The NFL regular season is now well and truly underway, with all teams now fully immersed in their quest to get to the Super Bowl. Out in the AFC conference, the Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills are dividing up the conference between them. Meanwhile, in the NFC, the Philadelphia Eagles sit at the top of the standings, having won all four regular-season games so far.
Now that the season is in full swing, you might be thinking about the NFL odds and who could win the Super Bowl. As perhaps you might have expected, the Bills and the Chiefs have started out as early favorites to lift the Lombardi trophy. While you wait for the day that the trophy is raised, you can get in on some of the excitement of the NFL by joining a fantasy football league. Not played before? Here’s how you get into fantasy football.
How to get into fantasy football
There’s nothing quite like the joy of seeing your team rise to the top of the fantasy league and win bragging rights over your friends, family, work colleagues or other players in the league. You’ve got to get started for that to happen first, though, so here are a few basic steps.
Name your team
This is one of the big parts of the fun: naming your team. You might wish to make it sound like a franchise from your hometown. You might take part in a league in which each team is named after a superhero, a cereal brand or some other quirky aspect of the world. Often, though, people find the most enjoyment in creating a name that features some sort of pun. The more dreadful, the better.
Do some preseason research
If you’re a football fan already, you’ll have a good idea of who’s hot and who’s not. If not, you’ll want to do some research before the season starts so you can pick the best team. The more you research, the more you’ll get into a fantasy football when it starts. The trick is to work out what has changed in the NFL since last season.
Your research should prepare you for the excitement of the league and help you to draft the right players. If you wish to practice before playing for real, you can try out a mock draft and practice as much as you like.
Joining the league
If you choose to join the NFL fantasy football league, it’s necessary to have a valid NFL.com account. Then there are several ways you can join:
- Participate in the live draft lobby
- Use the League Directory to choose a league
- Accept an invitation from a league member
- Enter a league name and password to accept an invitation by pressing “Received an Invite” on the homepage or in the bottom right of the app’s “Join League” option.
Getting the most out of fantasy football when you’re an NFL fan
Playing fantasy football may be something you especially take to when you’re a gamer, but what about when you’re a non-gaming NFL fan? Fantasy football isn’t just for gamers. Here’s how you can get more out of fantasy football as a fan:
Choose between NFL-managed and custom leagues
If you want the enjoyment of following the action but don’t fancy managing the league, you can choose an NFL-managed league. You may, on the other hand, wish to engage even more with the fantasy football experience and play in a custom league. Whichever one you choose, all the NFL’s leagues offer video highlights, official stats and more to help you manage your team and get the best out of the fantasy football experience.
You’ll become more aware of what’s going on in the season
Not all fans are die-hard fans. Some are just casual fans and don’t always know what’s going on, so they can’t follow the chat at the water cooler or make as valid a contribution to it. Joining a fantasy football league will change all that though. You’ll become much more up-to-date on what’s happening in the NFL and the sport will go from a mere take-it-or-leave-it kind of interest to an absolute passion.
Fantasy football creates bonds
Taking part in a fantasy football league will create strong bonds between you and people who have the same interests, whether that’s your friends, family, co-workers or other acquaintances. It creates a camaraderie that continues throughout the season. Some amazing friendships have arisen out of playing in a fantasy football league.
Joining an NFL fantasy league provides fans and non-fans of the sport alike immense enjoyment and excitement. Fantasy football will appeal to gamers, but you don’t have to be one to enjoy playing. Nor do you have to be an NFL fan. The bonds that playing build make taking part in a fantasy league worth it in itself.