Fantasy football leagues are typically one of two formats: head-to-head or total points.
Head-to-head leagues are the most typical. In head-to-head leagues, two team owners will face off over the length of the entire week. Games start on Thursday and conclude on Monday night. The two teams will add up the total points accumulated by players in their starting lineups, and whichever team has the most points gets the win for the week; the other team receives a loss.
Total Points Leagues
Total Points leagues don’t count wins and losses; they only keep track of the points that a team scores each week and adds them up throughout the season. In total points leagues, a team doesn’t have to worry about an opponent, instead only focusing on scoring as many points as possible each week.
Two-quarterback leagues are becoming more popular these days, as the quarterback position is setting itself apart as the most important position in the NFL. These leagues allow two quarterbacks in the starting lineup, so they have a major impact on fantasy drafts.
IDP (Individual defensive player) leagues allow teams to start defensive players, instead of a defensive team. IDP leagues allow teams to start defensive lineman, linebackers, and defensive backs, along with usually a flex spot or two, which the team owner can fill with any defensive player. I personally love IDP leagues, as they allow for even more control.
Most standard leagues are what are called re-drafting leagues. At the beginning of the season, all NFL skill position players (QBs, RBs, WRs, TEs), kickers, and defenses (or defensive players) are put into a pool to be drafted from. A draft order of all fantasy teams is determined, and then the teams select from all players until rosters are filled.
Keeper leagues give owners a little bit of carryover from the past season. Each team gets to keep a designated amount of players called “keepers.” The amount of keepers is usually determined by a league vote or the league commissioner. The rest of the players go into the draft pool.
Dynasty leagues take keepers to another level. In these leagues, fantasy teams retain most, if not all, of their players from the year before, and the draft mainly consists of selecting incoming NFL rookies. Also, dynasty leagues typically have more roster spots.
The hottest and least time-consuming type of league is a daily fantasy league. In daily leagues, users are given a salary cap, and they have to select a certain number of players, while staying under the salary cap. Daily leagues let users create multiple lineups and enter their lineups in multiple cash-paying or prize-giveaway games.