Fantasy football is back in action


Ben Hershey, courtesy of unsplash

The Fantasy Football season kicks off September 8

Katie Dikes

With the start of the NFL season approaching, fans, players and coaches alike are gearing up. They’re not just getting ready to go watch and/or play football, they are also preparing for this year’s ESPN Fantasy Football season. 

Whenever the month of August comes to a close and the weather cools down slightly, excitement is in the air. Participants of ESPN’s Fantasy Football leagues know what that means: money (if leagues willingly decide to have an entry fee) and bragging rights are at stake. Though the NFL preseason takes place throughout August, the action doesn’t really begin until the kickoff of the first regular season NFL game on Thursday night on NBC. 

To play/participate in any Fantasy Football league, you don’t have to know everything about NFL stats or be an expert on who to “draft” onto your team. To participate, all you have to do is select players, whether that be on your own account or using autodraft. In order to be a successful Fantasy Football player, you also have to participate every week. Whether you win or lose, it doesn’t matter. Whether your team is bad or is incredible, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you participate, you have fun (or at least try to) and you get to chat amongst other people in your league, including your friends. 

Here’s how it works:

  1. If you haven’t already done so, download the ESPN Fantasy app via the app store
  2. Create an ESPN account if you haven’t already done so
  3. Using your ESPN account (an email and password), sign into the ESPN Fantasy app
  4. To join a league, you need to do either one of these things:
  • If you are joining a random/public league, click the ‘Join Public League’ circle in the bottom left-hand corner on the app’s homepage. Select your experience level, scoring type and draft type. Then, select the day and time you want to participate in the draft. After, you’ll either need to wait for the draft to start or automatically jump into the draft room
  • If you are joining a league via an invite link that somebody sent you, click on the link. Once the link opens, you’ll see an overview of the league, which basically includes the league info and the teams (and the other people participating in the league). At the top you’ll see a ‘Join This League’ circle; click it (it may or may not require your ESPN login). Once you either log in or click on the ‘Join This League’ it will take you to the app’s homepage. After, you’ll either need to wait for the draft to start or automatically jump into the draft room. Once the time for the draft nears, you’ll need to click on the circle labeled ‘Join Draft’ below the league you are in. Once you’re in the draft room, you may have to wait a few more minutes or so until everybody is in the room and the draft officially starts.

      5. Most leagues have a snake draft (which means the draft order is reversed after each round), so you will need to know what draft pick you               are in in order to space your time and find the players you want to draft. 

      6. To draft, you can either click on the circle labeled ‘Autodraft’  which will pick your players for you, or instead draft players that you                         handpick yourself;  you can also select the ‘Queue’ button under a player’s name to organize the players into a section and to make it                     easier on yourself when drafting. 

If you choose to autodraft, the computer will automatically pick a player for you.

  • If you choose to handpick your players, you’ll have a certain amount of time to pick your players (each league differs). 

      7. There will be sixteen rounds of picking and you need to pick a player each round, but one of those spots will go to a defense/special team.            Ideally, you’ll want to draft the following (however, each person is different when it comes to having a certain amount of running backs                and wide receivers, specifically)

  • 2 quarterbacks
  • 3-5 running backs
  • 4-8 wide receivers
  • 1-2 tight ends
  • 1 defense/special teams (D/ST)
  • 1 kicker

      8. Each player and the defense/special teams will also have a bye week, so you’ll need and want to try to not pick players that have the same             bye week; instead pick players that don’t have the same bye week (a week during which a player and the defense/special teams do not                  play)

      9. After the draft ends, the computer will pick your starters, but you can change that yourself (you can also get rid of and draft players onto               your team throughout the season, if needed; for example, if your kicker has a bye week during week 9, you’ll need to get rid of him and                draft another kicker that doesn’t have a bye that week). 

     10. After that, all you need to do is wait until the NFL season starts

     11. Once it does start, have fun and win!