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Friday, August 25, 2006

Fantasy Football For Dummies Part 1

You maybe wondering why I am writing about Fantasy Football on a marketing blog. Some of you may know but for those that don't the fine folks here at Labitat / Mshift have started a Fantasy Football Challenge for the Search Industry. This first annual challenge is for marketers and search engine employees. The prize? Blog bragging rights. Being that this is only the first year we are just hoping to get the ball rolling.

Fantasy football maybe one of the all time best marketing tools, for the NFL. People think it is just a game for wanna-be football owners, coaches and players but the NFL has so perfectly embraced fantasy football that even guys who are not hard core NFL fans are interested. I love football but College Football is where my heat lies, but the NFL knows that to keep guys like myself truly interested every week that they need to embrace fantasy football and they've done that.

I'm going to due my part here to help expand the NFLs already huge fan base by helping teach and debunk fantasy football.

Look for upcoming posts on the following topics:

1.) What is Fantasy Football? (this article)
2.) How do I get started with Fantasy Football?
3.) How do I choose players for my Fantasy Football roster?
4.) The best strategies to win your fantasy league.
5.) How the Waiver-wire can help you win your league?
6.) General fantasy player advice and Various other topics as they come up.

What Is Fantasy Football?

As I stated above Fantasy Football is a highly effective marketing tool for the NFL, but it is also great fun. It helps keep the casual NFL fan like myself, interested every Sunday. If you don't believe me turn on ESPN and look how it has taken over just about everything. ESPN is even doing mock fantasy drafts (although i think they are not good at it), special radio and TV shows for it, and are using it to promote their extreme flop, ESPN Mobile.

Fantasy football is a game where you the user acts as the General Manager of an NFL football team. You choose your team by drafting players who you think will have successful years and you compete against other GMs in your league with a points based scoring system.

Success in the fantasy world is far different then a player may define a successful year for his own stats because fantasy games are calculated using a statistical based points system that varies almost universally across all leagues.

This points based system takes into account a players weekly stats such as; Receiving yard, rushing yards, passing yards, Rec. Touchdowns, Rushing Touchdowns, Passing Touchdowns among other things. Each stat is given a point value. For example most of my leagues, Rushing/Passing/Rec touchdowns are all worth 6 fantasy points each while rushing/passing/receiving yards all have different point values. For example many leagues will award 1 point for every 20 passing yards, 1 point for every 10 rushing yards, and 1 fantasy point for every 15 receiving yards. This is done in hopes to keep everything in balance because obviously its easier for a Quarterback (QB) to pass for 300 yards then it is for a Running Back (RB) to rush for 300 yards.

Every league has a unique point value and this must be taken into consideration before you pick your players.

After you evaluate your league's scoring system, the next step is to draft. Here you have several options. Leagues will either have an 'Auto-Draft' or a 'Live-Draft'. 'Auto-Draft' fantasy leagues are where the system will randomly simulate a draft and automatically pick your players for you. This is quick and easy but sometimes lacks the passion b/c you didn't really pick your own team, the computer did. In my opinion, it lacks the fantasy pride that really helps you talk trash to the suckers in your league. The 'Live-Draft' is a system set up by whichever website you are using for your league that will give you a huge list of players, a chat room, and a draft system to help you determine which players to draft for your team. I believe this Live draft setup is the most fun, but can be intimidating for people who do not completely understand it. Thankfully, almost all systems will have a feature where it will pre-rank players for you so you don't have to always know whose the best. Nowadays most drafts also have a feature for you to set it to auto-draft and watch what it does for you (It will usually just pick the highest ranked player).

I hope this helps take a little of the intimidation away from Fantasy Football and now you can join that office pool and not feel like you are just donating your money (if there happens to be gambling involved.) :). Look for more in depth articles to come soon.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to post them below and I'll answer what I can.

By Matt O'Hern at 05:03 PM | Comments (10)

(10) Thoughts on Fantasy Football For Dummies Part 1

Nice start Evan. I wanted to drop you a quick note... as the president of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, I appreciate you promoting our fine industry.

There are many interesting marketing angles to discuss. About 4 years ago, I created a presentation defining the brand categories in fantasy sports. There are several types and style so games... which can be defined as various brand categories.

We're a young industry that is maturing and we'll see more and more traditional or academic approaches to fantasy sports in the coming years. After all, it's fun to discuss, fun to study, and fun to analyze... even the business side.

Please do not hesitate to keep in touch with us at the FSTA ( We have 4 years of consumer behavior market research that might benefit many marketers out there.

Finally, if you or any of your readers would like to compete in our Reporters/VIP League... just contact me at The participants in the VIP league play for free and compete for a trip to Las Vegas with us in January... it's always more fun when there's something on the line!

All the best, JT

Comments by JT : Saturday, August 26, 2006 at 10:51 PM

Nice overview. I'm filming a feature length doc about FF this year and am excited about featuring a bit on the marketing impact. Also, I'm glad the NFL supports and hope to earn their trust and support soon.

Comments by h weeks : Sunday, August 27, 2006 at 12:49 AM

Nice post on fantasy football. As another source of information and help for those new to fantasy football, may I also suggest our blog FantasyCommentSpAmRoundup dotcom. Each day we provide comprehensive news and information and analysis from a variety of web sources. The information is useful to all levels of fantasy football players, from beginners to experts.

Comments by Tom Tucker : Tuesday, August 29, 2006 at 11:14 AM

This is the first year for me to join fantasy football. We had an automatic draft. I don't have a clue what I'm doing. It may seem silly, but how do I make chages from week to week? Any help will be appreciated!

Comments by Ron : Monday, October 02, 2006 at 08:13 PM

any ff leagues promoted for women? Or created by women?

Comments by Jessica : Wednesday, October 24, 2007 at 03:55 PM

I really got into Fantasy Football a few years ago. I do have a team this year but have lost the luster. My son on the other hand I will not mention his age because that is one of the rules is fanatical. He is crazy about FF to the point he watches the computer screen and not the game. If he could get a grade in school for FF, he would be a Genius. He is A B student so we can not complain.

Comments by Stop Foreclosure : Saturday, November 17, 2007 at 04:20 AM

Im in a ESPN league. How many rounds are the playoffs? How does espn get a "grand prize" winner??

Comments by sam : Sunday, December 23, 2007 at 11:59 AM

Im in a ESPN league. How many rounds are the playoffs? How does espn get a "grand prize" winner??

Comments by sam : Sunday, December 23, 2007 at 11:59 AM

This is the first year for me to join fantasy football. We had an automatic draft. I don't have a clue what I'm doing. It may seem silly, but how do I make chages from week to week? Any help will be appreciated!

Comments by stop foreclosure : Monday, April 21, 2008 at 07:30 AM

I want to find a ff for women!!! we love football too!!! if any answers let me know!!

Comments by Bee : Thursday, August 20, 2009 at 10:56 PM

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