4for4 Beginners Guide

In the world of fantasy football, it can be hard to know whom to trust.

When I first came upon 4for4.com, I approached it with the same caution that I usually do when reading other people's opinions regarding the great sport of fantasy football that I've loved so much for the past 15 years.

Then I noticed the 'Scouts' and other tabs at the top. It included testimonials, information about membership, contact information, and most importantly, a listing of the 4for4.com staff. Seeing the credentials of the professionals who run this site instantly made me take notice. Soon, 4for4.com quickly became my favorite fantasy football resource.

Now, I'd like to offer a 4for4.com beginner's guide. The site offers many outstanding features that you'll want to take full advantage of.

But first things first.

What is Fantasy Football? (The world's greatest obsession)

Fantasy football is the creation of your own personal NFL team. There are many different guidelines and variations to the game, but the principle remains the same. 4for4.com does a great job of accounting for these different variations by allowing for varying scoring methods, league sizes, drafting restrictions, and even league longevity.

Scoring Methods
A standard fantasy football scoring method is shown below (however these vary greatly):




Passing Yards

1 per 25yds

Rushing Yards

1 per 10yds

Receiving Yards

1 per 10yds



Extra Points


Field Goals


Two-Point Conversions


Defensive Touchdown






Defensive Turnover


Offensive Turnover


I've personally seen variations that include scoring for individual defensive players, special teams, tackles, receptions, and just about everything else. The system listed above however is a great starting point. Whatever works for your league is just fine, but be aware that many reference sources use this type of system when evaluating draft strategy.

League Sizes
A typical league is ten or twelve teams in size and drafts in a snake-like manner (that is, #1-10 in the first round, #10-1 in the second round, and so forth). I have seen leagues as large as 16 and when I was in Iraq, I was part of a four-person fantasy football league (resources were scarce, but quality fantasy football players were abundant that year).

Most agree that ten or twelve people is just about right. Too few people and everyone on every team is a superstar, which takes the fun out of it. Too many people and the talent pool is spread too thin, making the league far less enjoyable.

Fantasy teams have starters and backups, just like real NFL teams do. Most leagues start 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 or 3 WRs, 1 TE, 1 K, and 1 Defense. This is a standard way to set it up, but I've seen more and less of each position, and I've also seen KR and PR players and individual defensive players as well. A good idea is to start with the above as a base amount, and then adjust it for the size of your league. For example, if your league is only eight teams, then perhaps start a few extra players each week.

Salary Cap Leagues
Many leagues draft players. Some do not. Some leagues run off an auction or salary cap. Still others play the new Start Em Once style (FFTOC).

If your league does a salary cap, then that means a certain dollar amount has been assigned to each player in the NFL. As an owner, you have to keep your fantasy team under a designated salary cap limit. Usually, the cap is around $100 million and the player values range from $1 million for the lowest level players all the way to $30-50 million for a few of the elite players.

4for4.com has an excellent way to balance out the salaries that should be given to players in the league. Operating off a percentage, 4for4's customizable auction bid values section can help you to allocate the right percentage of the salary cap to the right player.

This tool allows for you to customize how many players of each position are being drafted as well as the size of your league. This is an excellent way to start a salary cap league and to establish fair and realistic values. For more, see: http://www.4for4.com/auction.php

Auction Leagues
For those in auction leagues, check out the above link. By using 4for4.com custom Auction Values, you'll enjoy an outrageously huge edge over those other managers using a generic price list. The goal of auction leagues is to draft a number of top-tier players in each position for as little as possible.

League Longevity (Keeper Leagues)
Many leagues build their teams from scratch each year with a draft. This is the most prevalent method (Redraft leagues).

However, Keeper Leagues are common as well. In this style of league, each team keeps a predetermined number of players from last season's roster. Most often, I hear three as the magic number of players kept. Pick whatever works best for your league.

Often, you get to keep a player for last year's draft round. That is, if you drafted a player in the 12th round last year you can keep him as your 12th round pick this year.

4for4.com has a section of the site dedicated to keeper leagues. They have great articles that can guide you toward creating your own keeper league (including the pros and cons of doing so), and they also have valuable information regarding trade values of draft picks and players. They also include an excellent keeper league-specific cheat sheet to help you draft. For a one-of-a-kind Keeper Rankings tool that reflects a player's current year and long term value based on your needs see: http://www.4for4.com/top225keeper.php

Tools and Tricks
So how can you be the most informed manager in your league? The following are my own methods for succeeding in fantasy football. I haven't finished lower than second in the past eight years. Below, I will review how 4for4.com addresses my needs perfectly.

Stay Informed
True, it pays to diligently read headlines, check all news sources and generally know what's going on in the NFL. But who has 16 hours a day to do all the digging? Solution: 4for4.com actually does the legwork for you.

For starters, the site has an e-mail service, which contains excellent information. It's easy to sign up and easy to sign off. This is a quick and effortless way to get quality information that will keep you up-to-date on fantasy-related news around the NFL.

4for4.com also has a section dedicated specifically to NFL news. Check this section out on your lunch break or before you go to sleep to find out the latest happenings in the NFL. This allows you to stay up to date on current fantasy-related events, without having to go to multiple sites. The news includes league news, team specific events, and positional listings of what's happened recently with each NFL player. This is great if you're wondering if that rookie quarterback has signed, or if you're wondering how well that injured running back is recovering from surgery. Other news sections on the website include rookie reports, off-season movements, and more.

Additionally, the site's highly detailed player projections and rankings are updated constantly to ensure the fantasy information you receive is current and relevant.

With expert and contributor-written articles posted frequently on the website, 4for4 also provides different perspectives on what's happening around the league. This includes fantasy trends, over and under-valued prospects, tips for drafting from specific positions, early camp reports, and much more. There are blogs to look at, and sections for special information such as individual defensive player (IDP) rankings. Reading up on the different sections can make you the most educated and prepared person in your draft room.

Practice Makes Perfect
I know this may sound silly, but practice makes perfect even in fantasy football. I remember when I was twelve years old, sitting down in my parent's living room, trying to figure out who would be available for my first few picks. Each year would go by, and I'd try to predict further and further into the draft. Now I practice the entire draft, with multiple scenarios to get an idea of who might be available, and to ensure that I maximize the value of my picks.

4for4 has a section called Full Impact to help you practice for your draft. The section includes customized simulation, customized cheat sheets, and many other draft related tools. The Full Impact cheat sheets run off the official 4for4.com player projections. However, now you can create a custom cheat sheet based on your league rules. You can run a mock draft using your rules and during the season you can get customized weekly lineup help and more. If your league has highly unique rules, Full Impact gives you the edge.

Additionally a membership to 4for4.com gives you a FREE Premium Copy of pcDrafter, which is a cutting edge draft tool. I've used it multiple times, and now I don't need to do my own simulations. I recommend everyone try it out for an absolutely great simulation and to help with the 'practice makes perfect' philosophy. pcDrafter also grades your draft for you after you're finished. You'll know right away how well you did in relation to the other simulated and user-controlled teams. In addition, pcDrafter will help you crush your actual draft as well. pcDrafter looks at all the key factors and makes suggestions each step of the way during your live draft or auction. As the GM, you can take pcDrafter's suggestions or not.

Another section on 4for4.com is ADP. ADP stands for Average Draft Position. This data will give you an idea of who's available each round of your draft based on a typical fantasy draft this summer.

Update Your Rankings
There are many reasons to update rankings on a consistent basis - injuries, roster moves, demotions and promotions to name a few. Players excel in camp, quarterbacks develop timing with receivers, offensive and defensive schemes change and so on. All these factors can lead to a change in rankings.

As you go over stats and information daily, you consistently find new insights. For example, looking at a WR's stats from last year (e.g. 27 catches, 453 yards, and 6 touchdowns), that player may not seem like a good fantasy option. Later however, you may notice that over half of that production came in the last four games of the season. This changes things entirely. Keeping up with your rankings will help you to catch these potential overlooks. Of course, that's an awful lot of work and diligence to do it right.

4for4.com has many tools at your disposal to make the above process much easier. In addition to the ADP listed earlier, 4for4 has a “vs.” option where they put their rankings up against that of ADP. This gives you a perspective of where players are drafted, and where the experts think they should be drafted. This helps when finding bargain picks in the later rounds of you draft. It can also keep you from drafting a potential dud early on.

4for4 also has time proven 'classic cheat sheets' for all you cheaters out there who don't want to go through the long process of thorough evaluation. Print off these cheat sheets and bring them to your draft, and you'll already be a step ahead of the competition.

4for4 creates these classic-style cheat sheets based on expert opinions and time proven forecasting models to give you an inclusive, effective list of rankings for each of the key fantasy positions. The 4for4.com Classic-Style Cheat Sheets go beyond player projections and offer the fantasy newcomer or vet a great place to start.

Making use of the 4for4 'Draft Board' is also an excellent way to see what multiple people think of the different players. You can read many postings about the different players to help you decide where exactly you rank the fantasy prospects at each position. The Draft Board is interactive and includes discussion topics, latest reviews, and even average community rankings along side the official 4for4.com results.

Don't Stop After Week 1
Some new fantasy managers pay less attention after their draft. They prefer to watch for injuries and bye weeks and stick to the roster they chose and the starters they established. This is a mistake.

4for4.com does all the legwork for you here as well. They have a full section dedicated to schedule analysis, which can help you draft, and can help throughout the season.

Once the season starts, 4for4.com delivers valuable information to you each day to help you identify who has the best match-ups, who's hot, who to trade away, who to pick up on the waiver wire and how all the key players rank for the remainder of the season. All this allows you to make the tough decisions that make the difference between a fantasy championship, and a taunting next season. 

I believe 4for4.com provides services that are as interesting and fun as they are useful. If you make use of just half the features offered on this site, you'll be one step closer toward raising that cool championship trophy high above your head this December. Good Luck!

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