ESPN.com Fantasy Sports

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.

Access ESPN.com fantasy sports games

There are two general types of fantasy sports: "predictors" and "team drafts".

Predictors

"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".

ESPN.com predictor-style fantasy sports

Team Drafts

"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.

ESPN.com draft-style fantasy sports

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!


How to Listen to ESPN Radio Online

As we explained in our tutorial of how to watch ESPN online, not all ESPN television programming or videos will be available for you to watch.  However, if you're okay with just listening to the sounds of your favourite game and skipping out on the sights, then there are quite a few more options available to you in terms of listening to ESPN Radio programs!

To listen to ESPN Radio on ESPN.com:

Go to www.espn.go.com and move your mouse cursor over Listen.  Then, select one of the options from the drop-down menu.  Listen Live is for live ESPN radio station broadcasts.  Podcasts are pre-recorded programs that you can also download.  Radio Programs are original pre-recorded shows from ESPN.  And Radio Schedule shows you what's playing on ESPN Radio, and when.

ESPN.com listening options

Ways to listen to ESPN Radio on ESPN.com

Listen Live

This allows you to listen live to any of ESPN's radio stations in the United States.  You can use the menu in the top-right corner of the player to switch to a different station.  You can also start or stop the broadcast if you need a break, or click Live to fast-forward to what's on air right now.  You can also adjust the volume of the player, including muting or un-muting it.

Listen live to ESPN Radio

Podcasts

This section features pre-recorded ESPN Radio programs that you can listen to on-demand by clicking Play in the respective box.  You can even click Download and save these program episodes to your computer so that you can listen to them whenever you want!  If you're looking for a particular program, move your mouse cursor over Find Your Favorite Podcast and click on an option in the drop-down menu to see all available episodes of that program.

Listen to ESPN Radio podcasts

Radio Shows

Get the need-to-know info on all of your favourite ESPN radio shows.  Get schedules and contact information, listen to show highlights, or search for archived podcasts of shows that you can listen to and download.

Listen to ESPN Radio original shows

Radio Schedule

If you're curious as to what will be on ESPN Radio in the near future, you can come here to check both the schedule of regular ESPN radio shows, as well as live events that will be broadcast on ESPN Radio.

View the ESPN Radio schedule

 

That's a quick overview of ways that you can listen to ESPN Radio online!


How to Watch ESPN Online

Did you miss a match featuring your favourite sports team?  Want to get caught up on your favourite ESPN sports news program?  Or perhaps you're worried that you won't be able to make it in front of a TV to watch your favourite athlete in their next big game.  Fear not: ESPN.com is here to help, with TV programming schedules, TV show and movie clips, and (under certain conditions) even live broadcasts of ESPN programs!

To watch ESPN online:

Go to www.espn.go.com and move your mouse cursor over Watch.  Then, click on one of the options that appear in the drop-down menu.  WatchESPN is for live ESPN TV.  TV Listings is an ESPN TV schedule.  SportsCenter/Latest Video are for pre-recorded clips from ESPN.  And ESPN Films is for sports documentaries (both shorts and full-length).

ESPN.com watching options

Ways to watch ESPN online

WatchESPN

WatchESPN is a service that allows you to watch ESPN programming on your Internet-enabled device (such as your computer or smart phone) instead of your television, if you're on the go.  You can watch programs that are live now or have already aired, or look ahead to see what's coming on soon.  You can also filter content based on a particular sport or ESPN show, or search for programming according to certain keywords.

WatchESPN on ESPN.com

Is WatchESPN free?

WatchESPN is only free in that there is no charge for using it.  However, in order to access its content, you must be subscribed to a television service provider that has ESPN in its default channel package (a full list of these can be found here).  Your user information for that subscription will validate your access to WatchESPN.

TV Listings

The "TV Listings" option doesn't necessarily let you watch ESPN programs online, but it does show you what shows or games are televised on ESPN-affiliated networks: past, present, and future!  You can use the drop-down menus at the top of the screen to set the schedule to a certain date and time (and then click the Go button to set the schedule to that date and time), or use the arrows on either side of the screen below this to browse the schedule 2 hours backward or forward in time.

ESPN.com TV channel schedules

SportsCenter / Latest Video

These will allow you to watch clips from recent matches on ESPN channels, or from recent ESPN programs.  You can use the buttons in the video player to start and stop the video, mute or adjust the volume, share the video on Facebook or Twitter, turn automatic playing of the next video in the queue on or off, or enable or disable full screen.

How to use the ESPN.com video player

You can also browse videos from particular sports, leagues, or shows…

How to browse ESPN.com videos

…or search for videos based on particular keywords.

How to search for ESPN.com videos

ESPN Films

ESPN also airs a series of sports documentaries called "30 for 30".  You can use the menu in the top-left corner (and across the top) to select a film that you want to see information about, then scroll down the screen for summaries and director biographies.  Some of the shorter films can even be watched right in your web browser, like other videos on ESPN.com!

ESPN.com 30 for 30 films

 

Those are some different ways that you can watch ESPN online through ESPN.com!  For our next tutorial, we'll show you how to listen to ESPN Radio online through ESPN.com!


How to Search ESPN.com

Looking for a specific video clip, event summary, or sports news story on ESPN.com?  Use the search feature on ESPN.com to filter and sort your way through ESPN.com's content database until you find what you want!  We'll show you how to do it here.

To search ESPN.com:

  1. Go to www.espn.go.com and click the magnifying glass icon in the main menu.

  2. Type your search terms, and then click a suggestion or click View All Results for "[X]".

  3. Use the search filters and result page navigation to find the result that you want.

  4. Click on the result to access it.

Detailed instructions on how to search ESPN.com

  1. Go to www.espn.go.com in your web browser.  In the main menu across the top, click the magnifying glass icon.

    ESPN.com search box and suggestions

    A box will appear allowing you to input your search terms.  As you type, ESPN.com will make suggestions on teams, leagues, or athletes that you may be looking for.  Click a suggestion to go right to its respective page on ESPN.com, or click View All Results for "[Your Search Terms]" to search for all instances of the terms that you typed in.

  2. On the search results screen, you can use the arrow buttons in the top-right corner to move forward or backward in pages of results.  You can also click in the number box here and type in a number to go to a specific page of results.

    ESPN.com search results

    Click on a result to view it.

  3. If you're having trouble finding what you're looking for right off the bat, tou can filter your results with the options on the left-hand side.  Click All, Stories, Video, Audio, or Photos to only see content of that type as results.

    ESPN.com content and date search filters

    You can also click in the boxes underneath "Filter By Date" and set a start date and/or end date (in month/day/year numeric fashion) for a filter, and then click Go to only display results posted after the start date and/or before the end date.

  4. You can also narrow down your results by clicking on the "+" icon beside "Refine Search" (clicking the "-" icon hides these options).  Then, click on one of the options here to only show results for a particular sport, section, author, team, "insider"/non-"insider", and so on.

    ESPN.com advanced search filters

That's a brief overview of how to work the search functions on ESPN.com!


ESPN.com NBA Section Tour

In our last tutorial, we gave you a general tour of ESPN.com.  Now, let's have a closer look at a section for a particular sports league.  In this example, we're going to focus on the section of ESPN.com dedicated to the NBA (National Basketball Association).  Note that most other league pages will be relatively similar.

To get to ESPN.com's NBA section, go to www.espn.go.com in your web browser and click NBA in the main header menu.

Access the ESPN.com NBA section

ESPN.com NBA main page

As you can see, the page for a specific league on ESPN.com is not very different from ESPN.com's main page.  Featured content is on the left, and most recent content is on the right.  One thing that is a bit different, though, is that there is now a league-specific sub-header of options below the main ESPN.com header menu.  We'll go over some of the main options below.

ESPN.com NBA section with sub-options

Scores

Here, you can see outcomes of NBA matchups.  Click the arrows, dates, or the calendar icon in the top left to navigate to results for a specific day.  If a game is already over, you can get a Recap or view the Box Score.  If the game hasn't started yet, you can buy tickets for it, join a Conversation about it, or go to the PickCenter to predict which team will win (see our ESPN.com Fantasy Sports tutorial).

ESPN.com NBA scores

Teams

This will show you a list of teams in the NBA, grouped by divisions.  Click on a team's name to access its respective page on ESPN.com, which includes news about the team, individual player statistics, the team's schedule, recent scores, and more.

ESPN.com NBA team directory

Schedule

This will show you upcoming matchups on a league-wide basis.  You can click the arrows, dates, and calendar icon in the top left to navigate to a certain day.  Or, you can use the Team Schedules drop-down menu in the top right to view the schedule for a particular team.  You may also be able to buy tickets for a game.

ESPN.com NBA schedule

Stats

This page shows you the players in the league who are leading in terms of common play statistics.  You can use the drop-down menu at the top to select to see statistics leaders from a different season.  Also, if you scroll further down, you can click on a specific type of statistic under either "Player Statistics" or "Team Statistics" to see how each player or team stacks up for that statistic.

ESPN.com NBA statistics and leaders

Standings

Here, you can see how each team in the league ranks.  You can use the topmost options to view standard standings, team performance in specific types of games (e.g. decided by a certain number of points, or against teams with winning or losing records), or team performance against other teams in the same division.

Below these options, you can sort the rankings by the entire league, by conference, or by division.  You can also use the two drop-down menus to select which season you want to see standings for, as well as whether you want to see rankings for the preseason or regular season.

Finally, in the actual standings table, you can click any statistic header that is underlined to sort teams according to that particular statistic.

ESPN.com NBA standings

 

Those are some of the common sections that you will see among league or sport pages on ESPN.com!


Tour of ESPN.com

Now that we've introduced and reviewed ESPN.com, it's time to give you a tour of how the website actually works.  We'll cover some of the different sections and functions in more detail in some of our other tutorials, but for now, here's what you're likely to see on the main page or when you read an article on the website.

ESPN.com main page

Across the very top of the page, you can see the latest scores and matchups from sports leagues that have recently had games played, or have games upcoming.  You can change which league you see scores and matches for by clicking the drop-down menu that says Top Events and selecting a league.  You can use the arrows at either end of the header to scroll through events if they do not all fit on the screen (and you may be able to use an additional drop-down menu to select a date for which to view matches).

Depending on the status of the event, you may have different options if you move your mouse cursor over it.  If it is in progress or already over, you can look at a Recap or the Box Score.  If it hasn't started yet, you can view a Preview article on it, or perhaps buy Tickets.

ESPN.com score ticker

The bar below this is the main menu for ESPN.com.  You can click the website's logo to get back to the main page at any time.  Beside that, you can click one of the league names to go to a page for news about that league or sport, or move your mouse cursor over a league name for more specific options (such as schedules, standings, or player transactions).  The "" option will show you options for news about other sports, such as golf, tennis, or boxing.

We'll look at what a league news page looks like in our ESPN.com NBA Section Tour tutorial.

ESPN.com league sections directory

On the right side of this bar are additional options.  Move your mouse cursor over Watch to bring up options for watching various ESPN.com video content.  Move your mouse cursor over Listen for options related to listening to ESPN live radio feeds and podcasts of pre-recorded shows.  Move your mouse cursor over Fantasy for a list of fantasy sports games that you can play on ESPN.com (our ESPN.com Fantasy Sports tutorial will explain this further).  The little box of dots here will display ESPN.com's regional, international, and affiliate websites when you move your mouse cursor over it; click one to go there.  And clicking the magnifying glass icon will allow you to search ESPN.com for specific content.

ESPN.com watch, listen, fantasy, and search

Content on the left side of the main part of the page comprises the most popular stories on ESPN.com, while content on the right side of the page is what has recently been added to ESPN.com or its Twitter feed.  Scroll down the screen for more content (it will scroll endlessly), or click on a story to go to it.

ESPN.com new and featured content

ESPN.com content page

When you're reading a story, you can click the social media buttons beside it to share the story over (from top to bottom) Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or email (you must log into the first three in order to share content).  You can also click the printer icon to print out this story, or the speech bubble icon to bring up the comments section.  If you are logged into Facebook, you can leave a comment by clicking in the box labelled "Add a Comment", typing in what you want to say, and then clicking Post.

Share, print, or comment on an ESPN.com article

You can scroll down the screen for related stories, or just click on them from the list on the left-hand side of the screen (you can scroll this list, too).

Related ESPN.com stories

 

That concludes our quick general tour of ESPN.com!  Be sure to check out our other tutorials for instructions on how to use some of the features that we discussed in more detail!