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How to Find the Perfect League for You (Fantasy Football)

by Jason Katz | @jasonkatz13 | Featured Writer
May 20, 2019

Hardcore dynasty leagues hold rookie drafts each year, where new NFL athletes, like Josh Jacobs, are selected

Joining a new fantasy football league can be a simple or complex task. There are many different types of players and an even greater number of league formats. Whether you are a novice looking to join your first or second league, or a seasoned veteran, finding the right league is super important for your enjoyment of this great game of fake football. Let’s go over the various things you should consider when choosing your league.

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Q: Do you want a casual league or a competitive league?
You may think that determining whether you consider yourself a novice or a veteran is more important, but it is not. Even the most experienced fantasy owner may just want to add a more relaxed league to get a break from the cutthroat nature of hyper-competitive fantasy football.

If you want a casual league, you can likely find one by asking around at your school or workplace. “Office leagues” typically have standard league settings and nothing overly complicated. They’re more of a way for people who see each other every day to bond over a similar interest and have a little fun along the way.

If you want a competitive league, you may have to think outside the box. For me, I’ve been fortunate that I have an extremely large group of friends/acquaintances that play highly competitive fantasy football. However, that’s not to say I haven’t expanded my horizons to find a competitive league.

My most expensive and one of my most competitive leagues is one I actually found on Reddit. The r/findaleague subreddit is a great way to find leagues. Once you get into August, there are usually dozens of leagues forming every day. With a little bit of patience, you can find a league that suits your needs.

Another useful avenue is Twitter. If you look through threads from fantasy analysts, you will see hundreds upon thousands of fantasy gamers. I’ve seen people tweet that they are looking to fill a league. Send someone a message. You’d be surprised at how often you’ll get a response and an invite.

*Note: Whenever joining leagues with strangers, be cautious of scammers. The league I found on Reddit uses LeagueSafe and I’ve never had an issue. Make sure you know where your money is going.

Q: What type of league do you want?
The most basic of distinctions is between redraft and keeper, but it’s obviously not that simple. If you decide to go with a redraft league, you know you are starting fresh each season. If you want a keeper league, then it’s a bit more complicated. There are countless different keeper formats. There are leagues where you keep a set number of players, leagues where keepers come at the cost of draft picks, leagues where you can keep as many players as you can afford (either using draft picks or auction budget), and there are true dynasty leagues where you can keep your entire roster and the draft only has rookies.

Make your league type selection based upon how involved you want your fantasy experience to be. Casual redraft leagues only require your attention from August-December. Dynasty leagues require your attention year round. Other keeper formats lie somewhere in between. It is entirely up to you.

Q: Snake or Auction?
This question is directed more towards the veterans of the fantasy game. Snake is a considerably easier format to grasp and I would never advise someone new to the game to jump right into an auction. For those that have been playing for a while and have never done an auction, it is something to consider.

The most common type of league is a snake redraft league. How many of those do you really need? Switch it up! Dabble in an auction. Pulling arbitrary statistics out of thin air, I would say at least 90% of fantasy owners that have tried auction would say it is a superior format to snake (even if they end up preferring snake anyway). If you consider yourself a more experienced fantasy gamer, I’d be surprised if you didn’t love auction.

Q: League Settings?
I could write thousands of words on all the various league settings, so for the sake of brevity, let’s stick to the basics. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Half-PPR, full-PPR, or no PPR?
  • Two QB/superflex?
  • Deep rosters?
  • Deep starting lineups?
  • How many teams do you want in your league?
  • Head to head? Total points? A combination of the two?

Lastly, make sure any league you’re joining doesn’t have ridiculously stupid settings, like not using fractional points or a Week 17 championship. Beyond that, you should be all set to either begin your fantasy football career or take the next step on your journey to fantasy football mastery.

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Jason Katz is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Jason, check out his archive or follow him @jasonkatz13.

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