Fantasy Football Definition of Salary Cap
One variation of traditional fantasy football is the salary cap game. In professional sports, teams are often limited in terms of payroll and the size of their roster by a salary cap enforced by the league. The purpose of a salary cap in the real world is to create a false sense of equity -- a salary cap ensures that big market teams won't stomp on their small market competition simply by signing tons of valuable and expensive free agents.
In the fantasy version of the salary cap game, fantasy managers are given a specific budget at the beginning of the season and again at the beginning of each new week of play. Once you've figured out your maximum spending amount, you can start formulating your draft strategy. Salary caps change fantasy football team building strategy in a pretty obvious way -- you can't go draft crazy, picking whatever players you have access to, you've gotta consider the money value of that player. Often when I'm drafting in a salary cap restricted fantasy football league, it feels like I'm bargaining with myself -- "Is Romo really worth all that money?" and "Man, for a sleeper he's sure got a hefty salary". The cheapskate in me really shows his face.
The fun isn't over after the draft. Each week, when you alter your starting fantasy roster, you must also come in below the salary cap. And just to make things even more difficult for you, many salary cap fantasy football leagues make small changes to players' monetary values as the season continues. The good news -- they only change values downward, so if your sleeper QB pick starts having a bangup season, you won't have to hand over any more money to keep him as your go to guy. You may, however, free up room for a player you've got your eye on as values trend downward.
Some basic strategy related to salary cap fantasy football -- go ahead and spend all your money every week. Remember, your money doesn't roll over week after week, so unspent money is money wasted.