Baseball Fantasy Leagues (and how it works)

I'm trying to get my brother to play some kind of baseball game with me. He's not into device/console etc. type games. But he suggested to give a try with fantasy baseball. O.k. We saw that ESPN has one free. But deal is, we need to know how it works and find one that is not that hardcore (we are fans of baseball and keep up with it on a casual to medium level.) I see (or think I see) that one hasn't been started here since 2005. So can anyone recommend a place (ESPN any good), and some sort of handbook on what it is. Neither of us have played and fantasy games (well, sport kinds:>)


We actually had one on ESPN last year. I know, because I came in last. I can't remember who ran it though.

It's a pretty simple interface.

I'll look into my ESPN account and see what rules we had set.

We used ESPN for my offline Fantasy Football league the last two years, and I thought it was awfully clumsy, and the iPhone app is terrible.

I've never played in a fantasy baseball league, though. I actually might be inclined to jump into a Goodjer league, but I wouldn't be able to run it.


Yahoo has really "user-friendly" fantasy baseball leagues as well, and I believe has one too.

I tend to like the ESPN one the best because it has the most information. When I created a league for some students in my school (for the Honor's Math kids), we used Yahoo because it was simpler to interface.

If you are not hardcore about it, the smallest you can create a league is 4 teams under most formats. 3 of my friends and I have a "for fun" NBA fantasy league on ESPN that way. We all have stacked teams, and can talk trash.

For baseball you can either have "head to head" or "roto" leagues. In H2H leagues, you can play a different team once a week (example, you play your brother for Week 1, and the highest points after the week wins). In a Roto league you pick a few statistical categories and track who has the highest total for each category. The regular leagues are "5x5" leagues, with 5 batting and 5 pitching categories.

You can alter any settings at a league creation menu.

I can help with advice down the road if you want to start one.

Last Year's League Site

We were set up auction style with a $200 budget for the season and 2 weekly processing days.

Scoring was H2H with five categories in both batting (AVG, R, HR, RBI, SB) & pitching (ERA, K, WHIP, W, SV...minimum 3 starts).

If that made any sense then good, feel free to stop reading here.

If not...

You're basically filling a lineup with players from your roster in order to best your opponent in the categories listed above. Matches usually last a week, unless it's the playoffs, and at the end any category you're leading in counts as a win. If you're trailing it's a loss and if you're tied then you're tied.

The game really comes down to two parts, the draft and roster moves. If you really have a bang up draft you may be able to coast to the playoffs. But even if you don't draft well you'll still have a shot if you make smart choices in free agency. This is where that $200 comes into play. Not every league will be set up auction style, some folks like to be able to pick up FA's as often as they want.

Having tried the auction style last year, this is now my preferred method. It adds a little extra challenge, it forces you to do a little more research and maybe give a guy a little longer before dropping him.

No Budget. FA's are first come / first serve.

$X Budget applies. FA's are bid on by suitors. Highest bid wins and bid amount is deducted from the winners season budget.

I hope I was able to clear things up a bit there. It may have been more than you were looking for. Or it may have confused and frightened you and you're now slowly rocking in the corner. Either way, feel free to ask more. There are myriad other options for roster setup and scoring, I just tried to cover what we did last year.

I was going to post something shortly about getting a new league going, but maybe your post will spark some interest. Especially with pitchers and catchers reporting this week.

Thanks for the information HansomB1derful(!), The Counselor and airicc8. All sounds interesting. I'll have to go find a primer on Fantasy Baseball (also my Brother) to know what all the terms mean and such. (and TheCounselor, I may take you up on you offer of help if I get stumped. But that's what is great about doing stuff like this with GWJ'ers').

I ran the league here last year (and would be interested again, although if someone else wants to commish it's theirs for the taking). Hansom did a good job with the specifics, but in a nutshell you need to know that it will take adjusting your roster a few times a week and watching injury/performance news throughout the season.