MLS Fantasy 101: How to join or create a fantasy league

MLS

MLSsoccer.com continues its five-part series to help the novice fantasy soccer player get into the game and start playing MLS Fantasy Soccer: Manager, our exclusive season-long fantasy game. Contributor Schuyler Redpath, one of the alltime best MLS fantasy players, will walk you through the game, from the basics of building a team to optimizing your squad selection to creating a league.

Part II: All about leagues. 


 

On Monday, you registered and created your MLS Fantasy Soccer: Manager team. That's the first step. But it's a baby step. Because FS:M is really a competition. (Isn't everything these days?) So now it's time to join a league and start competing against other managers. 

Actually, you are automatically entered into a number of "Global Leagues" just for registering a team. You are automatically included in the Overall league, which pits you against every other FS:M player out there. It's the Overall league that rewards the Top 200 managers with some sweet prizes, including the grand prize of a trip for two to the 2014 MLS All-Star Game. 

A few other leagues each player competes in are:

  • A league for players starting the same round as you
  • A league for supporters of your favorite MLS club (optional, based on whether you named a favorite MLS club)

CLASSIC VS. HEAD-TO-HEAD LEAGUES

The overall league is a Classic league. That means that the standings are based purely on the total number of points teams have earned. Points earned each round are simply added to the total.

In a Head-to-Head league, the teams face off, one against the other, each Round. The team with the most points in the Round earns a win. The standings, then, are determined by the teams' W-L-D record rather than total points. So, at the end of the season, the winner of the league is the team with the best record, who may not necessarily be the team with the most total points.

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PUBLIC LEAGUES

The overall and supporters' leagues are, by nature, big. They don't really allow for the best aspects of fantasy games: the interaction, the camaraderie, the rivalry, and, of course, the trash talk. For that, a smaller league is better.

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Public League 1473, which includes MLSsoccer.com Editor-in-Chief Greg Lalas

It's easy to join a Public league made up of 20 teams. This is a league made up of you and 19 randomly assigned other players, and both Classic and Head-to-Head public leagues exist.

You can enter up to 3 different public leagues.

How to join a public league:

  • Upon logging into your team, click the "Leagues" tab at the top of the page.
  • Click the "Join a league" tab.
  • Choose "Public league" and click Next.
  • Choose either "Classic" or "Head-to-Head" and click Next.
  • Click "Join public league" button.

PRIVATE LEAGUES

Now, here's the good stuff.

The best part of fantasy games is the competition -- and all that goes with it -- with your friends, family, and colleagues.

You can either join a league that someone else has created, or you can create your own league and invite others to join you. Or both -- you can be in up to 15 private leagues.

How to join a private league:

  • Upon logging into your team, click the "Leagues" tab at the top of the page.
  • Click the "Join a league" tab.
  • Choose "Private league" and click Next.
  • Enter the private league code provided by whoever made the league. Click "Join private league" button.

How to create a private league:

  • Upon logging into your team, click the "Leagues" tab at the top of the page.
  • Click the "Create a league" tab.
  • Choose either "Classic" or "Head-to-Head" and click Next.
  • Enter a name for your league and click "Create league."
  • On the next page, you will have a chance to e-mail invitations to friends join the league. This e-mail will include the league code required for them to join. You will also see the code, so you can provide it to your friends at another time. 

And it's as simple as that.

One note on prizes. In general, there are no prizes awarded for private or supporters leagues. But there are some leagues that have prizes. For example, I won the 2012 Philadelphia Union fantasy league in which the Grand Prize winner was awarded seats to a 2013 Union home game and a post-game player autograph session on the field. It was very cool.

If you're like me and enjoy playing for prizes, be sure to seek out additional leagues to join that award prizes to the league winners. A simple Google search or some digging around on Twitter will help ensure you pick up some cool MLS swag.

Schuyler Redpath has been playing MLS fantasy for more than 10 years. He has placed in the top 10 overall for five straight years, winning numerous prizes, including a trip to the MLS All-Star Game. 

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