Fantasy Football Yahoo! Review (Web)
The football season will be upon us soon and I thought it might be best if I get this review out before then. Okay so really football doesn’t start until something like September, but the draft is starting soon. Besides it seems like there are perpetual sports of one kind or another at any given time of the year. Right now we are in full baseball swing. Basketball and hockey are the two others I can think of. Since I am a peripheral sports enthusiast, my knowledge of most sporting events can be attributed to my husband and/or the sports section in the paper.
This was my third year playing Fantasy Football. My husband started playing before me, and I wondered why I hadn’t gotten invited to play. I mean, I usually watched the games with him and we talked about football, so why not? Ah, the girl stigma biting me in the ass again. Anyway the following year I did get invited and have played ever since.
I wouldn’t call myself a football geek. Though I wouldn’t say that I’m totally clueless, but it takes a bit more knowledge then I possess to formulate a solid strategy. That’s the wonderful thing about Fantasy Football, you don’t have to know that much. There are lots of tools built into the website to help everyone – from layman to expert.
Sometimes it seems that less knowledge is better. I have seen over thinking getting in the way of deciding, causing second-guessing and doubt. There really is no way to predict what any particular outcome will be; sometimes guessing can be a fabulous alternative to stressing. =D
The first year I played I set up my draft to pick only players with the letter B in their names. My team made it into the top three that year. Never quite done as well since. The more I know the worse I do. I think I might just have to go back to guessing.
Overall, playing fantasy football has really increased my enjoyment of football. Now when I watch the games I have a reason to watch, they draw me in and make me far more interested in what’s happening, since I have a possible stake in what transpires in the game. When it really comes down to it, the actual football games are secondary to my fantasy games. I think of football as a meta-game for my fantasy league. Sometimes I’m just as happy hitting refresh on my stats screen then watching an actual game.
Developer: Yahoo Inc.
Platform I played on: Web Based, therefore any computer with a web-browser.
Build your own team of football players using existing NFL players. Participate in a season of football matches against other teams in your league to vie for the coveted champion cup.
It’s like playing a fantasy general manager. After you have set up your team you are asked to create a draft list of preferred players. Before the NFL season starts the computer runs the draft and creates teams for all the league participants.
In our league there are sixteen slots and ten starting positions. The defense is picked on a team basis, so you chose the Chicago Bears defense or the Indianapolis Colts defense.
After the draft the game is really about maintaining your team. Making sure that the starting players are not on byes and are not hurt, trading players if they aren’t working with your team or you are missing an athlete for a vital starting spot.
Each team gets matched up with other teams in the league the first fourteen weeks and then the final three weeks of the football season is dedicated to the final fantasy play offs.
The scoring is based on how your team’s players performed in their game that week. Unlike the defensive pick the seven offensive slots and kicker slot have individual NFL players in them. So a wide receiver scores points for catching the ball, running it, and scoring a touchdown. How many points he gets depends on his performance and the point value that the league manager has assigned to that particular stat.
The team’s score is calculated by adding all the starting players scores for the week. In a match up the team with the highest weekly score wins.
The players that you look for tend to be a little different then in the regular NFL. Its good to be at least semi aware of a team’s strategies, for example a team that likes to run the ball will not have very high scoring wide receivers, but then a team that runs the ball all the way down the field but then throws for a touchdown could potentially have some good points for wide receivers.
This year my league added a defensive player spot in addition to the defensive team spot. The way we had out point set up this defensive player would get points for tackles, interceptions, and regular defensive plays. But since it was a new position we didn’t realize how the points would work out. Well it turned out that the defensive player spot could also get points for running yards, receiving yards, and return touchdowns. The best player to get for that spot turned out to be a defensive guy that played something like the nickel back and ran punt returns.
These guy’s point totals completely over-shadowed some really excellent heavy defensive players.
World and Story
It’s a web-based game, where statistics take the lead in importance. Being pretty isn’t really what its all about.
The Interface is pretty good. It’s relatively easy to read all the information that is provided, and there is a lot. Every statistic about football that you want to know is made available. Thankfully they pair it down to the most important on the main team pages.
This last season they added a new interface feature to manage your team. They provided drag and drop icons for the players on your team. This new system makes it much easier to fill the starting spots in your team. Just can’t forget to hit the update button after finishing your setting up.
There are lots of little additions that I never really took advantage of. One feature that I always make sure to have is the stat tracker. It’s an addition that you have to pay for and it runs around fifteen dollars for the season, but it’s totally worth it. I make sure that either my husband or I get it. It allows you to get updated point scores through all the games. If you don’t get stat tracker you still get all the point values but you have to wait until after the last football game on Monday is over.
Every year it’s a new season, new players, and new challenges. As long as there is NFL Football there will be fantasy football.
Honestly I think this would be boring playing by your self. The whole point is to be pitted against other teams in your league.
So far I have participated in our league the past three years (2005-2007). Looking forward to the ’08 season.
Things that bothered me
-So many statistics
They provide you with every statistic known to football. They give you the option to analyze and over analyze all you want. It’s rather overwhelming, so much so that I ignore most of them anyway. I am sure that there people out there that compare every minutia and agonize over who to play any given week.
Because there are so many different stats they also allow you to give points in any stat you like. This makes the setting up of points for various achievements rather tedious.
-Point values for Scores
As I said each possible stat has the chance of being given a value that would contribute to the overall team score. Having a Wide Receiver receive 5 points for a TD catch verses 6 points can make a huge difference in the team’s scores for the whole season. It can mean the difference between winning and losing. This means that assigning point values to stats is a huge task, one that our league has been dealing with every year.
The largest problem is that once the season starts you can’t change any of the values that you have assigned, meaning there is no way to test out your changes and see how they play.
I understand that there might be issues with changing values after the season has started, but then at least they should provide some way to test the changed values out. They have a huge impact on the game since the whole game is based on how many points your team receives.
-Everyone in the league is important
We always seem to have one person that doesn’t update their team on time. They start a player that is on a bye week or a player that is injured, for whatever reason they aren’t paying enough attention to the game.
This can really affect the overall outcome of the game by giving teams wins when they might not have really won had they been playing a team manager that was awake.
Since every player in the NFL is required for fantasy football to work, they have it set up so that the last three weeks of the regular season are the play offs for fantasy football. One thing that does happen at the end of the season though is that really good players get rested a lot of the time – they don’t play – if their teams already have a spot in the NFL play offs. This causes some trouble for the fantasy teams that they are on since most of the time these star players are also the big point earners. It makes it hard to win matches when your star players are napping.
There are 17 total matches including the playoffs. I spent a few hours every week making sure my team was up to snuff. So I probably averaged around 35-40 hours total on the game over the entire season. This probably doesn’t include my time watching actual football games.
3 out of five mushrooms. I have a great time playing in my league even though I tend to loose.
Anything that can make watching football more enjoyable has to be good, right?