Several years ago you had to search for a free fantasy football league. Today, most leagues online are completely free to play. There are so many that you may want to pick and choose only a couple. Here are my top three free fantasy football games and links to them.
#3. CBS Sports Fantasy Football
CBS Sports fantasy football has improved each year I have played it over the last 5 years. Free live scoring and $10,000 grand prize for a free game makes playing CBS Sports fantasy football a must for all fantasy fanatics. Aside from these attractive features I am not a huge fan of their format and the process of adding and dropping players which can be mildly confusing. There are also no live or mock draft lobbies but you can enter a public league that is drafting the next day.
They also offer a free down-loadable draft kit for those of you who need a little fantasy help. CBSSports.com has a very cool CBSSports Mobile program that you can add to your phone for free (basic functions, additional upgrades do come with a fee) to manage your team using your cellphone. If your really a fantasy football junkie, then make sure to play CBSSports’ brand new college fantasy game where you can actually play with college players from bowl division schools.
CBS Sports has a nice setup for fantasy football, but if you only have a team on this site, you may be left wanting more. I would suggest that every true fantasy fan have a team on CBS Sports, but there are better free fantasy games out there.
#2. ESPN Fantasy Football
ESPN Fantasy Football has some original and fantastic options for fantasy managers that can’t be found elsewhere. ESPN has an unmatched live draft lobby where you can literally join a league and start a draft at about any time of day within 10 minutes. While in the live draft lobby you have two draft formats to chose from; Auction format, or the standard “snake” format. The auction format allows each draftee $200 to use on their roster, which goes fast if you plan on grabbing a couple of high profile players. The snake format is the standard format used on most websites where you are randomly placed in a draft order.
ESPN has a very appealing format for their fantasy football leagues but I don’t care for the navigation and that the players statistics are not listed along with the point totals on your teams page. I might just be a picky fantasy fanatic, but when comparing fantasy games online, every detail must be looked at. One aspect of ESPN’s fantasy game I really like is the probable(P), Doubtful(D), Out(O), and Questionable(Q), projection for the upcoming week next to each player. These markers help you decide whether or not to play each player for the next week.
ESPN offers a great fantasy product for free. The live draft lobby is unmatched due to the amount of fantasy participants on ESPN and due to the fact that the limit of teams is very high at 15. The two draft styles is also attractive as you can experience both and end up with very different teams. ESPN’s Fantasy Football ranks #2 among free games.
#1. Yahoo Fantasy Football
Yahoo has the best, most user friendly free fantasy football game on the Internet. Yahoo has finally completely won over my loyalty after turning their real-time Stat Tracker into a free tool instead of a $14.95 annual fee. For four years I have hosted my own league among friends on Yahoo rather than other sports leagues due to the amount of scoring options that are not available on other websites. Yahoo has an amazing number of options as far as customizing your league settings. Yahoo is also the easiest fantasy game to play using either their classic or newer format for setting and editing your roster.
One of the downfalls of Yahoo fantasy is that there is a free fantasy football team limit of 4 teams. This of course, is only a problem for fantasy junkies such as myself who have over 15 fantasy teams a year. Yahoo has the best options, best live stat-tracker (now free), and is the most user friendly.
Honorable Mention: NFL.com fantasy football