What are ESPN.com Fantasy Sports?
ESPN Fantasy Sports are games in which you attempt to predict things such as match outcomes or player performances over the course of a seasonal sport. Most require you to register for an account on ESPN.com; some are free to enter, while others require you to pay money. You may also win prizes in some of them.
How do ESPN.com Fantasy Sports work?
To access ESPN.com's Fantasy Sports games, go to www.espn.go.com and move your mouse cursor over Fantasy in the main menu across the top. Then click to select one of the options in the drop-down menu.
There are two general types of fantasy sports: "predictors" and "team drafts".
"Predictors" are pretty straightforward. In most cases, you choose which team or athlete you think will win a match or competition. In some cases, you may be asked to predict whether or not a certain event will happen during a match or over a series of matches. For example, you may be asked to predict whether a team (or teams) will score a certain number of points during a match, or whether teams from one grouping will win more games on a given day than teams from another grouping.
If your prediction is correct, you will be awarded points, and (in some cases) you will also build up your streak of correct predictions in a row. The person or people who have the most points and/or the most correct predictions in a row win the competition.
An example of a "predictor" fantasy sport on ESPN.com is "Streak for the Cash".
"Team drafts" are a little bit more complex. In this type of fantasy sports game, you are grouped with a limited number of other competitors (usually 7, 9, or 11), in order to ensure fairness. Then, you each take turns selecting players from a particular sports league to "draft" to your virtual "team". In some cases, you can trade selections, or drop players from your team and add others, throughout the pre-season or course of the season.
Once the league season starts, the players on your virtual team will be statistically measured based on their contributions to the team that they play for in the real world. These contributions are usually things like how often they're on the playing field, how often they score points for their team, or how often they are able to stop the other team from scoring points. For example, if you're doing a hockey-themed fantasy draft and you select Sidney Crosby for your team, then his performance when he plays games for the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins (like how many goals he scores or how many times he assists with a teammate scoring a goal) will affect your virtual team score.
The more positive contributions that the players on your virtual team make to the teams that they play for in the real world, the more points you will score for your virtual team overall. At the end of the season, the person who has the most points for their virtual team is the winner.
An example of this format of fantasy sports on ESPN.com is the "Premier Fantasy" game for the Barclay's English Premier League of soccer.
What else should I know about ESPN.com Fantasy Sports?
Almost all ESPN.com Fantasy Sports games require you to register for an account on ESPN.com in order to participate. To do so, click Log In in the main menu across the top, then click Sign Up, and then Sign Up with Email. Use the form provided to enter the required information, and then click Sign Up again. Once you have an account, you can click Log In, use the provided form to enter your email and password, and then click Log In again.
Most ESPN.com Fantasy Sports games are free to enter, but others may require you to pay money in order to create or join groups. Make sure to read the Rules or FAQ sections for each type of game to know whether or not you have to pay for it.
Some ESPN.com Fantasy Sports games have cash prizes as awards (but these games are usually more difficult or require you to pay money to play them), while others have prizes such as gift cards to popular retailers. Check out the Prizes or Rules sections for each game to see what you could win, and what you need to do to qualify for winning a prize.
When playing "team draft" formats, the scoring setup may vary. For example, "rotisserie" scoring ranks all participants' teams at once in each statistical category, with higher rankings giving more points and vice-versa. Meanwhile, "head-to-head" scoring allows two participants to pick a certain number of statistical categories that they think their team will do well in, and then compare how many categories their teams do better in during the scoring period. Scoring is then based on a win-loss-tie record.
If you're looking for advice on how to play fantasy sports games, there are plenty of articles on ESPN.com that you can read for help with current popular strategies. If you're just looking for a general introduction to how to play fantasy sports games strategically, check out this article on sportsbettingonline.net, or "The Basics" section of articles on RotoGrinders.com. You can also check the "Training Camp" section of DraftKings.com for sport-specific beginner's tips.
We may eventually write a course on how to play fantasy sports in the future, but for now, that's an introduction to fantasy sports on ESPN.com!