Weekly Contests

We have here the easiest way to get into weekly fantasy football and a number of tips to help you along the way. There are well over 30 million people playing these games and so many more are learning about how to play online now and enjoying the experience. Things have really moved on since fantasy football was created decades ago and much of the hard number crunching and functionality to support the game is now on the Internet. It is probably the best time to join in and get involved.

Weekly fantasy football games make you a manager of a team. Imagine you own a team of professional football players, in fact, imagine you have the money to put together a dream team of professional players and will enter them into weekly fantasy football leagues. As your team develops according to what happens in the NFL games imagine how it will add that extra bit of excitement when watching the game, knowing that what happens there could make you a winner. Your skills in selecting players and managing them may in fact earn you a bit of extra cash, for some it adds to their income very nicely, for some it IS their income, for some it have made them millionaires literally overnight.

So where do you start? Obviously the people we have just mentioned are at many different levels of skill and amount of time and effort they have put into weekly fantasy football league playing. You need to start off safely and learn the skills without too much cost.

Starting out

There is one thing you have to remember in the beginning – simply don’t lose it all on first play. This happens with some thinking that they will win straight away, they expect it will happen without building up their skills. You might win a few games here and there without knowing completely what you are doing but that is just chance, weekly fantasy football is full of people playing who do it every week, learning all the time to be better players, learning new strategies and mastering their art. They all started not being so successful in the beginning, probably some getting frustrated, some losing their money and not having enough to keep playing through the season with. This stage of the game is all about learning and building not just skills, but creating and building strategies, creating and building relationships, forming new channels of communications with other players and enjoying the camaraderie that follows.

Choosing a Place to Play

This is a tough one to answer and a lot of it will probably come down to your own preferences. You might like how one site works, you might prefer the mobile app of another, or the difference between a quieter friendly site and a loud bustling one might be important. The best way is to try them out for yourself in your own time. We have the safest, most respected sites all reviewed here, from the most popular site FanDuel, down to a number of the innovative sites that are attracting a loyal membership. Take your time and try one out, if it isn’t quite what you want then take a look at another. Maybe picking one of the most popular sites first will be the most sensible thing to do. Just so you get an experience of what makes them such a draw to players of fantasy football weekly games.

The Deposit – How Much and When?

This is an area where you should stay within your comfort zone, some sites will offer hundreds of dollars (even a thousand occasionally) to match your first deposit. It is easy to succumb to this and try to take advantage of the maximum you can get, but only do that if you are sure you want to stay with the sites and continue playing through many contests. Many places will have a number of free games going, freerolls and qualifiers for example, and these are a great place to help you decide whether you might want to continue with the site, or better still, a way of learning how to play the game for free.

Budgeting and Bankroll

Whatever your balance is at the site you will want to play it through carefully. A sign-up bonus will require playing through a number of times so you need to be sure you manage your balance carefully, this is called managing your bankroll. Think how much you might want to play at the site on a regular basis, what have you budgeted to playing fantasy football? A budget of $10 per week will mean almost $200 by the end of a season, which will build up your bankroll really nicely but do plan carefully.

Follow the Hype – But Don’t Throw Everything You Have At It!

Of course there is a lot of pressure to put lots of money on the games in the hope that you will win big, be careful, this is gets close to gambling and you need special skills to do that safely. Try not to blow your bankroll on playing the first games. If you are new then Freeroll it and play free contests whenever you can, you can build up a bankroll doing this at times but mainly the purpose is to learn.

Read, Read, Read, Play, Play, Play

There is a lot to be learnt and it is by both reading around and playing the games that you are going to make the best of it effectively. Do both, have fun while you play and try to apply what you read to the fun. Learning the ropes can be great fun if you find a number of other players at the same stage in fantasy football that you are. Don’t follow the gurus step for step because they already have the skills to make the right decisions and the bankrolls to follow them through, just take it easy and enjoy the experience with others who do the same. Of course, when you do reach better levels of skill then do search out the gurus, they can mentor you to new levels.

Learn Rosters, Scoring, Game Types

Learning how to correctly set up a team, their positions and the scoring systems will be very important as you learn how to make your teams more successful. Remember too that different fantasy football sites may have different rules and scoring systems. You might find the different rules and methods used for scoring for receptions or defenses, yardage and sacks will affect how you select players in the upcoming matches. There will be a number of both regular and novel game types too and learning how to play them will be important for building the right skills, for example the skills of budgeting and picking a team of players in a $500,000 Salary Cap will help increase your drafting dramatically.

Pick the Right Contests for You

On any of the fantasy football sites there will be a number of short daily contests going on as well as the longer league and the skills can be built up in those as you play the longer seasonal games. We have some advice for specific daily players that will help them choose the right ones to play in our daily fantasy football games page. The leagues to choose from will also vary and these can dramatically change the type of skills you build. Head-to-Head leagues will play probably different teams every week requiring drafting each time, whereas Total Points League will sum up points as they go, maybe less time is needed as you simply follow your team and make changes only when needed. Choosing the right league for you will come with experience, but will factor in the time you need to spend, the level of commitment that you need to put in, the experience you need to and how serious the playing is.

Vary Your Play

It is a time of learning and lots of fantasy football games have been invented for you to enjoy. Play Head-to-Heads and 50/50s as usual, there you have higher chance of winning some money and building your bankroll, but play the other kinds as well, just for the experience if nothing else. You might find you have a gift for a certain game. Some games only exist on some sites, so it is worth looking around when you have the time. Play some qualifiers too, there is nothing more fulfilling that getting involved in the big leagues and earning some bragging rights amongst your friends as you progress.

Picking the Right Players

Drafting will be one of the most important skills to build, making sure you don’t make the simple but common mistake that newbies make for example of choosing the best players at each stage starting from the quarterback and ending up with no money left when you need to pick a backup. A few Salary Cap games will build those skills. Find your best players within the cap, analyze your stats to make sure you get the very best all round team you can (normally) though as your skills build you will want different skilled teams to play different scenarios, it gets more interesting then.

Keep Good Notes

There will be so much going on that you unless you have a super power memory you will not be able to recall each bit of gold you find. Keep good notes and keep them organized, tidy and accessible, when you are studying the stats, the players and the games – and your opponents. You will probably find interesting long-shots here and there that you might want to bring in, maybe some free agents here and there.

Learn To Trade

By keeping good notes on players you will soon see some players you might want to move out or bring in. Trading is an exciting skill in itself to build on and you can certainly make some lucrative deals if you are skilled enough, even ensuring that both you and the person you are trading with both come out of it positively. Different sites will have different rules for trading players, there may be deadlines to consider, and it is worth spending the time learning them in your quieter moments so that you know what is possible and what you can take advantage of when you need to. Look around on this subject and you will find lots of information to help you, though what you can take advantage of will depend on your level of skill and understanding in trading so the trick is to learn and practice as the fantasy football season rolls on.

Make sure you keep up

It is especially important that the time you do invest does not get wasted by not being able to follow through later. Schedule your time to make sure that you can at least make sure your players can play for matches coming up, and replace any inactive, or injured players. It is worth looking at who you are playing as well, you will learn to make changes based on this and you might want to make sure you have the time to take advantage of this as you go through the season.

Managing your Bankroll

It is important to realize that to be successful in weekly fantasy football that half of it comes down to skills you gain and the other half is managing your budget or bankroll. If you have made a signup deposit you will have a bonus will need to work through probably 25 times, so it will be important not to blow that budget and losing it all at once. Overall you would like to have a positive ROI (return on investment) and come out at the end with more money than when you went in. So learn how to manage this, there are plenty of strategies out there the simplest of the safer ones is by only playing 10% of your bankroll each week. You can vary this and make it 5% to 20% but be clear that is what you are doing and stick to it. Do not get frustrated and try to recover a loss by putting in more than what you should, you may well lose that too. By putting in a percentage at a time you ensure you stop it all going at once. It will grow as you become more skilled. You will find you can vary how much of the bankroll you put into each type of game and what works best for you.

Don’t make it All about the Money

By all means, measure, track, and look at what works for you. Study and analyze the events and players. But don’t do it just because you are making money on it, it is no good winning all the time if you find it boring – make sure you enjoy the game.

Spread the Joy

Bring your friends or colleagues – Keep coming back here and trying out new sites. See how they fit for you – let us know how you get on. We will keep updating when changes take place or new ones appear.