Sports data analyst/content creator Sal Vetri is an NFL Show Host for Daily Fantasy Sports site Awesomo.com, plus runs a personal YouTube channel boasting thousands of subscribers. He specializes in DFS, covering NBA, WNBA, NFL, MLB and PGA golf too.
Fantasy football websites allow you to step into the shoes of the best NFL coaches such as Bill Belichick, Andy Reid and Pete Carroll and make strategic choices. They offer the most interactive type of NFL betting with cash prizes, requiring constant thought and tinkering to create the best team and win real money.
We've laid out the simple steps on how to join an NFL fantasy draft league, so you can learn how fantasy football works and be at the helm of your own team in no time:
Use one of our recommended best fantasy football apps or sites to get started.
Join an NFL fantasy football league, which can cost anything from nothing through to hundreds of dollars.
Research the NFL: identify the best players in each position and consider the league’s scoring system.
Select the best players for each position, without spending over the allocated amount.
Watch your players take part in real NFL games, noting how many points each player is earning.
Is one of your players not performing? You’ll be able to trade him for another at any point in the season.
Continue watching games throughout the regular season, all the while making changes to your line-up.
If you finish near the top of your NFL fantasy league, you’ll qualify for the playoffs. If not, your season is over.
The playoffs winner claims a cash prize, as well as the recognition for being the top fantasy football player.
Repeat the whole process all over again when the next NFL season gets underway.
Daily Fantasy Sports expert Sal Vetri, who has his own dedicated YouTube channel on the topic, talks us through the best fantasy football leagues to play.
Watch the short videos below to learn a basic overview, strategy, tips and pros & cons on each, to help you choose the best NFL fantasy league for you. Then, when you are ready, you can pick one of our recommended sites to start playing.
There are a number of different types of fantasy football leagues to choose from. Discover the basics of the top fantasy football money leagues and find the best one for you below:
A simple form of fantasy betting. Offensive players score points for specific actions, like touchdowns and runs, while the defense is selected as a unit. Most NFL fantasy leagues use standard scoring.
Similar to standard scoring, but the receivers get a point for every reception. This makes wide receivers and tight ends more valuable than in a standard scoring game. Always keep an eye out for the PPR fantasy football rankings.
The most basic type of fantasy football, where a player only scores points by getting into the endzone. This type of scoring is not seen a lot nowadays, as most fantasy players prefer something a little more detailed.
In standard scoring leagues, defenses are selected as a team unit. In IDP leagues, though, individual defensive players are picked, and they earn points for specific defensive actions, such as sacks and interceptions.
This fantasy football league uses an auction for player selection, meaning you bid against others for a player. So, you might end up paying big bucks for Patrick Mahomes, but you’ll have to spend less elsewhere.
Re-Draft fantasy leagues see you start again every single season, not retaining any players from the previous season. This makes a fantasy draft a little less confusing than alternative options. Some sites offer fantasy football mock drafts, where you can practise.
In a keeper league, a certain number of players from the previous year can be kept, and the remaining positions are then filled using a draft. This allows players to retain their most impressive stars from the previous year.
Most realistic to the NFL, a dynasty league sees players retaining their entire squads from the previous season. It rewards those who build for the future, by drafting fantasy football sleepers and promising young players.
These differ considerably from all other fantasy football leagues. Rather than competing for the entire season, a survivor league sees the player at the bottom of the table every week being eliminated.
These are much quicker games, as you simply pick the best possible team for the upcoming round of fixtures. Perfect for those looking for immediate excitement, but not great for those looking to immerse themselves in the game.
For up-to-date team and player rankings for any type of league, the ESPN fantasy football site and our other recommendations will provide everything you need.
To get other in-depth analysis and information, you can also check the CBS fantasy football rankings as well as the Yahoo fantasy football site. They offer perks such as the below:
To work out the different odds and win margins, check out our fantasy football calculator below. If you are looking for an up-to-date fantasy football trade calculator, your best bet is using one from an official site.
Fantasy football gambling fans use different methods to increase their chances of success. Here are our top five fantasy football strategies and tips for those new to the game:
Manage your teams, leagues and more on mobile more efficiently by downloading a fantasy football app. View our pick of the best fantasy football apps for betting in USA below:
In particular, the ESPN fantasy football app and site lets you access all the latest rankings, tables, live scores and provides expert analysis and advice.
Fantasy football is when you create a virtual team and roster of real NFL players, and battle it out against others in leagues. Either for real money or for free.
You can choose from a number of different types of fantasy football leagues, but the general idea is that you gain points throughout the season or just one game based on your players’ performances.
After signing up, you pick your team. This will usually involve selecting a certain number of players without spending more than a set figure.
Players then earn points depending on certain actions, such as touchdowns and receptions. Fantasy football players can swap personnel throughout the season to boost your team.
There is nothing that prohibits people from playing NFL fantasy football in USA, therefore it is completely legal for you to play the game, even for real money.
There has never been any prosecution in USA for offering or playing fantasy sports at legitimate sites.
Fantasy football websites offer leagues with cash prizes each game week and at the end of the season.
You can also set up fantasy football leagues with your friends and colleagues, and create a prize pool for the winner.
Searching for the best NFL fantasy football site can be overwhelming, but we highly recommend the following for residents in USA.
We believe the ESPN Fantasy football app for mobile is the best in USA. You can pick from many leagues to play for real money, plus the app provides expert fantasy football advice and tips, together with up-to-date player and team rankings.
Yes, it is possible to play fantasy football for free. In fact, the NFL offers its own free fantasy football game for fans to enjoy.
While you won’t risk losing anything when playing for free, the real money prizes will be more difficult to win.
Yes, many leagues including Daily Fantasy Sports sites offer prizes on a daily or weekly basis, so you can still join a fantasy football league at any point throughout the season.
For the leagues that are drawn out across the season, you may still join these late, but it will be more difficult for you to catch up and win prizes.
Each version of NFL fantasy football will have its own scoring system.
Typically, offensive players will receive points for things like receptions, runs and touchdowns, while a defensive unit will gain points for interceptions, sacks and holding the offense to under a certain number of points.
Check the points system before you sign up.
Most fantasy football league drafts allow you to have up to 18 players for your roster.
Fantasy football sleepers are NFL players that are undervalued and overachieve compared to their draft position on certain fantasy football sites.
They will usually cost you less when adding them to your team, but gain you a similar amount of points as the top players.
This is based on the fantasy football players, and what point range they’ll achieve in a season.
Higher tier players grouped together will cost more, as they are expected to gain your fantasy football team more points. Their value and tier can drop across the season based on their performance.