Fantasy Football League Formats (Traditional)

The ultimate goal remains the same across all fantasy football leagues: to assemble the best team and score the most points. However, there are several ways to skin the proverbial cat. In this article, we will explore a few of the more popular league formats to give you a sense of what most fantasy football enthusiasts are playing these days. If you are a beginner wondering which fantasy football league format is for you, look no further than the five Fantasy Football League Formats listed here.

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Redraft League

The redraft league is the most common and traditional fantasy football league format. In a redraft league, teams start each season with a clean slate, and all players are available for selection in the annual draft. Owners assemble their teams through snake or auction drafts, and the draft order is usually randomized or determined based on previous season standings. Redraft leagues are excellent for beginners or casual fans, as they require less commitment and allow for team rebuilding every season. As a beginner, a redraft league is the best place to jump into fantasy.

Dynasty League

If you’re looking for a longer-term commitment and want to emulate the process of building and maintaining a real NFL franchise, then a dynasty fantasy football league format might be for you. In dynasty leagues, owners retain all of their players from year to year, mimicking a concept similar to the NFL’s player contract system. Teams have an annual draft to select rookies and can also make trades and sign free agents. Dynasty leagues typically require more engagement and can be more challenging, as savvy owners focus on building a solid core of young, talented players for sustained success.

Keeper League

A keeper league strikes a nice balance between redraft and dynasty leagues. In a keeper league, owners are permitted to keep a certain number of players from their roster for the following season. Typically, you retain a predetermined number of players, usually around 1-3, although this can vary widely depending on your league’s rules. This format fosters continuity and allows owners to build long-term strategies, making it more akin to managing a real professional team. Additionally, keeper leagues often involve draft pick trades or penalties for keeping players, further enhancing the complexity and involvement of owners.

Devy League

Devy (short for developmental) leagues take fantasy football to another level by incorporating collegiate football players into the draft pool. In these leagues, owners can draft players who are still in college, referred to as “devy” players. Devy leagues provide an exciting twist as owners must research and evaluate college players alongside their NFL counterparts. Drafting well in devy leagues can yield significant advantages when players eventually transition to the NFL. However, it also presents the challenge of keeping up with the constantly evolving talent pool of college players.

Campus to Canton (C2C) League

The Campus to Canton format combines the excitement of devy leagues with the historical significance of NFL legends. In C2C leagues, owners draft both college players and NFL players, forming two separate fantasy squads. The ultimate goal is to select players who have excelled in college and those who maintain successful NFL careers. Of course, it is difficult to dominate both leagues. The drafted college players transition to the NFL side of teams’ rosters when they enter the professional ranks. C2C leagues are ideal for fantasy enthusiasts who enjoy following the journey of players from college to the pros, adding an extra layer of competitive play to the Devy League format.

Fantasy football provides various league formats to cater to different preferences and levels of commitment. Whether you prefer the simplicity of a redraft league, the long-term strategy of a dynasty league, the anticipation of devy leagues, or the combination of collegiate and professional players, there is a fantasy football format that can suit your desires. 

And, there are plenty of other non-traditional fantasy football league formats that are less popular, but just as fun to play, as those listed above. Make sure to check out our article on non-traditional fantasy formats, if you’re looking for something a little bit outside the norm, and then try one out on

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