has seriously improved. Fantasy Projection: Round 3-4; he should come back on a vengeance and could be in line for comeback player of the year.

9.    Tony Romo QB – Dallas Cowboys; You can blast me on twitter all you want for listing Romo as a QB that should have a spoon of herb flavored brown butter right over the top…but tell me that the NFC East teams aren’t scared to play the Cowboys this year with a healthy Romo and Elliott in the backfield. If you aren’t, you haven’t been paying attention to football. He has the accuracy, he also has the command you like and his OL is the best in football. He has to minimize the turnovers though. Fantasy Projection: Round 6-7; he’s got all kinds of weapons in this offense and will be serviceable but I understand if you want to proceed with caution due to his injury history.

10.    Eli Manning QB – New York Giants; Listen, I don’t want to hear it at all. He’s a hot and cold type of QB but has won 2 Super Bowls and I’ll bet your favorite QB hasn’t won any. I’ll agree he’s the bottom Filet Mignon on my list. He makes great reads and if the Giants can get his guy a running game, the NFC East will have serious competition. Fantasy Projection: Round 7-8; I have to be realistic with his fantasy projection, even with a dynamic OBJ, he just hasn’t been as reliable in fantasy. I predict a comeback this year so take in round 6 with confidence.

“Buffalo Wings and a Sam Adams”

1.     Carson Palmer QB – Arizona Cardinals. Fantasy Projection: Round 7-8; he’s a bargain pick this year
2.    Blake Bortles QB – Jacksonville Jaguars. Fantasy Projection: Round 7-8; #3 QB in 2015…great new defense
3.    Matthew Stafford QB – Detroit Lions Fantasy Projection: Round 8-9; worst rushing average per attempt in the NFL…and Megatron retired.
4.    Joe Flacco QB – Baltimore Ravens. Fantasy Projection: 9-10 What weapons does he have? I’ll wait.
5.    Kirk Cousins QB – Washington Redskins. Fantasy Projection: Round 9-10; no RB, forced to pass a lot
6.    Andy Dalton QB – Cincinnati Bengals. Fantasy Projection: Round 10+; proceed with caution
7.    Phillip Rivers QB – San Diego Chargers. Fantasy Projection: Round 10+; who are his WR’s?
8.    Derek Carr QB – Oakland Raiders. Fantasy Projection: Round 10+; he will improve this year, but RB??
9.    Jamies Winston QB – Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Fantasy Projection: Round 10+; needs more passing yards
10.    Marcus Mariota QB – Tennessee Titans. Fantasy Projection: Round 10+; new RB’s will really help him

These quarterbacks are good and on any given Sunday, they can be “really good”. If any of these guys are your teams quarterback, you can go into the season with a great deal of optimism. • Many of you feel Carson Palmer is Filet Mignon and I will argue that all day otherwise,and show you the tape of him playing in Oakland. He’s good because he doesn’t lose the game for you, but Arizona was a top 3 defense and as long as you don’t turn the ball over; that’ll keep you in games. • Blake Bortles makes the list because he was the #3 QB in the NFL last year, his progression has been impressive and he has made Robinson and Hurns red hot receivers who none us knew about before last season. • Matthew Stafford has been a adequate fantasy football quarterback, but has he been an adequate NFL quarterback? • I know Joe Flacco won a Super Bowl and is the only QB on this list to have done so, but I’m just not sold on him being more than good Buffalo Wings. Give Matt Ryan the defense that Flacco had that year with Ray Lewis and Ed Reed and the Falcons might be 2 Super Bowls deep by now. The best QBs overcome a bad OL, no WR’s, no RB’s and still have good productive and competitive seasons. • Kirk Cousins was the sole reason the Washington Redhot Sauces won their division. • The only QB that I see possibly getting bumped down next year is Andy Dalton; he’s shown flashes of being really good and shown flashes of being really bad. He did not play in the post-season last year which hurt their team and the NFL window shortens each season. • In 2013, Phillip Rivers QB was the #6 QB in the NFL, 2014 he was #9 and 2015 he was #10. I can see the downward trend continuing. • Derek Carr needs to be careful with his decision making, considering his division is full of strong defenses outside of San Diego. • Some may look at the list and say “Jamies Winston and Marcus Mariota….really?” But after this year, they will back off that statement as they pass the celery and bleu cheese. Marcus Mariota could find himself with a solid running game this year but his defense will need to hold up. Jamies Winston impressed me at times last season and he’s got a good WR and RB.

“Just order a cheap Pizza with a free Mountain Dew”

1.    Alex Smith QB – Kansas City Chiefs.
2.    Jay Cutler QB – Chicago Bears
3.    Sam Bradford QB – Philadelphia Eagles
4.    Colin Kaepernick QB – San Francisco 49ers
5.    Mark Sanchez QB – Denver Broncos
6.    Nick Foles QB – LA Rams
7.    Brock Osweiler QB – Houston Texans
8.    Ryan Tannehill QB – Miami Dolphins
9.    Tyrod Taylor QB – Buffalo Bills
10.    Teddy Bridgewater QB – Minnesota Vikings
11.    Robert Griffin III QB – Cleveland Browns
12.    Geno Smith/Ryan Fitz QB – New York Jets

I’ll get some flack about a few of these guys I’m sure. • Alex Smith has silenced plenty of doubters after the 49ers gave up on him for Kaepernick (and who knows, they may still be kicking themselves). • Jay Cutler hasn’t been good despite having decent weapons in Forte, Bennett and Jeffrey, who some see as a top 5 WR. Cutler might be the worst QB inside the red-zone in the NFL. • Sam Bradford has been robbing teams since being drafted, and he reminds me of NBA’s Grant Hill and what he did to many teams, always being hurt. • Colin Kaepernick misses wide open WR’s…I mean WIDE OPEN so enough said there. • Mark Sanchez, ha, I’m sorry but Denver should concede this season or they might think about starting Lynch sooner than later. • I was going to list Jared Goff as average and put a disclosure by it, but I don’t think that’s fair; I’ll give him time to toss a few pies first and Nick Foles is surely average to LA Rams fans. • Brock Osweiler hasn’t shown us much so far but he has the potential to move out of the Little Caesar’s section. • Ryan Tannehill is the QB that the analysts every year say is going to have “a breakout season” but just never does. • Tyrod Taylor really should be a back-up pizza cook; I saw a lot of good routes run by Sammy Watkins with no pass coming his way. Reminds me of how upset Michael Vick used to make his WR’s because they’d get open and wouldn’t have a chance to make a play. • Teddy Bridgewater plays in a “run-first” offense and only threw 14 touchdown passes last season. • Robert Griffin III doesn’t know how to slide and Geno Smith/ Fitz are here because where else are they going to be….and no argument about them being average I’m sure.

Cam Broady

Cambrick Broady is Sports Scout, Fantasy Sports Analyst and a contributing writer for Utter-Fantasy.com. Please follow Cambrick on twitter @cambrickbroady

Also by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Cambrick Broady…”The Biggest Makeover from the Draft”

 

Gals Put Their Flare on Fantasy Football

Gals Put Their Flare on Fantasy Football by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

I was chatting with many of my fantasy football friends on twitter, when I saw this “tweet’….”I’m doing a Harry Potter themed fantasy football leagues with my best gal pals, and I am beyond giddy”. I wrote to Kelcy Engstrom and asked “please tell me this really happened!” Kelcy not only told me that it did, but that the girls were planning their next theme…..likely “Mean Girls!”

Fantasy football is already fun, but it’s pretty cool that these gals have put their own twist on their league, to make it even more fun for them. I asked Miss Kelcy, who is a Peace Corps volunteer over seas right now, a few questions about their league, and here’s what she had to say about it.

Utter-Fantasy) Please tell me about your league- How many teams, who is in it and when did it begin?

Kelcy) We are 8 teams and it’s made up of a group of really good friends, most of us met in middle school and then rest became friends during high school and we’ve always kept in touch and remained very close. We started doing a league about 2 years ago, we’re all from Wisconsin except for one unfortunate Bear fan who was born in Illinois but moved to our hometown during middle school so all of us have grown up with the Packers and football as a big part of our lives.

When we got interested in fantasy it made sense that we would all do it with our best friends, to maximize shit talking potential.

 

Utter-Fantasy) When did creating a theme for your fantasy football league start, and how do you determine what the theme will be? Are there suggestions and a vote?

Kelcy) So I really like themes and group activities in general so I kind of forced everyone to go along with it. I picked the Harry Potter one because I’m pretty sure I saw a comment in Reddit talking about a Potter themed fantasy team name and it just struck me a very funny for some reason, also because I know a few gals in the league are INTO Harry Potter in a big way. For example the owner of ‘Weasley’s Wizard Wins’ took her honeymoon at Harry Potter studios while others are not so into it like the owner of ‘Harry’s Dead RIP’ but she still went along with it which is cool.

 

Utter-Fantasy) It is such a fun idea, but how does it work? How was the Harry Potter theme incorporated into the 2015 fantasy football season?

Kelcy) It’s just a standard league set up really, since this was the first time doing a theme we didn’t have many ideas to really customize it so it’s just the team names, my two personal favorites are ‘Two-Patronus Conversion’ and ‘4th and 9 3/4′ with ‘Rita Skeet Skeet Skeeter’ rounding out the top 3. We have it set up on ESPN.

This year I’d probably make up a house cup as the trophy, throw a theme party for the draft, maybe force the points looser that week to give up a bench player to the deatheaters or something. But full disclosure, I’m a bit of a filthy casual the only Harry Potter thing I’m super into is Wizard People, Dear Reader. But I am hoping to read the books eventually.  

 

Utter-Fantasy) Will you share some of the other theme ideas that have been suggested?

Kelcy) We’re probably gonna change it up this year with a new theme, I’m thinking a Mean Girls one would be pretty good, but we also watch a lot of Golden Girls and RuPaul’s Drag Race so that could be fun as well, and we’re all big fans of Beyonce but we’ll see whoever comes up with the best idea.

 

Utter-Fantasy) Do you and your best gal pals get together on game day for some quality Harry Potter/NFL time??

Kelcy) The girls that can still do get together on Sundays to watch football when possible, I’ve been living in Eastern Europe for about 2 years so I haven’t been able to do that for awhile. But sitting around watching football, drinking beer and shit talking in person is something that we all enjoy doing as sister girls

 

I appreciate Miss Kelcy sharing her fantasy football league with me, and I hope the gals venture into a Dynasty Football League! Having a “Dynasty” themed Dynasty Football League is just to good, not to start up!

Dynasty Fantasy football TV

 

Follow Kelcy’s on twitter @MaryKMart to see how she does in her fantasy football league and what theme the gals came up for 2016.

Kelcy fantasy football

This is How We Dynasty Football

This is How We Dynasty Football by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Samantha Holt

 

Active in Fantasy Football for 6 years, received 1st Championship in 2015 Season. Token woman of the Sunday Funday League.

Sunday-Funday-league

Six tables are set facing a large white board. Laptops are in place alongside binders filled with copious notes. The room is a buzz with chatter. Shifty glances are exchanged. Monitors with skype callers begin to light, it’s almost time. Owners move to their seats, last minute beers and drinks are made. It’s time, for the Rookie Draft, the first Owner is on the clock. He fields offers for his pick, bidding wars are waged, the decision is made, Amari Cooper is taken first overall in the 2015 Sunday Funday League Rookie Draft.

Sounds a bit intense? Well that’s because it is my friends, if you’re reading this you understand that Fantasy Football is not merely a hobby, it’s a lifestyle. I believe there is no better example of this than in my Dynasty League. That’s a pretty biased statement, but fuck it, it’s my opinion.

The Beginning

Our inaugural season began in 2013, and our Commissioner is the glue that brought us all together. All members had multiple years of experience prior to joining, no newbies, you needed to know your shit to be invited. It was important when this began that if you were to be an owner in this League, you needed to be an active owner. No Tacos in this league (but there are at least 2 Ruxin’s and a definitive Andre). We wanted our league to resemble what real owners deal with in managing a team. We are an Auction, 8 keeper, IDP league; with the ability to trade Free Agency Cash and Rookie Draft Picks. We have a cap for keeper salary going into our auction draft, and a Salary Cap to begin the season. We now also have an in season salary cap. Oh and each player drafted has a set contract you can keep them at their salary for before you have to extend their contract by increasing their salary. Does that sound like a lot? You still following me?

The Details

Each Season begins with our Annual League Rules Meeting that rolls into our Rookie Draft. The Rules Meeting starts out simply enough. This is where we vote on changing any current rules or adding new ones. Straight forward no bullshit, and you can’t say you weren’t aware of a change because we have a binder with a meeting agenda and Google drive documents of the Rules and Changes made during the meetings. To the Rookie Draft! It obviously takes place sometime after the NFL Draft, depending on coordinating the schedules of 12 Owners. There are 3 rounds in the Draft and each owner has a draft pick. Top 6 picks are picked at random amongst teams with worst records from the previous season. What makes the Draft more fun however is that we’re allowed to trade our picks. So goes the bidding war for those who ended up with multiple picks. Rookies are valuable because they’re drafted at set low salaries with 3 year contracts (ex: 1st Round: $5, 2nd Round: $3, 3rd Round $1).

Draft Day

Auction draft is held at a location decided on by the winner of the previous year. Last year it was held at the Palazzo in Las Vegas, in Lagasse’s Stadium. If you want to do a draft party in Vegas that’s the place to go. They have package deals where you can have a private suite with multiple TVs pool table and waiters that constantly and quickly bring drinks and great food. It was a sweet draft, needless to say we were all destroyed afterwards, worth it. We have a max of 8 keepers and their salaries combined must be $200 or less. Max Salary to start the season is $300. This may seem high, but keep in mind this fantasy football league is based on the idea that this is a marathon not a sprint. WE can make moves that will benefit over several years or make moves for the immediate. We each strategize our own ways but it’s a system designed to fit the Owner’s needs.

Shenanigans

The number one thing we get the most positive feedback from is that fact that we hold an Awards Ceremony at the end of every season. Our Commissioner painstakingly puts together the Awards packet with nominees for each category and each owner submits their votes to the Commissioner for counting. He then has awards made with the category and winners names engraved. The ceremony itself has written monologues for the host, speeches for the presenters, songs written & recorded for the winning teams to walk up to, friends are invited to the exclusive guest list, and there are video interviews for the nominees of the “big award” of the night, Team of the Year. The answer to your next question is: Yes, we do have too much time on our hands and spend a lot of money on something that is purely for fun. Why? Because it’s fun and we’re awesome, what better reason do you need?! The ceremony is a red carpet affair. We literally bought our own red carpet and had a back drop made (with logos I designed) for photos with the photographer we hired for the event. *insert gif of Lil’ Jon throwing money here*

Dynasty Leagues are complicated. Ours is no exception. However, if we didn’t have this league set up the way we do, we wouldn’t be able to reap all the benefits that fantasy football has to offer. This has turned the game into a year round sport for us. So while some of you are patiently waiting for next season to get close enough to mock draft efficiently. I’m watching the Combine and reading player stats to prep for the rookie draft. #Boom.

Samantha Holt

Follow Sam’s 2016 quest for another Dynasty Fantasy Football championships on twitter @SamanthaRHolt

Girl Power Crushes Fantasy Football

Girl Power Crushes Fantasy Football by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

Female fans of the NFL now represent the fastest-growing demographic in sports. So naturally, more female fans translates into more women jumping into the fantasy football arena and teaching guys a thing or two about it! Although men are more likely to play fantasy football, nearly 20% of the 75 million fantasy football owners competing in leagues are now women. ( and many are winning!)

Matty Murder is a smart, funny chick who won her 2015 fantasy football league and contributes her championship to having a few peculiar quirks. “My win was because I wore the same bra every Sunday and my husband pulled a Taco and drafted 4 QBs.”  Mary describes her league as…“an 8 man league, with two married couples and a bunch of my husband’s friend and I beat every single one of those asshats.” While Matty came in first last season, her husband with his own team, came in 7th. Matty will respond to his 7th place finish when she stops laughing.

This fantasy football player and commish thinks that this beauty might have some brains to go with that lucky bra….for when she’s not stomping the male anatomy with her fantasy team, she’s an environmental scientist.

I’ve asked our dominating damsel a few questions about her dazzling victory and when you read her sassy answers, you’ll know why I wanted to interview Miss Matty.

Utter-Fantasy: Let’s begin by telling us how long your league has been around and how long you’ve been in it?

Matty: This was our 2nd year with the same league members. Two women with a love for the sport, their husbands who know slightly less than they do, and friends from all across the country. We are all affiliated with the US military and Fantasy Football allows us to have the same banter over beers that we would have had were we all still in the same duty-stations. Our internet platform allowed for us to comfortably interact [read: shit talk each other] during the week while keeping up with our adult responsibilities and still be able to kick ass Thursday through Sunday. Though we were nice enough to occasionally warn people when they happened to have someone starting that was on a bye. Maybe only 5 minutes before the game started, but still.

Utter-Fantasy: Who in particular did you take in the draft that was like a twisting knife in your fellow fantasy football owners’ hearts?

Matty: Well, I remember being in a bar and talking line-ups with a friend and the bar tender overheard that I had both Brady and Rodgers on my team. However, I had an ulterior motive. I personally hate Tom Brady. I am sure he could be a great person in person but I just cant stand him. So he was my first round pick and I benched him the whole season. This bartender had NO IDEA why I would do something so “stupid” and waste my time. Then a sports segment came on right behind his head talking about the top 3 QBs in the NFL. Number 3? Aaron. Fucking. Rodgers. Ended up getting a few free beers out of that one. If you scroll through my twitter feed my mid-season pickup of Andrew Luck was perhaps the most talked about player on my team. We had lots of mental conversations about his playing and apparently on more than one occasion he took my critiques to heart and came out swinging after halftime.

Utter-Fantasy: What was your drafting philosophy going into the 2015 fantasy season?

Matty: Funny story. ..most of our league took a group vacation to Mexico over the summer and over unlimited drinks on the beach talked about how amazing the 2014 season had been. We decided mid-trip that we should do it again. One of the boys in particular had a whole defensive monologue he would spout for anyone to listen, on why he was going to draft Tony Romo right out of the gate because, if you look at his stats he is “actually quite consistent”. Well that didn’t go well for him. I on the other hand did my research, got my facts in order, and went with my gut. As a scientist I am no stranger to research, and on the weekends and evenings I would shift my focus to football. My ultimate goal was to do better than these men who would assume because I am a woman I was going to randomly click players in until I had a full team and then hope for the best. There was no more satisfying feeling than sipping my beer while the league chat sang my praises. Though more in the form of trash talking my opponent.

Utter-Fantasy: Did the guys in your league feel castrated by your victory or were they pretty good sports about it?   ( or as “Star Lord” would say….”Bitta’ both!” )

Castrated may be a bit strong. They walked into this season knowing us ladies could hold our own in the league setting. We are two strong women who have always stood our own in conversations, nights on the town, and have made it through years worth of deployments and come out the other side stronger. There were many many close calls, nights I would have to go to bed before games ended simply hoping that my boys would pull it off. All in all they were good sports. Of course if they had said a thing about coming in place after a woman I would have simply called their dedication to the craft into question. What did I do that you didn’t? Oh right, win.

Utter-Fantasy: Were there any key trades during the season that paid off big-time for you and that you care to brag about?

Matty: Trades? Nah. My husband plays video games with the other league members during the week and they did occasional trades. I am too hardheaded to admit that someone else has something I might need. I research ways to make it work or find some who can pull it off on my own. My wins were all me.

Utter-Fantasy: Was your draft live or was it completed online? Any fun details from it?

Matty: Because we are all spread out it had to be online, but we were in a skype chat! So we still were able to judge everyone elses choices and drink together. Only fun detail is how my husband kept running off while other people were drafting because he though he had important things to do (video games in the other room) and ended up drafting WAY too many QBs. We called him Taco for the rest of the season, after the episode of The League where Taco drafted…was it 13 kickers? When husband caught his mistake he felt pretty silly, rightly so. 

Utter-Fantasy: Do you have a fun ball-busting team name?

Matty: No, we all had team names that played off of our actual names. My name is no fun. So I just went with “Matty’s Morgue” to play off of my twitter name.

Utter-Fantasy: What was the prize for whooping all of the asshats in your league….was there a trophy or cash?

We had no prize except for bragging rights. Though I wish we had a trophy. I would put it on my mantle right next to my two degrees and wedding pictures. It is an accomplishment I don’t take lightly. Though as my husband talks to the other guys more than I do he did brag on my behalf for a bit. And we went out to celebrate, steaks!

Utter-Fantasy:  What else won this 2015 league, besides your Sunday best bra? A smart draft perhaps, or good research, luck, a woman’s intuition, savvy waiver wire moves….all of the above?

Matty: Besides the lucky bra, a trick I actually got from my Dad who wears the same underwear every time the Texas Rangers play, I credit my win to my research! My draft didn’t make all of my wildest dreams come true. I pulled the wins off through smart research and occasional input from league outsiders. Though they didn’t always think I was making the right choices, like the bartender from the start of the season. In the end I went with my gut and it paid off.

Utter-Fantasy: Who would you say is your favorite fantasy football player?

Matty: This season it would have to be Aaron Rodgers. I had faith in him from the start and in most instances he didn’t let me down. Plus I feel like when people doubted me for putting him above others his abilities pulled through for me. Plus he seems like a genuinely cool guy and sometimes that is what it comes down to for me. “Would I want to have a drink with this person?” and in his case I would.  

Utter-Fantasy: Have you inspired other rad chicks to take on their own teams and kick some of their own male-dominated fantasy football asses?

Sadly us league ladies have not yet convinced others to join. But we do have a small group of other women who know enough about football to talk and enjoy games with. They are too busy to play. Into the future I hope that isn’t the case with my husband and I. We are good partners but I think Fantasy Football is something that we can do together to unwind at the end of the week. With the responsibilities of our adult-lives becoming more and more, my wish is that we can continue to make time for it. But I would settle for a Cowboys-Redskins game with him over beers and burgers to have a fun night. As long as the Eagles are somewhere losing.

( Utter-Fantasy Wrap Up: Matty wasn’t the only cool chick to walk away with trophies in male-dominated fantasy football leagues in 2015. There were a lot of women strutting their stuff and there will be even more in 2016. I for one enjoy what the gals bring to fantasy football and look forward to competing against them in 2016!)

Matty Murder

Follow Matty’s 2016 quest for back-to-back championships on twitter @MattyMurder

 

How To Manuel for Fantasy Football

How To Manuel for Fantasy Football by Utter Fantasy Writer & illustrator Doug Bowles

HOW TO GET STARTED PLAYING
FANTASY FOOTBALL

 

Chapter 1 – What Is Fantasy Football?
Chapter 2 – How You Score
Chapter 3 – Ways to Compete
Chapter 4 – Keys to a Successful Draft
Chapter 5 – Managing Your Team
Chapter 6 – Fantasy Football Etiquette
Chapter 7 – Starting Your Own League

At Utter-Fantasy.com, we get a lot of questions from people who are
interested in playing fantasy, but don’t know how to get started. So, we
decided to put together this quick guide that explains the basics of the
game, and answers the questions we get asked most often.
The most common question that we get asked by people who are totally
unfamiliar with fantasy football is, “Does everyone have the same players?”
The answer is actually the opposite. No team in any fantasy football league
will have ANY players in common.
Hopefully, after reading this How-to-Manual for Fantasy Football, all of your
questions will be answered and any confusing pre-conceptions about fantasy
football will be cleared up, so that you can enjoy the fun that the rest of us
are having.

Chapter One: What Is Fantasy Football?

Fantasy Football is a competition in which
participants select imaginary teams from the
players in the NFL, and score points according to
the actual weekly performance of their players.
A fantasy football league normally consists of 8-12
individuals who are called “owners” and who draft
their own teams. (Some leagues may have more or
less teams participating and a team can have “coowners”…
friends who can share the responsibilities of one team.) The
league is usually set up by one ambitious person who is called “the
commissioner” and he or she will organize pretty much everything to get
started such as:
· Inviting everyone to participate
· finding an online fantasy football site to keep track of your league
· Setting a draft date
· Collecting league fees (If there are any. Many leagues play just for
fun.)

Before the NFL season starts, owners name their fantasy team, then get
together (either in person or online) to take turns drafting their team
consisting of NFL players. A draft order is determined beforehand. During
the draft, each fantasy owner selects one NFL player at a time until the
rosters are complete. Typically each team will draft between 15-18 players.
The number of players on your roster is determined by each league before
the draft.

A Comforting Note For You…
Since most drafts are done online now, so there should be no fear of “not
knowing the NFL players”. They will all be listed for you in the draft room, on
the website that your league chose. It’s cool how it works. When it’s your
turn to draft a player, you will simply click on the players name then he will
go to your roster and will automatically become unavailable to any other
team.

In most cases, the draft is serpentine. In fantasy, a serpentine draft goes
like this…It starts with the person selecting #1, then goes down the line of
draft owners picking, until the last pick in Round One. (If your league has 10
team owners, Round One will have 10 different NFL players selected.) Round
Two begins in reverse order The #10 team owner, who had the last pick,
drafts a second time right after his first pick, and drafting goes right back up
the line of owners. (If you were #1 owner and drafted first overall, you will
have two picks back-to-back ending Round Two and starting Round Three.)
When an NFL player is drafted by a team owner, that player is no longer
available.

Drafted players will remain on someone’s roster as long as the owner wants
them to be. Just like being a real NFL general manager, fantasy owners are
in charge of all aspects of their team. They can cut players, add players,
bench players, or even make trades with other owners in the league. This is
all easily managed online.

A long list of un-drafted available players will always be listed on your
chosen website. If you have a player that is injured and perhaps out for the
season for instance, you can drop this player usually by clicking this (-)
symbol near your roster player’s name, then clicking the add (+) symbol
near the un-drafted available player’s name that you want, then clicking the
“save” button. This will become very clear as you get started. As I have
mentioned before, this is all easier than it sounds.

A Fantasy Suggestion: Fantasy football is best played among friends and
remember, everyone was a beginner at fantasy football at some point.
However, if you’re are concerned about being too inexperienced among
people that you know who are experienced…you might want try a year by
yourself and join a public league. Anyone can sign up to join a random public
league on Yahoo for instance, and you could learn the nuances of the game.
Most are played for fun and there is no money involved.
Or, you might try starting your own league with friends who are also
inexperienced. You could all learn together. Scroll down to Bonus Chapter
Seven for tips on starting a league. It’s easier than you think.

E Book

Chapter Two: How You Score

Your rosters will consist of 15-18 players at various
positions (depending on your league rules). Each
week you’ll set your starters, which will consist of a
quarterback, two running backs, two-three
receivers, a tight end, a kicker, and a team
defense. (This is very easy to do on your league
website. Simply click “Starter” or “Bench” after the
player’s name in your roster.)
Only the “Starters” will count towards your score that week…the rest of the
roster is comprised of bench spots that don’t score any points.
An example of your fantasy team “Starters” in Week One could look like
this:

QB: Drew Brees – Saints
RB: LeVeon Bell – Steelers
RB: Alfred Morris – Washington
WR: T Y Hilton – Colts
WR: Roddy White – Falcons
TE: Rob Gronkowski – Patriots
K: Matt Prater – Lions
DEF: Chicago – Bears
Bench: QB Carson Palmer – Cardinals
Bench: WR Steve Smith – Panthers, WR Davante Adams – Packers
Bench: TE Brent Celek – Eagles
Bench: K Patrick Murray – Buccaneers,
DEF – New England Patriots

(These bench players are still on your roster and you may choose from to
start another week. Week Two you may choose to “Start” QB Palmer over
QB Brees…or WR Adams over WR Roddy White…depending on match ups or
injuries.)

To score points, the players from your team need to score on the NFL field.
Some leagues reward points for touchdowns only. So, if your QB throws for
240 yards and two touchdowns, the example team listed gets 12 points (two
touchdowns at six points each). And some leagues reward players for yards
gained.
An example would be a point for every 20 yards gained, receiving or
rushing. If a running back runs for 100 yards, gains 50 as a receiver and
scores a touchdown, he scores 13 points that week.

As for kickers and team defenses, they generate points the same way as
position players. A kicker’s stats are normally the same as what he does in
an NFL game – he gets a point for an extra point and three points for a field
goal. There are some leagues that will give bonus points to kickers for the
length of the kick (more points for the longer kicks).

Team defenses can get points for sacks, interceptions, fumble recoveries,
points allowed, and touchdowns scored. There are any number of ways a
league can setup scoring for a team defense. Most team defenses also get
rewarded for special teams play. If a kick-off is returned for a touchdown for
example, your defense is awarded six points.

In the early days of fantasy football, league commissioners had the
unenviable task of keeping track of the league, tallying scores and keeping
track of the standings by hand. But since the internet took off, there are
services (like CBS Sportsline or Yahoo) that will keep track of all your
stats, standings, transactions, etc. This makes the task of running and
playing in a league much easier. The internet is the main reason fantasy
football is so popular today.

Beginners Fantasy Football E Book

Chapter Three: Ways to Compete

Teams can compete in fantasy leagues in different ways, but here are the
two main ways.

Head to Head: Just like the NFL (again, in most leagues), two
teams are matched up against each other every
week in fantasy leagues. This is called “head-tohead”,
or sometimes referred to as “HD2HD”,
competition.
In the “Head-to-Head” competition, each week
during the NFL season your team will compete
against a different team in your league. The goal is
to have the best record (most wins) at or near the end of the season. The
four teams with the best head-to-head records (usually by Week 15 of the
regular NFL season) will battle in a playoff scenario. The final week will pit
the top two against each other, so that a head-to-head champion is
determined.

Overall Points: The second way to compete is an overall points competition. Each week
every team in your league will accumulate points depending on how your
fantasy players did on the field. The four teams with the highest
accumulated points throughout the season (usually by Week 15 of the
regular NFL season) will battle in a playoff scenario. This usually happens in
the final two weeks of the regular season. The final week will pit the top two
against each other, so that an overall point champion is determined.
(Some leagues compete in both ways described above. At the end of the
season, two champions are crowned…an overall points champion and a
head-to-head champion. Sometimes a team can brag as to having won both
in a season.)

Chapter Four: Keys to a Successful Draft – Do Your Research

Research key players NFL teams. You already know
more than you think. This seems like a daunting
task, but it’s actually not. Simply study a little at a
time, rather than a two hour crash course right
before the draft. Give yourself 20 minutes, for
example, to familiarize yourself with 32 QBs in the
NFL. Next session, familiarize yourself with starting
running backs. Fantasy Football magazines are a
great place to start. They will list for instance how
all the running backs did in 2014. (My favorite magazine is, “Fantasy
Football index”.)

The internet has an endless amount of information for you to research from,
via search engines, and sports websites. Before choosing your fantasy team,
you need to research available players so you can pre-rank them according
to your personal preference, but you don’t necessarily have to!
Your fantasy football magazines will have early “cheat sheets”, which will
rank all the NFL players and defenses, and most good fantasy football
websites (like Utter-Fantasy.com) will have players rankings available to you
as well.

Be Prepared
Prior to your pick in any round, have players in mind to select. Be ready in
the event that the player you really wanted has just been taken. It can be
frustrating when one team owner takes a long time to make each of his/her
player selections during the draft . This usually happens when the player
that they wanted has just been taken by another team, and they aren’t
prepared to make another decision.

If you don’t have options ready when it’s your turn, you will be:
1. Lost as to who you do want next.
2. Rushed into selecting someone that you really don’t want.
When my turn is 3 picks away during the draft, I spend the time since my
last selection choosing 3 players that I desperately want on my fantasy team. If two of them were chosen before it’s my turn to pick, my decision is
easy, because I have that 3rd player ready to draft.
Draft Quality Players at Every Position

During the draft, keep a record of how many players you’ve selected in each
position. If you use your top 5 draft picks on the best 5 RBs available, you
will likely have the best stable of RBs in the your league. However, by
ignoring the other positions, your team will be beat by teams that have
overall strength week after week.

Remember, you can only score two RBs each week, so those other 3-4
superstar RBs that you’re smitten with, aren’t helping your team sitting the
bench. You need quality WRs to score each week, as well as a strong TE and
QB. Pay attention to your team, and draft intelligently at every position.
Don’t Draft a Kicker or Defense Until the Last Few Rounds
There have been instances where I haven’t always followed my own advice
on this because:

1. I might not have been prepared in to draft in a particular round and
therefore end up swinging for a kicker or defense out of desperation.
2. I select a kicker of defense too early, because I was enamored with
their successful performance the year before.
Particularly concerning kickers, very seldom do they follow up a great stat
year, with another one. Pick your kickers last. Pick your defense(s) next to
last. (Although if you choose to select the Seattle Defense in a mid-round, I
wouldn’t blame you. They have been the top defense for two years in a
row.)

Beginners Fantasy Football E Book

Chapter Five: Managing Your Team

Drafting the best team in your league doesn’t ensure you’ll win. In order to
be successful in Fantasy Football, you have to actively manage your team
throughout the entire season. Here are some of the keys to managing your
team.

Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em
Most leagues require you to select the players from
your roster each week that you wish to score. For
example, if you drafted 4 running backs (RBs), you
may be required to select only two of them to
score in any given week. Your decision of which
two to score will be based on many different
factors, such as of health of your players, the
teams your players will be facing, or even the
weather. Utter-Fantasy.com offers Start ‘Em & Sit ‘Em advice. You can sign
up to get these alerts and updates using the form in the right hand column
of any page on the website.
Player Moves

You’re not stuck with the players you chose on draft day. As a matter of fact,
by the end of the season, your roster will likely look very different from the
one you drafted. Making the right player moves can greatly improve even a
poorly drafted team. The two main ways you can make player moves are
through the waiver wire, and via trades.
Waiver Wire

As a fantasy owner, you’re in total control. You can drop players you think
aren’t good enough and replace them. The waiver wire is a list of players
that that nobody in your league already has on their roster. Therefore, these
payers are available to be added to your team, once you drop a player.
If you have a player on your roster who gets hurt, benched, suspended…or
just isn’t performing up to expectations, you can drop him in exchange for a
player who is a free agent (not owned by any team in your league). Every
week, new players become available or in demand due to many reasons and
advice on picking up these players can be found on fantasy websites that
have, “Waiver Wire Updates”. (It’s a popular feature on Utter-Fantasy.com)
Trades

You can even make a trade offer to another owner. Sometimes there will be
a situation where you’re very heavy in one position and end up with high
scoring players sitting you on your bench. If this is the case, you’re likely
going to be weak at another position. Look around the other rosters in your
league and see if there’s a team in an opposite position (weak where you’re
strong, and strong where you’re weak). If a trade looks mutually beneficial,
extend an offer to the team owner.
Note: The other owners in your league aren’t fools. Offering to trade your
3rd tier WR for someone’s 1st tier RB isn’t going to get you anywhere. If the
trade doesn’t seem mutually beneficial to you, it won’t to them, either…so
don’t insult their intelligence.
Winning Your League

Only the strong survive, and at the end of the fantasy season, the top teams
square off in a playoff tournament to decide the league champion. The last
team standing may win a trophy, a cash prize, or just bragging rights. Some
leagues have the playoffs begin week 13 of the NFL season and some have
them start week 15. Every league has their own rules on this.

Beginners Fantasy Football E Book

Chapter Six: Etiquette and Rules of Personal Conduct

While fantasy football can be an extremely
competitive endeavor, it is important to remember
that enjoyment of the game is predicated on a
certain level of sportsmanship displayed by the
participants. Common courtesy and common sense
are good things to keep in mind this fantasy
season. Here are a few DO’s & DON’Ts:

The Draft – Be on time for the draft. Know when it is your turn, and do not
take excessive amount of time when it is your turn to select. Everyone has a
round or two of indecision, just make sure you are not the guy (or gal) who
does it almost every time. Come prepared.

Participate in Fantasy Activities in a Timely Manner – That means,
respond to phone calls, or emails etc by other team owners without long
delays, and especially communications by the commissioner. Accept or
Reject a trade offer as soon as possible. Online League sites often send out
invitations to team owners and need replies…SO REPLY! Don’t make the
commissioner’s job harder than it already is.

Trash Talking – It is part of fantasy football, so get used to it. However,
you can have fun without being offensive (and BTW, I already know how fat
my mother is).

No Collusion – Collusion can occur when one team makes moves to benefit
another team, without trying to improve its own position. One-sided trades
are an obvious example of this. Another example is when a player drop is made so another team can pick up that player. Your commissioner can and
should void trades and moves where this is obvious.

Do Not Impede Other Owners- Certain transactions made solely to
impede other owners is not allowed. Tanking games for the sole purpose of
denying another player’s chance to make the playoffs is against the rules. In
particular, cycling through players in free agency to put them on waivers and
make them unavailable to other teams in your league is strictly prohibited
and should be grounds for expulsion from your league.

No Roster Dumping either (i.e. dumping players into the player pool due to
disinterest or for any other reason).

Keep Your Team Active – In order to maintain the integrity of the league,
team owners should not remain inactive for extended periods of time. If you
are giving up on the season, reassign ownership of your team to someone
that will try.

Pay Before You Play – If your league plays for cash prizes, everyone
should get their league dues in before the season starts. Commissioners
dread the manhunt, tracking down a team owner that has not handed in
their league due.

Vote – It’s worth mentioning again. Do not let a few team owners run your
league. If someone thinks a rule or point system needs changing, demand a
vote. If majority agree, change it.

A Few Extras –
· Take it easy on the New Team Owners. (We’ve all been one)
· Football Sunday is your fantasy day, so spoil the spouse on Saturday.
· Don’t be the Moocher at the draft – If you eat & drink with friends for
fantasy fun, buy some of the eats, and buy some of the drinks.

Good luck, and welcome to the obsession!

Beginners Fantasy Football E Book

Bonus Chapter Seven: Starting Your Own League

We have new players ask us about how to start their own leagues, so we
thought we would cover the subject as a bonus chapter, for those who are
interested.
There are countless internet sites that you can play
on, and keep track of your fantasy leagues. Many
popular sites don’t charge a fee. It is
free to park your leagues there. The most
recommended ones are NFL, ESPN and Yahoo.

When you decide to play fantasy football, joining
one of these sites is easier than you might think.
Let’s say you want to have Yahoo host your league.
(You’ll be asked to sign into your Yahoo! Account if you haven’t already.)
· Go to Yahoo.com.
· Select the Sports tab from the list of Yahoo services.
· Next click on the “Fantasy” tab in the Sports Section.
· Scroll down to “Fantasy Football” and click this link.
· There you will find two choices…”Join a League” or “Create a League”.

To Join a League – Simply click this link – you will see open leagues that
need teams.

To Create a league – Click this link and a window will appear. It will ask
you for your League name – Type of league you want (Points vs HD2HD) –
How & When you want to draft – Click “Finish” and voila!– You can even
customize your league settings right there.

As a league, decide on rules for trades, player moves each week and for
submitting weekly line ups. You’ll also need to decide how long your season
will last and if your league will have playoffs. These are decisions every team
member should vote when starting a new league.
If you’re invited to join a friend’s league, you’ve probably received an e-mail
with a link to the sign-up page. Just click on the link, accept your spot, pick
a team name and logo. This type of league works exactly like a public league
when the season begins, but the league’s commissioner can customize the setup. Yahoo has a certain set of standard defaults for roster requirements,
scoring, free agency, and so on.
So, there you have it…setting up your league with a Free Fantasy Football
Hosting Site is as easy as taking a ride on the Reading Railroad!
To learn more about your new obsession and get more advanced
fantasy tips and advice, be sure to visit us at
Utter-Fantasy.com often.