FAQ for rec.sport.football.fantasy
                           (Last Updated: 10/07/2001)

Newsgroups: rec.sport.football.fantasy
Subject: FAQ -- rec.sport.football.fantasy
Distribution: world
Followup-To: rec.sport.football.fantasy
Archive-name: http://www.jt-sw.com/football/fantasy/faq.txt
Posting-frequency: bi-monthly (1st and 15th of each month)

** ** ** **
The FAQ can be distributed free of charge, but MUST include the full
contents of the master copy.  (The six lines of Usenet headers above
don't have to be included, but everything must remain intact.)
** ** ** **

This FAQ is intended to help the readers of this newsgroup in starting, run-
ning, and playing in a fantasy football league.  This will be posted at the
beginning and middle of each month and is available via the web at

I am always open to suggestions, but please make sure you put FAQ in the sub-
ject so I'll know instantly what the mail refers to.  (I can be reached at

Many thanks to all contributors.  Unfortunately there will be too many to
name as time goes on, but I do wish to thank the initial contributors who
helped with the initial structure: David Gentry and Mark Mickunas.  I'd 
also like to thank Adam Calabrese for digging out a copy of the FAQ he had
from before the drive crash.

 1) Starting a League: The Fun Begins
 2) Joining a League: Share the Fun (and Misery)
 3) Scoring Systems (and Positions in Fantasy Football)
 4) Keeper vs. Non-keeper (and Philosophies for each)
 5) Books, Software, Etc.: Aids no Commish Should be Without
 6) Stats: How to Get 'em and How to Use 'em
 7) Conducting the Draft: Watching Your Favorite Players Go Before Your Eyes
 8) Auctioning the Players: a [Costly] Alternative to the Draft
 9) Running the League
10) Playing in the League
11) NFL Timeline: The Major Events of the Pro Season


 1) Starting a League: The Fun Begins
      The first two things to do when starting a league are assembling the
      owners and choosing a commissioner.  On the 'net, the commish usually
      goes fishing for players (with almost guaranteed success); other
      leagues start as the owners get together and vote one of them into
      the commissioner's office.

      The rules follow soon after the owners decide to form a league or are
      assembled by the commissioner before he looks for players.  When creating
      the rules, the owners/commissioner need to consider scoring method,
      scheduling and number of teams, and if/how will be money involved.

 2) Joining a League: Sharing the Fun (and Misery)
      On the 'net, most leagues start with a commissioner and a set of rules.
      From this point on, the commissioner is the driving force behind the
      league as he gets owners to join the league.  This means that owners are
      getting into a league with no immediate influence over the rules.  (Most
      commissioners should be open to suggestions from his owners during the
      off-season, so this won't be too bad over the long haul.)

 3) Scoring Systems (and Positions in Fantasy Football)
      The positions:
        QB,RB,WR,TE,K are all the same as in the NFL.  The defense can be
        combined into one position or separated into the 11 players.  The
        offensive line is rarely, if ever, used in fantasy football.

      Scoring is as varied as the leagues, but this will give some basis
       for starting.

      Basic Scoring:
        TD:                     6 points (scoring it)
        TD pass:                3 points (throwing it)

        2-point conv:           2 points (scoring it)
        2-point conv pass:      1 point (throwing it)

        FG:                     3 points
        PAT/XP:                 1 point

        Sacks:                  1 point each
        Turnover recoveries:    1 point each
        (Both should be more for leagues that separate the defense
          out to the individual players -- see below.)

        DST (Def./Sp. Teams) gets points for TDs scored on turnover re-
          coveries and kick returns.

          Double score if 50+ yards
          Bonus points for D/ST for a shutout, no TDs, and/or <10 pts against

      Performance Scoring:
        Rushing/receiving:      1 point each 10 yds
        Passing:                1 point each 20 yds

      Combined Basic / Performance:
        Uses both scoring methods.  Although more time consuming, it gives a
        better picture of a player's output.

      Possible Defensive Scoring:
        Starting:               2 points
        Sack:                   6 points
        INT or Fum Recovery:    6 points ea.
        INT Return:             1 point each 10 yards
        TD:                     6 points
        Tackle:                 2 points
        Assist:                 1 point

 4) Keeper vs. Non-keeper (and Philosophies for each)
        A keeper league is one in which some of the players are retained
        between seasons.  Non-keeper teams don't retain any players from the
        previous season--they start new each season.

        This gives a good feel for a long-term franchise.  The huge advantage
        is that the drafts in the following years are shorter since the teams
        hold on to a core team from the previous season.

        The biggest challenge here is determining how many players can stay on
        a team each year.  If teams hold on to too many players, you'll end up
        with teams staying in the same position each year.  Too few and you
        lose the flavor of a keeper league.  It's up to the owners (or the
        'net commissioner) to decide how many players can be held and what
        restrictions there are.

        Non-keeper leagues are good for owners and commissioners just starting
        out.  It avoids any issues in tackling the keeper league problems, but
        lengthens the draft to a the full length every year.  Another advantage
        is that every owner needs to start fresh--giving a better picture of
        how good an owner someone really is.

 5) Books, Software, Etc.: Aids no Commish Should be Without
        * Cliff Charpentier's Fantasy Football Digest    $13.95 (US) + S/H
          Available at 1(800)233-9809 or (612)774-8955 or at your local
        * The Sporting News Pro Football Guide & Register    $13.95 ea (US)
          Available at 1(800)825-8508 -- outside US: (515)246-6911 -- or at 
          your local bookstore.
        * Fantasy Football Index  $7.00 (for delivery in the US)
          Available at (206) 527-4444 or P.O. Box 15277    
                   FAX (206) 527-4840    Seattle WA 98115-0277          
          'net contact: www.fantasyindex.com
        * Grogan's Fantasy Football Analyst   $5.95 (US)
          Available at (303) 795-8292 or (303)979-2545
        * Pro Football Weekly (Review and weekly updates)
          Available at 1(800)FOOTBALL or (708) 272-1237 (let me know if this
          has changed.)
        * Fantasy Football Pro Forecast
          Available at Fantasy Sports Publications, Inc.
                       P. O. Box 14414
                       Albuquerque NM 87192-4414
                       (505) 293-0509 (voice & FAX)
          I found it locally for $5.95 + tax.
        * Fantasy Football Information Exchange
          Information brochure can be obtained by mailing a message to
          'net contact: Edward Girard .
        * Fantasy Football Insider Newsletter
          Available at: 320 Thorpe Road
                        Jenkintown PA 19046
                        (800) 444-0861
          Also: http://www.ffinsider.com
        * Fantasy Football Madness Newsletter
             March '97 issue is free.
          Contact theresaal@aol.com for additional information.
        * FLM (Fantasy League Manager) from Sideline Software
          for Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000
          Available at http://www.fflm.com
                    or Sideline Sports
                       3077 Sunnyside Street
                       Stoughton, WI 53589
                       (608) 877-5859
          You must register your copy to get the updates and stat support.
        * Fantasy Football 95 for Windows
          Available from http://www.cybersports.com/cybersports
                      or ftp.netcom.com in the directory pub/se/seidel1
                      or send e-mail to passoft@aol.com
        * PEDS - Player Evaluation and Draft Software
          Info at http://www.fantasyinsights.com or firstplace@
          Demo at ftp://ftp.fantasyinsights.com/pub/firstplace/peds/
          Contact: First Place Sports Software
                   15010 Prairie Rose Drive
                   Houston, TX 77070
                   (713) 827-2562 or FAX (713) 376-9690
                   VISA/MC/AE orders: 1(800) 394-7038 (24 hours)
        * Fantasy StatBase '94 (FSB '94)
          Shareware database containing comprehensive stats for all offensive
             players on a game-by-game basis for 1991-93 seasons.
          Available at ftp://ftp.vnet.net/pub/football/SOFTWARE/FSB/fsb94.zip
                      or Triangle Research: 1015 Berkshire Road
                                            Dayton, OH  45419-3740
                                            (513) 294-1523
          'Net Contact: ThreeSided@aol.com
        * Fantasy StatBase '95 (FSB '95)
          Statistic database (similar to FSB '94) with loads of additional 
          Registered users (full version: $24.95) also receive free 
             database updates throughout 1995 season.
          Info and demo available ftp://ftp.vnet.net/pub/football/SOFTWARE/
             FSB/fsb95.zip and fsb95info.txt.
          Contact info same as FSB '94.
        * PredMan - Pro Football Edition (for Windows)
          Available at http://www.predman.com
          'Net contact: Sergio Valdez 
        * FFC v 2.10 (Fantasy Football Conference)
          Available from falcon@infi.net
                      or Primetime Sports: P. O. Box 3445,
                                           Bozeman MT 59772
        * Fantasy Football Assistant (FFA 95)
          Shareware ($25) package for managing leagues up to 16 teams.  Stats
            compatible with FFA are available from FFIE as well.
          Available (via download) from FFIE: (214) 642-9559.
        * The Commissioner for Football
          Available from SportsWare: P. O. Box 984
                                     Boulder Co 80306
        * The Assistant Coach
          Available from Potato League Sports: 748 Whaler's Way E-202
                                               Fort Collins CO 80205
        * The Winning Edge Fantasy Software for DOS
          Available from KELCO Software Enterprises: P.O. Box 809005-667
                                                     Dallas TX 75380
                                                     1(800) 388-8704
        * Filemaker Pro (Windows and Mac) database
          Available from bduttonw@gtech.com (William Dutton)
        * Fantasy Sportspro Football Manager for Windows
          Available from Easy Chair Sports: Box 111982
                                            Tacoma WA 98411
                                            (206) 759-0201
        * Franchise Football League
          Available at 1(800) 872-0335
        * FanStar Football '98
          Includes email functions, web publisher, custom newsletters;
            MAC and Windows versions
          Additional info and demo available at http://www.fanstar.com
          Available from FanStar Sports: 602-582-8737
        * myfantasyleague.com for all web browsers
          Available from support@myfantasyleague.com (Kevin Austin)
            or http://www.myfantasyleague.com/
          an on-line customizable league management system - you can
          run your league from draft through fantasy playoffs on the web,
          all according to your own league rules.
      Web/FTP Sites and other 'Net Resources
        ** Other sites are listed at http://users.vnet.net/troan/
        * http://users.vnet.net/troan/football
        * ftp.vnet.net (cd to pub/football)
          (WWW server now has more info than the FTP server)
        * Depth Charts mailing list
          To subscribe: send E-mail to ukwp82e@prodigy.com
                        subject: subscribe
        * ESPNet Sportzone: http://espnet.sportszone.com
        * The NFL: http://nflhome.com/
        * CyberSports: http://www.cybersports.com/cybersports/

 6) Stats: How to Get 'em and How to Use 'em
    * List Server at Vnet
      To subscribe -- nfl-stats-join@list.vnet.net
    * NFL.COM: http://www.nfl.com
    * ESPN: http://espn.com.
    * USA Today: print editions have full stat information; also available
      from web site: http://www.usatoday.com

 7) Conducting the Draft: Watching Your Favorite Players Go Before Your Eyes
      Draft day is the one day during the season that the commissioner has a
      lot of (possibly overwhelming) work to do.  It usually helps to have
      someone help with the draft.  This could be either a non-owner to help
      with the administrative part of the draft or (as I've found) anyone--
      even another owner--to help with the submitted draft lists as I do.

      As a possibility, owners can vote on rules changes before the draft
      starts.  This usually works best with all owners present in one
      place (as opposed to an electronic league like RAFFLE).

      In setting the draft order, you can draft the same order each odd
      round (or randomly change it each odd round) and draft the opposite
      order for each following even round.  This allows people to have a
      reasonable chance to start out evenly without having gotten a bad
      spot in the draft order.

      There are several ways of conducting the draft:
      * For leagues in which the owners can get together, pick a date in the
        last half of August when everyone can get together and do the draft
        like the NFL does theirs.  This can take anywhere from a few
        hours to a full day depending on your draft's set up, but it's
        almost always a lot of fun.
      * For leagues over the 'net (like RAFFLE), everyone sends draft lists
        to the commissioner and let the commish do the draft.  The lists
        would need to include a lists for each position and a draft order to
        indicate which position to draft for each position.
      * One alternative is to conduct the draft by Email over a several weeks.
        While this takes a long time, it gives each owner a chance to see
        which players are gone before making the next choice.
      * Another alternative is to find some time when all the owners are free
        and use an IRC program.

    Any players not selected in the draft are available as free agents.

 8) Auctioning the Players: a [Costly] Alternative to the Draft
      Another way to get a roster built is through an auction.

      From a contribution:
      - Draft from a 34.6 Million cap, like the big boys!
      - All bids in increments of $100,000
      - Will draft 20 players, can keep up to 10 to next season however...
      - Any player you keep you must give a 10% salary raise
      - A player may not be kept for more than 3 seasons
      - Determine random order as in regular draft.  Owner has option to
         pass on their turn.  The current owner announces the player, team,
         position, and opening bid.  Raises are then accepted from whomever
         (as long as the Commish acknowledges them), and the players goes
         once, twice, sold to the highest bidder.
      - Any player picked up from waivers during the course of the season
         costs 0.1 million.  You must continue to pay a player's salary even
         if they get injured or you cut them.  The only way you can get more
         money to play with is to trade for cheaper player(s).  Therefore it
         behooves you not spend ALL your money during the auction, leaving
         adequate amounts for waiver wire and injury replacements as the
         season progresses.

 9) Running the League
      Each week, the commissioner and owners participate in:
      - trading between teams
      - signing and waiving players (waiver wire)
      - lineup submissions

      Player transactions can be handled any number of ways.  These include
      trade windows (like RAFFLE does), first-come first-served, and charges
      for acquiring these players (monetary leagues only).  When some order
      is needed, the record and points scored are typically the first two
      factors considered.

      During the games, the commissioner (and any owners wishing to do so)
      record the players' performances.  (See below for further details.)

      After the Monday night game, the commissioner totals the points earned by
      each team and awards wins, loses, and ties.  He then reports the results
      along with the previous week's player transactions and in what order the
      transactions the following week will be.

      Winners are either determined by playing in the above fashion until the
      end of the NFL season, or by taking the last two or three weeks of the
      NFL season and holding a fantasy league playoff.

10) Playing in the League
      Fielding a Team
        Some people play their whole roster every week.  Most leagues allow
        you to submit a predetermined distribution of positions as your
        starting lineup for that week.  Rosters can be altered through
        trades and waiver wire transactions.  Some leagues allow injury
        substitutions from the waiver wire for those roster players
        appearing on the weekly NFL injury report.

        Due to many injuries, some include the backup QB as well as a
        starting QB.

      Weekly Play
        There are leagues which just accumulate all the individual roster
        player's scoring and rank owners that way (ala baseball rotis-
        serie).  Most however match the owner's fantasy teams against each
        other every Sunday in a round-robin format (resulting in such real-
        life anxiety as winning by 60 points one week and losing by 2 the
        next!).  Some allow ties to stand while others will break a tie
        using the longest TD scored, etc.

11) NFL Timeline: Major Events of the 2001 Pro Season.  The detailed timeline
    is at http://www.jt-sw.com/football/2001/timeline.txt.
      Feb  8  Deadline to designate franchise players.
      Feb 22  Scouting Combine: Indianapolis, IN (ends Feb 23).
      Mar  1  Beginnings of veteran free agency and trading.
      Apr 16  Signing period ends for restricted free agents.
      Apr 21  Draft (ends Apr 22).
      Jul 22  16:00 ET Signing period ends for unrestricted free agents who
              received Jun 1 tender.
      Aug  6  Hall of Fame Game: Miami Dolphins vs. St. Louis Rams at
              Canton, Ohio.  (Induction ceremony on Aug 4.)
      Sep  9  Week  1 of 2001 NFL Season
             -Week  1 Byes: ARZ
      Sep 23  Week  2 Byes: NO, PIT, TB
      Sep 30  Week  3 Byes: CHI, DET, TEN
      Oct  7  Week  4 Byes: DAL, IND, OAK
      Oct 14  Week  5 Byes: BUF, JAC, PHI
      Oct 21  Week  6 Byes: MIA, SF, SEA
      Oct 28  Week  7 Byes: ATL, CLE, GB
      Nov  4  Week  8 Byes: CIN, MIN, STL
      Nov 11  Week  9 Byes: WAS
      Nov 18  Week 10 Byes: KC
      Nov 25  Week 11 Byes: NYJ
      Dec  2  Week 12 Byes: NYG
      Dec 10  Week 13 Byes: BAL
      Dec 17  Week 14 Byes: CAR
      Dec 24  Week 15 Byes: DEN
      Dec 31  Week 16 Byes: NE
      Jan  5  Week 17 (end of regular season)
             -Week 17 Byes: SD

      Feb  3  Superbowl XXXVI: New Orleans