Fantasy Football Betting Guide
Fantasy football has a huge following around the world, with millions of NFL fans picking their teams at the beginning of every season. We know that betting on fantasy football can sometimes be complex, so to help you with your fantasy football betting, we've created a detailed guide which includes:
- The different types of fantasy leagues
- Some helpful fantasy football tips
- The best fantasy football betting sites in 2021
Best Fantasy Football Betting Sites
What is Fantasy Football?
NFL fantasy football is one of the most popular types of online NFL betting and works by picking your best fantasy football team, filling each position and earning points game day.
There are a couple of broad types of fantasy football - daily and draft. The daily game sees you picking a team for just one matchday, with winner getting the most points over this matchday.
Draft fantasy football is a longer-term game, with players going through a draft at the beginning of the season. They'll then get to tinker with the squad as the season progresses, with the winner being the player with the most points at the end of the season. As you can imagine, this type of fantasy football requires a huge amount of commitment from those playing it.
Types of Fantasy Football Leagues
There are now many different types of fantasy football leagues, created as the game has evolved over the years. Due to this variety, it's important to be aware of the type of game you're signing up for. Below, you'll find that we've listed the most common types of leagues found online today...
Standard scoring offers the most basic set-up of points, making things easy to pick up. For example, a player will score 6 points for a TD and a point for every 10 yards they rush, while players will lose points for interceptions and fumbles. The majority of leagues use standard scoring, although most have small variations on the rules, so check them out before you start.
PPR (Point-Per-Reception) has similar scoring to the standard scoring leagues, aside from one thing, receiving players will get a point every time they make a reception. This changes the strategy, as those playing will want to pick players who regularly receive the ball, even if they don't often get into the endzone with it.
Touchdown Only Scoring
This is old-school scoring, as a player will only receive points if he manages to get the ball into the endzone. So, if Ezekiel Elliott bulldozers his way to a 70-yard run, he won't score a single point - unless that run ends with him celebrating in the endzone. As you might imagine, those players scoring regular touchdowns are worth most in this type of league.
In this type of league, players will select their entire squad again when a new NFL season starts. There are various ways to structure the draft, however most say that the team picking first in the first round will then get the final pick in the second round. Alternatively, it could follow the NFL, with last season's worst player getting the first pick this time around.
As the name suggests, this uses an auction system. Every player will start with a set amount of money and they'll have to keep their overall team value under that. So, you want to bid big money for Pat Mahomes? If so, you might have to be more frugal in some other areas of your team.
This is a hybrid between re-draft leagues and auction leagues. You'll basically be able to keep a certain number of players from the previous year, and you'll then go through the fantasy football draft process for the rest of them. Rules can vary across leagues, with different numbers of keepers allowed.
Dynasty leagues are the most similar to the actual NFL, as they allow you to keep your entire team from the previous year. This type of league sees players building for the future, often drafting hot prospects over players getting to the ends of their careers. Dynasty leagues are the most complex, however they're also seen by many as the most enjoyable.
How Does Fantasy Football Betting Work?
So, how does fantasy football work? Firstly, you need to head to one of our recommended fantasy sports betting sites and join a league, considering the number of participants and cost of entry. From there, you're ready to play.
It should be noted that there's generally only one payment for draft fantasy football leagues. Those playing week-by-week will have to make a payment before every round though.
You'll find that there are many different formations used by those who bet money on fantasy football, however there's one line-up that has become more popular than the rest...
- 1 x quarterback
- 3 x wide receivers
- 2 x running backs
- 1 x tight end
- 1 x defensive/special teams player
- 1 x kicker
Once you've picked your team, the league will start, and your players will then build up points depending on how they perform. The scoring system is always well advertized at every fantasy football site - make sure you read it before you begin doing anything.
If you're playing in a daily league, prizes will be doled out once the round of fixtures 32 is complete. You can then start all over again for next week's games, if you want to. For draft leagues, the end of a week sees the opportunity to make trades, as you try to accumulate the highest number of points possible over the entire season.
Fantasy Football Betting Tips
Need some tips for your NFL online betting? We've got four of the best for you below...
- Look at an entire team. Make sure you look at a player's entire team when selecting. For example, it might be a good idea to pick a weaker wide receiver, if their quarterback is one of the best.
- Know the rules. This might seem obvious, but you've got to know the rules! Many people go right ahead and pick their team straightaway, however clever players adapt their selections to best take advantage of the scoring system.
- Play the game. The best players will immerse themselves in the fantasy football tournament, swapping players every week and really trying to improve their team. Don't become the player who gets bored after a couple of weeks and doesn't make any trades at all.
- Be patient. While we've just told you to be active, you also must be patient with your star picks. Has Le'Veon Bell disappointed in his first game? Don't immediately trade him, as he's a top RB and should come good soon. Dump him if the problem persists though!
Can you play fantasy football for free?
Yes, there are some sites that allow you to play for free, plus it's also possible to organize free leagues with friends. Most choose to play for money though, with some leagues only costing a couple of dollars to enter. Playing for money adds an extra sense of excitement to the competition.
Is betting on fantasy football legal?
Yes, fantasy football is legal in the United States. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 states that fantasy sports are permitted on a federal level. There are six states where fantasy football is illegal though: Nevada, Iowa, Montana, Arizona, Hawaii and Washington.
Is fantasy football betting?
Under the law, fantasy football is not classed as betting. This is because betting is seen as a game of chance, whereas fantasy football, in the eyes of the law, is regarded as a game of skill. Of course, it is very close to betting though, as you will usually have to spend money to participate.
Can NFL players play fantasy football?
Yes, NFL players are allowed to play fantasy football. They aren't allowed to win anything over $250 though. This rule doesn't just apply to players - it also applies to all team personnel. The rule is in place to avoid players being accused of match fixing in order to win money playing fantasy football.