New features make NFL.com Fantasy second to none

In 2010, NFL.com pushed out it's brand-new, customizable and FREE fantasy football game. This season, we have raised our game so you can raise yours! Building off of our award-winning product from last season, NFL.com now gives fantasy owners even more options to build a customizable and unique league.

Here's a look at some of the updated features and new enhancements for 2011:

Individual defensive players (IDPs)

If you want to take your game to the next level, then step up to the fantasy line of scrimmage and sign up for an IDP league. Instead of drafting a team defense and special teams unit like the Ravens, for example, you will draft actual players like Ray Lewis or Terrell Suggs to fill three positions -- linebackers, defensive linemen and defensive backs. Like all NFL.com fantasy leagues, you can build your scoring system to include a plethora of categories like tackles, sacks, interceptions, forced fumbles, touchdowns and more.  If you'd like to utilize a defense, a special teams unit and an individual defender as a flex option, for example, NFL.com also allows owners to be more flexible with their rosters.

Custom draft board/trade picks

Have you played on another platform and been frustrated that you're not able to customize your draft board? Now you can on NFL.com! Say you are allowed to retain two players, but you lose the round of the players you keep. If you keep Chris Johnson (Round 1) and Roddy White (Round 2), you can put those players into the custom draft board pre-draft. When it's your turn to pick in Round 1, the draft robot will pick CJ2K for your team. In Round 2 it will take White, and so forth. You can also trade picks and move them on the draft board. If you want to deal Ray Rice and a second-rounder for LeSean McCoy and a first-rounder in a keeper or dynasty league, it's simple. You can't get that on any other site!

Advanced stats and research

Fantasy owners can now see a player's total touches (carries plus receptions), total targets (receptions, targets), and red-zone touches (targets, touches and goal-to-go). Another vital statistic that you'll see on your set lineup and players page is Fantasy Points Against, which tracks the average number of fantasy points a defensive team allows to a particular position. For example, say you have Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco and need to decide who to start. You will now be able to see which signal-caller's opponent has given up more average fantasy points to their position! This is an invaluable tool in making educated lineup decisions on a week-to-week basis.

Waiver acquisition budget

If you're in a league that utilizes a waivers acquisition budget for free agents, NFL.com now has all the tools you need to keep track of and process moves. First, the commissioner must allot a seasonal budget for picking up free agents. Next, owners can submit bids on players each week. In what amounts to a blind bidding war, the owners who bid the most on a particular player in a given week are rewarded such player. For example, if five teams bid on Montario Hardesty, he will be rewarded to the team that bids the most. If that same team also has the highest bid for multiple players (within the league's acquisition budget), he/she will win the right to those players for the rest of the season.

Trading block

Making trades is one of the most enjoyable and important parts of playing fantasy football. Now, NFL.com gives you a quick and easy way to make deals with our upgraded trading block feature. If you need a running back, for example, you can let the other owners in your league know that that is a position of interest. You can also show which players or positions you'd be willing to part with in a potential trade, while also examining the players that other owners have made available. It's all on the same page in an easily-digestible format. This is a great tool when you're looking to either sell high or buy low, or if you simply decide to shake up your roster at some point during the regular season.

Along with the aforementioned enhancements and new features, NFL.com Fantasy 2011 also includes a number of other tools that will give you the best fantasy football experience online:

With countless customization options and a world of new features to enhance your overall fantasy football experience, there is no better place to run your league than NFL.com! Sign up for your FREE league right now!

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com. Have a burning question for Michael on anything fantasy football related? Send it to AskFabiano@nfl.com or tweet it at Michael_Fabiano!

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