NFL Fantasy Football Leagues 2023
Are you ready for some fantasy football? We’ve outlined everything you need to know about starting an NFL fantasy football league this season.
Whether you’re beginning your fantasy football journey for the first time or are already a seasoned veteran, our guide will help you make the most out of the upcoming NFL season. We’ll outline the different types of leagues you can join and the best resources to help you along the way.
Best NFL fantasy football sites
The first step in fantasy football is selecting the right platform. We’ve highlighted the most popular fantasy sports websites that offer the best fantasy football games in the table below.
|Site||Free-to-play leagues||Pay-to-play leagues||Key features||Details|
|CBS Sports Fantasy||✔||✔||
|DraftKings Fantasy Sports||✔||✔||
|FanDuel Fantasy Sports||✔||✔||
|ESPN Fantasy Sports||✔||—||
|NFL Fantasy Football||✔||✔||
|Sleeper: Fantasy Leagues||✔||✔||
Yahoo Fantasy Sports
Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*Available in states where sports betting is legal.
When choosing a platform, you’ll want to make sure you’re joining a competition that fits your budget and schedule. (Fantasy league burnout does exist.) Because each site operates differently, you’ll want to consult with the platform’s official rules before proceeding.
Our recommendation: Yahoo Fantasy Sports offers the best experience for first-time fantasy football players. Both the website and the app are easy to navigate, and you can play for free to become more familiar with how things work before jumping into the deep end.
Like most of the other options in the table above, Yahoo also offers fantasy leagues for other sports. It even has college football League Pick’em games, where you guess the winner of weekly college matchups. After all, if you’re into the NFL, you probably already follow college football.
Types of fantasy football leagues
Once you choose a platform, you’ll need to select the specific type of league you want to play. While not every league type is available on every platform, you’ll have one or more of the following options:
- Standard Draft League
- Auction League
- Dynasty League
- Keeper League
- Redraft League
- Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) League
Fantasy league newcomers will want to choose a standard draft league. This mode lets you draft players at the start of the season and make roster adjustments ahead of each NFL game week.
There are generally two competition types within a standard draft league: head-to-head and total points. A head-to-head competition puts different teams against each other each week, with a win awarded to the team with the most points that week. On the other hand, total points competitions focus on accumulated points, and the winner is decided based on who holds the most points by the season’s end.
If you’re looking for a more difficult league type, a dynasty league might be the best option. Most aspects of a dynasty league operate like a standard draft league. But you stay with your same roster for subsequent seasons and can only draft rookies in season two and onward. Sleeper‘s fantasy league platform is our favorite for dynasty leagues because of its dynamic mobile app and year-round team management system.
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Best online resources for fantasy football
Apart from understanding your league’s rules, you’ll want to back yourself up with fantasy news and analysis resources. A combination of the right tools and personal ingenuity will take your league domination from the NFL Draft all the way to the Super Bowl.
Most fantasy league platforms offer tools and resources, but we’ve listed some great third-party options in the table below.
|Beer Sheets||A single-sheet draft guide catered to your league rules to help build a draft strategy.|
|FantasyPros||A fantasy sports hub focused on aggregated expert advice, rankings, and projections.|
|Pro Football Focus||A news and analysis site dedicated to fantasy and betting leagues, with premium features available for advanced NFL stats and projections.|
|Reddit (r/fantasyfootball)||A one-stop shop for quick player and team news, including a lot of hot takes and confirmation bias.|
|Sports Injury Central||An in-depth source for injury news and analysis from sports medicine experts.|
Some resources might be daunting for newcomers due to the abundant usage of fantasy league terminology and acronyms. But ESPN has a helpful fantasy football glossary you can refer to when necessary.
Many sites specialize in NFL fantasy football leagues. If you’re new to fantasy football, we recommend checking out Yahoo Fantasy Sports. You’ll need to sign up for a Yahoo account to get started, but the commitment comes without any cost, and the site is easy to navigate. Yahoo also hosts other fantasy sports leagues for more year-round entertainment—including fantasy baseball and basketball.
If you’re looking for a bigger challenge, DraftKings and FanDuel offer a wider variety of higher-stakes competitions. Sleeper also has the best Dynasty game mode, allowing gridiron fans to play fantasy football even during the NFL off-season.
NFL fantasy football leagues FAQ
How much does fantasy football cost?
Fantasy football sites usually offer free contests. But if you’re in it for the big prizes, most public competitions require entry deposits or monthly fees. Private fantasy leagues cost differently based on the platform used and the predetermined buy-in—some in-person leagues play for tacos.
What is a fantasy football commissioner fee?
The person in charge of a paid fantasy league—usually referred to as the commissioner or league manager—may have to pay a fee to run their league on specific platforms each season. In most cases, league members split the cost and pay the commissioner.
What is a PPR league?
In a PPR (points-per-reception) league, you will receive points for every reception completed by a player in your starting lineup.
Our sports experts spent over 20 hours researching and testing different fantasy football league platforms. We based our recommendations on ease of use by examining each platform’s user interface, free-to-play options, and in-app resources.
Check out our How We Rank page to learn more about our methods.