It’s All in How You Play the Game

Anyone that loves football has probably yelled at the television in frustration after a bad call. We all sometimes wish that we could replace the coach and get a chance to call the shots – or better yet, create a whole new team with your favorite players! 

Well, by participating in fantasy football, that wish could become reality – sort of. And while, yes, it is a computer or app based game, seniors who feel they aren’t technologically savvy should not shy away from joining in the fun! It is actually fairly easy to set up, and you’ll have a team of friends to help you.

What is Fantasy Football?

According to, fantasy football works like this:

  • The league manager decides what type of league to participate in. Find out what type of league is right for you and your coworkers, family or friends, here.
  • Acquire a roster of players (either through a draft or through autopick assignment). gives a thorough explanation of how to set rosters.
  • Set your lineup each week during the season and watch as touchdowns, field goals, yards gained, sacks, interceptions and much, much more generate fantasy points for or against your team.

Whether you win or lose, climb or fall on the leaderboard all depends on how well you maximize the talent on your roster each week. Will you make a risky move to start that backup running back that did well last week, or will you play it safe and keep your starting lineup consistent?

What’s the cost and are there any prizes?

Signing up for fantasy football is free and easy, and there are many websites where you can register –, and Yahoo are just a few. On the ESPN Fantasy Football  home page, for example, you simply select the “create a league” option.

Some leagues are prize-eligible and come with a standard set of rules, procedures and scoring system, such as through Leagues can also be set up using your own rules – you can make touchdown passes more valuable than touchdown runs, set up a league with different roster make-ups and set limits to the way teams can add and drop players.

The Setup!

  • All players in a fantasy football league (FFL) must have established a login and password to access the league.
  • An even number of teams is required; minimum number for ESPN is four.
  • Each league owner drafts 16 players: 9 starters, 7 bench.
  • The league manager will have extra administrative ‘tabs’ to control all of the league settings.
  • Leagues can be private or open to the public.
  • The standard rules option is the common choice and the easiest for new FFL players.

The Fantasy Football League Draft

Most drafts are held online. The advantage of an online draft is that players/league owners can be located anywhere. After the participants agree on draft date, the league manager will schedule the online draft. An online draft requires all league owners be online at a specified time to draft teams in real time. The computer program or app will run the draft and at completion each team will be loaded into the league.

Of course, an old-fashioned in-person draft can also be done and is a great excuse to meet up with friends pre-season for food, drinks and draft picks. However, if you decide to do the draft in-person, following the draft, the league manager will need to manually load each team into the league.

Fantasy Football Leagues are a great way for seniors to enjoy social time with friends, talk about how your favorite – and least favorite – teams are doing, and sometimes even win a little money for your efforts! FFL registration begins in early September, so get your teams together, go online to register, schedule your draft, and let the games begin!

Check and see if your community offers a staff-organized fantasy football league for residents. It’s a fun way to stay social, and a great excuse to stay passionate at the game.