Fantasy 101

Now that you've joined the millions of fans who already embrace fantasy football as a fun and exciting way to follow the game, here is everything you need to know!

Beginner’s Guide

If you are reading this page, then you are at least thinking about joining the wonderful world of fantasy football. Brace yourself - you will never watch football the same way again!

So what's it all about? Here is fantasy football in a nutshell: You join a league consisting of family, friends, co-workers or just about anybody (you can join a public league on NFL.com in which you are competing against people from around the world who happen to have a computer) Then you draft a team of actual NFL players - mostly offensive skill-position players, along with a team defense. Each week during the regular season, you set a starting lineup based on who your players are facing in their actual NFL games (and, of course, based on injuries, bye weeks and other factors that might come into play). You'll go head-to-head each week against someone else in your league, accumulating points based on how your players fare in their real-life NFL games.

Just like your favorite NFL team, your goal is to win each week in an attempt to reach the fantasy postseason, which is held after the regular season. And just like an actual NFL general manager, you can make trades with other teams and scan the waiver wire in order to make moves to improve your roster.

The bottom line is simple: You are the head coach and general manager rolled into one, and your fantasy team now becomes a factor when it comes to watching the real action. Click here to read more

Rules

The rules of fantasy football will vary from site to site. Here at NFL.com, our game comes with a standard set of rules, procedures and scoring system. You can also set up your own league with your own rules - you can make touchdown passes more valuable than touchdown runs, set up a league with different roster make-ups and set limits to the way teams can add and drop players. And you can do it all for FREE!

To get an idea, check out which NFL.com fantasy league is right for you!

FAQ

What is fantasy football?

Fantasy football is a great way to follow NFL action while also competing with your family, friends, co-workers or even strangers for bragging rights. You field a team of real NFL players and accumulate points based on their actual game statistics. Scoring systems and competitive formats vary from site to site and league to league, but the ultimate objective is to field the best team based on players stats.

Check out more answers to frequently asked fantasy questions.

Glossary

It's not as if you need to learn a new language to play fantasy football, but there are some key words and phrases you need to familiarize yourself with. Put it this way: If you hear someone in your office talking about handcuffs, they are not being kinky. And that reference to a dynasty league has nothing to do with Joan Collins.

You'll learn the language as you play, but here is a handy fantasy glossary to get you going.

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