How to Play Fantasy Football for the 2020 NFL Season

How to play fantasy football for the 2020 NFL season.
How to play fantasy football for the 2020 NFL season. / Focus On Sport/Getty Images

Fantasy football is one of the most popular ways to follow the NFL. From late summer to early winter, most NFL fans are glued to their smartphones, TVs or are just searching the web from Thursday through Monday checking their fantasy teams.

If you're looking to finally take the plunge and play in your first fantasy league, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed. If that's the case, don't worry, because your friends at The Duel have you covered.

How to Play Fantasy Football

The most common way to play fantasy football is what's known as a re-draft league. Those leagues usually consist of 10 to 12 "team owners" who select NFL players in a predetermined draft order until everyone's roster has been filled out.

In a standard league, each roster is usually constructed as follows:
- Quarterback - QB
- Wide Receiver - WR
- Wide Receiver - WR
- Running Back - RB
- Running Back - RB
- Tight End- TE
- Flex - WR/RB/TE
- Kicker - K
- Defense/Special Teams - D/ST
- Bench - BN
*There are typically seven bench spots, totaling 16 rounds.

After the draft, each player's fantasy value is determined by what they do on the field in the real NFL games. While scoring settings vary from league to league, the general rule is always the same. Players that have the best statistical production on the field – whether it's passing yards, receiving yards, rushing yards, receptions or touchdowns – are the most valuable in fantasy.

For example, if a player racks up 100 rushing yards and two touchdowns, they will generally have accumulated 22 fantasy points (one point for every 10 rushing yards and six points for each touchdown). Because the scoring settings can vary from league to league, it's important to have a firm grasp on your league's settings.

Fantasy Points Offensive Scoring Breakdown

But in standard leagues, here's a breakdown of how offensive points are usually calculated:
- Passing Yards: 1 point per 25 yards
- Passing Touchdowns: 4 points
- Interceptions: -2 points
- Rushing Yards: 1 point per 10 yards
- Rushing Touchdowns: 6 points
- Receptions: 1/2 point or 1 point (depending if you're using PPR of half-point PPR scoring)
- Receiving Yards: 1 point per 10 yards
- Receiving Touchdowns: 6 points
- 2-Point Conversions: 2 points
- Fumbles Lost: -2 points

Each week, you'll be pitted against one of your league mates. Whichever starting lineup scores more cumulative points that week will earn a win. Generally, the four (or six) teams with the best records at the end of the 14-week regular season will earn a trip to the playoffs, where each team will play a single-elimination game until a champion is crowned (in either Week 16 or 17).

If you do choose to play fantasy football this coming season, we hope this rundown gives you an idea of how the game works.

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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.