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Waving Knight

Beginner's Guide

To Fantasy Football

Welcome! This guide is intended for football fans or viewers who haven't played fantasy football before. Maybe you are a loyal fan of an NFL team who wants to dabble with fantasy. Or perhaps you're wondering what all the fuss is about fantasy football. Either way, this guide is a proper introduction to fantasy football.

This guide is different from most others. We will start slow and gradually settle into the particulars of fantasy football. We'll discuss how to draft a fantasy team toward the end.

The Fantasy Football Mentality

Two knights with footballs The NFL is very competitive and entertaining. And so is fantasy football! But playing fantasy football requires a different approach.

Your fantasy football team will be a composite of several real life players from many different NFL teams. And like the NFL, games will be often be close and the margin between winning and losing will be narrow. If you're a Cowboys fan, you may need to accept that one of the best players on your fantasy squad plays for the Eagles. Worse yet, you may face certain scenarios where seeing your favorite NFL team fail will aid you in fantasy.

You need to check your "fan card" at the door and get into a fantasy football headspace. A good fantasy player puts their fan interests aside when making roster decisions. It often requires a strong stomach.

Well that doesn't sound like much fun! Why do so many people play fantasy football?

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· It immerses you in the NFL and virtually all of the NFL games that happen each week. All these games will dictate whether your fantasy team will win or lose.

· With fantasy, you learn to really appreciate players on other NFL teams. You get to admire more players from afar. Fantasy football rewards the invested NFL fan.

· The NFL season and its games become more memorable. If your fantasy player has a career-defining performance it will become a memory.

· Which players score touchdowns in NFL games has consequence. For example, a Packers runningback may belong to your team, but the Packers wide receiver may belong to your opponent. This adds a lot of drama to watching NFL games when the "right" or "wrong" player scores a touchdown.

· If you are a big fan of a particular NFL team and they have a lousy week and lose, your fantasy team's victory can be a silver lining. Some weeks the inverse will be true!

· You get to test your wits against other NFL fans to see whose approach and instincts will pay off, and everyone's competitive juices kick in. Keep it civil and you might make a few new friends!

Fantasy vs Reality

Knowing which position a football player plays is of primary importance in fantasy football. Below is a synopsis of different positions in football. Only the colored positions relate directly to fantasy football.

In fantasy there are also a few special roster slots that require further explanation:

· FLEX Flex is a fantasy starting position that can hold either a RB, WR or TE. It's up to you to determine which type of player to put into the Flex, usually based on player quality and bye week.

· DFST DFST stands for Defense and Special Teams. It is the only entity in fantasy football that is not a single player but instead represents an NFL team as a whole. Stats that are attributed to defensive performance and game-changing >special teams plays will matter for the NFL team you select.

Here is how a fantasy football roster is structured. Note that only starters will generate points for your fantasy team. Any points accumulated by players on your bench will not count. All in all, your roster consists of 9 starters and 6 bench slots.


starters roster screenshot


bench roster screenshot

Bye Weeks

lady holding bye sign In the NFL, every team has one bye week (a week off with no game) to help players with rest, recovery and planning. In Sir Football, a player's bye week is shown with a teal background - ex. 6

In fantasy football, bye weeks are pivotal. You must make sure your starting roster has players who are not on their bye week since they will earn 0 points. It's best to acquire players that have a mix of different bye weeks. Failing to do so will make your roster very difficult to manage and may mean your chances of winning are in the tank during the week when you have too many good players on bye.

For the NFL 2024 season, these are the NFL weeks with byes - 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14. For NFL weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 12, 15, 16 you will have your full fantasy roster at your disposal with bye week adjustments not a concern.

Scoring: Real Life vs Fantasy

Touchdowns (TD) - all types - 6 points each

Fantasy: 4 points for passing TD. 6 points for rushing TD, receiving TD, fumble recovery/return TD, kickoff return TD, punt return TD, interception return TD.

Field Goals made (FG) - all distances - 3 points each

Fantasy: 3 points for each made field goals under 50 yards length. 5 points for all field goals made that are 50 yards or longer.

Extra Points (XP) made by kicker - 1 point each

Fantasy: also 1 point each

Successful Two-Point Conversions (2PT) - 2 points each, any kind

Fantasy: also 2 points each, any kind

Safeties (SFT) by defense - 2 points each

Fantasy: also 2 points each

Sacks by defense - no points

Fantasy: 1 point each

Fumbles Lost - no points

Fantasy: fumbles lost by QB, RB, WR, TE -2 points each

Fumbles Recoveries - no points

Fantasy: 2 points for fumbles recovered by DFST unit

Interceptions Thrown - no points

Fantasy: -2 points per interception thrown by QB, RB, WR, TE

Interceptions Caught - no points

Fantasy: 2 points each for interception caught by DFST unit

Receptions - no points

Fantasy (PPR league): 1 point each

Fantasy (Standard league): no points

All offensive yardage - no points

Fantasy: 1 point for every 25 passing yards (QB, RB, WR, TE)

Fantasy: 1 point for every 10 rushing yards (QB, RB, WR, TE)

Fantasy: 1 point for every 10 receiving yards (QB, RB, WR, TE)

Points allowed (PA) by team - X points

Fantasy: (formula) 15 - (total DFST team PA * 0.5) points

(This particular formula is specific to Sir Football)

Updating Your Fantasy Roster

To win in fantasy football, stay on your toes and be ready to obtain players who are starting to breakout before other owners in your league notice. Be astute about your current roster and know when it's time to drop under-performing players. Any players that are unowned by other teams in your league will be available as free agents to add to your team at most times.

What is meant by "at most times"? There will be some times, namely when a player has been recently dropped by another team or just finished playing in a game, where they will be on waivers and not directly available. In this situation, you must submit a claim for that player to be processed on an upcoming date. You may or may not be awarded that player when waivers are processed by the league server. The purpose of the waiver process is to give all teams the same window of opportunity to add a player, with greater consideration given to teams that have lost more games and need more help to improve.

Weekly Duties of a Fantasy Owner

medieval man with Win sign
· Evaluate results and decide if there are free agents or players available on waivers who are better. Use them to replace a subpar player on your team.

· Monitor injuries and player suspensions closely and make moves accordingly.

· Be aware of NFL depth charts, coaching trends and expected playing time for your players and adjust roster as needed.

· Ensure your starting players are not on a bye week and make start/bench decisions and roster moves required to ensure all of your starters are playing this week.

Also, you'll need to observe weekly deadlines. All players become locked 10 minutes prior to expected kickoff time. Make sure all desired roster updates for games involving those players are made before the lock occurs. In addition, several Sir Football game modes have special scoring features that will lock prior to the expected kickoff time of the first NFL game of the week (commonly Thursday night). Make sure to execute those special operations before that time.

Fantasy Playoffs

medieval elder with chess board
The fantasy football season is a little shorter than the NFL season and the playoffs begin sooner. In Sir Football, teams play regular season games from NFL Week 1 - NFL Week 14, while NFL Weeks 15 - 17 are used for the fantasy playoffs. The playoff rules particular to Sir Football are located here. For teams who've been eliminated from playoff contention, Sir Football arranges leisure matchups against other eliminated teams so you can continue to play for fun and high scores.

Fantasy Jargon to Know

stack of old books
· ADP (Average Draft Position) - the average pick position across many different fantasy drafts for a particular player. Not currently shown in Sir Football.

· Auction Draft - a special kind of fantasy draft where owners nominate and bid among each other to draft players using a budget of fictional team dollars. Sir Football does not use auction draft.

· Best Ball - a type of fantasy league where owners draft their fantasy team and there is no roster management or transactions during the whole season. The best possible lineup based on each team's starters and bench is used to generate each weekly score.

· Dynasty League - a fantasy football league where the same owners return to play in the same league for multiple seasons and they are allowed to retain most or all of the players that they had on their team last season. There is often a very small draft for NFL rookies each year. Not available in Sir Football.

· Keeper League - Similar to Dynasty League, but only a few players can be retained on each team. All players not kept can be drafted for the upcoming season. Not available in Sir Football.

· PPR - Points Per Reception. Leagues with this scoring rule reward 1 point for each reception recorded by a QB, RB, WR or TE. This results in higher scores and places higher emphasis on RB, WR and TE who are highly involved in their team's passing game. PPR leagues are available in Sir Football and are listed as PPR scoring type.

· Redraft League - A league which starts from scratch at the beginning of each season with blank rosters and draft all available NFL players. All Sir Football leagues are redraft leagues.

· Serpent Draft/Snake Draft - a draft where the selection order is reversed during even-numbered rounds. The purpose of this draft style is to ensure good talent distribution for fantasy teams regardless of where they are slotted in the draft.

· Sleeper - a player who is not valued at a high level in fantasy football, but has a favorable chance to get to that point if some specific conditions play out. A sleeper could be a rookie who exceeds expectations, a veteran who bounces back after a poor showing the prior year or a player who gets more playing time than what was anticipated.

· Vulture - a fantasy player who tends to be used near the goalline and steal TD opportunities (especially rushing TD) away from another prominent player on his team.

Positional Value

footballs on a scale
When considering how valuable a player is, you must consider the position he plays and how productive his peers are. Some players carry a bigger injury risk. Other players may be at risk for losing playing time based on the quality of their teammates and the way the team is coached. Some players have a track record of consistent production, while others have sporadic performances. Each position in fantasy football requires its own approach:

QB Because of their role of touching the ball on almost every play and executing the offense, many QB's can be found that provide a stable supply of fantasy points. Also consider that you can only start 1 QB, passing TD are just 4 points and passing yards are scored at a lower rate. From a passing standpoint, very few QB's consistently set themselves apart in fantasy football on a regular basis. In fantasy, you should place a higher value on QB's who are great runners and are known to score rushing TD.

RB Of paramount importance at this position is the playing time a RB is expected to see. This can vary widely based on team injuries and the approach coaches use to rotating their RB's. A RB who is known to catch a lot of passes should be regarded higher in PPR leagues. The production of a RB also varies greatly on the quality of defense they are playing against and game situations. A team losing by a lot of points that needs to catch up will rarely run the ball. Conversely, a team that is ahead by a healthy margin will often run the ball more often in the second half. Considering a RB's competition - other RB's on their team and the defense they are matched up against - is crucial.

WR At this position there are a limited number of mega-star WR's like Justin Jefferson or Tyreek Hill who are borderline unstoppable no matter what the defense tries to do. This type of WR carries a very high value, because the remaining WR can be negated if the opposing defense has a great cover corner or an overt plan to make sure that WR doesn't make a big play to beat them. WR production can be fairly unpredictable since an offense will need to throw to the man who is open and there are myriad factors that can come into play in determining that. That said, the WR is arguably the most important position in fantasy football, especially for PPR leagues. You'll want to have a quality core of options here.

TE - In the NFL there are a small handful of exemplary TE that their team relies upon on a regular basis. For the rest of the group, you can expect to see very sporadic yardage totals. TE are a big threat to score TD's in the redzone given their size and that increases their ceiling. But a reliance on TD's makes TE production a feast or famine proposition when compared to the RB and WR positions.

K - The amount of field goal attempts a kicker will see during a given week is extremely volatile. A simple thing like a holding penalty can take the kicker out of range for his opportunity. There's also a recent trend to go for it on 4th down more often and teams are relying on the field goal a little less often than the past. There's little to differentiate the top 10-20 kickers in the league from each other over the course of a season. As a result, kickers are often viewed as a dime a dozen.

DFST - A good fantasy defense having a great day can be a difference-maker from time to time. But with DFST it's hard to get results that are superior to the competition on a week-in, week-out basis. It's not unheard of but rare to win a fantasy championship on the strength of a team defense. And as of late, many NFL defenses tend to go through good and bad stretches within a season. That's why defenses should be generally valued below QB, RB, WR or TE.

Drafting a Fantasy Football Team

scouting wizard with chalkboard
We've saved the draft for last as it's probably the most difficult and pressure-packed aspect of playing fantasy football. You'll need to make your player selections with a 30 second (in Sir Football) clock ticking down. There are many factors to weigh while you are doing this, namely roster construction, staggering bye weeks and roster flexibility. There is also the art of identifying and selecting sleepers in the later rounds of a draft who will likely either boom or bust (usually the latter).

Your draft position, chosen randomly from 1-12 is very important in the early rounds. In addition, you need to consider that the draft flows in a serpentine fashion as shown below from the Sir Football draft interface ...

There are many different strategies and approaches to the fantasy football draft that would take too long to enumerate. The best advice I can give is to do some light research on them via Google or ChatGPT and find one that jives with you.

If you're perceived to have had a poor draft, don't sweat it. You'll become more adept over time. It should also be noted that a savvy fantasy owner who makes the right moves as the season rolls on can recover from a subpar draft and hopefully still sneak into the playoffs.