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I’m a casual NFL fan. I’m a child of two cities, therefore I have a right to love two separate teams; the fact that one team belongs to the AFC and the other is aligned with the NFC completely justifies my inability to choose one over the other in my book.

With that said, outside of the regular play makers you hear about during pre-game and halftime, I have no knowledge of any teams’ rosters.

This basic understanding, however, is all you need to get started in the world of fantasy football.

Fantasy football is defined as a competition in which participants select imaginary teams from among the players in a league and score points according to the actual performance of their players.

Sounds too much like Pokemon, right? Wrong.

Fantasy football is fun and surprisingly addictive if you give yourself a chance play it, all you need to do to get started is join a league.

You can find a league here.

From there, you scout for potential players. For a lot of people, this means doing extensive research on players and their achievements. I just looked for names that sounded familiar to me and plugged them in my iPhone notes.

Now that you’ve “scouted,” it’s time for the draft, which, depending on your level of success during the season, might be the most fun you’re going to have for the year. During the draft, you and the other coaches in your league pick players, one at a time, until your rosters are full.

Following the draft, the competition begins. Your team will be pitted against other teams on a weekly basis, where the winner will be determined by points that are accumulated by the individual players’ real-life stats. As with traditional football, the team that scores the most wins.

You’re going to have to monitor your team daily because some of your starters may get injured or get outperformed by players of the same position on your bench. You can drop players when they start to stink up your team, or if you find another coach that wants him, trade him, get something back on your investment.

With a little bit of luck and due diligence, your team will (hopefully) make the playoffs and win the big game. If you joined a free league like I did, honor and bragging rights are on the line. For the next seventeen weeks (maybe more), you have an open forum to talk as much noise and brag about your talent cultivating/team management/generally high aptitude for winning. Best of luck to you, and if at first you don’t succeed, just don’t lose as bad as the other teams in your league.