Dispelling five myths about playing fantasy football – NFL.com

The year is 2066.

The combination of Odell Beckham IV and Tom Brady III have helped lead the San Antonio Outlawz to their third Super Bowl championship in five seasons. After taking the podium to accept his second consecutive Super Bowl MVP award, OB4 closes with this gem.

“I just want to thank all the fantasy football players out there who encouraged and motivated me to help this team to greater heights. It’s crazy to think there was a time people had objections to playing fantasy football. It makes me so happy to see where the game has gone since my grandfather was in the game.”

***return to The Before Time***

Participation in fantasy football has grown exponentially since Tom Coughlin’s first go-round with the Jaguars but it hasn’t quite become a universal game. There are still holdouts … people guarding themselves against the intoxicating high of proving you can build your own winning football franchise.

Alas, we have not done a good enough job cutting through the noise and elevating the signal of the game-within-the-game that is fantasy. Why wouldn’t you want the opportunity to sit in a sports bar or viewing cave with other like-minded individuals, emotionally living and dying over every target that doesn’t go Sterling Shepard’s direction?

In short … what do we have to do to get you into a fantasy football league today?

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why people aren’t playing fantasy and demystify them.

I don’t know how to play

Asking someone how to play fantasy football is a lot like asking someone how to live. You just throw your cares to the wind and go where destiny takes you. OK, maybe not.

Actually, Alex Gelhar wrote a solid overview of the basics of fantasy football. It has all the ins-and-outs of how to build and maintain a successful fantasy squad.

Pressed for time? Here’s the tl;dr…

  1. Draft a team.
  2. Set your lineup.
  3. Profit.

That’s really all there is to it. OK, there are some extra steps you can take if you start feeling yourself and want to take the next steps to being a fantasy genius. But pretty soon, you can tilt over your squad like the pros.


Pro tip: You want to be the one claiming the trophy at the end.

It’s too complicated

Didn’t I just get finished telling you how easy it is to play?

If you’re worried about being too overwhelmed, the best advice is to turn off some of the noise. You’ll probably hear a lot of acronyms — ADP, PPR, RBBC, WTF (Yes, I threw that last one in to see if you were paying attention. Good job.) — don’t get too wrapped in trying to decipher each and every phrase you come across. Though if you’re curious, we’ve put together a pretty thorough fantasy glossary.

In essence, your goal each and every week is to try and create the best possible lineup you can. That’s where we can help. Not only does the NFL Fantasy Football mobile app give you each player’s projected score for the week but it also has a pretty cool “optimize lineup” feature that helps you live your best fantasy football life from week-to-week without having to do extra things … like math.

If only the rest of life could be this simple.

I don’t know enough players

The person next to you is spouting off random facts about the Tennessee Titans third-string tight end. That can definitely be a little intimidating. But it shouldn’t scare you off from forging ahead into the great unknown.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. Some of those deep dive players that your prospective competition is talking about won’t make much of a fantasy football impact in a lot of leagues. It might sound impressive but a lot of times, it’s just blowing smoke. Don’t freak out over it.

We do our best to take the guesswork out of player recognition for you. Our constantly updated player and draft rankings give you a clue as to which guys could go boom and which could go bust this season.

It takes too much time

We all know that person who spends all of their waking hours poring over stats, reading injury reports and staying up until all hours of the night just to score the perfect waiver wire free agent … that they’ll release the very next week.

I know, right? Who needs another job that doesn’t actually pay you? I’m guessing the answer is “not me.” And that would be appropriate.

If you decide you want to make fantasy football your life’s mission, then you can certainly while away your breathable hours studying everything you can lay your eyeballs on. But being good (and more importantly having fun) at fantasy football doesn’t have to be a time-consuming experience.

Once you’ve finished drafting, you can be an effective fantasy football manager in just 10 minutes a week. Make your waiver wire claims, set your lineup and watch the fantasy points roll in. You can find 10 minutes in your week, can’t you? They don’t even have to be all at once.

List of things you can do in 10 minutes

  • Delete unwanted work emails from the weekend
  • Eat a dozen donuts
  • Vaccuum one room in your home
  • Avoid vaccuuming one room in your home
  • Put together a killer fantasy football lineup

Scroll through free agents while you’re walking the dog. Add or drop players when you’re on the treadmill at the gym. Tinker with your lineup while you’re binge watching old episodes of NFL Fantasy LIVE. It’s really that simple. See, you can totally do this.

I can’t play for free


***puts on TV announcer voice***

NFL Fantasy season is here! Get in on the fun and join or create a league for FREE.

***places microphone back in its stand***

My work here is done.

Marcas Grant is a fantasy editor for NFL.com and a man who wants to welcome beginners of all stripes to fantasy football. He remembers making Dan Marino his first ever pick in fantasy football back in 1994. He doesn’t want to talk about how that fantasy season went for him. Send him your fantasy football questions on Twitter @MarcasG. If you read all of that, congrats. He also dishes out fantasy advice — and life shenanigans — on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat (marcasg9)

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