Fantasy Football has evolved immensely over the last several years. So many of us that grew up with it have all had a similar structure to our leagues. Standard scoring with head-to-head matchups which eventually lead to the playoffs and crowning a winner. It has been a slow movement over the last several years of some different variations to fantasy football leagues. Maybe you have changed your scoring to PPR, added in individual defensive players, or started doing one or two keepers a year, etc., but for the most part, your league has stayed consistent on a year-to-year basis with smaller changes. I’m a creature of a habit, and so my league for the last 20 years has always been a believer in not changing. But, due to the rise of popularity in fantasy football, there have been some great additions that the common player may not know about or the hard-core players may want to dip their toes into. Here are some of the different leagues I have come across that may be enticing to you.
You have one initial draft where you put together an expanded roster of roughly 25 players. That is your roster for FOREVER. Going forward, you will have an annual rookie draft (with the new players entering the NFL). Outside of that, it is up to you to build your roster year over year despite the injuries, players being traded, and retirements that your current roster will face. These leagues are great if you love the general manager feel of building out a roster year over year.
Our team at Footballguys did a great job in a round table discussion explaining this type of league which has become extremely popular. Best Ball is when you have an initial draft and then you’re done. No adding/dropping players and no trades. The team you draft is what you are stuck with for the entire year. Each week your highest scoring players will automatically be thrust into your weekly starting lineup. These leagues are great because you get all the fun with drafting your team, but there is no upkeep during the season. You draft and let it ride.
You have your normal draft, but there are no head-to-head matchups inseason. You compete against the rest of your league every week with the last place finisher of the week being kicked from the league and their roster being sent to free agency. Your team can get stronger and stronger as the year goes on. Eventually, by the end, there will be one team left. Every week the only goal is don’t finish last. These leagues are a lot of fun and take a ton of strategy regarding the waiver wire and how much of your FAAB you allocate early in the season to stay alive. The only downside to this format is that it is hard to keep everyone interested long-term in a league where you are eliminating one team every week.
No Sitting League
A No Sitting League is straightforward. You do not have any bench spots. It usually consists of roster sizes around of 8-10 players. The waiver wire is always bountiful due to the no-bench aspect of the league. It leads to a ton of strategy when your star players get injured and when bye weeks approach on how to navigate those weeks.
One individual enters the league as the vampire. This vampire does not get to draft. When the draft ends, the vampire then gets to make his team from what is left on the waiver wire. No trades are allowed, and only the vampire can make waiver adds. The big catch is that if your team loses to the vampire, they get to steal a player from your roster. The vampire must state who that player is before the games kick off on Sunday. This adds a serious element of strategy and keeps the league interested in the vampire matchups all year.
It is like a standard league, except if you win a weekly matchup, you get to steal a player from your opponent. Every week, each team can protect one player on their roster if they lose. Getting off to a hot start is crucial to building up your roster before the bye weeks start. This is a great league that keeps most of the standard fantasy football rules intact but adds a little bit more strategy and spices up the league.
This is probably the most hardcore league that I’ve come across. It is a multi-season salary-cap-based dynasty fantasy football league with college players available as prospects. It’s a deeper dive into being a true general manager of your team. All teams have a salary cap, and players must be paid from that cap to be on your roster. There are also open-market allocations for new prospects or players that are cut from current fantasy rosters. It is every bit of running your team and making the tough decisions to win now or build for the future.