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Be The Commish: Set Up Your Own Fantasy Football League at Yahoo!

by: Benjamin Sell ; edited by: Milawe ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

Looking to make the jump from fantasy football owner to commissioner of your own league? Yahoo! Fantasy Football is a great place to do it. Our guide will walk you through the process of setting up your league, choosing settings, and inviting your friends.

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    So, you’ve decided it’s time to take matters into your own hands and become commissioner of your own Yahoo! Fantasy Football league? Congratulations on your promotion to the highest office of fantasy football.

    Our guide will walk you through the process of setting up your first league, inviting your friends, and choosing a draft type that works for everyone.

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    Getting Started

    Your first stop should be the main Yahoo! Fantasy Football page. Here, you’ll find a series of links near the top of the screen. Click on the big yellow “Create a League" button to begin the process.

    You’ll be asked to sign into your Yahoo! account if you haven’t already. Once that’s done, you’ll be taken to the “Create League" screen.

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    League Name and Password

    Create Your League Screen   On this screen, you have several options to consider. First is league name and password. Your league name should be something catchy and memorable, in case your team owners have multiple leagues and you want them to be able to remember which is yours.

    Your league password should NOT be a password you regularly use around the Internet. This password will be emailed out to anyone you invite to the league and they’ll have to use it again to join. It would be very easy for someone to take advantage of your password if you use one that is not unique to your league.

    Many commissioners use the password as a chance to get the smack talking started for the league. Whether or not you do this depends on the members you’ll be inviting, but it might be worth the minor psychological advantage you’ll gain by forcing other team owners to type in “imaloser" or something similar when joining the league.

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    League Type

    League type is a very important consideration. There are several options to choose from, but perhaps the most important initial decision is between “Head to Head" and “Points" types.

    “Head to Head" leagues pit one team against another each week, with the teams who earn the highest overall win/loss records going to the playoffs in the last weeks of the season. This type of league is more competitive and (at least in my opinion) a lot more interesting. The disadvantage is that it is entirely possible to score amongst the highest teams in your league and still end up with a losing record if your head to head opponents continually score higher than you.

    “Points" leagues are a bit less competitive, as there is no direct competition from week to week. Teams simply compete to see who can score the most points by season’s end, with the highest-scorer winning the championship. The disadvantage to points leagues is that it’s a bit harder to come back if you get down in the beginning of the season. It’s more strategy and less competition.

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    Custom League Setup

    The third option is a custom league setup. If you’re a grizzled fantasy veteran who knows exactly how point values can affect a league, or if you’ve always wanted to set up a two quarterback, five running back league, you can use this setting to make your dream league come to life.

    Be careful, though. Randomly assigning point values will radically change the outcome of a season. If you’re not prepared to consider the implications of granting 1 point per 30 PR yards versus 1 point per 40 PR yards, you are probably better off starting with a default league setup and tweaking a few settings or positions as you see fit.

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    Draft Type

    There are two types of drafts to choose from: Live and Autopick. Live drafts require players to be online at a certain time to participate while autopick drafts allow players to pre-rank players and have the computer pick for everyone.

    Live drafts are very exciting and allow each owner more exacting control over his or her team, but it can be very hard to coordinate a time that works for everyone. Autopick is more fair, but isn’t as fun. You’ll have to decide what works best for your league.

    If you choose a Live draft, you’ll also have to choose a time and date for it. You can change this later, so don’t worry too much if you haven’t coordinated with everyone yet.

    You can also choose to have an offline draft, where everyone meets up and chooses players and the commissioner enters all the data afterward, if you and your owners live in the same area.

    Once all settings on the page are to your liking, hit “Save and Continue" to, well, save and continue.

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    League and Scoring Settings

    If you’ve chosen custom settings, you’ll now be given an opportunity to tweak them.

    Once you’ve made any desired changes, hit “Save and Continue" to move on. You can tweak these settings at any time, so don’t worry if you’re not exactly sure about them at this moment.

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    Create Your Team

    Create Your Team Screen   Part of being a commissioner is owning a team in your league, and this is your chance to set it up. Choose your contact settings, choose a logo, and give your team a memorable name.

    This is your face in the league, so make sure you put as much effort into it as you would for a team in a league you're not in charge of.

    Once you’re done, choose “Save and Continue" to move on.

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    Review and Register

    Once your team is set up you’ll move on to the final confirReview Settings Screen   mation screen. Here, you can review all your league settings and ensure that everything is to your liking.

    If you like what you see, press “Register Now" to confirm and officially set up your league.

    The next screen offers you a choice. You can head to the main league page or take the opportunity to invite players to your league. Since it’s not really any fun to play fantasy football alone, let’s go over inviting a few friends to the league.

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    Invite Players

    Click the “Invite Friends" button to move on to the invitation screen.

    There are two fields to fill in on this screen. The first simply asks you to fill in the email addresses of anyone you’d like to ask to join the league. Separate the addresses with commas.

    Again, you can always invite more people later. If you only have a few people’s addresses, go ahead and enter them, then come back later and invite everyone else once you know what email to send the invitation to.

    You can also enter a personal message. It might be a good idea to use this space to let people know exactly who is inviting them and why they might want to join.

    That’s it! You’ve successfully set up your first Yahoo! Fantasy Football league. Now you can look forward to a full season of fantasy football goodness, in a league where you’re in charge of practically every aspect. Enjoy your time as commissioner, just don’t abuse your power.

    Nobody likes that.


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