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Your guide to running your dream team

Football season is upon us—17 weeks of pure madness. From trades to injuries, it’s a crazy journey through an NFL season. 

Fantasy football is for fans of all levels, from the avid supporters to casual viewers. You can play fantasy football, a worldwide phenomenon where you and your friends can play either online or in-person to create the best team. 

“That is really where it’s changed –just how many people are playing [fantasy]. Even 10 years ago it was diehard sports fans [who played], and now the one friend you grew up with who wasn’t into sports is playing fantasy football,” commented Michael Beller, podcast host and producer of The Athletic.

Fantasy football is primarily an online game where you draft a team of 15 real NFL players and compete on a week-to-week basis against other online players in your league. 

A wide variety of mobile apps and websites offer a space to compete including Yahoo Fantasy Football, ESPN Fantasy Sports and NFL Fantasy Football.  

Your team will consist of nine starters which includes one quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, one flex player—a running back, a wide receiver or a tight end—one tight end, one kicker and one defense/special teams unit—players who handle kickoffs and punts. 

Competitors score points based on the performance of the players in their lineup.

Now, I bet you’re wondering how to choose the right players to beat your buddies. Analysts offer a wide variety of strategies ranging from selecting players on the same NFL team to choosing a mix of players. 

Both of these specific strategies require risk before yielding reward. 

If you choose all players from the same team and their team ends with an awful year, you’ll have a horrible year in your fantasy league. 

While the reverse is true with a great year, my advice would be to pick a mixture of players from a variety of teams and always have at least two players with two different bye weeks—the one week during the season when a team doesn’t play a game.

There you have it; there’s the basics for playing fantasy football. 

It’s a super easy and fun way to play and compete with your friends, now even more so considering how accessible it is. 

Gone are the days when you’d need a pen and paper and know every player’s stats from the previous year; it can all be done online with the help of a multitude of websites, including two of my favorites: ESPN Fantasy Sports and CBS Fantasy Sports. 

These two sites rank every player in the league, helping you know exactly who to choose for each week’s roster. 

Get your friends, your co-workers, your family or whoever to enjoy this timeless fall tradition of fantasy football. Who knows, you might be better than you thought!

Graphic by Sterling Zoe Rubottom