League Types

There are many different ways to play fantasy sports. Here are some of the most popular varieties.

Rotisserie

The original way to play fantasy sports, owners in a rotisserie league select their players and enter a yearlong battle for the championship. For Rotisserie leagues, no playoff system is implemented, and therefore every team is in the league until the final week. During the season players are constantly vying for the top spot, and every play in the real league can affect the standings directly.

Scoring

Scoring is based on the order of finish in certain statistical categories. In a 10-team baseball rotisserie league, a team finishing first at the end of the year in home runs would earn 10 points, the second-place team would earn nine points, and so on. The point scores are then added across categories, and the team with the most points at the end of the season wins.
In case of a category tie, such as both teams finishing the year tied for first with 400 RBI, the points would be averaged, and both teams would receive 9.5 points in that category (10 + 9 / 2 = 9.5 points).

Head-to-Head Leagues

Head-to-head leagues feature every team in the league in direct competition with only one other team each week. Head-to-head is probably the most common method of scoring team sports other than baseball. Scores are summed at the end of each week, and the team with more points earns a win. The best teams at toward the end of the real-life regular season move on to a playoff round, with the last week of the regular season coinciding with the championship playoff game.

Scoring

Head-to-head scoring varies by the league. Usually, points are given for each different statistic. A touchdown in football may be worth six points, while an assist in basketball can be worth two points. All the players on the owner's team earn points during the week. The owner with more points in the head-to-head matchup wins the week.
Yahoo! uses a different scoring system for their Head-to-Head leagues. Yahoo divides each statistical category (stolen bases, RBI) into one "game," and at the end of the week, the team with a higher score in that category wins that "game." If a league tracks 12 categories, an owner can earn 12 wins in that week. The teams with the highest win-loss record at the end of the season go to the playoffs.

Salary Leagues

Leagues that are not team based often are salary-based. Salary leagues usually have weekly scoring periods. At the beginning of each week, owners use "money" to purchase athletes. In fantasy racing, for example, every week an owner is allowed to buy a certain number of drivers with their allotted salary. If the driver is doing poorly, the owner is free to change drivers in the next week.

Read on to see how the drafting process works.