Fantasy Football Rosters Definition
In fantasy football, your roster is your collection of signed players. Understanding how many roster spots you have to fill is an early step towards understanding how your fantasy football team will perform.
For example, most standard fantasy football leagues utilize a 17 spot roster made up of 9 starters and 8 "bench" players. Just knowing how many spots you have to fill informs your future strategy. For one thing, you know how many rounds your draft is going to last -- 17 players means 17 rounds of drafting. Also, you know you have 9 starting spots to pile with big name fantasy studs, and 8 roster spots for "sleepers", bait for future trades, or other players you can use as an edge against the competition.
Why is a roster's set of bench players so useful? In the NFL, every team has a bye week, so you'll need a solid backup to replace your stud RB or WR during their bye. Other reasons to make an attempt at building a solid backup roster is injury -- if you've got an older gunslinger in your starting group you may need a younger backup in case of injury. Still another reason for developing solid backups is the incidence of difficult matchups. Your RB facing a tough defense this weekend? No worries, switch to your backup, who happens to be facing a cream puff.
Differences in league rules can really affect how you build your roster. Some leagues are classified as "PPR", which means they use a scoring system that awards a set amount of Points Per Reception. This will change what kinds of WRs you draft -- not just big TD receivers but throw in a few guys who are going to get a ton of targets. Also, just like how a league sets up starting roster requirements (meaning you must draft a certain number of each offensive position), some leagues will put requirements on your backup roster lineup as well, though traditionally your backup roster can be made up of any players you'd like.
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