Tech

Free Fantasy Football 2014: Top 5 Sites

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(Getty)

Fantasy football is a ton of fun, and a great way to hang with your fellow football fans. If you’re looking for an alternative to the NFL’s fantasy football, look no further. Whether your looking for a new home for your league, or getting ready to start your very first league, the following five websites are the best places to set up shop.


1. CBS Fantasy Football

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(CBS)

Whether you’re looking for a paid league or a free league, CBS is a popular choice for fantasy football. There are multiple ways to play, making this site great for both noobs and seasoned veterans who want tons of customization. You can also order the CBS Fantasy Football Draft Kit, which comes with a jumbo draft board that measures nearly 15 square feet.

Get started here.


Pros:

  • Perks include customizable scoring, flex positions, and custom polls
  • Site also offers trade evaluator
  • Tons of ways to play, from office pools to commish to fantasy football prize leagues
  • Ideal for players who know their league cohorts in real life
  • Offers tools and resources for players

Cons:

  • Some paid prize leagues are quite expensive
  • CBS won’t respond to every message they get through the feedback form
  • News could be more frequent and in-depth
  • Has been plagued by freezes and outages in past seasons
  • Mobile version of the experience has some communication issues with other owners

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2. ESPN Fantasy Football

You can see the ESPN interface in the handy how-to video above on drafting.

ESPN arguably provides some of the best and most insightful fantasy football advice out there, especially when it comes to drafting. For that reason alone, it makes sense for many players to set up their leagues through ESPN. The interface is attractive, and it’s pretty easy to conduct any league business you have on the site.

Get started here.


Pros:

  • Great community
  • ESPN claims to have the “most customizable free game out there”
  • Tons of articles, podcasts, and insights
  • Nice interface
  • Robust FAQ

Cons:

  • Players in some states are ineligible to win prizes
  • Mobile interface can be hard to read at times
  • You can also participate in ESPN’s Winner’s Circle
  • Some aspects of the game, like playoff tiebreakers, can be confusing
  • Also supports fantasy baseball, basketball, soccer, and hockey

3. Yahoo Fantasy Football

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(Yahoo)

Yahoo Sports offers a fantasy football interface that is attractive and easy to navigate. This ease of navigation is evident in both the main site, as well as the mobile app experience. Boasting a ton of new features for 2014, Yahoo Sports is beloved by dynasty league players, as well as newcomers to the world of fantasy football.

Get started here.


Pros:

  • Has one of the stronger mobile apps
  • Draft or mock draft 24/7 from your phone or tablet
  • Support for conditional waivers
  • New stat category for first downs
  • Edit Pre-Draft Ranking tool has been updated

Cons:

  • Had a notable outage two years ago that left some bitter
  • You might not like how Yahoo deals with draft crashes
  • Some users have been waiting for new features for a long time
  • Yahoo has been vague about the new features “coming soon”
  • Site widgets with “most added” players of the day are short, lacking in detail

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4. Fox Sports Fantasy Football

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(Fox Sports)

Despite being backed by a major network, Fox Sports fantasy football tends to get overlooked in favor of other football sites. That being said, Fox Sports fantasy football offers a ton of great tools to augment their user experience. Player news, injury reports, weekly projections, and roster trends are available at the tips of your fingers whenever you need them.

Get started here.


Pros:

  • Also offers baseball, basketball, and hockey sim games, as well as fantasy auto racing
  • Includes chats, blogs, experts, and detailed fantasy info
  • Join, create, or activate a league
  • New weekly League Recap email
  • Offers improved mobile experience for 2014

Cons:

  • Not clear if Riggle’s picks will resume for 2014
  • Draft tools are solid, but somewhat lacking compared to other sites
  • Doesn’t go the extra mile to deliver features and news
  • Mobile support is iPhone only at this time
  • Prizes offered by other sites may be more appealing

5. Fleaflicker

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(Fleaflicker)

This free fantasy football site works cross-platform on both smartphones and computers. Especially appealing to dynasty league players, Fleaflicker is nice because there is no offseason. All leagues are granted unlimited access any time of year. Featured on the Wall Street Journal and TechCrunch, Fleaflicker has amassed a loyal following of passionate football fans.

Get started here.


Pros:

  • Allows you to import your existing league
  • Also offers baseball, hockey, and basketball
  • Email drafts are great for leagues that can’t agree on a time to draft
  • Up-to-the-second live stats and news
  • Make multi-team blockbuster trades involving players, future draft picks, or both

Cons:

  • Can be frustrating when a player drops out of your league
  • Some users find stats to be crowded and hard to take in
  • Ads annoy some players
  • For Twitter addicts, lack of more frequent tweets from Fleaflicker may be a downside
  • Owner’s manual is a good resource, but could be more robust

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