The Guide to
JC Fantasy Football
Welcome to the Joshua’s Crossing Fantasy Football League! It’s awesome that you’ve decided to join us this year. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran around the gridiron or a rookie new to the sport, a short refresher course is always helpful, so let’s get started.
Fantasy football is played using real life NFL players you “control” to compete against other fantasy players and their NFL players. Each fantasy player manages a team of NFL players that they select via the Draft, Waivers, and the Free Agency Pool. When an NFL player does something in a game, like catch a touchdown pass or throw an interception, this translates to fantasy points. Each week, fantasy players match up against one another in games, with the winner being decided by who has the most fantasy points at the end of each NFL week (Thursday Night Football, Sunday’s games, and Monday Night Football). What each stat is worth can be reviewed in your Sleeper app's league “Score Settings”.
The JC Fantasy Football League is a Half-Point PPR League with 6 Points Passing Touchdowns. That means, for every pass your running back, wide receiver, or tight end catches, your team gets half a point. For every touchdown your quarterback throws, your team gets 6 points.
Your Team And How It’s Made
The roster is what many refer to as “the team”. The roster has 16 spots on it, 9 of which are starters and 7 of which are bench players. The starters are what contribute to your team’s points total each week, while the bench players’ points do NOT count.
Each week, you must choose 1 QB (quarterback), 2 RBs (running back), 2 WRs (wide receiver), 1 TE (tight end), and 1 D/ST (team defense/special teams) to start. You must also choose two FLEX players each week, which can be any additional RB, WR, or TE.
(Note: Unlike the other positions, which are just one player, D/ST is an entire NFL team’s defense and special teams.)
The rest of your roster is made of bench players. Bench players can be players that are on a bye week (a week in which their NFL team does not have a game), players that are injured but will return soon, or players that you may want to hang on to but not start for now.
Now that you’re in charge of a team with a roster, you need players to fill it. As previously mentioned, you can add players three ways: The Draft, Waivers, or Free Agency. Waivers and Free Agency will be discussed later under “Playing The Season”, but since the Draft is the most important part of fantasy football, let’s cover that first.
The Draft is what is used to fill your roster to begin the season. The Draft consists of each team in your division taking turns picking players to build their team. The style of draft that JC uses is called a snake draft, which means the order of picks reverses each round. For example, if a player chooses last in the first round, they will choose first in the second round, and then back to last the round after that, and so on until the draft is over.
Here’s a couple beginner’s tips to help you survive the draft:
Sleeper has player rankings on your screen while you draft, so don’t sweat not knowing everything about all the players! The app will list players from best to worst, so your homework is done for you.
Don’t take a defense too early. You can find plenty of these at the end of the draft.
Take quarterbacks in the middle rounds. Good, productive quarterbacks aren’t hard to find in round 8 or even much later.
Try to avoid drafting players with the same NFL bye week (a week where an NFL player’s team does not have a game). Most fantasy teams can’t avoid having some players on the same bye week, but having your best players on the same bye can cost you a win. Bye weeks are listed next to a player’s name.
Consider drafting “handcuffs” for your best players. A handcuff is a player that is in a back-up role but has huge upside. The idea of handcuffing in fantasy football is important, because if one of your best players gets injured during the season, you want to be able to replace him with his backup.
While you’re not stuck with who you draft all season, players who are not taken in the draft are generally not as good as those who are, so make the most of your picks! In order to fill your roster, you need 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 1 DEF, 2 FLEX, and 7 other players of your choosing.
Playing The Season
So now you’ve drafted, and hopefully it went well! Each week, you’ve got a few things to take care of. Once you’ve gotten started, a team can be managed in as little as 5 minutes per week. Of course, some of us spend much longer than that! Here’s a helpful checklist to follow each week:
1. Set your starters for the week. Only players you START count towards your point totals for the week.
2. Check for injuries on your roster. Every year, almost every player is injured for a game or two. Fortunately, NFL teams have a system that is available right on your lineup screen that updates the status of a player’s ability to play. A player can be designated:
Injured Reserve (IR) – Player is officially out for at least 6 weeks, if not the whole season
Inactive (IA) – Player is officially inactive for the current game and will not play
Out (O) – Not scheduled to play, the player has a less than 10% chance of playing
Doubtful (D) – Player has approximately a 25% chance of playing
Questionable (Q) – Player has anywhere from a 50% to 90% chance of playing
3. If a player is injured badly or not playing well, you may want to replace him. There are two ways to do this: Free Agency and
the FAAB Waiver Wire. FAAB stands for Free Agency Acquisition Budget. FAAB is a fake currency that can be used to "buy" free agents during the Waiver Period on Tuesday and Wednesday. You only have $100 for the season, so spend it wisely! (You can also buy players for $0 if they are not otherwise bid on.)
To buy a player, go to the "add players" tab in Sleeper and submit a bid for them. At the end of the waiver period on Thursday morning, the player goes to the team with the highest submitted bid for them. The bids are blind, so good luck!
Free Agency starts immediately after the Waiver Period ends, and makes players not already on a roster available to be added immediately to your team for free.
4. Sometimes, you may want to trade for a player on another team. Be warned though, nobody wants to give up a player for nothing!
The regular season is 14 weeks long, so don’t get frustrated if you lose a few games! JC has never had an undefeated team, so a loss Week 1 isn’t the end of the season! As any NFL player would tell you, there’s a lot of football to be played!
Once Week 14 has concluded, the top four teams in each division head to the playoffs. The playoffs are made of two stages: the two week intra-divisional single-elimination bracket followed by the one week championship round.
In Weeks 15 and 16, each division's top 4 teams will play each other in a single elimination bracket. Week 15 has two matchups, the first seed vs the fourth and the second seed vs the third. The winners of those two games move onto the Week 16 Division Championship Game. The winner of the Division Championship Game moves on to the League Championship Round in Week 17.
In Week 17, the four division champions will play one week. The highest scoring team out of the four is the League Champion.
(Note: Sometimes, inter-divisional playoff teams will each start the same player. Since this player’s points will count towards both teams, this is simply a wash for both teams. This will NEVER happen in the regular season.)
The Good, The Bad, And The Skunky
As most of you know, here at JC we give out awards to just two players: the CHAMPION and the SKUNK! The Champion wins a custom jersey of their choosing and get their name engraved with champions of years past on the JC Fantasy Football Trophy. It’s big, it’s mahogany, it’s awesome! BUT, possibly even BETTER, the player who finishes dead last (in the entire league, not just your division) gets their name engraved on a special trophy as well! Good luck avoiding the pain and humiliation of the dreaded SKUNK trophy!
(Note: The Commissioner reserves the right to disqualify any team, for any reason, from receiving the skunk trophy. In that case, the skunk trophy will be awarded to the next-worst team.)
In the JC Fantasy Football League, there are just three rules. Violation of these rules may forfeit your spot in the league for coming seasons.
1. This league is, first and foremost, for fun! There should be nothing that divides us as members of the JC Family, least of all a made up football game. So, do your best and compete hard, but always with an attitude of sportsmanship and, above all else, love for one another!
2. Since this is fantasy football, the league needs to stay fantasy. Please do not trade Zeke for a pizza or Tom Brady for a Starbucks coffee.
3. Collusion and Tanking are both illegal and will not be tolerated:
Collusion is defined as trading away or dumping good players to another team in an uneven exchange. For instance, if Alan is eliminated from playoff contention and would like for Zac to win more than Eric, he may want to trade his all-star QB to Zac in exchange for a 5th string receiver. This is Collusion, and therefore illegal. That being said, never be afraid to trade if you feel it will help your team!
Tanking is defined as “throwing” the season, losing on purpose, or releasing good players to waivers, often because you may feel you are out of contention. This is illegal and gives an unfair advantage to whoever may play your team or pick up your players.
Thanks for reading! Hopefully this gets you caught up and ready to go for this year! It’s been a fun nine seasons, let’s make it a great tenth! Good luck, and Go Cowboys!
- Trey Matey, JC Fantasy Football Commissioner