Fantasy Sports - Other

The Difference between a Rotisserie and Head to Head Fantasy League



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Fantasy sports has become a very popular diversion for the modern sports fan who enjoys a new way of living vicariously through their favorite players.  Some people play fantasy sports just for fun, as it can be a way for a group of friends or family members to compete throughout a sports season.  Other people pay entry fees and compete for cash prizes, which can increase the intensity of certain leagues.  In the modern era, fantasy sports has evolved along with the explosion of the Internet, and in many ways the word "fantasy" and "rotisserie" have been blurred by an influx of modern players who are unaware of the way that the game was played in the past.  Overall, here are a few of the differences between rotisserie and head-to-head fantasy leagues.

Rotisserie scoring

The rotisserie scoring style is the original way of playing fantasy sports.  Each rotisserie player will draft a group of "real" players and their performances throughout a season will dictate how the rotisserie "owner" does in the fantasy league.  Depending on the specific league, the fantasy team will accumulate certain statistics and the team with the highest totals at the end of the season will be given the best rank.  For example, in rotisserie baseball, a ten-team fantasy baseball league might keep track of home runs and other statistics.  The fantasy team with the most home runs at the end of the season will be given ten fantasy points.  The team with the second-most home runs will get nine points, and rankings will continue from there down to one point.  Different rotisserie leagues exists, but the original baseball league was called a "4x4" scoring system because there were four hitting categories and four pitching categories. 

Head-to-head competition

In a head-to-head league, each week includes a "match-up" between two fantasy teams.  Throughout the season, teams will rotate playing each other, much like teams do in "real" sports leagues.  The goal each week is for one fantasy team to beat the other through the accumulation of points, which are again compiled from the performances of real players.  There can be variations in the way these head-to-head leagues function.  Some incorporate the rotisserie scoring style, and fantasy teams are given rankings based on particular statistical categories.  The team with the most categories win the week.  Other leagues have fantasy teams that simply accumulate total points during the weekly competition, and the team with the most points at the end of the week will get a win.  In many of these leagues, there can be a playoff at the end of season, as teams with the best records compete against each other for the final league title. 

Endless possibilities

As fantasy play has expanded, so have the league variations.  The original setup for rotisserie baseball has long been forgotten by many modern players, and people play a mixture of rotisserie scoring and head-to-head match-ups.  In addition, modern "commissioners" have the ability to customize their leagues, so any of these elements are subject to the desires and styles of the person creating the league.  Overall, fantasy continues to evolve and the game that is played in the future may not resemble anything that has been enjoyed in the past. 

More about this author: Todd Pheifer

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