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How to Choose a Fantasy Football Online League

 

One of the fastest growing online activities of the past decade has been fantasy sports, and football has led the way as the most popular fantasy sport. A fantasy football online league is almost commonplace amongst every group of sports-loving friends, and even a common occurrence in offices too. In fact, last year, approximately 22% of all males online managed a fantasy sports team. 71% of these teams were football teams.

As the most popular sport in the field, it's important to make sure you're fully equipped with the best knowledge about all available options when choosing a fantasy football online league. Here we'll take a quick look at the three most popular football league websites, along with an exciting newcomer on the scene.

1. CBS Sports: Many like the CBS Sports (cbssportsline.com) fantasy leagues for their long standing history and reliability. Customizable league rules, unlimited live scoring, the ability to post stories, and more, draw millions of Americans to CBS Sports' NFL fantasy product every year. The biggest drawback to a CBS Sports fantasy football online league is the fact that it comes at a cost. Each league costs $149.95 as of the 2009 NFL season. The bigger the league, the cheaper the cost per member, but this may always be a limiting factor.

2. Yahoo! Sports: Like CBS, every Yahoo! fantasy football online league is very customizable, with a number of different formats available. Yahoo's live draft tool, its StatTracker, and its free league features make these leagues as easy as any to use. The major drawback at Yahoo is the fact that its live stats product (StatTracker) comes at a cost of $10.00. While the benefits of live stats are great, the drawbacks of no live stats on a full Sunday of football can be extremely annoying. Many believe that Yahoo's interface is the easiest to navigate, and it may be worth the $10.00 spent if usability carries weight.

3. ESPN: Until recently, ESPN's fantasy football online league platform was known to be clunky, slow, and often filled with bugs. Despite the damaged reputation, ESPN has made great strides over the past two years to improve its product and make it a much more enjoyable one. ESPN leagues are free to join, and so is ESPN's Fantasy Cast live scoring app. There are, however, teams that can be purchased in leagues where prizes are rewarded (usually things like t-shirts). The major drawback to an ESPN fantasy football online league is an interface that's still somewhat less pleasant to navigate than those CBS Sports and Yahoo! Sports.

There you have it. If you've never played in a fantasy football online league, joining a beginner league at any of the sites football live streaming  above will be a thrilling experience. There's a reason that 91% of fantasy players in 2008 said they'd be likely to play again. It's addicting!

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