Fantasy Preview: Prep Work - League Types

So you have decided to continue reading our FF preview and want to know about league types.  Choosing the best league for you is as important as any other decision you make.  There are many styles of leagues and many draft styles to choose from. 

League Types

Head To Head:  Simple as it sounds, it is exactly what the name implies.  It is a head to head system that pits one FF team against another each week.  Depending on the size of your league (number of teams) you will face one opponent each week until the start of the playoffs.  Each league may have a different playoff format.

In head to head leagues, again depending on size, you may face each opponent once, twice, or you may face the first few teams a second time while only facing others once.  In large leagues you may never face another team at all.  In fantasy football it is better to use H2H leagues with no more than 16 teams.   

Points:  Point leagues differ from H2H in the sense that you do not face off with other opponents each week.  You face off against every team each week and your points add up from one week to the next.  Most of these leagues do not incorporate a playoff system.  The team with the most points at the end of NFL week 17 is the winner. 

This is good and bad.  The good is that in some leagues, you can have a very competitive balance where you are pitted against very good drafted teams.  It is a challenge for sure.  It also allows you the opportunity to prepare for the late weeks like any other.  Nothing like entering the playoffs as the top seed in an H2H league only to find out your starters are riding the bench to rest.  You don’t have that problem in points leagues.

Another good thing about P leagues is that rarely do teams in the top half of the league bail out when their roster sucks.  If your competing in the top you will be competing all year as you will not face those bottom dwellers.  However, the downside is that if you fall behind early you very well could be done.  If your down 40 or 50 points off the leader, your not likely going to make that up in one week.  If your down a few hundred, you may not make that up at all.

Keeper:  Keeper leagues are the hard sell on public domains.  Some advertise their leagues are keepers, but in reality, it’s just to get you to join.  There is very seldom any communication between teams in the off-season to unite the league members again for year two.  If a keeper league is what you seek, you may need to look outside the public domains and maybe the interenet all together.

Keeper leagues vary from one to another more than any other league.  Scoring can be different, number of teams, but how the “Kept” players are determined can also be different.  Some leagues use a forfeit of draft picks that coincide with what round that player was taken in.  Some do not and only limit the number of rounds you participate in relative to how many players you actually keep.

Trade/No Trade:  While most leagues allow trades to some degree, some leagues will not allow trades at all.  You are basically at the mercy of your draft and what is on the waiver/free agent wire.  The choice is yours, but leagues that don’t allow trading can be somewhat boring.  Even if you don’t trade, the prospect of knowing you can sometimes makes the mid-week days seem fun.

Live Drafts:  For me there is absolutely nothing more important that participating in a “live” draft format.  You make the draft selections and the choices about your roster.  There are two type of live drafts.  Online and Offline.

  • Online:  I refer to these as the 90 second drafts.  You normally have 90 seconds to make your pick when it is your turn.  Some websites may allow you to change this option.  You basically wait it out and then when your turn comes up you click yes.  These drafts are the most popular with online players and are usually completed within an hour or two depending on how many teams are in the league and how many owners show up for the draft.

  • OFFLINE:  These drafts are almost always private leagues and normally where you will find good keeper leagues.  The time for each pick is not restricted by 90 seconds and the drafts themselves can take anywhere from an hour to a few weeks and sometimes more.  The beneft of this draft type is almost always there is a possibility of trading your draft picks before you make them.  One of the best draft styles for veteran players.

Automated:  Can’t make a draft?  Don’t want to actually sit in a room and do the draft?  This is the draft style for you.  You will need to rank your players prior to the start of the draft or the leagues host computer will make your selections based on their rankings.  Ranking your players is something you should do regardless of the type of draft you select to participate in.  In this type, the draft starts and your team is selected based off your rankings.  For automated leagues, the entire league is drafted for based on each teams rankings.

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