A fantastical game to play: an introduction

As the off season approaches the end and the dawn of the pre-season is just breaking on the horizon, the pages of various websites start filling up with fantasy football articles and encouraging us to play. This also means we’re dusting off the Gridiron Gentlemen fantasy league and re-vamping it for 2015. Fantasy football is good fun to play and if you are new to the game, a great way to follow and get into the sport. Here I will be looking into fantasy football and broadly going over what you will need to win. Mainly for folk new to fantasy football but a refresher for old hands of the game.

There are different types of league, keeper leagues, fixed budget league, points per reception leagues, the list goes on. The foundations of the leagues are generally the same: you select your team in a draft, pick your team every week, you play each team in your league, your players score points based on touchdowns scored, yards rushed/received, yards passing and any mistakes made, ranking is based primarily on the number of wins you manage to get over the weeks.

There can be any number of teams in a league, the shoot out type 8 team league to the mind and challenging 16 plus team leagues. Most are between 10 and 14 teams, probably a healthy number giving enough of a challenge.

Your team will consist of:
1 x Quarterback (QB)
2 X Running backs (RB)
2 x Wide receivers (WR)
1 x Tight end (TE)
1 x Kicker (K, infamously my favourite position, apparently)
1 X Defense/ Special teams (Def)

other additional options are:
1 x Flex position (TE/RB/WR)
Defensive player – sometimes instead of an overall defense you can select defensive players. Makes things a bit more interesting.

You will also have a bench to fill up with back up players for bye weeks and in case some of your initial picks do not pay off.

Scoring points

Again check what the league you are playing on exactly scores on but principally they are:


~ 1 point per 25 yards

~ 4 points per passing touchdown

~ -2 points per interception

~ 2 points per 2 point conversion


~ 1 point per 10 yards

~ 6 points per rushing touchdown

~ -1 point per fumble lost


~ 1 point per 10 yards

~ 6 points per receiving touchdown

~ -1 point per fumble lost

~ 2 points per 2 point conversion

Defense/ Special teams:

~ Points for fewest points allowed ranging from 10 for a 0 to -2 for over 35 points allowed

~ 1 point per sack

~ 2 points per safety (tackling a player in their own endzone)

~ 6 points for a returned touchdown either kickoff/punt return or fumble recovered.


~ 1 point per PAT

~ 3 points per field goal


The Draft

Can be similar to the actual thing, but many leagues follow a snaking draft, where the order of picks is reversed each round.

There are also auction drafts, where you bid money for the picks from a set budget. Can be interesting andWho challenging (and may, MAY, feature as one of our leagues).

The draft can occur on-line as a live draft, or off-line where a group of you sit in a pub, living room, cafe, art gallery, underwater or wherever and  pick your team, remembering to record the picks and who is available along the way. Most live drafts have an autopick function and will pick the next best ranked player if you are not able to make the draft.

Who to pick and when

There are varying strategies, and after some research, you will probably have your own. Most seasons the experts on ESPN or NFL.com will have very technical, in depth mock drafts where a QB is not picked until the 3rd round. In the last few drafts I have been in, a QB goes in round 1. Usually Aaron Rodgers. I will be going into who possibly should be picked and when in another article but will just give a brief outline now on what to consider.

1. Do always go for who you consider the best player available;

2. Consider the depth of talent at the position and how many of that position you need;

3. Have a strategy and stick to it. Have a few targets and a few back ups and hold to it. Try not to doubt yourself.

4. Probably do not play around with the auto-pick rankings, unless you are incredibly confident it will go your way.

5. Do not worry about a kicker until either the end of the draft or actually after the draft, especially if the top ones have gone already (Gostkowski for example).

More on points 1 and 2, as they could contradict each other but do not really. You do only need one QB and one TE but two players stand out above the rest in that position, Rodgers and Gronk. Now I am not suggesting taking Gronk in round 1, you probably want a top WR or more pressingly, RB but I can understand why both Rodgers and Gronk could be taken in round 1. They may well be the best players available, depending on the size of your league. I will say this, RB is a shallow position for no.1 picks, yes we gave our top ten, but the drop off in points scored is quite marked in the top 16. WR is a bit deeper, the drop off is also quite marked (there appear to be some divisions) I would not be surprised to see Antonio Brown go as no.1 draft pick. QB is actually quite deep, after Rodgers. Most teams should be able to get a serviceable QB even 16 team leagues. If Gronk goes early, do not worry take another receiver and go for a TE next round. Just saying.


Do look into who is likely to be consistent not just total scores for a season and maybe read up on how they have been in training. Do not worry too much about the pre-season games apart from how they performed when they had snaps.

The Draft is not the be all and end all. There is the Waiver wire from which it is possible to pick up players. You will have to drop a player but it can take a few days for a waivered player to become available. There is also a priority ranking for teams, so if more than one team wants to pick up a waivered player the team with the higher rank will have priority and will get the player. The priority rank is based on a teams performance the week before, the the team that had the worst loss will be ranked 1. The team that did best will get the lowest rank.

I will be continuing covering aspects of fantasy football, especially on draft strategies. We will also be announcing the Gridiron Gentlemen league for this year.

Any questions, agreements, disagreements, proposals e.t.c can be posted to us on Facebook, Twitter or by email hellochaps@gridirongentlemen.com.

Until next time,

toodle pip!